Latest Chemistry News

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Third Form   MYP Chemistry

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IB Specification  
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Fourth Form
  MYP Chemistry  or IGCSE Chemistry
Fifth Form
  MYP Chemistry or IGCSE Chemistry
Lower Sixth
  IB Diploma Chemistry or AQA AS Chemistry

Upper Sixth
  IB Diploma Chemistry  or AQA A2 Chemistry

Thought for the day:

Science is an imaginative adventure of the mind seeking truth in a world of mystery. Sir Cyril Herman Hinshelwood (1897-1967) English chemist and Nobel Laureate

Talented team narrowly miss out on victory in RSC Top of the Bench Competition

 On Thursday 6th December a team of 4 chemists from the 3rd, 4th and 5th forms competed in the  regional round of the RSC Top of the Bench chemistry competition in the undergraduate  laboratories at the University of Oxford. Tasked with building a chemical timer to turn off a light bulb  at precisely 4pm the team got within seconds of victory, missing the 4pm mark by only 50 seconds  with an ingenious device constructed from vinegar, plasticine, and magnesium amongst other  things. The competition proved challenging and fun and the day was a great opportunity to visit a  world leading Chemistry department with the Wellington team of Dominic Atherton, Sarah  Chapman, Edward Caffyn-Parsons and Heidi Barrow doing the school proud.

Christmas Tree.jpg


 Chemistry Spectaculars - what a finale to Science Week

Two more shows are planned for Friday 22nd March - 12:30 and 14:00 at Wellington College's Christopher Lee Theatre. All tickets are free and open to any budding scientists in years 5,6 and 7. For more information, please see the letter below or contact

Letter to Schools

 BBC News - Science & Environment
  • Ancient life 'frozen' by impacts
    Ancient grasses from the Pampas of Argentina were preserved in glass when asteroids struck the area, scientists report.
  • SpaceX launches station cargo flight
    US company SpaceX launches its latest re-supply mission to the International Space Station, sending up a Dragon freighter to rendezvous with the orbiting platform on Sunday.
  • Female cave insects have 'penises'
    Female insects with 'penises' have been discovered in Brazil - the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia.

Top News Stories from the RSC

 Amrita Dasgupta from Wellington College receives award for top result in Cambridge Chemistry Challenge 2012

Amrita Dasgupta from Wellington College has received an award to acknowledge her outstanding performance, achieving one of the highest marks in a new competition called the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, which was taken by 4300 students in 300 schools across the country this year. Amrita was amongst 39 students who achieved the highest marks in the Challenge. All award winners were rewarded with a crystal trophy depicting the electron density of an excited hydrogen atom at a ceremony at the Royal Institution in Piccadilly, London. Supported by the University of Cambridge Chemistry Department, Cambridge International Examinations and OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations), the competition, which was taken by 30% more students than in its first year in 2011, aims to stretch and challenge budding chemists. The 90 minute written paper designed by experienced teachers and lecturers, takes Year 12 students in the UK significantly beyond the Chemistry syllabus, and encourages them to think about science in the way they would at university.
Dr Peter Wothers said: “It is encouraging to see this competition strike a chord with so many students. The competition allows students to apply knowledge of other subjects, think creatively and take their knowledge to the next level – these are exactly the kind of skills which are needed for university. It is therefore useful for students wanting to go on to study chemistry at undergraduate level because it gives them that outstanding flair!”
Ann Puntis, Chief Executive of Cambridge International Examinations said: “It’s fantastic to see the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, now in its second year, going from strength to strength. More students across the country are seeing the benefits of a competition, which stretches their knowledge and prepares them for the challenges of university and beyond.”
The Cambridge Chemistry Challenge will continue into 2013 due to popular demand from students and teachers. There will be new monthly competitions from November 2012 to June 2013. If you would like to find out more visit
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2013 Competition

Well done to all those who took part in the Royal Society of Chemistry's 2013 Olympiad. Every year we enter our top Upper Sixth students into this very tough competition, which goes well beyond A level or IB syllabuses. This year 6 Lower Sixth students decided to have a go as well. We had a smaller number of entries this year, but quality is better than quantity.  THREE Gold awards is a record - particularly as it was an exceptionally tough paper this year - so well done to our top U6th Chemists.  Special congratulations go to the 4 Lower Sixth students who were awarded silver and bronze this time.  More gold next year? We hope so!

GOLDAmrita Dasgupta (W), James Chapman (R) & JJ Dewes (Hl) in the Upper Sixth

Fred Noble (Hl) in the Upper Sixth & Karen Lai (Ap) in the Lower Sixth


Sam Snelling (Hl) in the Upper Sixth & Wai-Kin Tsui (Hg), Joyce Lee (Ap) & Michael Wright (T) in the Lower Sixth

 PARTICIPATIONHarry Lei (T) & Anna Sayers (W) in the Lower Sixth

More information on this year's competition can be found on the RSC Website here.


Upper Sixth

Lower Sixth Silver and Bronze awards

Olympiad winners 2013 (U6) 1.JPG


Olympiad winners 2013 (L6).jpg


2012 Competition

In 2012 we had our largest number of participants (20) including 9 from the Lower Sixth. 13 of them gained awards.


Simon Erridge (Hg) & Akash Jain (M) in the Upper Sixth
Amrita Dasgupta (W) in the Lower Sixth


Jamie Allum (T), Colin Fung (Hg), Alex Galliano (M), Farhad Jokhi (Hg), Tom MacKinnon (L), Alex Morley (Bn), Leo Sutton (R) and Michael Yu (M) in the Upper Sixth
James Chapman (Hl) and Harry Lorenz (Bd) in the Lower Sixth

Upper Sixth (Alex Morley and Leo Sutton absent)

Lower Sixth

Olympiad winners 2012 (U6).JPGOlympiad winners 2012 (L6).JPG


2011 Competition

In the 2011 Olympiad we had a record number of awards, equalling those of 2006, and our first Gold since 2007.

GOLDToba Fatimilehin (M)

Ryan Wield (Hg) : Ollie Ralph (Bd) : Lizzie Robinson (O)


Tom Roberts (Bd) : Leke Akerele (M) : Colman Chiu (Bl)



The Russell group of Universities has just published a list of 'facilitating' subjects that give students the most options. Here's what they said:

What subjects can give me the most options?
Many courses at university level build on knowledge which you will gain while still at school. Where this is the case, universities need to make sure that all the students they admit have prepared themselves in the best way to cope with their chosen course. For this reason, some university courses may require you to have studied a specific subject prior to entry, others may not. However, there are some subjects that are required more often than others. These subjects are sometimes referred to as facilitating subjects.

Subjects that can be viewed as ‘facilitating’ subjects are:
• Mathematics and Further Maths
• English
• Physics
• Biology
• Geography
• History
• Languages (Classical and Modern)



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