Every aspect of the world today – even politics and international relations – is affected by chemistryLinus Pauling (1901–1994) American chemist

Scientific work… must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity.Marie Curie (1867–1934) Polish physicist. From a lecture at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York (14 May 1921)

The country which is in advance of the rest of the world in chemistry will also be foremost in wealth and in general prosperity.William Ramsay (1852–1916) Scottish Chemist

Vital in all aspects of our lives, Chemistry is a dynamic and investigative science. Chemists identify and respond to new challenges that our modern world presents. From climate change and greener fuels to the development of new pharmaceuticals, Chemistry is the central science, always at the forefront of modern scientific breakthroughs. Our aim at Oakham is to show our pupils how Chemistry forms the basis of everything we need to survive and inspire in them a sense of wonder and delight in this vibrant and exciting subject.

Chemistry at Oakham is very popular, thanks to our team of 9 specialist teachers and 3 science technicians. Practical work is integral to everything we do and pupils benefit greatly from the magnificent facilities we enjoy in the Mehra Faculty of Science.

In the Lower School, pupils follow Oakham's own Junior Science Programme, which includes all three pure Sciences weaved into one coherent course, delivered by a team of dedicated teaching staff and technicians.

We provide our youngest pupils with many opportunities to develop their enthusiasm for Chemistry beyond the classroom: Form 1 can take part in the Bronze level CREST Award; our Form 2 competition winners get the chance to go to the Salters Chemistry Festival and Big Bang Fair; and pupils in Forms 3 and 4 take part in the Royal Society of Chemistry Top of the Bench Competition. Junior Science Club is also popular.

In Forms 4 and 5 pupils study all three Sciences with subject specialists, following GCSE courses tailored to their needs. We also offer pupils practical extension work that goes beyond the GCSE curriculum.

In the Upper School, students can study Chemistry at A-level or the International Baccalaureate. Chemical Engineering, Natural Sciences and Medicine are popular options to read at university, including Oxbridge, and we offer various ways to inspire our students to take their study of Chemistry beyond School. We run a rich programme of Chemistry Society (ChemSoc) lectures, workshops and seminars, and practical extension sessions. Students can also enter the International Chemistry Olympiad competition and the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge.

Joanne Griffiths

Head of Chemistry

I have been Head of Chemistry at Oakham from September 2013, I was previously an Assistant Head of Sixth Form at North London Collegiate School. Prior to completing my PGCE at Oxford University I spent some time working in China and met my husband Neil, with whom I have 2 children. I am a tutor in the Upper School and I also run the Lower School Science Club and help with Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.