Head of Sixth Form Chemistry
Sue joined Hurst in 2010. She studied Natural Sciences at Newnham College Cambridge and remained there to complete her PGCE. Alongside her teaching she has also been an A-level Chemistry examiner for 25 years. As well as overseeing the A-level Chemistry course, Sue is responsible for supervising and supporting Hurst students who have an interest in applying for medicine, dentistry or veterinary science. Outside the classroom Sue is a very keen orienteer, competing in events all around the UK and overseas, and as a planner at two British Championships.
Chemistry is integral to our understanding of the natural world around us. It is a physical science, and is the study of the properties of and interactions between matter and energy. It uses both mathematical and physical concepts to generate ideas important for understanding biological and geographical processes. It is also the creative science, with chemists being at the forefront of the design and synthesis of new and exotic materials that change our lives. Ironically, Chemistry permeates so much of our existence that its importance is often overlooked.
In the Sixth Form, Chemistry is taught with an emphasis on the practical experience and development of practical skills and applications. At A-level, we follow the OCR Chemistry specification and assessment is through three papers taken at the end of the two years of study.
The Chemistry department is housed within the newly extended science block and students have access to six well-equipped laboratories.
In the Sixth Form students are encouraged to read and discover the applications of Chemistry beyond the specification, making use of publications such as Chemistry Review. Each year we encourage students to participate in national competitions such as the Lower Sixth Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and the Chemistry Olympiad. Along with other Sciences, students have the opportunity to gain a CREST award. In addition there are weekly extension sessions for those wanting to pursue Chemistry at university level.
Chemistry is a popular subject in the Sixth Form with many students going on to study Chemistry or related subjects such as Biochemistry or Medicine at highly selective universities. It is known as a facilitating subject as it helps in the development of logical thought, numerical and communication skills; many employers consider it to be excellent training for almost any occupation or profession.