‘Chemistry is a central science that permeates all of our lives. Without Chemistry our lives would be dull, dark, boring and short.’

Chemistry homework might be hard but a world without Chemistry would be a real pain. Without Chemistry we wouldn’t have more of the medicines that keep us from getting sick or stop us from feeling the pain of a headache, broken bone or tooth extraction.

Year 7 and 8

Chemistry is all around us and so taking advantage of the lockdown was achieved by making slime, volcanoes from bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and infusion of bath bombs with essential oils.

Students in 8 are invited to take part in the annual Chemistry Salters Challenge, which is hosted by UCL. Berkhamsted pupils take the opportunity to investigate the source of a chemical using flame tests and precipitation tests.

KS3/4 Co-curricular Science Club

If you want to explore science and ignite your curiosity, then this would be for you! We made ‘Ferro Liquid’, an amazing liquid that when subjected to a magnet behaves like a solid in that it has a defined shape. You can have the fun of science without the recording and writing. We use exploration as a way of thinking and discussion so that you can ask the questions that you always wanted to. Delving deeper into science in a logical way will enhance your thinking beyond any curriculum.


Sixth Form Chemistry in Action day at UCL are attended by Year 12 and are a highlight of the academic programme for students as they highlight many different areas where Chemistry can be used in industry including pharmacy and food.

Chemistry Olympiad

For students ‘The Chemistry Olympiad ’ is a great way to increase your problem-solving skills and will challenge you to think about Chemistry in a synoptic way using all of the knowledge that you have gleaned in your Year 12 and 13 course.  Written tests comprise of questions based on real-world chemistry problems that often stimulate much debate, raising awareness of what chemistry is all about and provide an opportunity to develop and showcase some of the skills required for studying Chemistry at university and beyond.  Our students took part in this in January 2020.  We achieved a great set of results right at the start of lock down

Year 12 Challenge

A similar challenge for Year 12 is the C3L6.  This comprises questions related to the Year 12 specification and is an excellent way to challenge those honed facts from previous examinations.

KS5 Co-Curricular Chemistry Club

Students in Year 11 attending this club are taught by Year 13 students some A level practicals which stretch and challenge as well as allowing Year 11 students interested in Chemistry to become familiar with equipment for the future.

Further Activities Online

Chemistry Review – a range of articles to ignite your interest

Royal Society of Chemistry – a range of resources including career and university advice

UCL Outreach Lectures – a range of resources from UCL and online lectures aimed at Year 12 students.

Glaxo Smithkline resources and ideas for students who are looking for careers in Chemistry

RSC provide a range of activities to complete.

Headstart programmes have been used extensively by students on work placements to further their knowledge of an experience in industry or at a top University. These need to be applied for well in advance. 

Beyond Berkhamsted

The Chemistry Department have been delighted at the end of the 2019 academic year to send Henry Kergon to UCL and Freya Butler to Oxford University to study Chemistry.

Henry Kergon

Henry completed A Level Chemistry in Summer 2019 and has just completed his first year studying Chemistry at University College London.  Here area his reflections on the year.

Doing Chemistry at UCL is a wonderful experience and a privilege. In my first year I have covered a multitude of different subject areas from quantum mechanics and thermodynamics in physical chemistry, to complex mechanisms and reaction pathways in organic chemistry, as well as crystal structures and metals in inorganic chemistry, all accompanied by a high level of teaching.

The lab sessions are exciting and engaging, due to the research quality equipment, and additionally the work that we do often links into what we are learning in lectures. UCL has also done a great job at arranging first year group projects to get to know others whilst introducing you to the nature of university and academic work. These have included an air pollution project, which involved as a year group collecting data on pollution levels for the majority of central London. Another group activity was a poster project which involved getting to know a member of the research team and speaking to them on some of their work and presenting this information as a group to other members of staff in the department.