The Chemistry department is a lively department headed by Dr M D Clarke. There are four full time members of the department and the Director of Studies and the Chaplain (both ex Heads of Chemistry) also teach some sets.

We have a highly qualified set of teachers who not only aim for exam success but also to produce confident, communicative, practical scientists. The considerable popularity of Chemistry at A Level with generally around 45% of the Sixth Form taking the subject to at least AS shows the success of this philosophy with our students.

The Department are well-known for the spectacular, whether it is the wizz-bang shows given in the Blake Theatre to Junior Schools and Sixth Formers or in providing the smoke screens and sound effects for Junior History battles.

The department also helps to run a very popular Junior Science club. This club is open to members of the first and second forms and they meet during one lunch hour a week in order to investigate the wonders of science and carry out experiments which extend beyond the scope of the normal curriculum. Students build and blow up volcanoes, make bridges out of spaghetti and testing their strength, carry out blueprinting bringing together 19th and 21st century technology in order to turn digital photographs into negatives and they have also solved the age old search to turn base metals into gold!


At Monmouth School all students study the iGCSE Chemistry Course.This is considered to be a more rigorous qualification that will benefit both the pupils’ understanding of the principles involved and science education at Monmouth School. The course is designed to develop students’ understanding of the unifying patterns of Chemistry and to allow them to apply their knowledge to problem-solving, experimental work and advanced applications.

The course is based on a linear scheme and assessment is by terminal examination.  This removes the disruption of module tests and permits a much greater emphasis on practical applied science. There is no centre based assessment required for this qualification.  As in previous years the majority of pupils will study for iGCSE awards in each of the three separate sciences and will sit two papers in each.  However, the option exists for candidates to take a single paper in each Science and achieve a Dual Award Science qualification, which will be awarded two passes at iGCSE level.  Further details can be obtained from the EDEXCEL website.

AS/A Level

The course followed is based on the AQA Modular A level syllabus and consists of six modules spread over two years with Modules 1, 2, 4 and 5 being examined in June each year.

The approach is to teach through practical work wherever possible, AQA promotes Chemistry as fundamentally an experimental subject and it is a philosophy that we have embedded wholeheartedly in our teaching schemes and practices. Each module will contain some continuous practical assessment, so development of practical awareness and confidence is an important part of all modules.

As well as standard text books and in-house generated revision booklets you will be provided with a specific revision guide for each single module, written by the person who sets the module exam.

Chemistry combines well with other science subjects and with Maths.  Also, the AS course is suitable for those who wish to maintain academic breadth by studying a science subject in combination with non-science qualifications. It is a suggested qualification for many medical and veterinary courses at university.

Beyond Monmouth Chemistry

We produce accomplished and confident practical Chemists some of whom then go on to study Business Management, History and associated courses at top Universities! Our approach with all our students is to stretch them and develop their problem-solving, logic processes, team building and other transferable skills for whichever courses they follow.

Many A Level Chemists go on to study Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science as well as Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Pharmacy and Environmental Sciences.

Many employers recognise the value of  training in logical thought, numerical and communications skills. Typically 40% of graduate Chemists stay in the University sector to study further and only about half of graduates go on to a career in chemistry or a related discipline. The skills you learn on a Chemistry degree equip you for a whole range of other careers in law, finance, accountancy, sales, management and more.