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Manchester High School for Girls


Chemistry is the study of all matter from the electron to the largest proteins. It is the source of everything around us from make-up to explosives.

We aim to deliver a challenging and enjoyable programme of study and to accommodate a variety of teaching and learning styles. Practical activities and demonstrations are incorporated throughout in order to support theory.

External examination results at GCSE and A-level are excellent. For the last three years, between 91-96% of students achieved Chemistry IGCSE grades at A*/A. 

At A2-level, a similarly high percentage of students achieved A/B grades with up to 75% of the cohort achieving an A* or A grade.


Years 7 and 8

In years 7 and 8 students follow our own tailor made course which we believe to be an excellent way of introducing students to the skills they will need in order to develop as enthusiastic chemists. This includes topics such as states of matter, formulae and equations, chemical and physical changes, metals, acids, alkalis and neutralisation, as well as a number of others.

Year 9

In Year 9, we commence the GCSE course ensuring that students are engaged and challenged. Options are chosen in Spring term, with students choosing whether to study GCSE Chemistry (Draft 8462) as a full GCSE or as a component of the GCSE Combined Science Trilogy (Draft 8464).

Years 10 and 11

Our current students study Chemistry either as a separate IGCSE or as part of the Double Award qualification (AQA). In each case, the three sciences are taught by subject specialists rather than by general science teachers.

Sixth Form

Chemistry is an extremely popular subject at MHSG and typically has the largest cohort at AS and A2-level. Approximately 55-60 students learn AQA Chemistry at AS-level and approximately 45-50 continue to AQA A2-level each year. Class sizes are generally around the maximum number of 16 at AS and decrease slightly at A2-level.

Junior Sixth (Year 12)

AQA AS-level and A-level Chemistry (7404, 7405)

Senior Sixth (Year 13)

AQA A-level Chemistry (2420)

Chemistry Clinic

There are two weekly Chemistry Clinics, one for Sixth Form students and one for KS3 and KS4 students, where individual support is provided.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The Department offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities:

The Science Club students where year 7, 8 and 9 can work together on projects for the CREST Award Scheme.

Various Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) or Salter’s competitions held at local universities (ChemQuiz, Festival of Chemistry, Schools’ Analyst) and are usually successful in obtaining places on Gold CREST Nuffield placements during the summer.

Advanced Chemistry discussion group where Sixth Form students extend their chemistry knowledge beyond the specifications culminating in excellent results in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and International Chemistry Olympiad.

Staff from Manchester University deliver both a Christmas Chemistry Flash Bang show to KS3 and KS4 students, as well as the RSC Spectroscopy in a Suitcase activity to our Senior Sixth chemistry students.