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"The Chemistry Department at Haileybury is well-known and popular for a teaching approach based on laboratory work and learning by doing. With three teachers holding PhDs and two A Level examiners on the team we also have an excellent record of inspiring pupils to read Chemistry or related degrees at university."

Mark Forth Head of Chemistry


Chemistry at Haileybury

Chemistry is a central Science and chemical principles underpin the physical environment in which we live.

We look in depth at fundamental topics such as atomic structure and chemical bonding, the periodic table, reactivity, electrolysis and the extraction of metals, chemicals from crude oil, energy changes, rates of reactions and reversible reactions.


Pupils work towards Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry (Dual and Triple Award), OCR at AS and A2 and the IB Diploma.

The course combines academic study with practical and manipulative skills. Pupils are expected to read around the subject, be curious and prepared to challenge ideas and facts they encounter. Considerable emphasis is placed on learning through practical work in the laboratories, as well as the department’s considerable ICT facilities.

More than 55 of our pupils have gone on to read Chemistry, Biochemistry or Chemical Engineering in the past six years. Nine pupils have gone on to read Chemistry or Natural Sciences at Oxford or Cambridge.


Haileybury offers a variety of supplementary activities to enrich pupil learning in Chemistry. The Lower Sixth visit the GlaxoSmithKlein R&D facility in Ware and attend an inspiring ‘Chemistry in Action’ lecture day in London; the Sixth Form regularly competes in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and the Chemistry Olympiad.

Lectures with visiting speakers and fortnightly extension lessons are also laid on. In the Middle School, pupils can compete in an Interschool Chemistry Challenge, the RSC Top Of The Bench competition, as well as our own Inter-House Science Challenge. The Lower School competes in the Salters Festival of Chemistry at UCL.

The Chemistry Department at Haileybury is popular and known for its approach to teaching. We believe in laboratory work for all and recognise that pupils best learn by doing. The department has a wealth of experience and expertise, enabling us to stretch and push the most able pupils as far as they want to go. The laboratories were recently refurbished, which has freshened up the department while retaining its old magic.

Head of Department

Mark Forth MChem PGCE is Head of Chemistry. He holds an MChem from the University of Oxford, arriving at Haileybury in 2012 as department head following a four year teaching spell at Abingdon School. A keen sportsman, Mark is also extensively involved with the school’s tennis, rugby and cross country.

Teaching staff

Mark's team at Haileybury includes: Kate Brazier PhD PGCE IB Coordinator; Clare Cohen BSc PGCE HM Allenby and Head of PHSE; Lucy Dexter MChem PhD HM Colvin; Dale Johnson MChem DPhil PGCE UCAS Advisor; and Ian Sanders BSc PGCE NQT Induction Tutor and New Staff Mentor.


To find out more about our recent Chemistry results, please click on the link below:

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