Chemistry Department win prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Education Prize

Greenhead College Chemistry Department has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Team Prize for Excellence in Secondary and Further Education.

Nominated by their peers, the team was chosen by the RSC’s prestigious panel of judges as one of the most inspirational, innovative and dedicated people in education.

The team has now become a winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Team Prize for Excellence in Secondary and Further Education, for enhancing and enriching the chemistry learning of a huge and diverse group of students by offering a high quality and broad chemistry education and through effective outreach.

Ruth Farnell, Head of Chemistry at Greenhead College said:

“Working with young people can be incredibly rewarding. However, the extent of the work that teams like ours put into ensuring that every student receives not only an outstanding education but also so much more in the way of enthusiasm for and opportunities in chemistry isn’t often recognised. Receiving an accolade like this where our efforts are publicly acknowledged, valued and celebrated means so much to everyone in the team.”

The chemistry team at Greenhead College use their skill, expertise and passion to bring chemistry to life for the almost 1000 students studying in the department. The team have developed an interesting and varied scheme of work that is enhanced and enriched by work outside the classroom.

Students in the department are given opportunities to work with local primary schools to share their love and passion for chemistry with Year 6 children whose enthusiasm for putting on a lab coat and using a Bunsen Burner is infectious. If the students are considering a future in chemistry or research, then there is also the chance to work alongside researchers at the University of Huddersfield to conduct a project as part of our Real World Chemistry enrichment, the results of this work are presented both in the college and at the University using PhD style poster presentations.

The team supports all learners to make the most of their chemistry education whilst at the college. Additional support comes in many forms such as peer mentoring, 11 staffed support sessions a week, a dedicated classroom where students can work quietly in their free time, student study groups and video tutorials covering the entire course. Enhancement in the form of the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, RSC Schools’ analyst competition, RSC Chemistry Olympiad, Cambridge HE+ scheme, Alumni interactions, University outreach talks and trips to Huddersfield University and a residential to the Chemistry department at Oxford all enrich the chemistry curriculum.

Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: 

“It’s of vital importance that we recognise the crucial role that educators play in the advancement of the sciences. And that we commend their ability to inspire and nurture the next generation of bright young minds, so that they can go on to make new discoveries and innovations.

“Society faces many challenges, and educators give us the tools we need to advance our understanding of the world around us and solve many of the problems we encounter. The team’s work demonstrates an outstanding commitment to chemistry education, and it is our honour to celebrate their considerable contribution.”

Gill Reid, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said:

“For many of us as chemists our teachers were our inspiration – their influence in driving the next generation of amazing scientists cannot be underestimated. That’s why I’m so proud of the winners of the Education Horizon Prizes, each of whom demonstrates an infectious passion for learning that sparks young minds to do amazing things.

“This year’s winners set exemplary examples of the impact this can make; it’s no exaggeration to say their successes will be felt for generations to come ”

The Excellence in Education Prizes celebrate inspirational, innovative, and dedicated people working in primary, secondary, further education and higher education – including teachers, technicians and more. These prizes recognise a wide range of skills – from curriculum design to effective teaching, and from personal development to working culture. This category includes specific prizes for teams and for those in the early stages of their career.

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s prizes have recognised excellence in the chemical sciences for more than 150 years. In 2019, the organisation announced the biggest overhaul of this portfolio in its history, designed to better reflect modern scientific work and culture.

Volunteer Associate Counsellor

Volunteer Associate Counsellor

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Exam Invigilators

Exam Invigilators

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