Welcome to the Chemistry Department website

The Department aims to teach Chemistry in a way that stimulates students, allowing them to enjoy the classes. We provide an opportunity to become familiar with a range of chemical concepts and ideas, placed as much as possible in the real world. In order to do so we discuss a range of topics and do a number of appropriate experiments, through which the students learn about Chemistry in particular as well as about general skills such as independent thinking, taking initiative and critical observation. These skills are developed and expanded upon as the students progress from U3 through U5. For those who are keen to take Chemistry through A-level we provide AS- and A2-level classes, challenging the students to venture beyond knowledge and skills acquired thus far.

Chemistry Department Staff
  • Mrs Nicola Austin - Head of Chemistry (currently on maternity leave)

    Joined St Catherine's in 2007. Prior to this she had spent a year researching the application of mass spectrometry to the study of proteins, and in particular the protein responsible for the body’s response to a lack of oxygen. Applications of spectrometry and spectroscopy remain an area of interest. Outside of school she enjoys travelling, especially in South East Asia, and sampling different local cuisines. She also likes to experiment with different recipes in the kitchen.
  • Dr Mark Bramwell

    Mark joined the school in 2011 following a short period of teaching at Sir William Perkins School.  Prior to this Mark had a successful career as an industrial chemist for more than 15 year where he was involved in the development and marketing of new sealants and adhesives.  Whilst at University Mark completed his thesis in Physical chemistry specialising on Laser Spectroscopy.and Chemiluminescence.  In his spare time Mark enjoys cycling and spending time with his children.
  • Mrs Ceri-Anne Wiskin

    Joined St Catherine’s in 2016 having taught Chemistry at George Abbot School for 5 years, then at Tomlinscote School for 3 years where she held the position of Head of Chemistry. In the final year of her degree she completed research into the synthesis of Penicillin and Taxol. At St Catherine’s Ceri is involved in running the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Outside of school, her interests include hill walking, rock climbing and swimming.

  • Mrs Grace Hermitage - (acting Head of Chemistry)

    Joined the school in September 2014 after having taught Chemistry, Physics and Maths for seven years at The Kingsley School in Royal Leamington Spa where she held the position of Head of Chemistry. Prior to this she had a successful career in the private sector working for blue chip companies in the oil, aviation, and fashion industries. In the final year of her degree she completed a thesis on Chelation in Transition Metal complexes, specifically focusing on stability, synthesis and characterisation.  At St Catherine’s Grace is involved in running the Sailing Club which had recent success winning the Surrey Schools Regatta in December 2014. Outside of school her interests include karate (she currently holds a blue belt), sea and lake fishing, surfing, wind surfing and golf.
  • Chemistry Technician - Mrs Elaine French-Mowat
    Elaine joined the school at the start of 2012 having previously had a career as a Biomedical Scientist specialising in clinical biochemistry in hospital laboratories, research and development in industry and producing research papers for NICE. Extra-curricular interests include playing stoolball, supporting St Helens RLFC and Liverpool FC and walking her dog in the Surrey hills.
  • Chemistry Mentors - Annalisa, Tash, Emma