Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry 2021

Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the UK’s largest non-governmental funder of chemistry education. And, as the world’s leading chemistry community, is committed to advancing excellence in the chemical sciences because of its belief in the fundamental importance of chemistry for life, society and the world.

The RSC invests in educating future generations of scientists – for the benefit of science and humanity – by providing advice, resources and practical support to learners and educators in schools, colleges, and universities around the world.

We believe that all children have the right to a world-class chemistry education.

If you would like to bring your passion for chemistry to a career in the classroom, then we would love to help you on your way to becoming an inspirational chemistry teacher. One way that we are doing that is awarding £26,000 tax-free funding to talented individuals entering chemistry teacher training in England.

Teaching is an exciting, challenging and hugely rewarding career. No two days will ever be the same, but every day you’ll be sharing your passion for science and making a real difference to children and young people. It won’t always be easy, your patience and determination will both be tested, but if you become one of our scholars then we will support you through your training and beyond, with a range of fantastic benefits, as you grow into the excellent teacher we think you can become.

As well as tax-free funding, RSC Scholars get a specialised support package, designed to help during the ITT course.

The package includes:

  • mentoring by an expert chemistry teacher
  • chemistry specific training meetings with other scholars
  • free classroom materials including books, posters and a lab coat
  • free online courses on key concepts in teaching chemistry
  • opportunities to engage with the Royal Society of Chemistry beyond the scholarship year
  • two year’s membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry, which includes a range of further benefits.
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Case Studies

  • Name: Bryony Wood
  • Role: PGCE Secondary Science with Chemistry specialism
  • Joined: 2017
  • University: Nottingham Trent University
  • Degree: MChem (Hons) Chemistry

I am currently studying a PGCE at Nottingham Trent University specialising in Chemistry. My desire to become a teacher began when I started to study Chemistry at A-level. The passion and enjoyment that my chemistry teacher had for the subject was admirable. Having a clear interest in Chemistry myself, I chose to complete a master’s degree in the subject at university, enabling my knowledge to flourish. I completed a week’s work experience during my second year of university at my old secondary school. Throughout the week I was part of many lessons ranging from year 7 all the way up to A-level classes in the 6th Form. I was involved in many areas of classroom life, from helping the children who struggled with the topics to setting more challenging problems for the children who were excelling.

In my third year of university, as part of the School of Science and Technology open week, the Chemistry Department ran a basic synthetic Chemistry activity with the objective to let potential students understand what it was like to be a chemistry student. The activity involved synthesising aspirin and using different analytical techniques which is a common practical experiment in first year Chemistry at university. I was invited by my Head of Year to help run the activity. I oversaw a small group of 6th Form students and taught them how to successfully complete the activity, as well as explained and answered any questions about the Chemistry behind it. This experience confirmed that teaching was the right career path for me, as I enjoyed being able to share my knowledge with the students.

I have been awarded a scholarship this year from the Royal Society of Chemistry to support my teaching training. Having been awarded one, I have had access to exceptional resources and support throughout my PGCE. I welcome the advice and knowledge from expert mentors and enjoy meeting with other professionals with the same passion for teaching Chemistry. The scholarship is an excellent way of promoting subject specialism in teaching and this is what attracted me to the scheme. The scholarship has made it more financially possible for me to complete my teacher training and allow me to focus on my teaching without the pressure of having to work to make ends meet financially.

Some of the most enjoyable aspects of my teaching career to date have involved putting into practice in a live environment, things I have learned as part of my MChem and PGCE courses. I always challenge myself, and love to see what I can achieve in new situations. I also love seeing the reactions from pupils when they conduct an experiment or learn something new as a result of one of my lessons, it really makes all the planning time worthwhile! The support from the schools where I have completed my placements at has been fantastic. It feels great to be part of such a dedicated team of teachers, sharing ideas and work practices and all working towards a common goal.

  • Name: Emily Kneller
  • Role: Current RSC scholar
  • Joined: 2019
  • University: University of Warwick
  • Degree: Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry

‘I’ve always been a sociable person who enjoys meeting and chatting with new people, and science was one of my favourite subjects at school. Whilst undertaking my chemistry degree at Warwick university, I realised that a job in research wouldn’t be right for me. However, I wanted to make sure I ended up in a job that put my chemistry degree to good use. Teaching is that perfect mix of a sociable job which allows me to put all the knowledge I have gained during my time in education to good use. I also really enjoyed my time at school when I was younger, so it was an environment I was happy to return to. Whilst I was in 6th form, I did some tutoring with some younger students which I really enjoyed and found very rewarding. All these have led to pursue teaching as a career, and I am thoroughly enjoying it so far.

At my current stage in training, I am teaching around 3 lessons a day. During the rest of my time I am planning, marking, asking lots of questions to my science technician and practicing experiments that I have never done before. As well as those activities which contribute to my time in the classroom, I am also doing work to contribute towards my PGCE and obtaining QTS status. I read journal articles and research to help my university assignments and create folders of evidence to show that I can meet the teacher’s standards. I'm never short of something to do. Working in classes brings variety to my day. Seeing different students of different ages, teaching different topics and all sorts of different conversations and laughs with students make for a great day at work.

Having the RSC scholarship for my training year has been great. There is a financial gain to being a scholar, but the extra training days with the RSC are definitely its main advantage. A recent RSC training day taught me so many useful things which I can't wait to try out in my classroom. I found the session we had on micro-chemistry particularly useful. This enables you to carry out experiments on a very small scale, which can help with schools that are tight on funding, and can allow each individual student to complete the experiment due to the small amount of chemicals being used. My mentor at my training school was keen to hear about the ideas I had from the day and I hope to implement these into my classroom in the future. Having a separate RSC mentor is also very helpful. I have emailed them a few times and their response is always helpful and prompt. Although my mentor at my training school is helpful, sometimes it is nice to get other ideas from a different perspective to allow me to come to my own conclusion of what will work best for me in my teaching. I receive a bi-monthly edition of Education in Chemistry, which comes with practical teaching ideas to use in my classroom, and I have received a box of 'goodies', such as a lab coat, goggles, posters, a periodic table, a few text books and a very cool thermosensitive RSC mug! I would thoroughly recommended applying for the scholarship if you are considering teaching chemistry. For the small amount of time it takes to fill in the application, the benefits are so worth it.’

  • Application Procedure

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