About the book
This book covers the Edexcel International GCSE Chemistry syllabus. It replaces Longman Chemistry for IGCSE co-authored by Jim Clark and Ray Oliver. I am the sole author of the new version, and the old book is not appropriate for the present syllabus.
A retitled version of the book will also cover the new Edexcel Certificate in Chemistry which will be taught from September 2012. The two syllabuses will be identical from that point, with only tiny changes to the present International GCSE syllabus.
Edexcel has produced a 'real' chemistry syllabus for International GCSE, which is intellectually satisfying in its own right, and provides an excellent introduction for students wanting to take the subject further. I entirely approve of this.
I have always believed that you get the best out of students if you never talk down to them. If they are taught carefully and clearly, then most students are capable of more than they imagine, and success with the early parts of a course breeds enjoyment, and then further success, in a virtuous circle. The book aims to be as helpful as possible in making chemistry understandable, but without losing rigour.
My aim has been to make sure that nothing I say (or even imply) in the book will have to be 'unlearnt' if a student goes on to A level or its equivalent. The gap between GCSE and A level in chemistry is often seen as huge, but it doesn't need to be. There are a number of simplifications which are often made at GCSE which can cause students major problems if they persist into A level - and they are all avoidable with care. This book shouldn't leave any residual problems of that sort.
Some scientific rigour is also important to those who won't do any chemistry beyond GCSE. It is getting increasingly important that we produce a generation who can pick out the scientific flaws in statements from environmentalists, politicians, and the media, and not simply believe anything they are told. (However, this isn't supposed to be a blog . . . )
© Jim Clark 2009 (last updated July 2017)