Highgrove Education

The Chemistry of Art

In this course, you will explore the topic of Thermodynamics beyond A-level. We will start by looking at the kinetic model, heat transfer and thermal equilibrium and then the laws of Thermodynamics. We will then discuss van der Waals gases, which is an improvement on ideal gases. We will learn about the concept of entropy and its importance. We will also look at the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution and link it to concepts that you will encounter in your A-level course. Finally, we will look at heat engines, in particular Carnot engines and the limit to efficiency.

Private Tuition

Key Information



Access Course Enrolment:
  • Enrolment in our pre-GCSE or pre-A level access course.
  • Access to our self-study materials and platform, live class lessons, and individual teacher support in Office Hours.
  • Weekly teacher-marked homework.
  • Half termly reports.
  • Support from our SENDCo for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities, including assessment for access arrangement entitlement.
  • Support with English for pupils whose first language is not English.
  • A Highgrove Education Office365 account, including Teams, SharePoint and a school email
TeacherMr Crispin Davis, Chemistry Teacher
Course Length10 weeks 
Live LessonsOne 45-minute lesson per week
HomeworkApproximately half an hour a week 
Entry RequirementsNone  

Course Syllabus

Lesson 1The structure of a painting
Lesson 2How the canvas is prepared
Lesson 3Making pigments Part 1
Lesson 4Making pigments Part 2
Lesson 5What is colour?
Lesson 6Why are substances coloured Part 1
Lesson 7Why are substances coloured Part 2
Lesson 8How do we see?
Lesson 9Presentations
Lesson 10Presentations

Teacher Profile

Mr Davis has Masters’ Degrees in Organic Chemistry and Educational Management, both studied at Sheffield University. Since then he has taught in high profile independent schools, including roles as Head of Science at Francis Holland School and Academic Deputy Head at LVS Ascot. He was Vice Principal at Harrow School Online, teaching A level Chemistry, EPQ, UCAT and BMAT courses. He is an A level Chemistry examiner.