Chemistry

ggThe Chemistry Department strives to provide pupils with the information and skills to enable them to fulfil their potential in Chemistry. Additionally, the Chemistry Department aims to prepare pupils for the challenges of further education and to make informed decisions on issues related to Chemistry that will affect their lives.

SPECIFIC AIMS OF THE DEPARTMENT

The Chemistry Department aims to:

  • stimulate pupils’ curiosity, interest and enjoyment of Chemistry and to prepare them for further studies which require a scientific background;
  • help pupils to develop safe experimental and investigative skills, and acquire a systematic body of chemical knowledge, including the uses and limitations of chemistry;
  • develop pupils to their full potential and prepare them for the challenges of the world of Science and Technology; and
  • develop pupils’ appreciation of the contributions of Chemistry to society and the responsible use of scientific knowledge and evidence.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 3 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 3, Chemistry is taught as part of a general Science programme. Please refer to the Science Subject Area section of this website for Key Stage 3 information.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 4 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 4, the Chemistry Department offers Double Award Chemistry at GCSE Level. Pupils follow the CCEA specification. Chemistry is delivered over five lessons per fortnight in Year 11 and four lessons per fortnight in Year 12.

Unit 1: Structures, Trends and Chemical Reactions (11%)

In this unit, pupils study:

  • The Structure of the Atom
  • Chemical Bonding
  • The Periodic Table
  • Solubility, Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Electrolysis

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Pupils will have 1 hour to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 11. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Further Chemical Reactions and Organic Chemistry (14%)

In this unit, pupils study:

  • Different Kinds of Chemical Reactions
  • Hard and Soft Water
  • Chemical Calculations
  • Chemistry of the Metals and the Non-Metals
  • Organic Chemistry

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Pupils will have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit.  Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 3: Practical Skills Unit – Controlled Assessment (25%)

The scheme for Controlled Assessment is based on the Programme of Study for experimental and investigative Science at Key Stage 4.

In this unit, pupils are required to complete two Controlled Assessment tasks from two different Science subject areas.

Each Controlled Assessment task is made up of three parts:

  • Part A: Planning and Risk Assessment (Medium Control)
  • Part B: Data Collection (Limited Control)
  • Part C: Processing, Analysis and Evaluation (High Control – 1 hour exam paper)

One Controlled Assessment task will be carried out in Year 11 and the second task will be completed in Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 5 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 5, the Chemistry Department offers Chemistry at AS and A2 Level. Students follow the CCEA specification. AS Chemistry is delivered over eleven lessons per fortnight and A2 Chemistry is delivered over ten lessons per fortnight.

At AS Level, students must successfully complete three modules. A further three modules must be successfully completed at A2 Level.

AS CHEMISTRY

Unit 1: Basic Concepts in Physical and Inorganic Chemistry (35%)

This unit involves the study of:

  • Atomic Structure and Bonding
  • The Periodic Table with a Focus on Group VII
  • Redox Reactions
  • Acid-Base Titrations
  • Basic Calculations and Equations

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit.

Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Further Physical and Inorganic Chemistry and Introduction to Organic Chemistry (35%)

This unit involves the study of:

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Equilibrium

  • Kinetics
  • Thermochemistry
  • Infra-red Spectroscopy
  • Qualitative Analysis
  • Mole Calculations

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit.  Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 3: Practical Assessment (30%)

This unit is assessed in the form 2 practical examination papers (1hr 15 mins for each paper). Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

A2 CHEMISTRY

Unit 4: Further Physical and Organic Chemistry (20%)

This unit involves the study of:

  • Equilibrium
  • Kinetics
  • Lattice Enthalpy
  • Entropy
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 5: Analytical, Transition Metals, Electrochemistry and Further Organic Chemistry (20%)

This unit involves the study of:

  • Mass Spectometry
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Volumetric Analysis
  • Colorimetry
  • Chromatography
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Transition Metals
  • Organic Nitrogen Compounds
  • Polymer Chemistry

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 6: Practical Assessment (10%)

This unit is assessed in the form 2 practical examination papers (1hr 15 mins for each paper). Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

EXTRA- CURRICULAR PROVISION

The Chemistry Department contributes extensively to the school’s extra-curricular provision. Extra-curricular activities include:

  • Salters’ Festival of Chemistry;
  • British and Irish Chemistry Olympiad Competitions;
  • Cambridge Chemistry Challenge;
  • Chemistry at Work Exhibition;
  • Work Placement at Queen’s University, Belfast; and
  • Programme of Visiting Speakers e.g. Lecturers from Queen’s University, Belfast and Loughry College.

FACILITIES AND RESOURCES

Facilities and resources within the Chemistry Department include:

  • 4 Chemistry Laboratories (with the use of other Science Laboratories)
  • 1 Computer Suite with 30 computers
  • 2 Preparation Rooms

Each Chemistry Laboratory has a computer, data projector and access to a printer. There is also an interactive whiteboard in two of the laboratories. Each teacher has an iPad. There are ten Sense and Control Data Harvesting Boxes with a range of sensors.

CAREERS INFORMATION

In the study of Chemistry, pupils have the opportunity to develop their communication skills, sense of enquiry, practical skills and powers of observation and interpretation. These qualities form an excellent foundation for a wide range of careers including:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary Science
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Marine Biology
  • Teaching
  • Forensic Science
  • Food Science
  • Food Engineering
  • Medical Research
  • Environmental Protection
  • Sustainable Energy Development

Chemists are considered to have the skills that make them highly employable and can, therefore, almost always find a job, even in tough economic times. Chemists also work in banking, law, publishing and accounting.

The following websites provide useful careers information:

USEFUL WEBSITES

GCSE

A-LEVEL