Chemistry

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Welcome to the Chemistry Department

Chemistry basically underpins every aspect of our consumer driven lifestyle. Whether it is components for the latest smart phone or paint that dries with no smell, chemistry has a major part to play.

Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms. Understanding chemistry is the key to understanding the world around us. Cooking is chemistry, everything you can touch or taste or smell is a chemical.


Not all chemists wear white coats!

A qualification in chemistry opens doors to a wide range of careers. Chemistry is involved in our everyday lives and there is a vast range of jobs and careers open to those who have studied chemistry at any level; great career opportunities exist both inside and outside the lab. Nobody knows what the jobs of the future will look like, but many of them will be created in chemistry to solve global challenges such as human health, energy and the environment. Global change is creating enormous challenges relating to human health, energy and scarce natural resources. These challenges offer excellent future opportunities to people who study Chemistry.


Chemistry Department Staff

  • Mrs G Staunton
  • Dr K Devenport
  • Dr V Pearson
  • Mrs S Kennedy
  • Miss P McCaig

In S3 students are offered the opportunity to build on the key chemical principals first introduced through the S1 and S2 Science course. 

The S3 course provides progression to the National Chemistry courses in S4. The course is fundamentally knowledge based with a key focus on practical activities which demonstrate course concepts. Investigative and problem solving skills are developed to ensure that students are prepared for progressing to National 4 and 5.

Senior Phase – National 4/National 5

There are a number of learning pathways students can take in Chemistry during their senior phase based on their personal interests and requirements for further education.

Nationals

In fourth year students can opt to achieve a National award. The National courses cover all of the major areas of Chemistry. Students also develop an understanding of chemistry’s role in scientific issues and relevant applications of chemistry in society and the environment. Key topics include Chemical Reactions, Acids & Bases, Consumer Products, Nuclear Chemistry and Plastics.

National 4/National 5 Chemistry are each studied over one year and explores the following three units:

  1. Chemical Changes and Structure
  2. Nature’s Chemistry
  3. Chemistry in Society

National 4 develops key knowledge and skills required to progress to National 5 level in fifth year or sixth year. At National 4, students are required to pass three unit assessments and complete an Added Value Unit, all of which is internally assessed.  

National 5 students are required to study three units and complete an external element. The external element is split into two sections: a written scientific assignment and an external exam at the end of the year. It is recommended that an A/B pass is achieved in the external element to allow progress to Higher level in fifth year.

More information on the course structure can be found on the SQA website.


Senior Phase – Higher/Advanced Higher

In their fifth and sixth year students can choose to further develop and deepen their knowledge of chemistry by studying initially at Higher level and then at Advanced Higher level.

Higher Chemistry develops Students’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for chemistry in a range of contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed throughout the Course, and the relevance of chemistry is highlighted by the study of the applications of chemistry in everyday contexts.

Advanced Higher Chemistry develops students’ knowledge and understanding of the physical and natural environments beyond Higher level. The Course builds on Higher Chemistry and continues to develop the underlying theories of chemistry, and the practical skills used in the chemistry laboratory.

Higher Chemistry is divided into four units:

  1. Chemical Changes and Structure
  2. Nature’s Chemistry
  3. Chemistry in Society
  4. Researching Chemistry

At Higher level, students will study four units and complete an external element. The external element is split into two sections: a written scientific assignment and an external exam at the end of the year.  It is recommended students achieve an A/B pass at Higher level to allow progress to Advanced Higher level in their sixth year.


Advanced Higher Chemistry is divided into three units:

  1. Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
  2. Organic Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis
  3. Researching Chemistry

At Advanced Higher level students will study three units, sit an external exam and complete a scientific project.

More information on the course structure can be found on the SQA website.

Supported Study is offered throughout the year. Please ask your class teacher for further details.Extra