Chemistry

Curriculum Leader:

Mrs K MacDonald

Department Introduction:

Chemistry gives students the opportunity to gain a good understanding of the nature of substances and how they react together, how Chemistry is used in business and industry and how our use of raw materials in fuels and manufacturing can affect the global and local environment. Chemistry helps students understand how to formulate a scientific approach to understanding and explaining the world and solving problems.

 

The scheme of work is structured in a way that starts with the fundamental ideas in Chemistry, putting the building blocks in place. This enables students to develop an understanding of topics such as chemical structures and their properties, chemical reactions and how to analyse substances.

 

Many of the materials considered are substances that students will come across in their daily lives like drinking water, vegetable oils and metals. This helps engage students by putting their learning in context. We try to develop students' practical skills with hands-on work which helps make the subject come alive.

 

Progression to Career/ University Courses:

 

The importance of chemistry as a central science is reflected in its priority requirement in many fields of science such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy and geological and environmental sciences. Many of our former students have gone to university to study in these areas of chemistry.

 

Since chemistry involves logical thought and critical analysis, many non-science related courses at university accept those who have studied chemistry.

Department Aims:

The specification overlaps with GCE specifications in Biology, Human Biology and Physics, as well as Environmental Studies. There is some overlap with GCE mathematics in the use and application of formulae and equations such as handling data, algebra, graphs, arithmetic computation and geometry & trigonometry.

Key Stage 3:

During Key Stage 3 students will follow a syllabus to provide an essential framework that covers the programme of study in the national curriculum. Our KS3 Science Syllabus is designed to provide structure and clarity to the national curriculum and help students gain
knowledge of key scientific concepts to progress to KS4.

 

Topics studied include:

 

  • Hazards and Safety
  • Acids and Alkalis
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Particle Theory
  • Separation Techniques
  • Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
  • Metals and their Reactions.

Key Stage 4:

In year 9 the students commence study for the GCSE Chemistry (8462)

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.

The course is arranged into 10 units and the students must complete 8 required practical activities over the three years of teaching.

 

Subject content:

 

  • 1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • 2. Bonding structure and the properties of matter
  • 3. Quantitative chemistry
  • 4. Chemical changes
  • 5. Energy changes
  • 6. The rate and extent of chemical change
  • 7. Organic chemistry
  • 8. Chemical analysis
  • 9. Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • 10. Using resources

 

At the end of year 11 the students will sit two 1 hour 45 minute papers consisting of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response

Key Stage 5:

A-level builds on the concepts and skills developed at GCSE to help nurture students' passion for science and pave the way for further study and careers in science.

 

Students will study AQA chemistry A level (7405) in Year 12 and 13.

 

This qualification is linear which means that students will sit all the A-level exams at the end of their A-level course.

 

Subject content includes

 

Physical chemistry

 

  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance
  • Bonding
  • Kinetics
  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc
  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
  • Thermodynamics
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
  • Acids and bases

 

Inorganic chemistry

 

  • Periodicity
  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • Group 7(17), the halogens
  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
  • Transition metals
  • Reactions of ions in aqueous solution

 

Organic chemistry

 

  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis
  • Optical isomerism
  • Aldehydes and ketones
  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives
  • Aromatic chemistry
  • Amines
  • Polymers
  • Amino acids, proteins and DNA
  • Organic synthesis
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Chromatography

 

A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by the chemistry teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written examinations.

At the end of Year 13 students will sit 3 examination papers on Inorganic, physical, organic and practical chemistry.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

 

Wolverhampton Girls' High School

 

Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, WV6 0BY

T: 01902 551515

E: enquiries@wghs.org.uk

E: headteacher@wghs.org.uk