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Curriculum Leader:

Miss M Husein

Department Introduction:

The chemistry department at WGHS aims to create enthusiastic, knowledgeable, interested and ultimately successful learners who recognise chemistry’s important place in the world. Our aim is to develop scientific curiosity in our students through inspiring teaching. Chemistry affords exciting opportunities for our students to develop their understanding of the world at an atomic level. We want to challenge our students to tackle difficult concepts and formulate their own judgements. Our students will develop a high level of scholarly understanding of the world around them, enabling them to make informed decisions as global citizens.


We are committed to establishing a learning environment that encourages students to develop their observational, experimental, problem solving, critical thinking and evaluation skills so that they become confident at analysing and interpreting information and data. Students will be offered many opportunities to apply and expand on their mathematical and communication skills. They will become aware of the ethical implications of scientific advances and gain opportunities to independently extend their skills beyond the classroom.


Fundamentally, our team want to inspire, foster, and nurture a love of chemistry and use scientific knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about the communication, application, and implications of science related to their own lives, cultures and to the sustainability of the environment.

Department Aims:


Key Stage 3:

Chemistry at WGHS is taught as part of a bespoke science course which aims to promote the enjoyment of the subject, develop the practical skills that students will need to study the subject further and embed an understanding of the core principles and the more abstract ideas of the subject.


Students begin Year 7 by learning how to work safely in a laboratory and how to use different pieces of equipment. This then allows them to make observations about different substances which leads to them learning about the particle model of matter. They continue to explore the idea of pure and impure substance, and mixtures and learn different techniques for separating them. They finish the year by applying their knowledge to learn about acids and alkalis, which introduces them to the idea of chemical reactions.


In Year 8, students develop their understanding of matter by learning about atoms, elements, and compounds. This introduces them to the Periodic Table, which they use to write word and chemical equations. They then explore different types of reactions including learning about exothermic and endothermic reactions, and how metals are extracted from their ores.

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:

Science club

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