Chemisty

Welcome to the Chemistry Department

Courses offered:

National 4 Chemistry
National 5 Chemistry
Higher Chemistry
Advanced Higher Chemistry

Description of each course:

National 4/5 Chemistry

COURSE AIMS
The purpose of the course is to develop learners’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for chemistry in a range of contexts. The key skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are integrated and developed throughout the Course. The relevance of chemistry is highlighted by the study of the applications of chemistry in everyday contexts .This will enable learners to become scientifically literate citizens, able to review the science-based claims they will meet.

COURSE CONTENT
The course consists of three units as follows:-

Chemical Changes and Structure
In this Unit, learners will develop scientific skills and knowledge of the chemical reactions in our world. Through practical experience learners will investigate rates of reaction, energy changes of chemical reaction, and the reactions of acids and bases and their impact on the environment. Focusing on these reactions, learners will work towards the concept of chemical equations. Learners will research atomic structure and bonding related to properties of materials.

Nature’s Chemistry
In this Unit, learners will research the Earth’s rich supply of natural resources which are used by each and every one of us. Learners will investigate how fossil fuels are extracted and processed for use. They will investigate: the chemistry of using fuels, their effect on the environment and the impact that renewable energy sources can have on this; plants as a source of fuels, carbohydrates and consumer products; and how chemists use plants in the development of products associated with everyday life.

Chemistry in Society
In this Unit, learners will focus on the chemical reactions, properties and applications of metal and alloys. The chemistry of metals in chemical cells is explored. Through research, learners will compare and contrast the properties and applications of plastics and new materials. Learners will investigate the use of fertilisers, the formation of elements, and the presence of background radiation, and will research the use of chemical analysis for monitoring the environment.

Added Value Unit: Chemistry Assignment
At National 4, there is a value added unit. In this Unit, learners will draw on and extend the skills they have learned from across the other Units, and demonstrate the breadth of knowledge and skills acquired, in unfamiliar contexts and/or integrated ways.

SKILLS
Many subject related skills are developed throughout the course. These include:
• demonstrating knowledge and understanding by making statements, describing information, providing explanations
• applying knowledge of chemistry to familiar situations, interpreting information and solving problems
• planning experiments to illustrate a particular effect, applying safety measures
• carrying out straightforward experimental procedures, safely, recording general observations and collecting data
• applying information handling skills including selecting, presenting and processing information
• making generalisations based on evidence/information
• drawing valid conclusions and giving explanations supported by evidence
• suggesting improvements to experiments/investigations
• communicating findings/information

Higher Chemistry

ENTRY LEVEL
An A or B level pass at National 5 Chemistry.

COURSE AIMS
The purpose of the Course is to develop learners’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for chemistry in a range of contexts. The key skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are integrated and developed throughout the Course. The relevance of chemistry is highlighted by the study of the applications of chemistry in everyday contexts .This will enable learners to become scientifically literate citizens, able to review the science-based claims they will meet.

COURSE CONTENT

Chemical Changes and Structure
This Unit covers the knowledge and understanding of controlling reaction rates and periodic trends, and strengthens the learner’s ability to make reasoned evaluations by recognising underlying patterns and principles. Learners will investigate collision theory and the use of catalysts in reactions. Learners will explore the concept of electro-negativity and intra-molecular and intermolecular forces. The connection between bonding and a material’s physical properties is investigated.

Researching Chemistry
This Unit covers the key skills necessary to undertake research in chemistry. Learners will research the relevance of chemical theory to everyday life by exploring the chemistry behind a topical issue. Learners will develop the key skills associated with collecting and synthesising information from a number of different sources. Equipped with the knowledge of common chemistry apparatus and techniques, they will plan and undertake a practical investigation related to a topical issue. Using their scientific literacy skills, learners will communicate their results and conclusions.

Nature’s Chemistry
This Unit covers the knowledge and understanding of organic chemistry within the context of the chemistry of food and the chemistry of everyday consumer products, soaps, detergents, fragrances and skincare. The relationship between the structure of organic compounds, their physical and chemical properties and their uses are investigated. Key functional groups and types of organic reaction are covered.

Chemistry in Society
This Unit covers the knowledge and understanding of the principles of physical chemistry which allow a chemical process to be taken from the researcher’s bench through to industrial production. Learners will calculate quantities of reagents and products, percentage yield and the atom economy of processes. They will develop skills to manipulate dynamic equilibria and predict enthalpy changes. Learners will investigate the ability of substances to act as oxidising or reducing agents and their use in analytical chemistry through the context of volumetric titrations. Learners will use analytical chemistry to determine the purity of reagents and products.

SKILLS

Many subject related skills are developed throughout the course. These include:-
• demonstrating knowledge and understanding of chemistry by making statements, describing information, providing explanations and integrating knowledge
• applying knowledge of chemistry to new situations, interpreting information and solving problems
• planning or designing experiments
• safely carrying out experiments, recording detailed observations and collecting data
• selecting and presenting information appropriately in a variety of forms
• processing information (using calculations, significant figures and units, where appropriate)
• making predictions and generalisations from evidence/information
• drawing valid conclusions and giving explanations supported by evidence/justification
• evaluating experimental procedures by identifying sources of error and suggesting improvements
• communicating findings/information

Chemistry– CfE Advanced Higher

ENTRY LEVEL
A pass in Higher Chemistry and a keen interest in further chemical study.

COURSE AIMS
The purpose of the Advanced Higher Chemistry Course is to develop learners’ knowledge and understanding of the physical and natural environments beyond Higher level. The Course builds on Higher Chemistry, continuing to develop the underlying theories of chemistry and the practical skills used in the chemistry laboratory. The Course also develops the skills of independent study and thought that are essential in a wide range of occupations also serves to equip all learners with an understanding of the impact of chemistry on everyday life, and with the knowledge and skills to be able to reflect critically on scientific publications and media reports concerning chemistry. By using the broad skills base and knowledge and understanding of detailed chemistry key areas, learners will become scientifically literate citizens and be able to review the science-based claims they will meet and to communicate in an evidence-based manner. This also allows learners to make their own reasoned decisions on many issues within a modern society increasingly dependent on chemistry, science and technology.
The relevance of chemistry is highlighted by the study of the applications of chemistry in everyday contexts. The purpose of the Course is to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed by the learner in Higher Chemistry and to provide a useful bridge towards further study of chemistry.

COURSE CONTENT

Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
This Unit develops a knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of inorganic and physical chemistry. Learners will discover how electromagnetic radiation is used in atomic spectroscopy to identify elements. They will extend an understanding of the concept of atomic structure by considering atomic orbitals and electronic configuration related to the periodic table. Using electron pair theory, learners will predict the shape of molecules. Learners will gain an understanding of the physical and chemical properties of transition metals and their compounds. Learners will investigate the quantitative component of chemical equilibria. They will develop their understanding of the factors which influence the feasibility of chemical reactions. Learners will progress their understanding of reaction kinetics by exploring the order and mechanisms of chemical reaction.

Organic Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis
This Unit develops a knowledge and understanding of organic chemistry. Learners will research the structure of organic compounds, including aromatics and amines, and draw on this to explain the physical and chemical properties of the compounds. They will consider the key organic reaction types and mechanisms, and link these to the synthesis of organic chemicals. Learners will discover the origin of colour in organic compounds and how elemental analysis and spectroscopic techniques are used to verify chemical structure. They will study the use of medicines in conjunction with the interactions of the drugs.

Researching Chemistry
In this Unit, learners will be given the opportunity to gain an understanding of stoichiometric calculations, to develop practical skills and to carry out research in chemistry. Learners will develop the key skills associated with a variety of different practical techniques, including the related calculations. Equipped with the knowledge of chemistry apparatus, techniques and an understanding of concepts, learners will identify, research, plan and safely carry out a chemistry practical investigation of their choice. The Unit will equip learners with the scientific background and skills necessary to analyse scientific articles and use them in order to make informed choices and decisions.

SKILLS

Many subject related skills are developed throughout the course. These include:
• extending and applying knowledge of chemistry to new situations, interpreting and analysing information to solve more complex problems
• planning and designing chemical experiments/investigations, using reference material and including risk assessments, to test a hypothesis or to illustrate particular effects
• carrying out complex experiments in chemistry, safely, recording systematic detailed observations and collecting data
• selecting and presenting detailed information appropriately, in a variety of forms
• processing and analysing chemical information (using calculations, significant figures and units, where appropriate)
• making reasoned predictions and generalisations from a range of evidence/information
• drawing valid conclusions and giving explanations supported by evidence/justification
• critically evaluating experimental procedures by identifying sources of uncertainty, suggesting and implementing improvements
• drawing on knowledge and understanding of chemistry to make accurate statements, describe complex information, provide detailed explanations and integrate knowledge
• communicating chemical findings/information fully and effectively
• analysing and evaluating scientific publications and media reports

 

Staff Members

Mrs G. Kinloch
Mr N. Gowans
Mrs C. Wardlaw
Dr. F. Steven
Mr J. McLean (Faculty Head)

 

Further information on each course can be accessed by clicking the relevant link below

SQA National 4 Chemistry
SQA National 5 Chemistry
SQA Higher Chemistry
SQA Advanced Higher Chemistry