Chemistry Department

HoD: Mrs Hampton

Subjects Offered

Chemistry GCSE
Chemistry A Level (CCEA Modular)

Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and the interaction between them. It is everywhere in the world around you! It’s in the food you eat, clothes you wear, water you drink, medicines, air, cleaners… you name it.

Chemistry sometimes is called the “central science” because it connects other sciences to each other, such as biology, physics, geology, and environmental science.


Chemistry helps you to develop research, problem solving and analytical skills. It helps you challenge ideas and show how you worked things out through logic and step-by-step reasoning. Chemistry often requires teamwork and communication skills too, which is also great.

Chemists conduct experiments to study how elements work in different conditions, test how they mix, and work out what they are made up of right down to the tiniest particle.  By studying Chemistry, we can use it to understand the world around us.



Pupils study Chemistry in Years 8 and 9 as part of a general science course (six periods per week). In Year 10 pupils study Chemistry for two periods per week. This gives them the opportunity to experience Chemistry as a stand-alone subject prior to making their choices for GCSE.

Topics covered include materials, periodic table, atomic structure and the reactions of metals.

Pupils may choose to study Chemistry as a GCSE along with one or two of the other Science disciplines, following the CCEA specification.  They may also choose to study Double Award Science which gives them the opportunity to be awarded two GCSE grades while studying all three Science subjects.

Pupils have three/four (Double Award) or five periods (separate subject) of Chemistry per week.

  • In Year 11 topics studied include structures, trends, chemical reactions, quantitative chemistry and analysis.
  • In Year 12 the focus is on further chemical reactions, rates and equilibrium, calculations and organic chemistry.
  • Throughout Unit 3, and for the duration of the GCSE course, pupils continue to develop many practical skills such as planning an investigation, carrying out experiments, analysing experimental data and drawing appropriate conclusions.
Students who choose to study Chemistry at A Level have eight periods per week for AS and nine periods a week for A2.  The CCEA specification is followed for both.

In Year 13, at AS Level, students cover basic concepts in physical and inorganic chemistry in module 1 and further physical and inorganic chemistry and an introduction to organic chemistry in module 2.  In module 3 pupils have the opportunity to develop their hands-on skills as they study basic practical chemistry.

In Year 14, at A2 Level, students will continue their course in module 4 with further physical and organic chemistry, whilst in module 5 they complete their studies with analytical, transition metals, electrochemistry and organic nitrogen chemistry.  In addition to this, students use the practical skills and techniques that they have acquired at AS level and perfect them as they study module 6 further practical chemistry.

At all levels a variety of teaching methods is used. Relevant practical work is an integral part of all schemes of work.

A wide range of careers require an A Level in Chemistry, including medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, the chemical industry, forensics, food science, pharmacy, biology, chemical engineering.

The chemical industry is vital to the UK’s economy and is a major employer in the UK, including people in careers such as research chemistry, analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, management, sales and marketing.

Year 10 – Coca-Cola Factory visit.  As part of the study of the topic “Which fizzy drink is best?” the pupils take a tour of the Coca-Cola factory in Lisburn to see how the drink is made as well as look at various aspects of the process.

Years 11 & 12 – A CSI Day is organised to give an insight into how chemistry techniques are used in the real world, in particular using forensic science to solve numerous, different crimes.

Year 13 –  A dentist visits the A Level class to lead a discussion on the advantages and  disadvantages of fluoridation in our water supply.  We also have a chemical engineer come in to discuss career opportunities in this field.

  • to stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment of chemistry and to equip students for further studies requiring a scientific background.
  • to help pupils develop safe experimental and investigative abilities, and acquire a systematic body of chemical knowledge, including the uses and limitations of chemistry.
  • to encourage students to develop an understanding of technological, economic, environmental, social and ethical applications implications of chemical processes, in order to develop as well prepared citizens in a scientific and technological world.

The department has two fully equipped teaching labs and a resource room. Some junior classes are taught in other science labs.

Chemistry is taught at all stages within the school curriculum.

Chemistry News Articles

Chemistry at Work – Chemistry in Museums: Elements and Meteorites

This year the ‘Chemistry at Work exhibition’ – Chemistry in Museums: Elements and Meteorites event was held online with clips of Dr Mike Simms work as a Geologist working in NI museums discussed topics such as Elements, Life and Death and Technology. 

Year 11&12 CSI Dungannon

On Tuesday 28th February, pupils studying Chemistry and Biology in Years 11 and 12 participated in a Crime Scene Investigation workshop in the Lower Campus.

Other Subjects

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