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.
- Key Stage 3
- Key Stage 4
- Key Stage 5 - A Level
- Career Opportunities
- Trips and Events
- Aims of the Department
Topics covered include materials, periodic table, atomic structure and the reactions of metals.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.