Chemistry is an incredibly broad subject, dealing with the world around us on the atomic and molecular scale. Being the ‘central science’ it overlaps and links with both Physics and Biology. It is a highly desirable subject to study as it promotes logical thought and encourages problem solving skills.
At Glenlola Collegiate School, all pupils study Chemistry in year 10 and can then choose to study it for GCSE and subsequently for A-level.
We encourage pupils to learn by:
- Question everything! – Chemistry can address those fundamental questions of life such as, ‘Why is the sky blue or the grass green?’
- Think about it! – We endeavour to engage pupils with various chemical concepts that can be applied to a wide range of problems and scenarios.
- Experiment! – Practical work is at the core of Chemistry and we make every effort to allow pupils to gain experience of a wide range of practicals at all levels.
Key Stage 3
All pupils in years 8 and 9 study Chemistry topics within the Junior Science course. In year 10, all the sciences are taught separately, each being taught for 1 hour each week. The topics covered in year 10 prepare pupils for the GCSE course and include:
- Atomic structure
- Acids, Alkalis and Salts
- Chemical Energetics
- Forensic Science
Key Stage 4
We follow the CCEA Chemistry specification at GCSE. This GCSE Chemistry specification develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the material world and the effects of chemistry on society. Pupils learn about organic chemistry, quantitative chemistry and electrochemistry. They apply their understanding of the scientific process in the laboratory and develop their observational and problem-solving skills.
Practical science is a key part of this specification; students carry out nine prescribed practicals during the course. These include investigating the reactions of acids, the reactivity of metals and the preparation of soluble salts.
The specification has three units:
- Unit 1: Structures, Trends, Chemical Reactions, Quantitative Chemistry and Analysis
- Unit 2: Further Chemical Reactions, Rates and Equilibrium, Calculations and Organic Chemistry
- Unit 3: Practical Skills.
Key Stage 5
At A-Level pupils study the composition, structure, properties and reactions of matter. They discover that chemists are involved in many areas, including forensic analysis, research into synthetic pathways and developing medicines and alternative fuels.
The specification includes the major disciplines of analytical, physical, inorganic and organic Chemistry. It encourages students to:
- develop their interest and enthusiasm for Chemistry
- draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding
- develop essential knowledge and understanding of how the different areas of Chemistry relate to each other
We follow the CCEA Chemistry specification, studying:
- Basic Concepts in Physical (multi-step moles calculations) and Inorganic Chemistry (explaining trends on the Periodic Table)
- Further Physical and Inorganic Chemistry and an introduction to Organic Chemistry
- Basic Practical Chemistry – based on a series of practicals encountered throughout the year
- Further Physical and Organic Chemistry – A more in-depth mathematical study of many AS topics.
- Analytical, Transition Metals, Electrochemistry and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry
- Further Practical Chemistry
Studying Chemistry opens the door to a wide range of careers options, both in and out of the laboratory. This is because it provides a knowledge and skills base which is desirable in many occupations. There are endless interesting and rewarding science-based jobs available – these can be in research, outdoors or in other industries you might not have thought of.
As a chemist you could:
- Fight disease by discovering and synthesising new medicines
- Protect the environment
- Inventnew products and materials, including cosmetics, paints, food and drink, plastics and much more.
- Solve crime using forensic analysis
- Inspire others through teaching chemistry
An A level in Chemistry is essential if you wish to study Veterinary science, Medicine, Pharmacy or Dentistry.