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Chemical reactions occur almost everywhere. Inside your body, chemical reactions break down your food and give you the energy you need to live. In cooking, your food is changed to produce new chemicals giving new tastes and textures. Studying Chemistry will enable you to start to understand some of the chemical reactions that are occurring in the world and how they impact on our everyday lives. You will also have the chance to research and discuss the major effects and impacts that Chemistry has on all of our lives.

In our rapidly developing and advancing society we need more Chemists to help make a positive impact on our changing planet. As fossil fuels begin to diminish we aim to develop of skills to allow us to investigate alternative methods of energy, develop laboratory skills, develop our problem solving skills and learn how to work actively in a team to achieve a common goal.

The purpose of the Chemistry course is to develop learners’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for chemistry in a range of contexts. The 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, which they will meet.

The Course provides opportunities for learners to recognise the impact chemistry makes on developing sustainability, and its effects on the environment, on society and on the lives of themselves and others:

  • Learners will develop transferable skills which will help them advance in the world of learning, the world of work and everyday life.
  • Develop scientific laboratory skills be completing practical experiments in the laboratory.
  • Use a range of different planning methods to plan experiments and investigations both independently and collaboratively as part of a group.
  • Develop communication and presentation skills by researching the impacts of chemistry on society and presenting these research findings to their peers.
  • Analyse and creatively solve problems using a wide variety of available materials.

S3 BGE Chemistry

The BGE Chemistry Course is practically-based and covers the broad areas of how we use the Earth’s resources, the chemical reactions which affect our everyday lives and the chemistry which impacts on our environment.

The Course offers a broad, versatile and adaptable skills set which is valued in the work place and forms the basis for progress to other Chemistry Courses, while also providing a knowledge base which is useful for the study of all the sciences.

National 4 and National 5 Chemistry


National 4 Chemistry

National 5 Chemistry

Chemistry in S4 builds on prior knowledge gained in S1-3 such as elements, compounds, The Periodic Table and the structure of the atom.

The National 4 Chemistry Course enables learners to develop the ability to solve problems and establish relationships in physics by acquiring a broad knowledge base and practical skills.

The National 5 Chemistry Course enables learners to develop a deeper understanding of Chemistry concepts and the ability to describe and interpret physical phenomena

National 4 and 5 Chemistry is split into 3 units that builds on Knowledge gained from S1-3:

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 met.


An assignment worth 20 marks to be completed in school and SQA marked.

A final exam in May comprised of multiple choice and written questions.

CFE Higher Chemistry

The Higher Chemistry Course develops learners’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for Chemistry in a range of contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed throughout the Course, and the relevance of Chemistry is highlighted by the study of the applications of Chemistry in everyday contexts.

The following link provides detailed information and documents from the SQA relating to the courses offered in the senior phase.

CfE Higher Chemistry

Higher Chemistry is split into 4 units that build on Knowledge gained from S1-4:

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.

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.

Advanced Higher Chemistry

The course is designed for pupils wishing to further extend their knowledge and understanding of the dynamic arena of Chemistry. Advanced Higher Chemistry is highly regarded for entry into further education courses in Medicine, Law, Pharmacy and Dentistry.

The content of the Advanced Higher course covers a proportion of the 1st year University Chemistry content resulting in a smoother transition from school to University. The course comprises of two 40 hour units, a 20 hour unit and the Investigation.

Advanced Higher Chemistry

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.

Investigation: This is an extended experimental investigation on a topic appropriate to Advanced Higher Chemistry involving research, planning, data collection, data analysis and evaluation. A report of around 3000 words is the conclusion of this work and a day book is required to monitor the progress on a day to day basis.

Career Relevance:

Chemistry is referred to as the central science linking into all the other sciences. In the job market, a Chemistry qualification will give you a head start by helping you to develop the problem solving and independent thinking skills employers are looking for.

Chemistry is necessary for careers in Biochemistry, Marine Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Food Science, Forestry, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Materials Science and Veterinary Medicine to name but a few!

Elaine Boyce – Teacher of Chemistry / Principal Teacher of Science

Jessica Gill – Teacher of Chemistry

Briana Nelis – Teacher of Chemistry / Teacher of Biology


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Evans2chemweb (school log on details available from Science teacher)

SCHOLAR (individual pupil log on details available from Science)

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