2017 open day-39

The Chemistry Department aims to inform, stimulate and challenge pupils of all abilities, providing them with the opportunities necessary to improve skills that will be useful not just in their academic careers but also in everyday life.

  • To give pupils a sound foundation of chemical knowledge and the skills needed to apply this in new and changing situations in a range of contexts.
  • To enable pupils to develop a range of practical skills which will not only assist with their Chemistry, but also contribute to their overall life skills.
  • To stimulate curiosity and develop skills of enquiry, methodology and evaluation.
  • To make the study of Chemistry a worthwhile and enjoyable experience, enabling pupils to develop an interest in, and understanding of, its application to the world in which we live.
  • To equip students to organise and present information clearly and logically, using appropriate Chemical terms and conventions and ICT where appropriate.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 Chemistry is taught as part of a general Science programme.

Topic covered at Key Stage 3 include

–      Permanent and Temporary Changes

–      Properties of Materials

–      Elements, Compounds and Mixtures

–      Structure and Uses of Materials

–      Periodic Table

–      Chemical Reactions

–      Everyday Chemistry


Science Club

Science club meets weekly between September and Easter and all Key Stage 3 students are encouraged to attend. They have fun and get to carry out new and exciting experiments and get to know other students from different year groups.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 Chemistry is studied as part of the CCEA Single Award Science and Double Award Science specification.
Chemistry is also taught as a separate GCSE in which students follow the CCEA specification.

Chemistry topics that are covered are:

Single Award Chemistry Double Award Chemistry GCSE Chemistry Topics
– The world around us
– Elements and Compounds
– Acids and Bases
– Crude oil
– Polymers & Materials
– Water & Waste Management
– Using materials to fight crimes
– Elements, Compounds & Mixtures
– Atomic Structure
– Periodic Table
– Water and Solubility
– Bonding and Structures
– Acids, Bases and Salts
– Electrolysis
– Reactivity of metals
– Hard and Soft Water
– Quantitative Chemistry
– Rate of Reaction
– Non-Metals
– Organic Chemistry
– Elements, Compounds & Mixtures
– Atomic Structure and Equations
– Periodic Table
– Solubility & Testing for ions
– Bonding and Structures
– Acids, Bases and Salts
– Quantitative Chemistry I
– Earth and Atmosphere
– Reactivity of metals
– Chemical Reactions
– Hard and Soft Water
– Rate of Reaction
– Non-Metals
– Organic Chemistry
– Quantitative Chemistry II
– Materials
In year 12 students will complete a controlled assessment that is based on some of the topics studied during the course. (25% of final grade)


A-Level Chemistry

The course builds on the concepts and skills that will have been developed in the GCSE Core and Additional Science, or GCSE Chemistry. Interested students should achieve a minimum GCSE grade BB or above in Double Award Science or a grade B or above in GCSE Chemistry. You will need good mathematical skills for AS and A2 Chemistry.

What will I study at AS Level?

AS1: Basic Concepts in Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
Students develop important basic skills.

AS2: Further Physical and Inorganic Chemistry and an introduction to Organic Chemistry
Organic chemistry is a major component of this unit. Students develop the ability to draw, identify, name and predict reactions for various organic species.

AS3: Basic Practical Chemistry
Students develop basic experimental skills and techniques such as performing a titration or identifying unknown substances.

What will I study at A2 Level?

A2.1: Further Physical and Organic Chemistry
This unit focuses on quantitative treatments of rates and equilibrium. Students deepen their understanding of organic chemistry.

A2.2: Analytical, Transition Metals, Electrochemistry and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry
This unit introduces advanced spectroscopic techniques. Students enhance their analytical skills and broaden their understanding of inorganic and organic chemistry.

A2.3: Further Practical Chemistry
Students develop their experimental skills and techniques such as preparing an ester or analysing by back titration.

The AS units make up 40% of the full A level, and the A2 units make up 60%.

What careers could chemistry lead to?

Many of the jobs chemists do cross the boundaries between chemistry, biology and physics and many chemists work with other scientists, not to mention other professions in marketing, law, ICT and other areas.

Some examples are:
– Dentist
– Surgeon
– Chemical Engineer
– Vehicle Designer
– Food Scientist
– Meteorologist
– Food Scientist
– Journalist
– Accountant
– Nurse
– Cosmetic Scientist
– Lawyer
– Optometrist
– Pharmacist
– Teacher
– Environmental Chemist
– Biochemist
– Vet


Useful links

Online periodic table =

Royal Society of Chemistry =

QUB Chemistry and Chemical Engineering =