Boarding School, Scotland - Lathallan School

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Chemistry


S1
Chemistry starts with the understanding elements, compounds and mixtures. We look at how to separate and identify different substances and how they relate to the world. We also learn to use the periodic table effectively. In the second term we analysis reaction types and acids/alkali reactions. This course is full of practical work and ends with a summary test at the end of the year.

S2 Chemistry

The chemistry covers recognizing reactions and specifically named reactions leading to the factors that affect the speed of a reaction.  Separation and analytical techniques are covered, e.g. filtration, distillation, chromatography testing gases, at various points in the course.  Chemicals from the Earth introduces the students to the structure of the Earth rock types and the chemicals that are obtained from the Earth, e.g. metals, fuels.  The course is assessed by tests at the end of each topic and lab reports on experimental work.  The content of the S2 chemistry course forms the foundation for progression into further study of chemistry at National 5.

S3 and S4: N5 Chemistry

The National 5 chemistry course consists of three units:

Unit 1: Chemical Changes and Structure

This unit covers: measuring reaction rate, atomic structure and how atoms bond and the properties of substances. Formula writing and chemical calculations based on chemical formulae and reaction quantities are introduced.

Unit 2: Nature’s Chemistry

This unit covers: carbon based chemistry e.g. energy from fuels and hydrocarbons, everyday molecules e.g. alcohols, carbon based acids and flavour / fragrance molecules called esters.  Naming and formulae of carbon-based molecules is introduced.

Unit 3: Chemistry in Society

This unit covers: metals and the chemistry of batteries, chemistry of plastics and natural polymers, radioactivity, fertilisers and their industial production, chemical analysis.

Assessment:  Students are assessed in the school through SQA unit assessments that cover basic understanding of knowledge and problem solving skills.  Writing a lab report on an experiment assesses practical skills.  The external assessment consists of an examination comprising of 20 marks of multiple-choice questions, 60 marks of written answer questions and a 20 mark assignment report which is researched and written up in class.

On completion of a unit there is an internally set assessment based on questions at grades A and B.

 

Units 1 and 2 are covered in S3 and unit 3 and the assignment in S4.

The National 5 chemistry course forms the foundations of chemistry for further study of chemistry at higher levels.

S5 and S6: Higher Chemistry

The Higher chemistry course develops the knowledge and practical skills introduced in National 5 to more advanced level, which will enable further study of chemistry at more advanced levels in university / college.  The units covered in higher have the same names as National 5

Unit 1: Chemical Changes and Structure

This unit covers: a more advanced understanding of the factors affecting the rate of a reaction by studying the collision theory of reactions, the forces that exist between molecules are introduced and how these affect the properties of substances, and the patterns of properties that are displayed by the elements of the periodic table. 

 

Unit 2: Nature’s Chemistry

This unit covers: the chemistry of molecules found in food, e.g. fats / oils, proteins, alcohols and acids and their reactions, skin care and preventing the damaging effect of UV has on the skin.

 

 

Unit 3: Chemistry in Society

 

This unit covers: chemical calculations based on reaction quantities to obtain higher yields of products and efficient ways of preparing compounds called ‘atom economy’, calculation of energy changes in reactions, reversible reactions and chemical equilibrium, oxidation and reduction reactions are studied which are linked to reactions which occur in foods, nature and our body, chemical analysis requires the students to have a much higher level of understanding of the analytical techniques used in chemistry and improves their practical skills.

 

Unit 4: Researching Chemistry

 

This unit covers: researching chemistry develops both literary researching skills of carrying out research on a scientific topic, and carrying out a practical research in the lab on an aspect of the chosen topic.  The student has to keep a daybook of their research that is marked in the school. The research is then written up as a ‘Investigation Report’ which is marked by the SQA. This is worth 20 marks.

Assessment:  Students are assessed in the school through SQA unit assessments that cover basic understanding of knowledge and problem solving skills.  Writing a lab report on an experiment assesses practical skills.  The external assessment consists of an examination comprising of 20 marks of multiple-choice question and 80 marks of written answer questions.  The assignment report mark is added to give a total of 120 marks

On completion of a unit there is an internally set assessment based on questions at grades A and B.

Students successfully studying higher grade chemistry will have a greater understanding of the properties of an wide range of materials, and develop their laboratory practical / analytical skills, which will prepare them for further study at advanced / degree level.