Curriculum – Chemistry

Curriculum – Chemistry

Chemistry

The Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

The Chemistry department wishes to stimulate and motivate all that study chemistry and to help them develop their sense of curiosity about the chemical world around them.  We strive to deliver a challenging and thoughtful curriculum that engages all students and supports them outside of the chemistry classroom.  We will help develop our students to become effective learners through challenge and high expectations of what they can achieve.  We will support our students on their journey to become global citizens relating what they have studied in chemistry to the dynamic world that they are a member of.  We strive to take our students on a journey of discovery from the tiny atom to the enormous atmosphere and in the process develop their practical and mathematical skills in a chemical context.  At KS3 students develop their understanding of the material world the reason behind their properties. They look at particles and how they behave and how mixtures can be separated through different practical technique. Students look at chemical reactions and the earth’s climate and are introduced into the Periodic table finding out how the elements are arranged within it. Year 9 is a year that makes the connections between the KS3 and KS4 curriculum where students consolidate their understanding and delve deeper into the big ideas. At KS4 the Periodic table is explored in greater detail and students begin to explain the properties of different materials. At KS5 students explore the physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry in further detail building on the fundamental ideas that they have met during the chemistry studies. Throughout their studies we work with the students to work objectively and methodically looking at how theories have developed through hypothesis, experimentation, observations, and review. As well as succeeding we hope that our students enjoy the sense of awe that we as chemists feel about our subject.

What does it feel like to be a student in the Chemistry Department?

Chemistry explains the observations we make macroscopically on a microscopic level by building on the key idea of particles, how they behave and interact with each other. Throughout a student’s chemistry studies they will be continually challenged building on their understanding of the world around them and how they can apply chemical principals to unfamiliar situations.

Students begin their chemistry journey in year 7 building on the foundations that they have gained from KS2 science to develop a greater depth of understanding. They are challenged to think about what they observe and delve into the microscopic level looking at the properties of matter and begin to appreciate what is taking place during chemical reactions. Throughout their KS3 studies students build up an appreciation of how they have an impact on the environment.

Year 9 is when students begin to explore the chemical world in greater depth extending their KS3 understanding in preparation for KS4 Chemistry. Students make links between the chemical reactions that they have met and how this can bring about energy changes. They look at the structure of the atom and how this relates to the patterns within the periodic table. Students evaluate the evidence for anthropogenic causes of climate change and think about how they and society can reduce their impact.

When they reach the end of year 11 students will have a secure understanding of matter and how it interacts. They will have begun their organic journey looking at how crude oil can be separated and turned into some useful organic molecules that can be made into everyday products such as polymers. They will develop their understanding further looking the bonding and structure of different types of substances and how this gives materials their properties. Industrial processes are introduced, and students gain an appreciation of how much chemistry impacts their life from the production of ammonia to make fertilisers to the analysis of data to produce a life cycle assessment.

During a student’s KS4 studies they will investigate how to make chemical reactions faster, how compounds can be separated physically and chemically, how to find out the composition of different compounds qualitatively and quantitatively as well as many other practical techniques. Students will learn to evaluate data as well as make conclusions based on the information provided as well as their scientific understanding.

KS5 students build on the foundations that they have developed so far. They continue to be challenged in the organic chemistry world being introduced to a variety of different organic molecules and the reaction mechanisms involved in turning them into a different organic molecule. They learn to apply their understanding to unfamiliar contexts that would then support them in further education such as drug design as well as chemical engineering. Students will continue to extend their knowledge of the atom and build on their understanding of structure and bonding finally investigating the different intermolecular forces that give materials their properties

Practical work continues to be carried out and helps develop students understanding of the microscopic world as well as prepare them for further scientific studies beyond school. Students will make a variety of organic molecules including aspirin as well as planning their own investigation, again developing skills that will extend them as well as support them further on.

During their KS5 studies students are encouraged to take part in some challenging competitions to broaden their understanding and think about chemistry in different ways suitable for scientific studies beyond the school environment.

Throughout a student’s chemical studies expectations are high and they will be expected to question and evaluate everything mirroring what it is like to be a scientist. Formulating their ideas based on sound chemical understanding as well as addressing misconceptions. Students will develop the skills to evaluate information as well as the understanding that to make a sound judgement needed to take on board a range of sources of information. Students become equipped for the ever-changing scientific world of which chemistry is a fundamental idea that is needed.

Journey

Chemistry Curriculum

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the National Curriculum for Chemistry. The SHSG Chemistry curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a cultural capital in Chemistry that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

Our subject curriculum is carefully organised to take our students from their end of primary school point to the higher outcomes at the end of Year 9.

The Chemistry curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations

Year 7 – 9

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 6 Chemistry ready to study in Year 7 if applicable
During their Upper KS2 studies as per the National Curriculum, students should have studied topics including properties of materials and states of matter. All of this knowledge is revisited and drawn upon at KS3

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 7 – 9 if applicable?

  • Access to KS3 Kerboodle online textbook and resources
  • Access to KS3 Exampro to provide support questions
  • Introduction of diagnostic tests to access prior knowledge
  • A greater focus on practical skills, to catch up with what was disrupted by the Pandemic.
  • New introduction to science and chemistry topic, to highlight equipment and safety in the lab
  • Reactions topic in year 7 was taught later in the year when there was some access to laboratories.

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of the National Curriculum, and as a Grammar school, also challenge students beyond the National Curriculum. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our Chemistry intent. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 7

Term 1

Topics

  • Introduction into Chemistry
  • Matter 

Assessment

  • Topic-based diagnostic assessments
  • Self-marked cumulative assessment

Term 2

Topics

  • Reactions 

Assessment

  • Topic-based diagnostic assessments
  • Teacher-marked cumulative assessment

Term 3

Topics

  • Earth 

Assessment

  • Topic-based diagnostic assessments
  • PUP Exam

Year 8

Term 1

Topics

  • Introduction into Chemistry
  • Matter

Assessment

  • Self-marked cumulative assessment

Term 2

Topics

  • Reactions 

Assessment

  • PUP Exam

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Earth
  • Acids and alkalis 

Assessment

Teacher-marker cumulative assessment

Year 9

Term 1

Topic 1

  • Energy
  • Rates 

Assessment

  • PUP Exam

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Atmosphere
  • Pollution

Assessment

  • Self-marked cumulative assessment

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Atomic structure
  • Periodic table

Assessment

  • Teacher-marker cumulative assessment

Achieving mastery in Chemistry – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school Year 7 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics. They are either emerging, developing or proficient in this journey throughout Year 7.

To go beyond being proficient in what is expected of a Chemistry student in Year 7 and achieve mastery in Chemistry, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

Students should relish the challenging nature of Chemistry and not be afraid of making mistakes, as students will recognise that making mistakes is an opportunity for learning. Good mistakes are therefore celebrated.

To achieve mastery students will regularly revisit prior learning so that knowledge can be built upon ensuring that knowledge is embedded in long term memory via this spaced repetition.

Recommended reading in Chemistry for Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

  • ‘Itch’ – Simon May
  • ‘Itch Rocks’ – Simon Mayo
  • ‘Itch Craft’ – Simon Mayo
  • ‘Green Rising’ – Lauren James
  • ‘What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions’ – Randall Munroe’
  • ‘The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Rivalry, Adventure, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (Young Readers Edition)’ – Sam Kean
  • ‘Chemistry for Breakfast: The Amazing Science of Everyday Life’ – Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

  • The 2,400-year search for the atom – Theresa Doud
  • How to speed up chemical reactions (and get a date) – Aaron Sams
  • Fuse school
  • Revision monkey

Chemistry-specific language to master in Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

  • All required technical terminology can be found in the KS3 Glossary on the KS3 padlet

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a Chemistry curriculum that has been carefully organised to take students from their strong end of Year 9 points to the higher outcomes at the end of KS4. The Chemistry curriculum is ambitious and takes the students beyond the KS4 National Curriculum and exposes the students to many challenges preparing them to be well rounded citizens of planet earth. In turn students exit KS4 with the right foundation for A level Chemistry of a memorable knowledge and understanding of chemistry following five years of quality study.

The Chemistry curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from KS3 Chemistry ready to study in KS4 if applicable

  • KS3 Chemistry
  • Balancing equations
  • Chemical formulae
  • Energy changes
  • Chemical reactions
  • The atmosphere and pollution
  • The atom and the Periodic table

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 10 – 11.

  • Year 10 recap of material covered in year 9 at the start of the year before progressing with year 10 content – this will require a recap of the halogens displacement reactions (*)
  • Mentoring of students that require help / have gaps in their knowledge
  • Revision lessons / recap lessons to be run for selected students as required
  • Intervention sessions to be carried out following assessments
  • Year 11 students are continuing with the original framework of the KS4 curriculum however due to the pandemic the unit rates of reaction was not covered at the end of year 10 this was moved into year 11. This also allowed the practical’s of the unit to be carried out to support the theory being taught.
  • Practical’s were carried out at the end of year 10 for the current year 11 students with units that they had studied throughout the year. These will be revisited at the end of the year 11 course to ensure that the core practicals are understood as well as students being able to apply their understanding within assessments.

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of the National Curriculum, and as a Grammar school, also challenge students beyond the National Curriculum. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our Chemistry intent. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 10

Term 1

Topic 1

Assessment

  • Recap of year 9 content
  • Group 1 and 7 (Periodic table)
  • Transition metals
  • Structure and bonding

Assessment

  • Cumulative assessment to check understanding from year 9

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Allotropes of carbon
  • Organic chemistry

Assessment

  • Cumulative assessment

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Separating mixtures
  • Potable water
  • Qualitative analysis

Assessment

  • PPE

Year 11

Term 1

Topic 1

  • The mole, reacting mass calculations and titration calculations.
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Extracting metals and electrolysis

Assessment

  • Cumulative assessment
  • PPE 1

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Redox
  • Equilibria
  • Haber process

Assessment

  • PPE 2

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Rates vs Equilibria

Assessment

  • Further mini assessments to prepare for GCSE examination

Achieving outstanding outcomes in Chemistry – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school KS4 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics.

To go beyond what is expected of a Chemistry student in Years 10 and 11 and achieve outstanding outcomes in Chemistry, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

  • Students should be able to evaluate the information and data that they are provided with identifying how this supports their chemical knowledge. They should apply their understanding to new situations looking at how their chemical understanding can be applied.
  • To develop mastery students will regularly revisit topics studied in the past, make links between new and old topics to secure their subject knowledge and continue to attempt examination questions.
  • The chemistry KS4 curriculum has been developed to interleave topics throughout a students studies so that there is regular spaced practice to build on a students knowledge base as well as developing their chemistry vocabulary and knowledge.

Recommended reading in Chemistry for Middle School (Years 10 – 11)

Chemistry-specific language to master in Middle School (Years 10 – 11)

  • KS4 Chemistry specific language can be found on the Padlets.

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from KS4 Chemistry ready to study in KS5 Chemistry

  • KS4 Chemistry
  • Atomic structure
  • Rates of reaction
  • Equilibrium
  • Organic questions
  • Trends in the Periodic table
  • Calculations
  • Enthalpy

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 12 and 13

  • Year 12 students have come from a variety of schools and will have a variety of knowledge. A baseline assessment has been produced that will identify areas that need further consolidation. Intervention work will be put into place to support the students.
  • Year 13 students have a number of different areas that they need support within based on when they missed lessons and how they learnt during lockdown.
  • Some topics that are usually taught in year 12 are now being taught or recapped in year 13 (reaction kinetics, carbonyls, aromatic chemistry)
  • Year 13 students will need to catch up practical work and this will be carried out during lunch time if needed.
  • Lunch time consolidation lessons will be run to support the students further for both year 12 and year 13 students

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of the National Curriculum, and as a Grammar school, also challenge students beyond the National Curriculum. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our Chemistry intent. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 12

Term 1

Topic 1

  • Atomic structure and electron arrangement
  • Alkanes, alkenes, isomerism and introduction to reaction mechanisms
  • Bonding, structures and intermolecular forces
  • Calculations
  • Acids
  • Energy cycles

Assessment

  • Baseline assessment
  • Cumulative assessment
  • Fortnightly assessments

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Trends within the Periodic table
  • Alcohols and haloalkanes and their reactions
  • Redox reactions
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Analytical techniques

Assessment

Cumulative assessment

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Organic synthesis
  • Rates of reaction and equilibria
  • Carbonyls
  • Reaction kinetics

Assessment

  • PPE

Year 13

Term 1

Topic 1

  • Aromatic chemistry
  • Extending the carbon chain
  • Lattice enthalpy
  • Entropy
  • Amines, amides, amino acids and chirality
  • Acids, bases and buffers
  • Condensation polymerisation

Assessment

  • Cumulative assessment
  • Fortnightly assessments

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Transition elements
  • Redox and electrode potential
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Chromatography and qualitative analysis
  • Spectroscopy

Assessment

  • PPE 1
  • PPE2

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Organic synthesis

Assessment

  • FRAG

Achieving outstanding outcomes in Chemistry – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school KS5 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics.

To go beyond what is expected of a Chemistry student in Year 12 and 13 and achieve an outstanding outcome in Chemistry, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

  • Students should prepare and read ahead of the material that they are studying using a variety of sources.
  • Students should be able to synthesise, evaluate and process information and data that they are provided with identifying how this supports their chemical knowledge and develops it further. They should apply their understanding to new situations looking at how their chemical understanding can be applied.
  • To develop mastery students will regularly revisit topics studied in the past, make links between new and old topics to secure their subject knowledge and continue to attempt examination questions.
  • The chemistry KS5 curriculum has been developed to interleave topics throughout a student’s studies so that there is regular spaced practice to build on their knowledge base as well as developing their chemistry vocabulary and understanding.

Recommended reading in Chemistry for Upper School (Years 12 – 13)

  • Periodic Tales: The curious lives of the elements – Hugh Aldersey-Williams
  • Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie – Barbara Goldsmith
  • H2O: A biography of water – Phillip Ball
  • The Disappearing Spoon – Sam Kean
  • Uncle Tungsten – Oliver Sachs
  • The Shocking History of Phosphorus: A Biography of the Devil’s Element – John Emsley
  • Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements – John Emsley

Chemistry-specific language to master in Upper School (Years 12 – 13)

  • KS5 Chemistry specific language can be found in the specification as well as on the Padlets