Chemistry Curriculum

Click on the links below to jump to a particular Year Group:

 


Year 9

Autumn Term

Topic – Metal Reactivity

  • Reactions of metals, metal oxide, metal carbonate reactions with acids
  • How to test for gas products and how to isolate some of products of the reactions
  • Neutralisation reactions, pH
  • Reactivity series and Equation writing

Topic – Useful Metals

  • Displacement reactions
  • Making electricity using metals
  • Reactivity series
  • Making copper and Equation writing

Spring Term and part of Summer Term


GCSE AQA Chemistry

Two Exam Papers

  • Paper 1: Topics 1 – 4
  • Paper 2: Topics 5 – 8

Topic 1 – Energy Changes

  • States of Matter
  • Distillation
  • Exothermic and Endothermic Reaction
  • Bond Energy Calculations

Summer Term (after Summer Half Term)

Year 10 

Topic 2 – Periodic Table

  • History of the Periodic Table
  • Atomic Structure and Ion Formation
  • Group 1 and Group 7 Chemistry
  • Transition Metals and Noble Gasses

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Year 10 

Autumn Term

Topic 3 – Structure and Bonding

  • Ionic Bonding
  • Covalent Bonding
  • Giant Structures
  • Polymers and Nanoscience
  • Chromatography

Spring Term

Topic 4 – Metal Extraction and Quantitative Calculations

  • Relative Atomic and Formula Masses, Mole Calculations
  • Yield Calculations
  • Acid and Alkalis
  • Titrations
  • Gas Liquid and Thin Layer Chromatography
  • Reductions
  • Electrolysis - Salt, Aluminium and Fuel Cells

Summer Term

Topic 5 – Rate of Reaction

  • How is rate affected by concentration, temperature, particle size and catalysis
  • Reversible Reactions
  • Equilibria

Year 11 (after Summer Half Term)

Topic 6 – Analysis

  • Chromatography
  • Gas Testing
  • Testing for Positive and Negative Ions (Triple Chemistry only)
  • Instrumental Analysis (Triple Chemistry only)

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Year 11 

Autumn Term

Topic 7 – Carbon Chemistry

  • Crude Oil Fractional Distillation
  • Properties of Fractions
  • Cracking
  • Alkanes and Alkenes
  • Reaction of Alkenes (Triple Chemistry only)
  • Alcohols, Carboxylic Acids, Esters (Triple Chemistry only)
  • Addition, Condensation Polymers and DNA (Triple Chemistry only)

Spring Term

Topic 8 – Earth's Materials

  • Evolution of the Atmosphere
  • Climate Change
  • Renewable Resources
  • Water Treatment
  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Material Properties (Triple Chemistry only)
  • Nitrogen Fertilizers (Triple Chemistry only)

Summer Term

Revision and review

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Year 12

Autumn Term

Students study two units:

Elements for Life
The Big Bang theory is used to introduce the question of where the elements come from. This leads to discussion of the concepts of atomic structure, nuclear fusion, and the use of mass spectroscopy to determine the relative abundance of isotopes. Next, looking at how we study the radiation we receive from outer space provides the context for discussion of atomic spectroscopy and electronic structure. A historical approach is then used to introduce the periodic table, including the links between electronic structure and physical properties. This is followed by studying some of the molecules found in space, providing the context for introducing bonding and structure and the shapes of molecules. The storyline then turns to chemistry found closer to home. Ideas about the elements found in the human body and their relative amounts are used to introduce the concept of amount of substance and related calculations. The bodily fluids blood and salt then provide a basis for studying salts; this context also incorporates sea water and uses of salts such as in bath salts, lithium batteries, barium meals, hand warmers and fertilisers. This also provides the context for discussing the chemistry of Group 2 elements, as well as amount of substance calculations involving concentration and acid–base titrations.
The chemical ideas in this module are:

  • atomic structure, atomic spectra and electron configurations;
  • fusion reactions;
  • mass spectroscopy and isotopes;
  • the periodic table and Group 2 chemistry;
  • bonding and the shapes of molecules;
  • chemical equations and amount of substance (moles);
  • ions: formulae, charge density, tests;
  • titrations and titration calculations.

Developing Fuels
The use of fuels in cars provides the main context in this storyline, and is used to initially introduce the basic concept of enthalpy change. Food as ‘fuel’ for the body is then an alternative context in which to discuss quantitative aspects of enthalpy, including practical techniques and enthalpy cycles. The storyline returns to the constituents of car fuels to introduce hydrocarbons and bond enthalpy, after which cracking provides the background to how petrol is produced. Alkenes are then introduced in the context of saturated and unsaturated fats found in foods. This is followed by studying the polymerisation of alkenes in the context of synthetic polymers and their uses. The storyline returns to car fuels to discuss combustion reactions and amount of substance calculations involving gases, shapes of hydrocarbons and isomerism, and the atmospheric pollutants produced in burning fuels. The storyline ends by considering the contribution of hydrogen and biofuels as potential fuels of the future.
The chemical ideas in this module are:

  • thermochemistry;
  • organic chemistry: names and combustion of alkanes, alkenes, alcohols;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • reactions of alkenes;
  • addition polymers;
  • electrophilic addition;
  • gas volume calculations;
  • shapes of organic molecules, σ- and π-bonds;
  • structural and E/Z isomers;
  • dealing with polluting gases.

Spring Term

Students study two further units.

Elements from the Sea
The presence of halide salts in the sea provides the entry to the properties of the halogens and reactions between halide ions. The manufacture of bromine and chlorine then provide the context for discussion of redox chemistry, electrolysis and the nomenclature of inorganic compounds. The use of chlorine in bleach is used to introduce the concept of equilibrium and calculations of the equilibrium constant, as well as iodine–thiosulfate titrations. This leads into a discussion of the risks and benefits of using chlorine. Finally, atom economy is introduced through the manufacture of hydrogen chloride and other hydrogen halides. The Deacon process for making HCl provides an opportunity to expand on ideas relating to the position of equilibrium.
The chemical ideas in this teaching module are:

  • halogen chemistry;
  • redox chemistry and electrolysis;
  • equilibrium;
  • atom economy.

The Ozone Story
An initial study of the composition of the atmosphere provides the opportunity to introduce composition by volume calculations for gases. Discussion of ozone‘s role as a ‘sunscreen’ then leads to ideas of the principal types of electromagnetic radiation and their effects on molecules. This introduces a study of radical reactions, reaction kinetics and catalysis, set in the context of the ways in which ozone is made and destroyed in the atmosphere. A consideration of CFCs and HFCs then provides the introduction to the chemistry of haloalkanes, including nucleophilic substitution, and intermolecular bonding.
The chemical ideas in this module are:
composition by volume of gases;

  • the electromagnetic spectrum and the interaction of radiation with matter;
  • rates of reaction;
  • radical reactions;
  • intermolecular bonding;
  • haloalkanes;
  • nucleophilic substitution reactions;
  • the sustainability of the ozone layer.

Summer Term

Students finish The Ozone Story and study one more topic.

What’s in a Medicine
A consideration of medicines from nature focuses on aspirin. The chemistry of the –OH group is introduced through reactions of salicin and salicylic acid, beginning with alcohols and continuing with phenols. The discussion of chemical tests for alcohols and phenols leads to the introduction of IR and mass spectrometry as more powerful methods for identifying substances. The storyline concludes by examining the synthesis of aspirin to illustrate organic preparative techniques, including a look at the principles of green chemistry.
The chemical ideas in this module are:

  • the chemistry of the –OH group, phenols and alcohols;
  • carboxylic acids and esters;
  • mass spectroscopy and IR spectroscopy;
  • organic synthesis, preparative techniques and thin layer chromatography;
  • green chemistry.

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Year 13

Autumn Term

The Chemical Industry (CI)
The storyline opens with a look at crop production and the nitrogen cycle, which leads into consolidation of redox concepts from the first year and introduces nitrogen chemistry. The industrial production of nitric acid and sulfuric acid – both used in the fertiliser industry – then form the context for developing understanding of rates, including determination of rate equations and equilibria, consolidating Kc and the introduction of how to determine units. These ideas are finally drawn together by looking at the industrial production of ethanoic acid. Overall, the three industrial processes allow for an overview of the effects of factors on the rate and equilibrium yields of reactions, leading to a consideration of the best conditions for an industrial process. The processes also allow learners to look at the costs of an industrial process, including hazards and the effect of these processes on society.

The chemical ideas in this module are:

  • aspects of nitrogen chemistry;
  • kinetics;
  • equilibrium and equilibrium constant calculations;
  • effects of factors on the rate and equilibrium yields of reactions; consideration of the best conditions for an industrial process;
  • analysis of costs, benefits and risks of industrial processes.

Polymers and Life (PL)
The storyline begins with the uses of condensation polymers such as nylons and polyesters, introducing the chemistry of carboxylic acids, phenols, esters, amines and amides, as well as naming of other organic groups. Surgical stitches that ‘disappear’ in the body then form the context for discussing hydrolysis of polymers. The storyline then turns to the chemistry of proteins. Amino acid chemistry, optical isomerism and the structure of proteins are introduced in relation to the structure of insulin. The storyline then moves to testing for glucose in urine as a basis for introducing enzyme catalysis. Various examples of medicines that work as enzyme inhibitors are then used to discuss molecular recognition. The storyline continues with the development of models of the DNA and RNA structures and a description of the Human Genome project. Finally, aspirin – discussed in WM – is revisited as the context for a more detailed discussion of mass spectrometry, as well as introduction of proton and carbon-13 NMR and the use of combined techniques in structural analysis.

The chemical ideas in this module are:

  • condensation polymers
  • organic functional groups
  • amines and amides
  • acid–base equilibria
  • amino acid and protein chemistry
  • optical isomerism
  • enzyme catalysis and molecular recognition
  • the structure and function of DNA and RNA
  • structural analysis.

Developing Metals (DM)
The storyline begins with metals in ancient times and their subsequent use in coinage and weaponry, moving on to modern uses of metals including dental alloys. Transition metals and their properties are introduced in this context. The storyline continues with redox chemistry and electrochemical cells, studied in the context of cells from Volta through modern-day usage of cells to electrochemistry in the mouth. Finally, the topic of pigments leads into discussion of transition metal chemistry and complexes. The storyline ends with a review of biologically important complexes such as haemoglobin and cis-platin and the role of metals as catalysts in car exhaust systems.

The chemical ideas in this module are:

  • redox titrations
  • cells and electrode potentials
  • d-block chemistry
  • colorimetry.

Spring Term

Oceans (O)
The storyline begins by looking at how the oceans have been and are surveyed, and what we know about their composition. This leads into a discussion of the solution of ionic solids, focusing on the energy changes involved. A study of the role of the oceans in redistributing energy from the Sun next forms the context for introducing the greenhouse effect. The absorption of CO2 by the oceans also provides the basis for introduction of acid–base equilibria, including Brønsted–Lowry theory, pH calculations, strong and weak acids, and buffers. The role of calcium carbonate in seashells as a carbon store then leads into understanding of solubility products. Finally, the storyline returns to the redistribution of energy by the oceans, forming the basis of an in-depth discussion of ideas relating to entropy.

The chemical ideas in this module are:

  • dissolving and associated enthalpy changes
  • the greenhouse effect
  • acid–base equilibria and pH
  • solubility products
  • entropy.

Colour by Design (CD)
A study of dyes and dyeing and the use of chemistry to provide colour to order. The storyline begins by looking at biological pigments, such as found in carrots, to examine the origins of colour in delocalised systems in organic molecules. This discussion moves into the structure of benzene, where the storyline touches on how scientific ideas develop. The storyline then moves on to synthetic dyes, including picric acid, chrysodin and mauveine. The concepts explored in this context includes electrophilic substitution reactions of benzene, and formation of diazonium compounds. At this point, the storyline also takes a look at the overall structure of dye molecules and how dyes attach themselves to fibres. Food dyes and food testing then form the context for studying the structure of fats and oils and the principles of gas–liquid chromatography. The storyline ends with reactions of carbonyl compounds, and case studies to illustrate the synthesis of organic molecules.

The chemical ideas in this module are:

  • the chemical origins of colour in organic compounds
  • aromatic compounds and their reactions
  • dyes and dyeing
  • diazonium compounds
  • fats and oils
  • gas–liquid chromatography
  • carbonyl compounds and their reactions
  • organic synthesis and polyfunctional compounds.

Summer Term

Revision and Review

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