"Chlorine is a deadly poison gas employed on European battlefields in World War I. Sodium is a corrosive metal which burns upon contact with water. Together they make a placid and unpoisonous material, table salt. Why each of these substances has the properties it does is a subject called chemistry."
Carl Sagan, in his essay, ‘Can We Know the Universe?’
The Chemistry Department at New Hall School is full of enthusiastic and motivated Chemistry teaching specialists who want to ensure every student is keen to talk about Chemistry: hopefully one of their most immersive, hands-on and inspiring subjects. As Chemistry educators, we want to listen to our Year 7 students chat animatedly about how they made red cabbage water change green with alkali, or how our Year 8 students made mini explosions in the lab when investigating displacement.
We want our GCSE students to feel supported and able to achieve their very best results through carefully structured practical work which enhances their theory lessons. We want to inspire curiosity and wonder so that all our students want to keep learning, making their own unique scientific discoveries and asking perceptive and intelligent questions.
The best learning in Science is driven by curiosity. We are proud to say that at New Hall School, our Chemistry curriculum from Year 7 to Year 13 provides many opportunities for students to open their minds and develop their understanding of the world around them through exciting practical investigations woven carefully through a well-organised and rigorous schedule of teaching.
Chemistry at a Glance
Key Stage 3 Chemistry
In Years 7 and 8, students follow a bespoke Chemistry course which will instil a love of practical work. In Year 7, students are taught about safety in the laboratory, before learning how to carry out simple Bunsen burner experiments, enabling them to feel confident with chemical apparatus. The Year 7 Chemistry course covers 6 main topics, (1. Safety and practical skills, 2. Separation techniques, 3. Chemical literacy, 4. Acids and alkalis, 5. Heating substances and 6. Making gases) and each topic contains a mini investigation or project to focus on developing scientific thinking and independent practical skills.
The Year 8 course follows on from the material taught in Year 7, covering some topics that will be built upon at GSCE. There is also a large practical component with over 75% of the lessons taught including practical work. Topics taught in Year 8 include 1. The reactivity series, 2. Further chemical literacy, 3. Reactions of acids, 4. Making salts and 5. Analysis.
GCSE Chemistry (Exam Board: AQA Trilogy)
Students begin the AQA GCSE course at the start of Year 9, and they are well equipped to take on the more rigorous academic content having covered some important Chemistry fundamentals in the KS3 course. Our aim is to ensure a smooth transition from KS3 to GCSE. The topics covered in the first year of the GCSE course have been chosen with care, this allows students to develop the confidence to tackle more complex ideas whilst maintaining their enjoyment and fascination with Chemistry.
At the end of Year 10, students will opt for Chemistry as a Separate Science or Combined Science. Choosing Chemistry as a Separate Science is a good choice for any student wishing to pursue Chemistry at A Level, it covers more content and the end result is a full GCSE in Chemistry. Choosing Combined Science covers two thirds of the Separate Science course, and the end result is two GCSE grades covering all of Science. This is a good option for students who enjoy Science but who are less likely to take an A Level in Chemistry.
Subject Extension and extra-curricular opportunities
Each year the Chemistry department prepares a lecture for British Science week on a topic beyond the curriculum and Year 7 to 9 students complete an enrichment activity that goes beyond the scope of curriculum in their Chemistry lessons.
GCSE Lunchtime drop-in clinics run every week to allow any student from Years 9 – 11 to come along and talk through a problem they might be struggling with.
Head of Chemistry: Dr A Brogden [email protected]