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Chemistry at Huddersfield Grammar School

Course content

Some of the work will build on Key Stage 3 material while some of it will be new.  Topics to be studied at GCSE include: Detection and identification through ha range of chemical tests that are used for the detection and identification of elements and compounds.  Instrumental methods that are quick, accurate and sensitive have been developed to identify and measure substances, often in very small samples.  These methods are used to monitor products, our health, the environment and in forensic science. Water  The water we drink is not pure water because it contains dissolved substances.  It should be safe to drink, which means it does not contain anything that could cause us harm.  Some of the dissolved substances are beneficial to our health but some cause hard water. Earth science  The earth and its atmosphere provide everything we need.  This topic looks at the evolution of the Earth and atmosphere over geological time and how recent human activities have produced further changes. Organic chemistry  is the study of carbon and its compounds.  Crude oil is an ancient biomass found in rocks from which many useful materials can be produced.  Crude oil can be fractionally distilled and some of the fractions can be used as fuels and to make smaller molecules including unsaturated hydrocarbons such as    ethane.  Unsaturated hydrocarbons can be used to make polymers.  Many plants produce useful oils which can be converted into consumer products including processed foods. Atomic structure and bondingThe periodic table was developed to classify elements before atomic bonding was understood.  It is a powerful aid to understanding the properties and reactions of the elects.  Simple particl theory is developed in this unit to include atomic structure and bonding.  The arrangements of electrons in atoms can be used to explain what happens when elements react and how atoms join together to form different types of substances including nanomaterials which have new properties because of their very small size.   


Chemistry has a course work component which will account for the remaining 25%.  This will involve the student in performing an investigation and then evaluating their findings in the laboratory under controlled conditions.  They will also do an externally set paper that will test their ability to interpret scientific date. The teaching of all topics is taken to the Higher Level so that as many students as possible can have the opportunity to be entered for the higher level.  Of course, teaching is differentiated and students who find some aspects of the subject difficult but have a real interest should not be put off for choosing it.  The trial examination in January of year 11 will allow decision to be made about entry level.  Higher level maths would be an advantage for the higher chemistry level and students who find maths difficult may find themselves restricted Foundation level entry which would probably rule out studying the subject at A level.   

Future opportunities


How to apply

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Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Unknown