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Chemistry

Introduction

Chemistry courses aim to follow on from Form 3 and 4 science for senior students in Forms 5, 6 and 7 and are central to future study in science, engineering and medicine at tertiary level. It also aims to teach the scientific method and develop analytical and lateral thinking skills in the students which are invaluable in any future career.

Form 5 (Pre-Q):

Prerequisites: A sound understanding of Form 4 Science and ideally achieving an average of above 50% in the School examinations. You must be in Forms 4A to 4O to study Pre-Q Chemistry in 2022. Students in 4P and 4R, and those who are selected for the full NCEA Level 1 Programme, have the option to study certain Chemistry topics in the NCEA Level 1 Science course.

Course description/aims: The course has been written to provide students with an all-round knowledge in Chemistry that will prepare them thoroughly for further study in the subject in Form 6 at either Cambridge AS or NCEA Level 2. Theoretical knowledge and practical sessions will ensure students develop their scientific abilities and skills. The course will prepare students to become confident citizens with a level of understanding of how scientific applications can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on the individual, community and the environment.

One double period per week is taken up by practical experimental skills and investigations to:

  • Use scientific apparatus and materials to develop experimental technique.
  • Make and record observations and measurements and then analyse and evaluate this data obtained.
  • Plan and carry out investigations while evaluating methods and suggesting possible improvements to the delivery

The aims of the Pre-Q examination are to encourage students to value:

  • Excellence – by aiming high and persevering in the face of difficulties.
  • Innovation and Curiosity – by thinking logically and critically and questioning situations.
  • Participation – through practical sessions and in-class discussions.
  • Sustainability – by understanding the environment and how to care for it.
  • Integrity – by being honest and responsible and acting ethically

Course outline:

  • States of Matter
  • Practical Techniques
  • Atomic Structure and Bonding
  • The Periodic Table
  • Quantitative Chemistry 1 and 2
  • How Far, How Fast?
  • Acids, Bases and Salts 
  • All about Metals 
  • Electrolysis
  • Enthalpy
  • Organic Chemistry
  • 13. Chemistry of the Environment

Methods of Assessment: School examinations and class assessments:

  • 1 x 1-hour examination – end of Term 1
  • 1 x 2-hour examination – end of Term 2
  • 1 x 3-hour examination – end of Term 4 (Pre-Q)
  • The total mark available will be between 150 – 160
  • Candidates will answer 40 multiple choice questions followed by a series of long answer questions that will cover the breadth of the topics studied
  • Common tests will be held at the completion of each topic, and GrammarNet will be used to administer multiple choice questions

Special equipment/costs: Safety glasses will be provided for practical lessons. Students will need to purchase workbooks containing notes and questions to accompany the teaching of the course.

Continuation of subject: Successful completion of Pre-Q Chemistry provides an excellent base for further study at both Cambridge AS and NCEA Level 2.

Form 6 (NCEA Level 2):

Prerequisites: Completed NCEA Level 1 Science (passing the Chemistry external) or Pre-Q Chemistry with a minimum of 40%.

Course description/aims: The course aims to:

  • Provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding about chemistry useful to an educated citizen
  • Promote a recognition of chemistry as a distinct scientific discipline with an intrinsic interest and worth and an essential role to play in society
  • Promote an awareness of chemical aspects of current technological problems and their solutions

The overall course seeks to develop:

  • A broad knowledge of common substances, their sources, uses and, where possible, patterns in their behaviour
  • The simple mathematical interpretation of suitable data and the understanding of key theories and concepts that account for selected chemical and physical properties
  • The necessary practical skills to handle substances and manipulate equipment safely and to make, record and process chemical observations, especially those relating to qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • An awareness of chemistry developments
  • The study and practice of science as cooperative and cumulative activities, subject to social, economic, technological, ethical and cultural influences and limitations
  • Effective and safe practice
  • An interest in, and care for, the environment
  • An interest in chemistry, and an understanding of its relevance to society

Experimental skills and investigations developed in this course include the ability to:

  • Plan investigations
  • Use techniques, apparatus and materials
  • Make and record observations, measurements and estimates
  • Interpret and evaluate observations and experimental results
  • Select techniques, apparatus and materials
  • Evaluate methods and suggest possible improvements

Course outline:

  • 91910 – Carry out a practical investigation into a substance present in a consumer product using quantitative analysis [4 credits, Internal]
  • 91911 – Carry out an investigation into chemical species present in a sample using qualitative analysis [3 credits, Internal]
  • 91164 – Demonstrate understanding of bonding, structure and energy changes [5 credits, External]
  • 91165 – Demonstrate understanding of the properties of selected organic compounds [4 credits, External]
  • 91166 – Demonstrate understanding of chemical reactivity [4 credits, External]
  • 91167 – Demonstrate understanding of oxidation-reduction problems [3 credits, Internal]

Methods of assessment: Three School examinations will assess student achievement throughout the year. Internal assessments will be completed by the end of Term 2, and NZQA external assessments occur during Term 4.

Special equipment/costs: Safety glasses are provided. Commercial revision books will be available at discounted prices.

Continuation of subject: NCEA Level 3 Chemistry is the natural progression from Form 6 Chemistry. This course is a prerequisite for NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.

Form 6 (AS):

Prerequisites: A good understanding of Form 5 Chemistry. Entry criteria is as follows:

  • Students who gain a mark of at least 60% in Pre-Q Chemistry will be guaranteed entry to this course.
  • Students aiming to gain a pass mark in Cambridge AS Chemistry should have achieved a mark of 70% or better in their Pre-Q examination
  • Students who have obtained a mark of less than 60% in Pre-Q will only be accepted at the discretion of the Head of Chemistry

Course description/aims: The syllabus aims are to:

  1. Provide, thorough well-designed studies of experimental and practical chemistry, a worthwhile educational experience for all students, whether or not they go on to study science beyond this level and, in particular, to enable them to acquire sufficient understanding and knowledge to:
    • Become confident citizens in a technological world, able to take or develop an informed interest in matters of scientific importance
    • Recognise the usefulness, and limitations, of scientific method and to appreciate its applicability in other disciplines and in everyday life
    • Be suitably prepared for employment and/or further studies beyond Cambridge A Level
  2. Develop abilities and skills that:
    • Are relevant to the study and practice of science
    • Are useful in everyday life
    • Encourage efficient and safe practices
    • Encourage the presentation of information and ideas
    • Are appropriate for different audiences and purposes
    • Develop self-motivation and the ability to work in a sustained fashion
  3. Develop attitudes relevant to science such as accuracy and precision, objectivity, integrity, a spirit of enquiry, initiative and insight
  4. Stimulate interest in, and care for, the environment
  5. Promote an awareness that:
    • The study and practice of science are co-operative and cumulative activities and are subject to social, economic, technological, ethical and cultural influences and limitations
    • The applications of science may be both beneficial and detrimental to the individual, the community and the environment
  6. Stimulate learners and create a sustained interest in chemistry, so that the study of the subject is enjoyable and satisfying

Course outline:

  • Atoms, Molecules and Stoichiometry
  • Atomic Structure
  • Chemical Bonding
  • States of Matter
  • Chemical Energetics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Equilibria
  • Reaction Kinetics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry and Analysis
  •  

Methods of assessment:

  • Paper 1 – Multiple choice [1 hour 15 mins] (40 marks, 31% weighting). 40 multiple choice questions based on the AS core syllabus; all questions will include four responses
  • Paper 2 – Structured questions [1 hour 15 mins] (60 marks, 46% weighting). A variable number of structured questions, all compulsory, based on the AS core syllabus
  • Paper 3 – Advanced Practical Skills [2 hours] (40 marks, 23% weighting), which will feature experiments and investigations

In addition, there will be internal monitoring of progress in practical work through weekly practical sessions and with three practice Cambridge practical examinations throughout the year.

Special equipment/costs: Safety glasses are provided.  Workbooks with notes will be available at less than cost.

Continuation of subject: Chemistry is offered at Form 7 (A2).  Form 6 AS Chemistry provides a strong, basic foundation for Chemistry at Form 7, but it is not available to those who have not passed Form 6 Chemistry at Grade D and above.

Form 7 (NCEA Level 3):

Prerequisites: AA minimum of 14 credits at Achieved level (at least eight credits from Level 2 externals and at least three credits from NCEA Level 2 internals) must have been obtained at NCEA Level 2 Chemistry. Consideration will be given to students who have not gained 14 credits but have achieved some units at Excellence level.

Students who have not attempted Chemistry at Form 6 level will not be considered except under very exceptional circumstances. Students will be accepted if they have completed Cambridge AS Chemistry and have gained an E grade or above.

Course description/aims: The course aims to:

  • Provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding about chemistry useful to an educated citizen
  • Promote a recognition of chemistry as a distinct scientific discipline, with an intrinsic interest and worth and an essential role to play in society
  • Promote an awareness of chemical aspects of current technological problems and their solutions

The overall course seeks to develop:

  • Scientific attitudes such as open-mindedness, intellectual honesty, a willingness to suspend judgement and recognition of the tentative nature of theories
  • A broad knowledge of common substances, their sources, uses and, where possible, patterns in their behaviour
  • The simple mathematical interpretation of suitable data
  • The understanding of key theories and concepts that account for selected chemical and physical properties
  • The necessary practical skills to handle substances and manipulate equipment safely and to make, record and process chemical observations, especially those relating to qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • An awareness of chemistry developments
  • The study and practice of science as cooperative and cumulative activities, subject to social, economic, technological, ethical and cultural influences and limitations effective and safe practice
  • An interest in, and care for, the environment
  • An interest in chemistry, and an understanding of its relevance to society

Experimental skills and investigations developed in this course include the ability to:

  • Plan investigations
  • Use techniques, apparatus and materials
  • Make and record observations, measurements and estimates
  • Interpret and evaluate observations and experimental results
  • Select techniques, apparatus and materials
  • Evaluate methods and suggest possible improvements

Course outline:

  • 91388 – Demonstrate understanding of spectroscopic data in chemistry [3 credits, Internal]
  • 91389 – Demonstrate understanding of chemical processes in the world around us [3 credits, Internal]
  • 91390 – Demonstrate understanding of thermochemical principles and the properties of particles and substances [5 credits, External]
  • 91391 – Demonstrate understanding of the properties of organic compounds [5 credits, External]
  • 91392 – Demonstrate understanding of equilibrium principles in aqueous systems [5 credits, External]

Methods of assessment: Three School examinations will assess student achievement throughout the year. Internal assessments will occur during Terms 1 to 3. NZQA external assessment occurs during Term 4.

Special equipment/costs: Safety glasses are provided. Commercial revision books will be available at discounted prices.

Continuation of subject: Stage 1 University Chemistry is the natural progression from NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.  This course is strongly recommended if planning any further study in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Material Sciences, Engineering, Health Sciences, Laboratory Technician, Teaching or Environmental Science.

Form 7 (A2):

Prerequisites: The Form 6 AS course is a prerequisite for the Form 7 A2 course.

  • Students who gain an A to a good D grade (above 55%) in AS Chemistry will be admitted to this course
  • Students who gain a low D grade in AS Chemistry must consult with the Head of Chemistry to gain entry into this course
  • Students who gain an E grade or Ungraded result in AS Chemistry will not be able to enter this course

Course description/aims: The A2 course includes the topics listed in AS Chemistry studied in greater depth. In addition, there is the following:

  • More Detailed Energetics
  • Rate Equations (zero, first and second order reactions)
  • Further Patterns in the Periodic Table
  • Additional Organic Chemistry, particularly as applied to Aromatics (cyclic molecules)
  • Applications of Chemistry have been incorporated throughout the syllabus

Methods of assessment: 

  • Paper 4 – A2 Structured Questions [2 hours, 100 marks]
  • Paper 5 – Planning, Analysis and Evaluation [1 hour 15 mins, 30 marks]

For most students, the AS marks will be carried forward from Form 6 to be combined with the A2 marks in Form 7. Cambridge does allow the AS and A2 to be sat in the same year, thus the AS could be retaken in the May/June Examination Series with the A2 examinations at the end of the year.

Single AS papers within the Chemistry syllabus cannot be retaken. AS is 50% and A2 is 50% of the total A Level qualification.  While it is possible to retake AS examinations, it is not possible to undertake both the AS and the A2 courses in the one year.

Note: The AS marks can be used as a stand-alone qualification for University Entrance and the AS course can be repeated in the Form 7 year, with approval from the Head of Chemistry.

Special equipment/costs: Safety glasses are provided. Workbooks with notes are available at less than cost.

Continuation of subject: Chemistry is a prime requirement for many university courses in Pure and Applied Sciences such as Chemistry, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Medicine, Biological Sciences and Food Sciences. The approach, skills and learning techniques developed by Form 7 Chemistry prove invaluable in many other disciplines.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our staff today.