Science - Chemistry

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Intent and Vision

In Chemistry we have the Ravens Wood vision at heart of our curriculum planning, and it has informed the learning journey of our students. We want our students to be passionate about science and to develop their own curiosity for understanding the world around them.

Key Concepts that Underpin the Curriculum

  1. Understand how scientific methods and theories develop over time.
  2. Use a variety of models such as representational, spatial, descriptive, computational and mathematical to solve problems, make predictions and to develop scientific explanations and understanding of familiar and unfamiliar facts.
  3. Appreciate the power and limitations of science and consider any ethical issues which may arise.
  4. Explain every day and technological applications of science; evaluate associated personal, social, economic and environmental implications; and make decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and arguments.
  5. Evaluate risks both in practical science and the wider societal context, including perception of risk in relation to data and consequences.
  6. Recognise the importance of peer review of results and of communicating results to a range of audiences.

Key Features of Learning

We believe the best way of doing this is teaching students how to learn, problem solve and apply their knowledge to new and changing contexts.

How Does our Curriculum Shape Learners?

Our curriculum helps students to develop into global citizens by equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to surmount the challenges their generation will likely face.

The Learning Journey: End Points for Each Academic Year

Year 13

By the end of Year 13, students will have developed their knowledge of Organic chemistry: the study of the millions of covalent compounds of the element carbon. These structurally diverse compounds vary from naturally occurring petroleum fuels to DNA and the molecules in living systems. Organic compounds also demonstrate human ingenuity in the vast range of synthetic materials created by chemists. Many of these compounds are used as drugs, medicines and plastics. Organic compounds are named using the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) system and the structure or formula of molecules can be represented in various different ways. Organic mechanisms are studied, which enable reactions to be explained. In the search for sustainable chemistry, for safer agrochemicals and for new materials to match the desire for new technology, chemistry plays the dominant role.

Year 12

By the end of Year 12, students will have developed their knowledge of the chemical properties of elements depend on their atomic structure and in particular on the arrangement of electrons around the nucleus. The arrangement of electrons in orbitals is linked to the way in which elements are organised in the Periodic Table. Chemists can measure the mass of atoms and molecules to a high degree of accuracy in a mass spectrometer. The principles of operation of a modern mass spectrometer are studied.

The Periodic Table provides chemists with a structured organisation of the known chemical elements from which they can make sense of their physical and chemical properties. The historical development of the Periodic Table and models of atomic structure provide good examples of how scientific ideas and explanations develop over time.

Year 11

By the end of Year 11, students will be able to use quantitative analysis to determine the formulae of compounds and the equations for reactions. From this students will be able to calculate the yield from chemical reactions. They will be able to use a range of qualitative tests to detect specific chemicals, reactions that produce a gas with distinctive properties, or a colour change or an insoluble solid that appears as a precipitate. Instrumental methods provide fast, sensitive and accurate means of analysing chemicals, and are particularly useful when the amount of chemical being analysed is small. They will be able to explain how the Earth’s atmosphere is dynamic and forever changing, the causes of these changes are sometimes man-made and sometimes part of many natural cycles. The problems caused by increased levels of air pollutants require scientists and engineers to develop solutions that help to reduce the impact of human activity can be described and explained.

Year 10

By the end of Year 10, students will understand that chemical reactions cause chemical changes, these chemical changes can be recorded and predicted. They will be aware that energy changes are an important part of chemical reactions. The interaction of particles often involves transfers of energy due to the breaking and formation of bonds. Reactions in which energy is released to the surroundings are exothermic reactions, while those that take in thermal energy are endothermic. Students will be able to explain that chemical reactions can occur at vastly different rates. Whilst the reactivity of chemicals is a significant factor in how fast chemical reactions proceed, there are many variables that can be manipulated in order to speed them up or slow them down.

Chemical reactions may also be reversible and therefore the effect of different variables needs to be established in order to identify how to maximise the yield of desired product.

Year 9

By the end of Year 9, students will have built further on atomic structure from year 7 and 8, developing a more complex model of the atom and the sub atomic particles they are formed of as current research suggest, able to describe the different versions of the atom that scientists have suggested throughout history. From this they will understand that the periodic table provides chemists with a structured organisation of the known chemical elements from which they can make sense of their physical and chemical properties. The relevance of the historical development of the periodic table and models of atomic structure provide and how they provide good examples of how scientific ideas and explanations develop over time as new evidence emerges. The arrangement of elements in the periodic table and how it links to atomic structure which can be explained. They will understand the theories of bonding and thus explain how atoms are held together in these structures and how the physical and chemical properties of materials are related to bonding.

Year 8

By the end of Year 8, students will have built on the core principles of atomic structure learnt in year 7 and be able to explain what a chemical reaction is, why it happens and give examples of a variety of chemical reactions such as displacement, combustion and neutralisation. They will have had the opportunity to carry out these reactions within the lab. They will have delved further into neutralisation by looking specifically at how acids and alkalis react and will have carried out investigations to identify the pH of various solutions and be able to suggest the pH resulting from a reaction between certain acids and alkalis. Furthermore, they will have learnt that some chemical reactions give out or take in energy and will have investigated how different concentrations of chemicals can affect the amount of energy given out or taken in. Finally, they will look at the development of our atmosphere, climate change and be able to explain the importance of the finite resources Earth has and make suggestions on how we could improve Earth’s future.

Year 7

By the end of Year 7, students will have had the opportunity to develop their practical skills within the lab, starting with risk assessments, interpreting hazard symbols and naming equipment. They will able to identify independent and dependent variables, explain the importance of controlling variables and write up practicals. They will also develop practical skills in the lab such as setting up and safely using Bunsen burners. They will have studied atomic structure and learnt the history of the development of the periodic table and the rationale for the changes. Students will build on this knowledge of atomic structure further by learning about sub-atomic particles and how understanding the information on the periodic table can be used to predict when reactions will and will not happen and be able to suggest reasons why. Finally, they will build on this theoretical knowledge by being able to explain the difference between atoms, molecules, compounds and mixtures and will have further developed a variety of new practical skills such as filtration, distillation, fractional distillation and chromatography to separate mixtures.

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Provision Maps

Chemistry - Y7 - Elements
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Chemistry - Y7 - Metals and non metals
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Chemistry - Y7 - Particle Theory
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Chemistry - Y7 - Periodic Table
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Chemistry - Y7 - Separating Techniques
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Chemistry - Y8 - Acids and Alkalis
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Chemistry - Y8 - Chemical Energy
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Chemistry - Y8 - Climate
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Chemistry - Y8 - Earths Resources
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Chemistry - Y8 - Metals and non metals
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Chemistry - Y8 - Types of Reactions
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Chemistry- Y9 - 1 - Atomic Structure and Periodic
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Chemistry- Y9 - 2 - Bonding Structure and the Prop
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Chemistry- Y9 - 3 - Chemical Changes
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