Course Information

Course Title: Chemistry

Course Level: H


What is Chemistry?

If you are interested in studying matter and how it changes, then hopefully you will think about studying Chemistry. Chemistry has a wide-ranging impact on society including how the earth’s resources are used, chemical reactions and the properties of materials. Chemistry research and development is essential for the introduction of new products including glass, plastics, soaps, perfumes and medicines. Chemistry is also a science that can really help if you are studying Biology or Physics along with many other subjects.

Support on offer

In S3 Chemistry, we will have even higher expectations of you than in S1 and S2. We will expect you to have a really positive attitude, show good behaviour and be committed to working hard.

To help you do this, we will provide you with as much support as possible. Our doors are always open so you can feel free to come and get help with anything whenever you need it.

Success in S3 Chemistry will allow you to move on to National 3, 4 or 5 in S4.

Careers in Chemistry

The knowledge and skills gained from the study of Chemistry would help in the following careers and many others –

  • Food science
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacologist
  • Renewable energy
  • Dentistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemical engineering
  • Laboratory work
  • Research and development
  • Environmental science
  • Medicine
  • Engineering

Science is an important part of our heritage and we use its applications every day in our lives at work, at leisure and in the home. Science and the application of science are central to our economic future and to our health and wellbeing as individuals and as a society. Scotland has a long tradition of scientific discovery, of innovation in the application of scientific discovery, and of the application of science in the protection and enhancement of the natural and built environment. Children and young people are fascinated by new discoveries and technologies and become increasingly aware of, and passionate about, the impact of science on their own health and wellbeing, the health of society and the health of the environment.

Through learning in the sciences, children and young people develop their interest in, and understanding of, the living, material and physical world. They engage in a wide range of collaborative investigative tasks, which allows them to develop important skills to become creative, inventive and enterprising adults in a world where the skills and knowledge of the sciences are needed across all sectors of the economy.

What can learning in the Sciences achieve for young people?

  • Pupils will develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the big ideas and concepts of the sciences which will allow them to become scientifically literate citizens with a lifelong interest in the sciences, able to express opinions and make decisions on social, moral, ethical, economic and environmental issues based upon sound understanding.
  • Through experimentation you will develop skills for learning, life and work by learning the skills of scientific inquiry and investigation using practical techniques including the accurate use of scientific language, formulae and equations.
  • You will develop an understanding of the Earth’s resources and the need for responsible use of them and why we must apply safety measures and take necessary actions to control risk and hazards.
  • This will help you recognise the impact the sciences make on your life, the lives of others, the environment and on society.
  • Pupils will recognise the role of creativity and inventiveness in the development of the sciences.
  • Studying the discrete Science subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics will establish the foundation for more advanced learning and, for some, future careers in the sciences and the technologies.

How is the Science Framework Structured?

  • The key Scientific concepts have been organised into 5 groupings; Topical Science, Materials, Biological systems, Planet Earth and Forces, electricity and waves.
  • Science is divided into level 3 and level 4 Experiences and Outcomes.
  • Most level 3 experiences and outcomes will be delivered in S1 and S2.
  • To enable level 4 Experiences and outcomes to be delivered in S3 , Pupils will continue their study of Science as the discrete subjects of Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Pupils can choose to study 2 of the discrete Sciences in S3.
  • Level 4 outcomes will prepare pupils for SQA National 4 and National 5 qualifications
  • and beyond.

What are the features of effective learning and teaching in Science?

In the sciences, effective learning and teaching will use a variety of approaches, including: AiFL, collaborative and independent learning, ICT, discussion, debate, external contributors, cross-curricular experiences and links. Whenever applicable and possible, learning will be through experimentation and reinforcement aiming to assist the:

  • Development of problem solving skills and analytical thinking skills
  • Development of scientific practical investigation and inquiry
  • Use of relevant contexts, familiar to young people’s experiences
  • Appropriate and effective use of technology, real materials and living things

How do we build on prior knowledge?

  • In level 3 we are developing the pupils’ knowledge of scientific fact and practical skills.
  • In level 4, there will be a progressive development and practice of the range of inquiry, investigative skills and analytical thinking skills required to develop into a scientifically literate citizen. This will be achieved by studying the 5 science concept groups in greater depth with increasingly challenging scientific concepts which will provide opportunities to revisit and reinforce skills.

What are the broad features of assessment in the Sciences?

  • Assessment will be a combination of summative (end of unit assessments) and formative assessments.
  • Summative assessments will play a vital role in the guidance of pupils regarding National 4 and National 5 courses.

The formative assessments will include:

  • Teacher observation of scientific technique development.
  • Science topic based experimental investigations and reporting.
  • Class presentations of pupil research and experimental results, both orally and
  • written reports.
  • Pupil self-evaluation.
  • Discussion and debates.

Connections with other areas of the curriculum

  • The development of literacy and numeracy skills, aspects of health and wellbeing and ICT are central to the teaching and understanding of the Sciences.
  • The Earth science experiences and outcomes link directly to the Social Subjects outcomes and experiences and would provide opportunities for cross-curricular work.
  • Through the development of knowledge and Problem solving skills the science courses link with Mathematics, technologies and engineering of all kinds.

Useful websites for information on careers using Sciences (Institute of Physics) (Institute of Biology) (Roya


National 4/5
Higher Grade