We encourage pupils to understand and use the scientific method and develop informed opinions.
Chemistry is taught from Junior 7, and we offer both Higher and Advanced Higher in the subject as well as the Science Baccalaureate, which is excellent preparation for studying at university.
In J7 and S1, pupils learn in a laboratory environment, examining different states of matter and learning how substances combine to make compounds. The girls acquire basic investigation skills such as planning and carrying out effective experiments, and evaluating their work.
In S2, the sciences work on a rotation basis. This allows pupils to get as much experience of all three sciences as possible before making their subject choices for S3. The course covers a number outcomes to ensure that even those who do not carry on with Chemistry have a broad understanding of the basics.
In Senior 3 and Senior 4, we are embracing the new Curriculum for Excellence National 4 & 5 qualifications. The course is assessed by end of unit assessment, investigative and research reports, and an assignment.
Homework at National 4 & 5 level consists of regular assignments set from pupil notes, textbooks and department developed work. There are also regular research tasks which are required for completion of the course work.
In S5 and S6 the girls can work towards their Higher Chemistry exam and coursework. We also run the CfE Higher Chemistry course to link in with the National 5 Chemistry course.
Advanced Higher Chemistry is one of the most popular courses in S6, and pupils learn to use in-depth and independent study to research their investigation. Practical skills are a huge part of the Advanced Higher course and prepare the pupils well for any science degree or occupation. They carry out 12 practical experiments, providing a structured report for each. They also conduct a chemical investigation, which is undertaken independently and presented as final report.
For pupils in sixth form, we also offer the opportunity to complete the Scottish Baccalaureate in Science. It’s based on a coherent group of subjects at Higher and Advanced Higher level, along with an Interdisciplinary Project, which helps equip pupils with the skills, attitudes and confidence to make the transition into Higher Education or employment in the sciences.