We equip our pupils with a wide body of knowledge and skills that allows them to develop an awareness of the implications of chemistry for the individual, society and the environment. We encourage pupils to understand and use the scientific method, and develop informed opinions and be able to support them with reasonable arguments. The department works on developing girls’ scientific knowledge throughout school life, with Chemistry taught from Junior 7. We offer Higher and Advanced Higher Chemistry, as well as the Science Baccalaureate which provides excellent preparation for studying at university.
In J7 and S1, pupils learn how to work in a laboratory environment and go on to examine different states of matter and learn how substances combine to make new compounds. Pupils acquire basic investigation skills, such as planning effective experiments, carrying them out safely and evaluating their work.
The sciences work on a rotation basis in S2. This allows pupils to gain maximum experience in all three sciences before making their subject choices for S3. In Chemistry, the course covers a number of the level 3 and 4 outcomes to ensure that even those who do not carry on with Chemistry, have a broad understanding of the basics. It also provides an excellent platform for those wishing to carry on with Chemistry at National 4 & 5 level. The topics covered in these rotations include The Periodic Table, Atomic Structure, Acids and Alkalis, Metals and Chemical Reactions. The girls are given an opportunity to develop their investigative and research skills to complete an assignment similar to those done in National 5.
We have embraced the Curriculum for Excellence National 4 & 5 qualifications. The National 5 course is a great preparation for Higher Chemistry in S5, developing skills in applying knowledge and understanding and investigative skills. The three units covered here are Chemical Changes and Structure, Nature's Chemistry and Chemistry in Society. We also complete a research assignment as part of the course assessment.
In S5 and S6 the girls can work towards their Higher Chemistry exam and coursework. Higher Chemistry is both a popular and challenging qualification, and one which Craigholme pupils perform exceptionally well in. There are 4 units in this course; Chemical Changes and Structure, Nature's Chemistry, Chemistry in Society and Researching Chemistry. This last unit lays the groundwork for the substantial research assignment which the girls complete as part of their course assessment.
Advanced Higher Chemistry is always one of the most popular courses in S6, and pupils learn to use in-depth and independent study to research their investigation. To achieve success at this level, pupils must be proficient in scientific writing, as well as analysing and interpreting results in a critical manner. These skills prepare our girls well for higher education. The three units covered here are Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis and Researching Chemistry. The girls spend a large portion of their time developing
practical skills which are invaluable in both university and industry as well as completing a practical project worth 23% of their overall course award.
We also offer and number of curriculum linked events and trips through all year groups and run a variety of extra-curricular clubs and competitions to encourage girls to look at chemistry beyond the classroom.
We also offer the opportunity to complete The Scottish Baccalaureate in Science in Sixth Form. It is based on a coherent group of subjects at Higher and Advanced Higher level with the addition of the Interdisciplinary Project, which offers added breadth and value and helps to equip the candidate with the generic skills, attitudes and confidence necessary to make the transition into Higher Education and/or employment.