My ten years at Hamilton College were absolutely brilliant. Through the support of the great teachers and resources provided, I was equipped to gain the grades I needed to accept my place at Cambridge University.

Ruth Manson
Class of 2012


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National 4/5 Chemistry

Content Covered

In S3/4 our course covers the National 4 and 5 coursework. This course contributes to pupils’ general education by helping them become aware of the applications of chemistry in everyday life. In addition it will provide a suitable base for study training and for work. The essence of scientific enquiry is problem solving, based on a sound framework of knowledge and understanding. The Chemistry Department aims to develop the skills necessary to achieve success in these enquiries. Units covered are:- Chemical Changes and Structure, Nature’s Chemistry and Chemistry in Society.


The course assessment will assess scientific inquiry skills, analytical thinking skills and the impact of applications on society and the environment.

It will give learners an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding by:

 demonstrating knowledge and understanding of chemistry by making statements, describing information, providing explanations and integrating knowledge

 applying knowledge of chemistry to new situations, interpreting information and solving problems

 planning or designing experiments/investigations to test given hypotheses or to illustrate particular effects, applying safety measures.

 carrying out experimental procedures safely, recording observations and collecting data

 selecting and presenting information appropriately in a variety of forms

 processing information (using calculations and units, where appropriate)

 making predictions and generalisations based on evidence/information

 drawing valid conclusions and giving explanations supported by evidence/justification

 identifying a source of error and suggesting improvements to experiments

 communicating findings/information


The course Assignment will give learners the opportunity to:-

select an appropriate chemistry topic within the set guidelines provided by SQA


 investigate/research the topic, focusing on applications and impact on society/the environment

 process the information/data collected


Methodology: The classes will be mixed ability and pupils will have an opportunity of working on their own and in groups. A range of teaching approaches ensures that pupils achieve to the best of their ability and enjoy the subject. In addition to prepared notes and text references, molecular models and a number of computer packages will be used to enhance this course.

Pupil Notes: In some areas pupils make their own notes from the unit notes provided, textbooks and other resource references while others are more teacher directed. Guidance will be given at the beginning of the course on the methods of note making. Notes will be checked regularly by the class teacher.

Homework will consist of completing notes begun in class, answering questions on the current unit and for revision, writing summaries and revising for class tests, unit assessments and examinations. Homework will be issued by the teacher as appropriate to the pupils’ position in the topic.

Assessments (Internal and External)

Internal assessments will be given at the end of each section of work, end of each unit and in a prelim exam. Pupils will also be assessed on a practical investigation and writing of a scientific report.


External assessment

The paper will assess scientific inquiry skills, analytical thinking skills and the impact of applications on society and the environment.

The question paper will have 80 marks (80% of the total mark)

The question paper will have two Sections.                                                                                                  Section 1, titled ‘Objective Test’, will have 20 marks.

Section 2, titled ‘Paper 2’, will contain restricted and extended response questions and will have 60  marks.

The assignment will assess the application of skills of scientific inquiry and related chemistry knowledge and understanding.

The assignment will have 20 marks (20% of the total marks)


Next Steps
Pupils can then choose to move onto Higher or Intermediate 2 Chemistry.
Chemistry can open up a vast range of course and careers choices to you. Even if you think it will not require chemistry, it probably does! Listed here are just some of the wide range of careers that require a knowledge of chemistry: doctor, dentist, pharmacist, engineer, zoologist, metallurgist, archaeologist, oceanographers, laboratory technician, research scientist, agricultural scientist, vet food scientist, forensic scientist, industrial chemist, biochemist, photographer, art restorer, nature conservationist and water technologist.