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The Waid Academy

Higher Chemistry



The purpose of the Course is to develop learners’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for chemistry in a range of contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed throughout the Course. The relevance of chemistry is highlighted by the study of the applications of chemistry in everyday contexts. This will enable learners to become scientifically literate citizens, able to review the science-based claims they will meet.

The course is designed for students who wish to continue their study of chemistry beyond National 5 and who may wish to progress to Advanced Higher

Recommended Entry:  While entry is at the discretion of the centre, pupils would normally have obtained an A or B pass at National 5 Chemistry.


Units – Title and Brief Description


Chemical Changes and Structure (Higher)


This Unit covers the knowledge and understanding of periodic trends, and strengthens the learner’s ability to make reasoned evaluations by recognising underlying patterns and principles.  Learners will explore the concept of electro-negativity and intra-molecular and intermolecular forces. The connection between bonding and a material's physical properties is investigated.

Learners will investigate the ability of substances to act as oxidising or reducing agents and their use in analytical chemistry through the context of volumetric titrations.

Researching Chemistry (Higher)


This Unit covers the key skills necessary to undertake research in chemistry. Learners will research the relevance of chemical theory to everyday life by exploring the chemistry behind a topical issue. Learners will develop the key skills associated with collecting and synthesising information from a number of different sources. Equipped with the knowledge of common chemistry apparatus and techniques, they will plan and undertake a practical investigation related to a topical issue. Using their scientific literacy skills, learners will communicate their results and conclusions


Nature’s Chemistry (Higher)


This Unit covers the knowledge and understanding of organic chemistry within the context of the chemistry of food and the chemistry of everyday consumer products, soaps, detergents, fragrances and skincare. The relationship between the structure of organic compounds, their physical and chemical properties and their uses are investigated. Key functional groups and types of organic reaction are covered


Chemistry in Society (Higher)

This Unit covers the knowledge and understanding of the principles of physical chemistry which allow a chemical process to be taken from the researcher's bench through to industrial production. Learners will calculate quantities of reagents and products, percentage yield and the atom economy of processes. They will develop skills to manipulate dynamic equilibria and predict enthalpy changes Learners will use analytical chemistry to determine the purity of reagents and products.

Learners will investigate collision theory and the use of catalysts in reactions to control reaction rates.

Progression:  Successful completion of this course can lead to Advanced Higher Chemistry

Assessment: Internal Assessment is based on:

End of unit tests

External Assessment is based on:

*two question papers, which requires learners to demonstrate aspects of breadth, challenge and application; learners will apply breadth and depth of skills, knowledge and understanding from across the Course to answer questions in chemistry (120 marks)

*an assignment, which requires learners to demonstrate aspects of challenge and application; learners will apply skills of scientific inquiry, using related knowledge, to carry out a meaningful and appropriately challenging task in chemistry and communicate findings (20 marks scaled to 30 marks)