Chemistry is the study of substances, what they are made of, how they interact with each other and what role they play in living things. In fact, it is the study of all materials and it is vital to all aspects of our lives. Chemistry is sometimes referred to as the ‘central science’ as it complements both Biology and Physics equally well.
Chemistry at Dollar is a very popular subject at all levels and student numbers buck the national trend for declining interest in the sciences. The Chemistry Department is very active and consists of eight full-time members of staff with a wide variety of experience and interests; Dr Shona Scheuerl MRSC PhD BSc, David Lumsden BSc, Neil Blezard MRSC BSc, Cameron Smith BSc, Dr Richard Johnson PhD BSc, Helen Cook BSc and Head of Department Dr William Beveridge CChem MRSC PhD BSc. The department enjoys excellent technical support from Kate Carmichael BSc, an experienced industrial chemist. The laboratories, all on the ground floor, are superbly equipped to teach the courses offered. The Department is highly innovative with Dollar being the first school in the UK to replace Standard Grade with Intermediate 2 in Forms III/IV; many members of the department are active in curriculum development and assessment.
Throughout all our courses we aim to increase literacy, numeracy, problem solving ability and the capacity for independent study. By sixth year, pupils are well prepared to continue their studies in further education.
Chemistry is offered at four levels in Dollar Academy: - in Form II, Intermediate II, Higher and Advanced Higher.
Form II: This introductory course seeks to provide an enjoyable and stimulating overview of Chemistry whilst also giving students the best possible preparation for Intermediate II. A stimulating variety of teaching methods are used within two weekly, hour-long lessons to develop practical and problem solving skills in addition to building up a sound knowledge base for future study.
Intermediate II: This course provides students with a rigorous introduction to Chemistry. Valued highly by Universities, pupils are given a solid grounding in chemical principles and are shown how Chemistry underpins our everyday lives. A wide range of teaching techniques is used to create a varied and stimulating learning experience.
The course is divided into three units that are individually certified by successful completion of a written paper (NAB) and three practical exercises.
- Building Blocks: Elements, Compounds and Mixtures, Reaction Rates, Structure of the Atom, Bonding Structure and Properties, Chemical Symbolism, the Mole.
- Carbon Compounds: Fuels, Nomenclature, Reactions of Carbon Compounds, Plastics, Natural Products.
- Acids, Bases and Metals: Acids and Bases, Salts, Metals.
Compressed Intermediate II Course: Recognising the large number of Dollar students who wish to study science or medicine at university, a strictly limited number of places are available on a compressed science course. This leads to the certification of all three Sciences after 320 hours of study compared to the more usual 480 hours allocated.
Higher Level: This course provides a logical progression from Intermediate II Chemistry; developing concrete and abstract thinking, scientific method, cross-curricular core skills and practical expertise.
The 120-hour Higher course incorporates recent developments in Chemistry and is divided into three units.
- Energy Matters : Reaction Rates, Enthalpy, Patterns in the Periodic Table, Bonding, The Mole.
- The World of Carbon: Fuels, Nomenclature and Structural Formulae, Reactions of Carbon Compounds, Uses of Carbon Compounds, Polymers, Natural Products.
- Chemical Reactions: The Chemical Industry, Hess's Law, Equilibrium, Acids and Bases, Redox Reactions, Nuclear Chemistry.
Advanced Higher: The Advanced Higher course was developed in collaboration with Universities to provide students with an introduction to 21st Century Chemistry. The course builds upon the Higher and includes much work traditionally associated with First Year University courses.
The theory content of the course is divided into three sections.
- Electronic Structure and the Periodic Table: Electronic Structure, Chemical Bonding, Chemistry of the Periodic Table
- Principles of Chemical Reactions: Stoichiometry, Chemical Equilibrium, Thermochemistry, Reaction Feasibility, Electrochemistry, Kinetics
- Organic Chemistry: Permeating Aspects of Organic Chemistry, Systematic Organic Chemistry, Stereoisomerism, Structural Analysis, Medicines
The course includes a 20-hour research project undertaken in a specially commissioned laboratory. This gives students the chance to experience at first hand the excitement of scientific research.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
Dr William Beveridge
Mr Neil Blezard
Dr Richard Johnson
Mr David Lumsden
Dr Shona Scheuerl
Mr Cameron Smith
Mrs Helen Cook
Mrs Elizabeth Goodwin
|Chemistry Activities & Information