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Chemistry Curriculum

Pupils are taught about:

The particulate nature of matter

  • the properties of the different states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) in terms of the particle model, including gas pressure

  • changes of state in terms of the particle model

Atoms, elements and compounds

  • a simple (Dalton) atomic model

  • differences between atoms, elements and compounds

  • chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds

  • conservation of mass changes of state and chemical reactions

Pure and impure substances

  • the concept of a pure substance

  • mixtures, including dissolving

  • diffusion in terms of the particle model

  • simple techniques for separating mixtures: filtration, evaporation, distillation and chromatography

  • the identification of pure substances

Chemical reactions

  • chemical reactions as the rearrangement of atoms

  • representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations

  • combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions

  • defining acids and alkalis in terms of neutralisation reactions

  • the pH scale for measuring acidity/alkalinity; and indicators

  • reactions of acids with metals to produce a salt plus hydrogen

  • reactions of acids with alkalis to produce a salt plus water

  • what catalysts do


  • energy changes on changes of state (qualitative)

  • exothermic and endothermic chemical reactions (qualitative)

The periodic table

  • the varying physical and chemical properties of different elements

  • the principles underpinning the Mendeleev periodic table

  • the periodic table: periods and groups; metals and non-metals

  • how patterns in reactions can be predicted with reference to the periodic table

  • the properties of metals and non-metals

  • the chemical properties of metal and non-metal oxides with respect to acidity


  • the order of metals and carbon in the reactivity series

  • the use of carbon in obtaining metals from metal oxides

  • properties of ceramics, polymers and composites (qualitative)

Earth and atmosphere

  • the composition of the Earth

  • the structure of the Earth

  • the rock cycle and the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks

  • Earth as a source of limited resources and the efficacy of recycling

  • the composition of the atmosphere

  • the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate