You are here: Home / Home Learning / Sciences / Chemistry



Welcome to the Chemistry Department’s home page and home is where the Chemistry happens as well as everywhere else. Everything you see, touch, taste, smell and hear is all due to CHEMISTRY. A tall order but very true. With a Chemistry qualification doors open to many jobs - scientific or not. If you have a science qualification then employers KNOW that you are someone who can work independently or within a team, is good with numbers and language - in short a valuable asset to any company. What ever the course you take students need to be on the ball with all their work and lots of work is carried out in the labs whether they are doing from practicals to presentations to just plain old work!!!

The Chemistry Department is aspirational of its pupils and will do all it can to get the best out of children given a willingness to work on all sides.
There are 2 members of staff Mr. D Kirklan and Mr Carena Principal Teacher.

The Chemistry Dept forms part of the larger Sciences.
We have been involved with Chemistry at Work visits to St Andrews University, Top of The Bench Competitions which visits schools around the area and hope to have STEM Ambassadors next year

S1,  S2 and S3

S1 and S2 courses are being re-written along with the S3 units as part of the "Broad General Education" - to allow progression with the new National 3 to 5 courses . For our part in Chemistry we look at Materials in S1 where one of the many experiments looks at the fat content of crisps. The results are remarkably in line with the packet values. It is not just the experiments but the Sciences look at the wider context which in this case would mean Healthy Eating habits and comparing low and high fat crisps. In S2 we start to keep an eye on the National 3 /4 courses so Topics include Acids and Alkalis, The Periodic Table and Chemical Materials. We actually aim to have large parts of National 3 in the second year course.


S3 and S4

These courses National 3, 4 and 5 are now based on the Curriculum for Excellence.

Unlike previous years the S3 course tries to get students to think for themselves and work for themselves and progress for themselves. You might think “That does not leave much for the teacher to do!!”  I can assure you that in fact it involves MORE work making sure things are in place to allow students to progress through the course

This should allow pupils a greater chance of following through the National 4 to reach National 5 in 4th year - if that seems logical -   and so to Higher in S5.

All CfE courses have 3 basic units

Chemical Changes and Structures, Nature's Chemistry and Chemistry in Society

There are some differences in how the courses are assessed - National 3 and 4 are entirely assessed internally. National 4 has an Added Value Unit which involves research and presenting results. National 5 has an external exam (80% of the mark) and an Assignment which involves the candidate doing some research and an experiment and then producing a report which is then marked by the Exam Board for the other 20% of the marks.


S5 and S6

The new CfE Higher course runs for 5 periods each week. There are 3 units which continue the units from the National 3/4/5 courses. The course looks at the basics of inorganic and organic chemistry but quickly extends to industrial, medicinal, food and health applications.  At the end of each unit students sit short test  which is prerequisite for gaining full certification. As in National 5 there is an Assignment which is carried out in school but will be marked by the Exam Board. 

The Advanced Higher is the final stage and has areas equivalent to first year university - so you will be studying real chemist chemistry!!

As with the Higher there are NABs and Practicals which form part of the course work but also in Investigation which is marked externally and is worth 20% of the overall grade.