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Chemistry is a branch of science dealing with the structure, composition, properties and reactive characteristics of substances, especially at the atomic and molecular levels. We look at the historical and current developments, applications in everyday life and the social, environmental and economic implications.

Chemistry is taught as a separate subject by science teachers in Year 7 and by specialist chemistry teachers to all pupils up to Year 11.

We also have around 100 students studying Chemistry in our Sixth Form.

At CGS, we have high expectations for our students who achieve excellent results with the majority achieving A* or A grade at GCSE and a A*-B grade at A level.


Key Stage 3 Chemistry

Our Key Stage 3 course is based on the 2014 national curriculum.  The course has been designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills required to access the Science GCSEs.  Students study the following Chemistry topics in Year 7 & 8.


Year 7

Chemistry Term 1: The particulate nature of matter Chemistry Term 2: Atoms, elements and compounds Chemistry Term 3: Reaction, metals and non-metals

Matter and its properties The Particle Model
Particle Behaviour Changing State
Filtering and evaporation


Elements and the periodic table
Groups and periods
Atoms, Elements and Compounds
The difference between mixtures and compounds
Naming compounds
Chemical sybols and formulae
Chemical reactions - introduction
Chemical reactions
Conservation of mass


Metals and non-metals
Reactivity series
More on the reactivity series
Properties of metal and non-metal oxides
Energy changes, endo and exothermic
Changes – reversible, irreversible,  physical, chemical
How can we measure changes in a reaction?
Combustion and thermal decomposition
Oxidation and reduction

Year 8

Chemistry Term 4: Acids and alkalis Chemistry Term 5: Materials and everyday Chemistry Chemistry Term 6: The Earth and atmosphere

Acids & Alkalis
Everyday acids and alkalis
Working safely with acids and alkalis
Reactions of acids and alkalis
The importance of neutralisation
pH scale and indicators
Making indicators
Problematic acids
Acids and metals

Everyday chemistry
Where does the waste go?
Sustainable development
Composite materials Hydrocarbons and fuels

The Earth
Sedimentary rock
Metamorphic rock
Igneous rock
The rock cycle
The Earth as a resource
Biofuels and the carbon cycle
The atmosphere
Human impact on climate change



Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

We begin our Key Stage 4 courses in Year 9.  We follow the AQA GCSE Chemistry course, students studying topics including:

1. The fundamental ideas in Chemistry

2. Metals and their uses

3. Structures and bonding

4. Crude oil and fuels

5. Exothermic and endothermic reactions

6. Atomic structure, analysis and quantitative chemistry

7. Rates of reaction

8. The periodic table

9. Water

10. Calculating and explaining energy change

11. The production of ammonia

12. Alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters

The GCSE course is designed to build the knowledge base, practical, investigative and research skills required to move on to study A-Level Chemistry.

Students sit their final exams in the Summer of Year 11. There is also a practical assessment component that, for students sitting their final exams in 2018 and beyond, involves the completion of a series of assessed practical tasks during the course and keeping a record of progress in a lab book.  Students completing their final exams before this date will continue to complete an individual controlled assessment.


A level Chemistry:  Please see the Sixth Form section of our website: sixth-form-subject-information