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Chemistry overview for years 3 to 5

The subject-group overviews show the units taught in each year in each discipline. They include the unit title, key and related concepts, global contexts, statements of inquiry,
objectives, ATL skills and the content (if any).

For years 1 and 2, please see the Modular sciences overview.

Year 3

Unit title and Related Statement of

Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

Atomic structure Systems Models Personal and cultural Models are A Thinking: critical Atomic models: Thomson, Rutherford and Bohr
expression: the ways in created and thinking
15 hours Evidence which we discover and modified over Subatomic particles: the electron, proton and neutron
express ideas time to express Thinking: transfer and their characteristics
new ideas formed Communication: Introduction to bonding ionic, covalent, and
by experimental communication metallic bonds. How electrons are used differently in
evidence. each type of bond. Simple models to demonstrate
each type
information literacy
Simple quark theorywhich quarks make up
Research: media
neutrons and protons and the models used to
demonstrate this
Simple outline of the strong interaction that operates
within atomic nuclei
Electronic configurations of atoms

Energy and chemical Change Interaction Scientific and technical A change in B Thinking: critical The law of conservation of mass
change innovation: the impact matter is a thinking
Consequences of scientific and consequence of D Physical change, chemical change, reactant,
15 hours technological advances energy Self-management: product, combustion
on communities and differences reflection
Definition of the terms catalyst and precipitate
environments between Thinking: creative
substances. thinking Writing word and symbol equations
Scientists and
Communication: Importance of the subscripts (and coefficients) in
technicians make
communication equations
use of this to
create a range of Changes in matter in terms of physical changes and
innovative chemical changes and the types of evidence that
products. identify a chemical change from a physical change
Research: and how this is related to energy change
information literacy
Types of chemical reaction: single-/double-
Research: media displacement reaction, decomposition, neutralization,
literacy synthesis, combustion reaction, endothermic and
Unit title and Related Statement of
Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

exothermic reactions
Identify the names and formulas for common
laboratory acids and alkalis.
Balancing chemical equations (Limited to simple
compounds and elements or counting
atoms/particles in a diagrammatic problem)
Chemistry in the automobile industry: common
chemical reactions (airbags, semiconductors,
catalytic converters)
Concept that chemical potential energy is stored
within compounds and that it can be released in a
controlled manner to do work or produce heat

Solutions Relationships Evidence Globalization and The formation of B Thinking: critical Polar molecules are electrically neutral but have a
sustainability: the a solution thinking partially positive end and a partially negative end.
15 hours Form relationship between provides C Water, ammonia and DNA are polar molecules.
local and global evidence of a Social:
processes relationship collaboration Water molecules are attracted to each other by
between the hydrogen bonds, which are really just forces of
Communication: attraction.
natures of communication
substances. The attraction between molecules at the surface of a
Self-management: liquid is called surface tension.
Because hydrogen bonds are relatively strong,
Self-management: water has a high boiling point for a covalent
affective substance.
Research: Solutions are homogeneous mixtures that can be
information literacy solid, liquid or gas. Metal alloys are solid solutions.
Air is a gaseous solution. Aqueous solutions are
solutions that have water as the solvent.
The substance being dissolved is called the solute;
the substance doing the dissolving is called the
The amount of a substance that can dissolve in a
liquid (at a particular temperature) is called the
solubility of the substance.
Each substance has a different solubility, which
depends on its interaction with water.
Solutions are said to be saturated when no more
solute can be dissolved.
Polar solvents dissolve polar and ionic solutes. Non-
polar solvents (organic compounds) dissolve non-
Unit title and Related Statement of
Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

polar solutes like dissolves like.

The concentration of a solution tells us how much
solute has been dissolved in the solvent. The units of
concentration are grammes of solute per millilitre of
solvent. A concentrated solution contains more
solute than a dilute solution.
Some gases can dissolve in water. Whether or not
the gas will dissolve depends on the interaction
between the gas molecules and the water molecules.
More gas can dissolve in cold water than in hot
waterfor example, cold soda.
Electrolytes are solutions that can conduct electricity.
They are created by dissolving a salt, acid or base in
A suspension is a mixture of two substances, one of
which is finely divided and is dispersed in the other.
A colloid is a type of mixture intermediate between a
homogeneous mixture (also called a solution) and
a heterogeneous mixture and also has properties
that are intermediate between the two.
An emulsion is a suspension of two liquids that do
not usually mix together.

Acids and bases Relationships Function Fairness and The strength of A Thinking: critical Definitions of acids and bases (Arrhenius and
development: rights acids and bases thinking BrnstedLowry)
20 hours and responsibilities is related to the B
function of the Thinking: creative pH scale
C thinking
degree of Indicators (litmus, universal, phenolphthalein)
dissociation and Research: media
determines how literacy Conductivity
they should be
Research: Concentrated, diluted, strong and weak acids and
used and
information literacy bases
disposed of.
Self-management: Household detergents
Unit title and Related Statement of
Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

Environmental Relationships Balance Scientific and technical Scientific and D Thinking: critical Importance of carbon, nitrogen and water
cycles innovation: the impact technological thinking
Transformation of scientific and advances are Water cycle
15 hours technological advances impacting upon Self-management:
reflection Treatment and recycling of water
on communities and the naturally
environments balanced Communication: Carbon cycle
relationships communication Nitrogen cycle
provided by the
effective Social: Nitrogen-fixing
transformations collaboration
in environmental
information literacy
Research: media

Year 4

Unit title and Related Statement of

Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

Periodic trends Relationships Change Orientation in space The form of the A Thinking: critical The periodic table shows the positions of metals,
and time: discoveries periodic table is thinking non-metals and metalloids.
15 hours Form evolving due to
knowledge- Thinking: transfer Metals tend to lose electrons and so they form
Function cations. Non-metals tend to gain electrons so they
challenging Thinking: creative
discoveries, thus form anions.
enhancing its Elements in a group have the same oxidation state
function of Communication: and therefore similar chemical properties.
showing trends in communication
the physical and Shielding is the decrease in attraction between an
Self-management: electron and the nucleus in any atom with more
organization than one electron shell.
properties of the
As the number of electron shells
increases, shielding increases.
No change occurs as you move across a
Effective nuclear charge is the positive charge
experienced by the electrons due to the charges
in the nucleus.
Unit title and Related Statement of
Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

No change occurs as you move down a

The charge increases from left to right
across a period because protons are
being added to the nucleus.
Vertical and horizontal trends in the periodic table
exist for atomic radius, ionization energy and
Atomic radius is the distance between the nuclei of
two atoms of the same element, or the size of an
atom. The atomic radius:
increases as you move down a group
because more electron shells are being
added that are further away from the
decreases as you move across a period.
Ionization energy is the amount of energy it takes
to remove the most loosely held electron from an
atom. The ionization energy:
decreases as you move down a group
because of shielding
increases as you move across a period
because the electrons are more tightly
held to the nucleus due to the effective
nuclear charge.
Electronegativity is the tendency of an atom in a
bond to pull electrons towards itself. The
decreases as you move down a group
because the atom has a weaker ability to
accept electrons
increases as you move across a period
because the charge on the nucleus
becomes stronger and so the atom can
attract more electrons.
Properties of fluorine and its use in municipal
Unit title and Related Statement of
Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

Stoichiometry Systems Balance Scientific and technical The scientifically B Thinking: critical Concept of the mole
innovation: how constructed thinking
20 hours Conservation humans use their systems for C Avogadros number
understanding of balancing Thinking: creative
thinking Relative molecular mass and relative atomic mass
scientific principles chemical
equations require Social: collaboration Empirical and molecular formula
the numbers and
Communication: Percentage composition
types of atoms to
be conserved. communication Stoichiometric calculations
Communication: Solutions and problems involving concentrations
information literacy
media literacy

Gas laws Relationships Movement Scientific and technical Humans can C Thinking: critical Kinetic molecular theory
innovation: how manipulate the thinking
10 hours Conditions humans use their conditions Conversions for temperature and pressure
understanding of impacting upon Thinking: reflection
Daltons law
scientific principles gas particles, Research:
thereby information literacy Boyles law
determining their
Social: collaboration Charles law
Ideal gas law
Graphing and calculations
Standard temperature and pressure

Redox reactions Systems Transfer Scientific and technical Designers use B Thinking: critical Definition of oxidation and reduction (electron
innovation: how the balanced thinking transfer)
20 hours Balance humans use their systems C
understanding of maintained by the Thinking: creative Rules for assigning oxidation numbers
D thinking
scientific principles transfer of Definition of oxidising agent and reducing agent
electrons in redox Self-management:
reactions to reflection Half reactions
develop a range
Social: collaboration Electrochemistry (The study of the interchange of
of products.
chemical and electrical energy)
communication Electrochemical cells: voltaic cells (spontaneous)

Self-management: Reactivity series

organization Factors (for example, concentration, types of
Unit title and Related Statement of
Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

Research: electrode) that effect cell voltage

information literacy
Electrolysis reactions
Research: media
literacy Electrolytic cells and factors (for example,
concentration of solutions, temperature, types of
solutions) that effect electrolysis reactions
Applications of redox reactions (for example,
batteries, purification of metals, galvanizing)

Food chemistry Change Culture Identities and A persons health A Thinking: critical Determining caloric values of food
relationships: personal is influenced by thinking
15 hours Influences health cultural and D Macromolecules and enzymes
conditional Thinking: creative
Balance thinking Colour and flavour
changes to his or
Conditions her diet. Self-management: Shelf life
reflection Additives
Thinking: transfer Food technology
information literacy
Research: media

Year 5

Unit title and Related Statement of

Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

Chemical Systems Patterns Globalization and Systems for A Thinking: critical Chemical formula review
nomenclature sustainability: the explaining the thinking
Development interconnectedness of world are Naming of simple compounds
15 hours human-made systems constructed by Thinking: transfer
Models Naming of ionic compounds
and communities observing Communication:
patterns. communication Naming of positive ions

Self-management: Naming of negative ions

organization Naming of polyatomic ions
Naming of acids: organic and inorganic
IUPAC nomenclature
Naming of organic compounds (aliphatic and
Unit title and Related Statement of
Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

aromatic hydrocarbons, alkanes, alkenes)

Bonding Relationships Interactions Globalization and Scientists use A Thinking: critical Bonds are formed to achieve stability.
sustainability: the bonding models thinking
15 hours Nature interconnectedness of to explain the D Positive ions (cations) form by metals losing
human-made systems nature of Self-management: valence electrons.
Models reflection
and communities interactions Negative ions (anions) form by non-metals gaining
between different Social: collaboration electrons.
types of particles.
Self-management: The number of electrons lost or gained is
organization determined by the electron configuration of the
communication The ionic bond is due to electrostatic attraction
between oppositely charged ions.
information literacy A covalent bond is the electrostatic attraction
between a shared pair of electrons and the
Research: media positively charged nuclei.
Single, double and triple covalent bonds involve
Self-management: one, two and three shared pairs of electrons,
affective respectively.
Lewis (electron dot) structures show all the
valence electrons in a covalently bonded species.
The octet rule refers to the tendency of atoms to
gain a valence shell with a total of eight electrons.
Some atoms have incomplete octets of electrons,
for example Be and B.
Carbon and silicon form giant covalent/network
covalent/macromolecular structures.
Intermolecular forces include London dispersion,
dipoledipole forces and hydrogen bonding.
A metallic bond is the electrostatic attraction
between a lattice of positive ions and delocalized
Alloys usually contain more than one metal and
have enhanced properties.

Thermochemistry Change Energy Scientific and technical Physical and B Thinking: critical Energy changes (transformation)
innovation: how chemical thinking
20 hours Process humans use their processes C Temperature and heat
understanding of involve energy Self-management:
D reflection Temperature as the measure of the average
scientific principles changes that can kinetic energy of particles in a system
be used to create Thinking: transfer
a range of Describing the difference between physical and
Unit title and Related Statement of
Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

products and Social: collaboration chemical changes in terms of energy

solutions that
impact on Communication: Qualitative and quantitative measurements.
humankind and communication
Units of energy
the environment. Self-management:
organization Exothermic and endothermic processes

Research: Combustion as an exothermic reaction

information literacy Difference between complete and incomplete
The role of fossil fuels in our modern society
Bond breaking as an endothermic and bond
making as an exothermic process
Different types of insulators
Heat capacity and specific heat capacity
Using calorimetry to measure changes in heat
(enthalpy) and determine the enthalpy change for
a chemical process
Calculating energy change in chemical reactions
per unit mass or mole of substance using
experimental data
Concept of equipment accuracy

Kinetics and Relationships Balance Scientific and technical Equilibrium is the A Thinking: critical Reaction rate and collision theory
equilibrium innovation: the natural state of balance thinking
Reaction world and its laws attained when B Factors affecting the rate of reaction: nature of
20 hours opposing reaction Thinking: creative reactants, concentration, surface area, catalyst,
C thinking temperature
rates become
equal. Thinking: transfer Equilibrium
Communication: Physical
communication Chemical
Self-management: Le Chateliers principle: concentration,
temperature and pressure changes,
effect of a catalyst
information literacy
Unit title and Related Statement of
Key concept Global context Objectives ATL skills Content
teaching hours concept(s) inquiry

Organic chemistry Change Form (Structure) Orientation in space In order for B Thinking: critical Identification of the following: alkane, alkene,
and time: turning points structure and thinking alkyne, alcohol, aldehyde, ketone, carboxylic acid
10 hours Energy in humankind energy to
continue driving Thinking: creative Nomenclature for straight-chain organic molecules
change, finite thinking
Combustion reactions
fossil fuels will Self-management:
need to be affective Fossil fuels
replaced by
renewable raw Social: collaboration