Chemistry is the study of materials and substances and the transformations they undergo through interactions and the transfer of energy. Chemistry develops students’ understanding of the key chemical concepts and models of structure, bonding, and chemical change, including the role of chemical, electrical and thermal energy. Students learn how models of structure and bonding enable chemists to predict properties and reactions. Students explore key concepts and models through active inquiry and design and conduct investigations. Some of the major challenges and opportunities facing Australia and the Asia-Pacific region at the beginning of the twenty-first century are inextricably associated with chemistry. The study of chemistry provides a foundation for a wide range of scientific fields, and often provides the unifying link across interdisciplinary studies. Studying Chemistry provides students with a suite of skills and understandings that are valuable to a wide range of further study pathways.
Students should have achieved at least a 60% average in Chemistry by the end of their Year 10 Science course. Students should also be competent in Science Investigation Skills and in Mathematics, including algebra.
Chemistry – Year 11
The learning and understanding of Chemistry is cumulative. Success in Chemistry in Year 11 requires a sound foundation and students should be proficient in writing chemical equations, have an understanding of different classes of substances and be able to perform simple chemical calculations.
Unit 1 Chemical Fundamentals: Structure, Properties and Reactions
In this unit, students use models of atomic structure and bonding to explain the macroscopic properties of materials. Students develop their understanding of the energy changes associated with chemical reactions and the use of chemical equations to calculate the masses of substances involved in chemical reactions. They are introduced to the chemistry of living things, and focus on simple organic structures and reactions.
Unit 2 Molecular Interactions and Reactions
In this unit, students continue to develop their understanding of bonding models and the relationship between structure, properties and reactions, including consideration of the factors that affect the rate of chemical reactions. Students investigate the unique properties of water and the properties of acids and bases, and use chemical equations to calculate the concentrations and volumes of solutions involved in chemical reactions.
Chemistry – Year 12
Unit 3 Equilibrium, Acids and Bases, and Redox Reactions
In this unit, students investigate the concept of reversibility of reactions and the dynamic nature of equilibrium in chemical systems; contemporary models of acid-base behaviour that explain their properties and uses; and the principles of oxidation and reduction reactions, including the generation of electricity from electrochemical cells.
Unit 4 Organic Chemistry and Chemical Synthesis
In this unit, students develop their understanding of the relationship between the structure, properties and chemical reactions of different organic functional groups. Students also investigate the process of chemical synthesis to form useful substances and products and the need to consider a range of factors in the design of these processes.