Department of Chemistry

Chemistry is all around us and has a major influence on our everyday lives from the air we breathe, to the food we eat, to the clothes we wear.  The Chemistry department develops curiosity about our material and physical worlds and enables students to engage with chemistry in their everyday lives.  

In Upper 4, pupils receive a basic grounding in key chemical ideas and are introduced to important and widely used practical techniques. The topics covered are the Periodic Table, Separating Mixtures and Acids and Alkalis.

Pupils in Lower 5 begin their 2 year GCSE course. This course provides pupils with a wide range of chemical knowledge and helps them appreciate the social, industrial, environmental and economic consequences of a chemist’s work for the community. 

Sixth form pupils can choose to study SQA National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher. Pupils who have not studied Chemistry previously can study Higher Chemistry over 2 years.    

Throughout the year groups, pupils are encouraged to learn by investigating. The subject involves regular practical work supporting and reinforcing the theory. Through practical investigations pupils extend their observational, evaluating and manipulative skills.

The department also offers many extra activities for pupils. Science Crest awards are open to all students and older pupils can gain experience working in professional laboratories through day trips and summer work placement schemes.  

Teaching Staff

Claire Hainsworth

BSc (Hons) Chemistry

Joelle Nicolson

BSc (Hons) Chemistry, MSc Multimedia Technology

Rachel Cooper

MChem (Hons), PhD Chemistry

All our teachers are registered with the GTCS (General Teaching Council for Scotland) and they all hold a post graduate teaching qualification (usually PGCE or PGDE) if their degree is not in education.