Chemistry deals with the composition, structures and properties of matter, the interactions between different types of matter, and the relationship between matter and energy. Through the learning of chemistry, it is possible to acquire relevant conceptual and procedural knowledge. A study of chemistry also helps to develop understanding and appreciation of developments in engineering, medicine and other related scientific and technological fields. Furthermore, learning about the contributions, issues and problems related to innovations in chemistry will help students develop an understanding of the relationship between science, technology, society and the environment.
The curriculum attempts to make the study of chemistry exciting and relevant. It is suggested that the learning of chemistry be situated in real-life contexts. The adoption of a range of such contexts together with a range of learning and teaching strategies and assessment practices is intended to appeal to students of all abilities and aspirations, and to stimulate interest and motivation for learning. Students are expected to be able to apply their knowledge of chemistry, to appreciate the relationship between chemistry and other disciplines, to be aware of the science-technology-society-environment (STSE) connections within contemporary issues, and to become responsible citizens.
The overarching aim of the Chemistry Curriculum is to provide chemistry-related learning experiences for students to develop scientific literacy, so that they can participate actively in our rapidly changing knowledge-based society, prepare for further studies or careers in fields related to chemistry, and become lifelong learners in science and technology.
The broad aims of the Chemistry Curriculum are to enable students to:
- develop interest and maintain a sense of wonder and curiosity about chemistry;
- construct and apply knowledge of chemistry, and appreciate the relationship between chemistry and other disciplines;
- appreciate and understand the evolutionary nature of science;
- develop skills for making scientific inquiries;
- develop the ability to think scientifically, critically and creatively, and solve problems individually and collaboratively in chemistry-related contexts;
- discuss science-related issues using the language of chemistry;
- make informed decisions and judgements on chemistry-related issues;
- develop open-mindedness, objectivity and pro-activeness;
- show appropriate awareness of working safely;
- understand and evaluate the social, ethical, economic, environmental and technological implications of chemistry, and develop an attitude of responsible citizenship.
In response to the new EDB guideline on implementing national security education, elements of national security will be integrated into the curriculum of Metals, Fossil Fuels and Industrial Chemistry and Green Chemistry. The learning outcome is to enhance students’ awareness and sense of duty on environmental protection, conservation of resources and sustainable development on a national and global scale.
This curriculum is developed upon the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, and learning experiences acquired by students in the Science Curriculum (S1-3). There is a close connection between the topics in the S1-2 Science Curriculum, together with the content enrichment in school-based S3 Science Curriculum such as “structure and bonding”, “metals”, “chemical equations” and “lime cycle”, and the Chemistry Curriculum.
The Chemistry Curriculum serves as one of the elective subjects. On the one hand, a broad coverage of topics is provided, while on the other hand there will be in-depth study on a certain number of topics to prepare students for further study in a particular field of science and technology in tertiary education.
In this curriculum, a wide range of learning activities is suggested to help develop students’ capacities for self-directed and lifelong learning. In addition, teachers are recommended to adopt a range of learning and teaching strategies, viz. predict-observe-explain (POE) and application-first approaches, scientific investigations and problem-based learning, to enhance students’ understanding of contemporary issues.
The curriculum consists of compulsory and elective parts. The compulsory part covers a range of content that enables students to develop an understanding of fundamental chemistry principles and concepts, and scientific process skills. Topics such as “atomic structure”, “bonding, structures and properties”, “metals and non-metals”, “periodicity”, “mole and stoichiometry”, “acids and bases”, “electrochemistry”, “chemistry of carbon compounds”, “chemical energetics”, “chemical kinetics” and “chemical equilibrium” are included. The elective part aims to provide an in-depth treatment of some of the compulsory topics, or an extension of certain areas of study. The elective part consists of two topics in the school: “Industrial Chemistry” and “Analytical Chemistry”. In addition, “green chemistry” is introduced in this part.