National 5



This course is designed primarily for those who   have shown real ability in S3 and wish to continue studying Chemistry with the option of continuing to Higher. It could also be suitable for those wishing to return to Chemistry in S5 or S6 who have demonstrated ability in other relevant subjects.


This is proving to be a challenging course but is also enjoyable and provides Learners with a strong foundation for future studies.

Each learner who chooses Chemistry will be taught for 5 periods a week. The course is split into 3 Units, called Chemical Changes & Structure, Nature's Chemistry and Chemistry In Society.

In addition, there are booklets designed to teach the skills of Formula Writing and Chemical Calculations

Practical work will be an important part of this course and will reinforce and extend the skills taught in the S1 -3 courses with special emphasis on the Design of an Investigation and the Processing and Evaluation of data collected. Research skills will also be important.


Regular Topic Tests will be used to measure progress and understanding. A Prelim exam (covering several Topics) will be sat in Jan/Feb and will provide further evidence of progress and understanding as well as providing an opportunity to develop revision and exam techniques.

Learners will also have to undertake an 'Added Value' Assignment. At National 5, this requires Data to be collected and processed, both through Research and a Practical. The underlying Chemistry must also be researched. A  Report must be produced (under exam conditions) and will be submitted to SQA for external marking. A mark out of 20 will be awarded and will count towards their final Grade.


Finally, there is an Exam at National 5 worth 100 marks. Learners can achieve awards A - D, with notional cut-offs set as:


A1 - 85+ %

A2 - 70 - 84 %

B3 - 65 - 69 %

B4 - 60 - 64 %

C5 - 55 - 59 %

C6 - 50 - 54 %

D7 - 45 - 49 %

D8 - 40 - 44 %


Recommended Entry Requirements

To gain entry into the National 5 Chemistry you should have a recommendation from your current science teacher. You will have gained this recommendation by either:

  • successfully completing the S3 Chemistry course to the required standard
  • successfully completing the S3 Biology or Physics to a high standard

and for S5/6 pupils:

  • successfully completing the National 4 Chemistry course to a high standard
  • successfully completing the National 5 course in Biology, Physics or Environmental Science.

In addition, you should have demonstrated a genuine interest in Chemistry and a willingness to engage with demands such as Homework and Revision. There are also a lot of Calculations in National 5 Chemistry so you should also have a suitable level of Numeracy skills.

Class Organisation

Learners will be taught National 5 Chemistry and will attempt all the National 5 Assessments. 


Much of the course will be Teacher-led lessons using a variety of techniques and resources including multimedia and interactive resources. These lessons will be backed up by Booklets of Notes that Learners will complete - usually in class but sometimes as Homework.

In addition, the Booklets contain short sections of Self-Check Questions that allow Learners and Teacher to monitor understanding. They are also designed to help develop the Problem Solving skills. At the end of the Booklet, there are Consolidation Questions designed to help prepare for a Topic test.

We also have Booklets dedicated to developing skills such as Formula Writing and Calculations.

8 Topics are used to cover the course and for up-to-date copies of all booklets please visit the dedicated page on this website.


The most important Homework a learner can do is to regularly spend some time reading over notes to help consolidate the work done in class. In particular, the Learning Outcomes, that are included in each booklet of Notes, provide the learner with the means to check their Understanding.

Learners will also be asked to finish off Notes, attempt Self-Check and Consolidation Questions. At appropriate times they should also be using Past Papers (available on this website) to prepare for Tests and Exams.

At times, they will have to undertake Research in their own time and prepare notes for relevant Assessments.

Finally, learners will have been issued with a Text-Book or Study-Mate and should be prepared to use this resource to help expand the breadth and depth of their understanding.

The more responsibility the Learner takes for work done outside the classroom, the more useful and more effective that work is likely to be.

Lunchtime Help Sessions are available for any Learner who then feels they need more explanation.

The following are completed versions of the Pupil Notes.






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