Chemistry at Wellington is a vibrant and fun-filled department which enjoys exam success and is chosen by many pupils. Here are a few reasons why:
Curiosity. We have bangs, we have flashes, we have an excitement. We capture the attention.
Help. Assistance is always on hand. We pride ourselves on the support we provide to our pupils in class, out-with and online.
Enthusiasm. Our department has this in abundance! The courses are delivered by specialists who enjoy their subject and enjoy sharing knowledge with pupils.
Motivation. Our pupils welcome their lessons. They embrace the challenge of learning and always want to come back for more. We enjoy the largest Advanced Higher cohort in the school.
Investigation. Starting in the Junior School, we encourage pupils to think, to explore, to research and to deliver.
Skills. Our pupils start learning practical skills in primary school. From S1 through to S6 if we can explain a concept using practical work, then we will. Our senior pupils are adept practitioners who approach experiments wisely.
Technology. We like IT. We use IT. We always look to improve and incorporate IT.
Research. We always encourage independent learning. We help pupils to become organised and methodical in their planning for projects and in preparation for their exams.
Yttrium. A typical pupil in chemistry will be able to tell you the chemical symbol, the atomic number, the gram formula mass, electron arrangement, explain why it is an example of a transition metal and discuss its reactivity.
It is easy to suggest reasons why pupils might select Chemistry as a subject; many will agree with some/all of the observations listed above. Typically 75% of the whole fourth year cohort are presented at Nat. 5 level for Chemistry. Uptake to Higher is strong and the retention of pupils to Advanced Higher results in consistently busy classes. The efforts of the pupils are regularly rewarded with super results in the SQA exams: some recent highlights include over 80% of pupils receiving A-grades at Higher; four consecutive years of 100% pass rate at Advanced Higher with typically 65% scoring the top grade; a four year average of 70% of Nat.5 pupils gaining an A-grade.
Undoubtedly, one of the main reasons Chemistry is so popular is due to career choice. A quick survey of the current Advanced Higher class reveals eight future
medics, research scientists and pharmacists. Chemistry is core to these pupils’ career choice; entry to Higher Education will generally be dependent upon a good performance in the final exam. These pupils are committed, ambitious ambassadors for Science. Significantly, a further three pupils find themselves immersed in Chemistry studies in their final year even though their future degree courses lie outwith Science. Chemistry provides challenge, a positive environment and an opportunity to develop transferable skills. Chemistry does indeed seem to provide something for all; pupils of all aptitudes are most welcome to join in and share the fun.