In this section


To encourage students to develop an understanding of technological, economic, environmental, social and ethical applications implications of chemical processes, in order to develop as well prepared citizens in a scientific and technological world.

Aims of the Department:

  • To stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment of chemistry and to equip students for further studies requiring a scientific background.
  • To help pupils develop safe experimental and investigative abilities, and acquire a systematic body of chemical knowledge, including the uses and limitations of chemistry.
  • To encourage students to develop an understanding of technological, economic, environmental, social and ethical applications implications of chemical processes, in order to develop as well prepared citizens in a scientific and technological world.

At all levels a variety of teaching methods are used. Relevant practical work is an integral part of all schemes of work.

Career Opportunities in Chemistry – not all chemists wear white

A wide range of careers require an A level in Chemistry, including medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, the chemical industry, forensics, food science, pharmacy, biology, chemical engineering. The chemical industry is vital to the UK’s economy and is a major employer in the UK, including people in careers such as research chemistry, analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, management, sales and marketing.


The department has 6 fully equipped teaching labs and 2 resource rooms. Each laboratory is equipped with;

  • a data projector,
  • an interactive white board and,
  • a PC along with a range of sensors for practical experiments.


Internet Links

  • – Fun activities.
  • – Interactive site.
  • – Useful source of information on elements.
  • – Very good BBC KS3 site.
  • – Very good BBC GCSE site.
  • – Excellent GCSE site.
  • – Excellent A level site.
  • – Very good collection of GCSE/A level materials.

Chemistry Staff

  • Mrs T.D. Reid: B.Sc., P.G.C.E., C.P.D. (Curriculum Leader)
  • Mr A. Millen – M.Sc., P.G.C.E.
  • Mrs C. O’Reilly B.Sc., P.G.C.E.
  • Technicians: Mr S Scott B.Sc., (Castlerock Road), Miss H. Pickering B.Sc. (Lodge Road)

Key Stage 3: All pupils study Chemistry

Pupils in Years 8, 9 and 10 are taught Chemistry by specialist teachers who use a range of innovative teaching strategies reinforced by both investigative tasks and practical activities.

Key Stage 3 Trips and Events

Stem Quest
As part of the NI Science Festival, whizz kids competed in Titanic Belfast’s STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) Quest North West Regional Heat, in partnership with the Survitec Group, in a bid to become Northern Ireland’s top team.

Faraday Challenge – The Faraday Challenge competition requires pupils to design, create and promote the best solution to a given challenge. The challenge is genuine, real-life engineering.

Top of the Bench – The Royal Society of Chemistry ‘Top of the Bench’ Competition for Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils takes place in the David Keir Building,
Queen’s University Belfast. The competition is designed to encourage and reward high achievement and is an excellent opportunity to showcase talent
from CGS.

Key Stage 4:

The specification includes the major disciplines of analytical, physical, inorganic and organic Chemistry. It encourages students to;

  • develop their interest and enthusiasm for Chemistry;
  • draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding; and
  • develop knowledge and understanding of how the different areas of Chemistry relate to each other.
  • Students who choose to study Chemistry at GCSE level have 3 periods per week.

The CCEA specification is followed.

Hans Sloane & Sloane McClay Awards 

Year 12 pupil pictured with Mrs Reid received the Hans Sloane Award, which recognises Northern Ireland’s top achievers in Chemistry.

Key Stage 4 Trips and Events

Top of the Bench – Queen’s University  

Year 11 GCSE Students were treated to a demonstration lecture designed to celebrate the 150 Anniversary of The Periodic Table.Presented by Dr Peter Hoare
(Newcastle University)


Chemistry at Work Seminar – Provided pupils with the opportunity to observe chemical based companies and institutions presenting demonstrations
of their use of chemistry at work. Pupils were shown how the varied ways in which Chemistry studied at school is used in everyday life. The exhibitors
included; Randox, Seagate, Mason Technology, Bombardier, Forensic science, BOC Ltd, Almac, Norbook, Invista UK Ltd.

BT Young Scientist Competition

Year 13 pupil took on the prestigious BT Young
Scientist Award. 

A thorough application process filtered the 4251 applicants to a refined 550 successful projects.

The student’s project clearly identified and questioned relevant problems and applied rigorous scientific research techniques to problem solve. Having
been successfully selected for the competition, the student had to prepare to present her work to the highest standards ready for the national presentation.

New York – American Museum of Natural History. Entrance to Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Entrance to Bronx Zoo. Combination Pass to Liberty
Science Centre. Admission and an IMAX/3D Film. Entrance to the Empire State Building/Top of the Rock. Circle Line Sight Seeing Cruise. Entrance to
the 9/11 Memorial. Tickets to a Broadway Show.

Key Stage 5:

GCE Chemistry is comprised of two levels: AS and A2. The AS can be taken as a ‘stand-alone’ qualification without progression to A2. However, to obtain
the Advanced GCE qualification, students must complete both the AS and A2 levels. The specification has a modular structure and students are required
to study three modules at each level.

  • Students who choose to study Chemistry at A level have 6 periods per week for AS & A2.
  • The CCEA specification is followed.


Key Stage 5 Trips and Events

Munich – Dachau Concentration Camp, Allianz Arena, Olympic Park,BMW Museum & BMW Welt, Deutsches Museum, production
tour of the Audi Factory, Munich Zoo, excursion to Neuschwanstein Castle.


STEM Trip – ‘Science is everywhere.’

Irish Olympiad Mrs Reid (Head of Chemistry) recently travelled with two Year 13 pupils to take part in the Irish Science
Olympiad Competition held in Dublin City University. The boys were selected by Mrs Reid due to their exceptional GCSE results; however, the pupils
were still required to submit an application form prior to being invited to compete in this very prestigious competition.  

UK Olympiad – Run annually, the Olympiad is an opportunity for teachers to challenge their chemistry students, helping them to develop
problem solving skills and apply familiar knowledge in new and interesting contexts.