I am among those who think that science has great beauty.

Marie Curie

What do you learn in Grade 11 Chemistry?

Semester One

Chemical Fundamentals

What is an atom? What is a mole?

Chemistry Grade 11 Brisbane Chemical Fundamentals

Have you heard of the mole? No, not the animal! As an introduction to the fundamentals of chemistry, students will develop an understanding of materials and their properties. They will explore the structure of materials by describing physical and chemical properties at the macroscopic scale, and use models of structure and primary bonding at the atomic and subatomic scale to explain these properties.They will learn that the reactions of a material can be explained by its structure, that matter and energy change in chemical reactions, and that new substances are produced when chemical bonds break and reform.

More specifically, students will:

Properties and Structure of Atoms
Periodic Table and Trends
  • explain atomic radii, valencies, ionic radii, first ionisation energy and electronegativities
  •  explain how successive ionisation energy data is related to the electron configuration of an atom
  • compare the metallic and non-metallic behaviours of elements
Atomic Structure
  • use nuclear symbol notation to determine the number of protons, neutrons and electrons in atoms, ions and isotopes
  • recall the relative energies of the s, p and d orbitals in energy levels to construct electron configurations for atoms and ions
  • apply the Aufbau principle, Hund’s rule and the Pauli exclusion principle to write electron configurations for atoms and ions
Introduction to Bonding
  • explain how the arrangement of electrons in the atom and the stability of the valence electron shell affect the ability to form chemical bonds
  • understand that chemical bonds are caused by electrostatic attractions
  • determine the name and formula of an ionic compound from the charges on the relative ions
  • deduce Lewis structure of molecules and ions showing all valence electrons
  • identify the numbers of bonding and lone pairs of electrons around each atom in a molecule
  • recognise that isotopes of an element have the same electron configuration and possess similar chemical properties but have different physical properties
  • understand the ratio for the relative atomic mass of an element
Analytic Techniques
  • use mass spectrometry to determine the isotopic composition of elements and relative atomic mass
  • use flame tests and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) to identify elements
Properties and Structure of Materials

Compounds and Mixtures

  • compare the distinct measurable properties of pure substances with the dependent properties of mixtures
  • distinguish between heterogeneous and homogeneous mixtures
  • analyse data to evaluate the physical properties of pure substances and mixtures

Bonding and Properties

  •  understand that the type of bonding within ionic, metallic and covalent substances explains their physical properties, including melting and boiling point, thermal and electrical conductivity, strength and hardness
  • analyse data to evaluate the properties, structure and bonding of ionic, covalent and metallic compounds
Reactants, Products and Energy Change
Chemical Reactions
  • explain temperature changes and light emissions from chemical reactions and phase changes
  • construct balanced chemical equations when reactants and products are specified
Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions
  • explain how endothermic and exothermic reactions relate to the law of conservation of energy
  • explain how temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles
  • deduce from enthalpy level diagrams and thermochemical equations the relative stabilities of reactants and products
  • calculate the heat change for a substance given the mass, specific heat capacity and temperature change
  •  calculate the enthalpy change (ΔH) for a reaction
Measurement Uncertainty and Error
  • distinguish between precision and accuracy
  • distinguish between qualitative and quantitative data
  • calculate the measurement uncertainties in processed data
  • distinguish between random and systematic errors and analyse their impact on experiments
Mole Concept and Law of Conservation of Mass
  • understand that the mole concept relates mass, moles and molar mass
  • use the appropriate stoichiometric ratio to determine that reactants can be limiting
  • use the mole concept to calculate the mass of reactants and products, amount of substance in moles, number of representative particles, and molar mass of atoms, ions and molecules
  • calculate percentage yield from data

Semester Two

Molecular Interactions and Reactions

What’s special about water?

Chemistry Brisbane Grade 11 Molecular Reactions and Interactions

Gases, water, aqueous solutions, acids and bases. Students will explore the properties of water that make it essential for physical, chemical and biological processes on Earth. They will investigate the solubility of different substances in water, and use models of energy transfer and the structure of matter to predict changes to rates of reaction.

More specifically, students will:

Intermolecular Forces and Gases
Intermolecular forces
  • apply the valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory to predict, draw and explain the shapes of molecules
  • predict the polarity of molecules using molecular shape, understanding of symmetry, and comparison of the electronegativity of elements
  • explain the relationship between vapour pressure, melting point, boiling point and solubility
  • explain the nature and strength of intermolecular forces
Chromatography techniques
  • determine the composition and purity of substances using paper, thin layer, gas and high-performance liquid chromatography
  • evaluate data from chromatographs to determine the composition and purity of substances
  • use kinetic theory of gases to describe and explain the behaviour of gases
  • solve problems using the ideal gas equation
Aqueous Solutions and Acidity
 Aqueous Solutions and Molarity
  • understand boiling point, density in different phases, and surface tension of water
  • define solute, solvent, solution, and concentration
  • distinguish between unsaturated, saturated and supersaturated solutions
  • use mole concept to determine number of moles of solute, concentration and volume of a solution
Identifying Ions in Solution
  • predict if a precipitate will form
  • determine the presence of specific ions in solutions
  • explain the relationship between the solubility of substances in water
  • explain how changes in temperature affect solubility
  • evaluate solubility curves to make predictions
  •  use the pH scale to compare the levels of acidity or alkalinity of aqueous solutions
  •  use the Arrhenius model to explain the behaviour of strong and weak acids and bases in aqueous solutions
 Reaction of Acids
  • apply the reactions of acids with bases, metals and carbonates to determine reactants and products
  • use ionic formulas, chemical formulas and chemical equations, to symbolise the reactions of acids and bases
Rates of Chemical Reactions

Reaction Rate

  • explain how temperature, surface area, pressure, concentration and the presence of a catalyst can affect the rate of the reaction
  • explain Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution curves
  • define activation energy (Ea)
  • use energy profile diagrams to represent the enthalpy changes and activation energy associated with a chemical reaction
  • explain how catalysts affect the rate of certain reactions
  • calculate the rate of chemical reactions

What do you learn in Grade 12 Chemistry?

Semester One

Equilibrium, Acids and Redox Reactions


students explore the reversibility of reactions in a variety of chemical systems at different scales; acid-base equilibrium systems and their applications; the principles of oxidation and reduction reactions; and the production of electricity from electrochemical cells. Processes that are reversible will respond to a range of factors and can achieve a state of dynamic equilibrium, while contemporary models can be used to explain the nature of acids and bases, and their properties and uses. Students conduct investigations on electrochemical cells and volumetric analysis applications. They examine qualitative and quantitative data about acids, equilibrium and redox to analyse trends and draw conclusions.

Chemical Equilibrium Systems

Chemical Equilibrium

  • distinguish open and closed chemical systems
  • explain the reversibility of chemical reactions
  • symbolise equilibrium equations by using ⇌ 
  • identify the position of equilibrium from experimental data

Factors that Affect Equilibrium

  • predict the effect of temperature change on chemical systems 
  • apply collision theory to explain the effect of changes of concentration and pressure on chemical systems
  • apply Le Châtelier’s principle

Equilibrium Constants

  • deduce the equilibrium law expression from the  homogeneous reaction equation
  • use equilibrium constants (Kc) to predict the relative amounts of reactants and products
  • calculate equilibrium constants and reactant/product  concentrations 

Properties of Acids and Bases

  • classify acids as monoprotic or polyprotic
  • distinguish between strong and weak acids and bases in terms of the extent of dissociation, reaction with water and electrical conductivity
  • distinguish between strong and concentrated acids and bases 

pH Scale

  • calculate the concentration of hydrogen ions from the concentration of hydroxide ions in a solution using Kw
  • solve problems for hydrogen ion concentration, pH, and hydroxide ion concentrations

Brønsted-Lowry Model

  • explain the relationship between acids and bases using Brønsted-Lowry model
  • deduce the conjugate acid formula of any Brønsted-Lowry base

Dissociation Constants

  • explain the strength of acids using the degree of ionisation
  • determine the relative strengths of acids and bases from experimental data
  • calculate dissociation constants (Ka and Kb) and the concentration of reactants and products

Acid-Base Indicators

  • explain the relationship between the pH range of an acid-base indicator and its pKa value
  • identify appropriate indicators for a titration using equivalence point and indicator pH range 

Volumetric Analysis

  • distinguish between end point and equivalence point
  • sketch titration curves and identify their important features
  • calculate moles, mass, volume and concentration from volumetric analysis data
Oxidation and Reduction

Redox Reactions 


Semester Two

Structure, Synthesis and Design


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How do you achieve an A+ in Chemistry?
Assessment Criteria

The key to high grades in any subject is strict adherence to the task and its criteria. To achieve an A+ level result for assessment in Chemistry, students must:

  • accurately describe and explain a variety of concepts, theories, models and systems, and their limitations
  • give clear and detailed accounts of a variety of concepts, theories, models and systems by making relationships, reasons or causes evident
  • accurately apply their understanding of scientific concepts, theories, models and systems within their limitations to explain a variety of phenomena, and predict outcomes, behaviours and implications
  • accurately use representations of scientific relationships and data to determine a variety of unknown scientific quantities
  • perceptively recognise the limitations of models and theories when discussing results
  • analyse evidence systematically and effectively by identifying the essential elements, features or components of qualitative data
  • use relevant mathematical processes to appropriately identify trends, patterns, relationships, limitations and uncertainty in quantitative data
  • interpret evidence insightfully by using their understanding to draw justified conclusions based on thorough analysis of evidence and established criteria
  • investigate phenomena by carrying out effective experiments and research investigations
  • efficiently collect, collate and process relevant evidence
  • critically evaluate processes, claims and conclusions by insightfully scrutinising evidence, extrapolating credible findings, and discussing the reliability and validity of experiments
  • communicate effectively by using scientific representations and language accurately and concisely within appropriate genres