A suite of GCSE science courses developed in partnership with the University of York

A4 Harnessing chemicals: module summary

The Harnessing chemicals module provides an insight into three vocational areas:

  • chemicals for health care
  • chemicals to add to food
  • chemicals for decoration and protection.

The emphasis in this module is on ways of using chemicals which students may meet in their daily lives. Major raw materials and their processing in the chemical industry do feature but do not dominate the treatment. The emphasis is on achieving good quality outcomes of chemical synthesis, analysis, and formulation.

Harnessing chemicals builds on students' work in the GCSE Science course, especially
C1 Air quality

C2 Material choices

C3 Food matters

There are likely to be examples of the use of chemicals in your locality. Possible local contexts might be:

  • in a hospital or retail pharmacy
  • for household decorating (preparation, cleaning, painting, papering)
  • for farming, horticulture or gardening
  • to preserve or process food
  • for beauty care and hairdressing
  • for alternative medicine (homeopathy, aromatherapy, and so on)
  • for swimming-pool maintenance, health and safety

The module will come across to students as more authentic if you are able to organise either visit(s) to organisations that harness chemicals, or to set up visits by practitioners.