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Preliminary Chemistry is taught over 2.5 terms in year 11. We understand that in year 11, no internal assessments count towards the HSC, so students are best advised to maximise the time they have to study the year 12 HSC content. However we also understand that the HSC content builds on knowledge gained in the Preliminary content, so it can not be totally ignored. We cover Preliminary Chemistry 24 weeks, spending exactly 6 weeks on each module, including revision. In the last 5 or so weeks before the end of term 3, we discuss exam technique in depth, preparing students for their end of year Preliminary exams, as well as giving them a solid introduction into the important exam skills they need for the HSC.
Each week, there will be a 2 hour interactive class which will cover a section of the course in detail. In each class, students will receive a theory booklet which contains all the notes they need for that week's content. The notes are exam-ready and sufficiently detailed, so students can concentrate and simply listen in class, instead of frantically jotting down everything being dictated.
As mentioned, the preliminary course content is covered with greater speed. The theory materials will cover 3 - 4 syllabus dot points per week. Our teachers will patiently teach every week's content from first principles, ensuring a good fundamental knowledge base for each dot-point. For the dot-points dealing with First-hand investigations, we will sometimes conduct experiments in class.
In the final 5 weeks of Term 3, the core content would have been completely covered by then. Classes will resume, but purely focus on exam technique and how to structure answers for full marks. This will serve as a solid introduction to HSC standard exam technique, however the basic principles (e.g. recognising keywords and what they require) would have been taught throughout the preliminary course as well.
We do live-demonstrations in class for important experiment dot-points so students don't miss out on these important syllabus dot-points that will be assessed in practical exams. The experiments most likely to come up as a practical exam at school are chosen to be demonstrated in class. For example, conducting accurate gravimetric analyses, molecular modelling, constructing electrochemical cells, measuring molar heat of combustion etc.
The most effective procedures are summarised for students, giving them useful revision tools before exams. Students are also shown the most common sources of error and what safety issues need to be identified so that exam questions regarding experiments will be easy.
Just like the HSC course, each week's booklet will have a homework section which contains questions covering all the dot-points covered in that week. The questions are presented in exact HSC exam format, complete with the amount of marks each question is worth. All homework is marked according to a marking criteria, so teachers can explain to students the exact break-down of the marks allocation and give accurate feedback for improvement.