Tony Tooth looks at some websites that may be of interest to chemistry teachers

GCSE chemistry

Dr Colin France's site consists of over 500 pages with at least 160 illustrations and is up-to-date. The material can be accessed via a contents page, an alphabetical index or an interactive Periodic Table on which each element can be 'clicked' to reveal more information on the element and its reactions. 

The contents page is divided into useful headings such as: How science worksAtomic structureAcids and alkalisThe Periodic TableHistory and GroupsWater, carbon and nitrogen cyclesThe atmosphereThe Haber processFertilisersRocksMoles and calculations. In each are sub-lists, for example The Haber process comprises: uses and raw materials; industrial conditions; the yield (amount of product); reversible reactions; Le Chatelier's principle; temperature; pressure; catalyst; summary; and fertilisers.  

Each page accessed via these links contains enough information so that only a little detail needs to be absorbed at once. This is an excellent revision resource for students. The layout means that each heading and sub-heading could be used as a 'prompt' to check their recall and understanding, which can then be checked by revealing the details.  

Element photos

Nitrogen - a glow is given off by ionized nitrogen in a gas discharge tube

Source: Jurii, Creative Commons

Nitrogen - a glow is given off by ionized nitrogen in a gas discharge tube

The photo gallery on this site contains 132 images (jpg files) presented in alphabetical order, which would allow interested students to get a better visual impression of some of the less familiar elements than is possible from most Periodic Tables. 

Many of the images are three-four kilobytes, though some are larger (up to 30 kilobytes) which could be used as wall posters, as support for extended research by students or in worksheets. The images are in the public domain, so you can download and use them freely.

Chemistry specifications

A useful comparative document from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), especially for anyone considering a change of specification at GCSE. 

Section one contains tables that summarise each specification in terms of its component modules. Names of the modules are given along with their modes of assessment. Other relevant information, such as the length of the examination, the proportion of marks awarded for the module and the available sittings, is also presented. 

Section two consists of a series of tables containing the relevant examination statistics for each specification from the awarding bodies.