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NSW Syllabuses

Chemistry Stage 6 - Year 11 - Module 3: Reactive Chemistry Module 3: Reactive Chemistry


A student:

  • CH11/12-2

    designs and evaluates investigations in order to obtain primary and secondary data and information

  • CH11/12-3

    conducts investigations to collect valid and reliable primary and secondary data and information

  • CH11/12-4

    selects and processes appropriate qualitative and quantitative data and information using a range of appropriate media

  • CH11-10

    explores the many different types of chemical reactions, in particular the reactivity of metals, and the factors that affect the rate of chemical reactions

Content Focus

All chemical reactions involve the creation of new substances and associated energy transformations, which are commonly observable as changes in the temperature of the surroundings and/or the emission of light. These reactions are harnessed and controlled by chemists to produce substances that lead to the development of useful products.

Chemicals can react at many different speeds and in many different ways, yet they basically involve the breaking and making of chemical bonds. Students study how chemicals react, the changes in matter and energy that take place during these reactions, and how these chemical reactions and changes relate to the chemicals that are used in everyday life.

Working Scientifically

In this module, students focus on designing, evaluating and conducting investigations to obtain and process data in the most appropriate manner in relation to chemical reactions. Students should be provided with opportunities to engage with all the Working Scientifically skills throughout the course.


  • Chemical Reactions

  • Inquiry question: What are the products of a chemical reaction?
  • Students:
  • investigate a variety of reactions to identify possible indicators of a chemical change
  • use modelling to demonstrate
  • the rearrangement of atoms to form new substances ICT
  • the conservation of atoms in a chemical reaction (ACSCH042, ACSCH080) ICTN
  • conduct investigations to predict and identify the products of a range of reactions, for example:
  • synthesis
  • decomposition
  • combustion
  • precipitation
  • acid/base reactions
  • acid/carbonate reactions (ACSCH042, ACSCH080)
  • investigate the chemical processes that occur when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples detoxify poisonous food items AHC
  • construct balanced equations to represent chemical reactions ICTN
  • Predicting Reactions of Metals

  • Inquiry question: How is the reactivity of various metals predicted?
  • Students:
  • water
  • dilute acid (ACSCH032, ACSCH037)
  • oxygen
  • other metal ions in solution
  • construct a metal activity series using the data obtained from practical investigations and compare this series with that obtained from standard secondary-sourced information (ACSCH103)
  • analyse patterns in metal activity on the periodic table and explain why they correlate with, for example:
  • ionisation energy (ACSCH045)
  • atomic radius (ACSCH007)
  • electronegativity (ACSCH057)
  • apply the definitions of oxidation and reduction in terms of electron transfer and oxidation numbers to a range of reduction and oxidation (redox) reactions
  • conduct investigations to measure and compare the reduction potential of galvanic half-cells ICT
  • construct relevant half-equations and balanced overall equations to represent a range of redox reactions
  • predict the reaction of metals in solutions using the table of standard reduction potentials
  • predict the spontaneity of redox reactions using the value of cell potentials (ACSCH079, ACSCH080)
  • Rates of Reactions

  • Inquiry question: What affects the rate of a chemical reaction?
  • Students:
  • conduct a practical investigation, using appropriate tools (including digital technologies), to collect data, analyse and report on how the rate of a chemical reaction can be affected by a range of factors, including but not limited to: ICTN
  • temperature
  • surface area of reactant(s)
  • concentration of reactant(s)
  • catalysts (ACSCH042)
  • investigate the role of activation energy, collisions and molecular orientation in collision theory
  • explain a change in reaction rate using collision theory (ACSCH003, ACSCH046) CCT