GCSE Chemistry: Introduction to the Periodic Table

5th April 2017

GCSE Science Revision - all you need to know!

GCSE Chemistry - the periodic table


The periodic table is an arrangement of all the elements that exist. They are arranged by order of atomic number - that is, by the number of protons they have. This means that similar properties are grouped together in the table in columns - they are referred to as groups. 


Elements in the same group have:

  • The same number of electrons in their outer shell

  • Similar chemical properties 


Let’s look at some of the key facts you need to know:

  • Periods refer to the horizontal rows in the table
  • Groups refer to the vertical columns

  • Metals are on the left

  • Non-metals are on the right

  • The main groups go from 1-7, from left to right

  • The big block between groups 2 and 3 which is not numbered are where the transition metals reside

  • From left to right across the periods the elements become less metallic due to an increase in the number of electrons in the outer shell

  • The elements in group one are known as the alkali metals - they are very reactive and must be stored under oil to keep air and water away. They form alkali solutions when they react with water

  • The elements in group 7 are named the halogens - they include bromine, chlorine and iodine. They form salts when they react with metals. For more information specifically on the group 7 halogens have a listen to our song ‘Group 7’ which you can find here

These are the basics you need to know when working with the periodic table. Understanding the elements if crucial if you want to succeed. To make sure you understand everything, have a listen to our song on the periodic table!


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