Covalent bonding


  • When atoms share pairs of electrons, they form covalent bonds. These bonds between atoms are strong.

Covalently bonded substances may consist of small molecules.

Students should be able to recognise common substances that consist of small molecules from their chemical formula.

Some covalently bonded substances have very large molecules, such as polymers.

Some covalently bonded substances have giant covalent structures, such as diamond and silicon dioxide.

The covalent bonds in molecules and giant structures can be represented in the following forms:

Students should be able to:

  • draw dot and cross diagrams for the molecules of hydrogen, chlorine, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen chloride, water, ammonia and methane
  • represent the covalent bonds in small molecules, in the repeating units of polymers and in part of giant covalent structures, using a line to represent a single bond
  • describe the limitations of using dot and cross, ball and stick, two and three-dimensional diagrams to represent molecules or giant structures
  • deduce the molecular formula of a substance from a given model or diagram in these forms showing the atoms and bonds in the molecule.

WS 1.2 Use a variety of models such as representational, spatial, descriptive, computational and mathematical to solve problems, make predictions and to develop scientific explanations and understanding of familiar and unfamiliar facts.

MS 5b - Visualise and represent 2D and 3D forms including two dimensional representations of 3D objects