Physics is the natural science concerned with the structure of matter and the interactions between the fundamental constituents of the observable universe. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines whose aim is the discovery and formulation of the fundamental laws of nature.
We break down physics into a series of models that we use to explain the universe:
These models are developed in stages each year from Years 7 to 13, with the models developing in complexity and depth each year. Underpinning this is scientific literacy – the understanding of the process and language of the scientific method. Procedural, practical and analytical skills are developed over the course, lining up with the requirements of GCSE and A level.
Physics is taken by all students up to GCSE level and by many at A level. Whatever stage students continue to, there are opportunities to take part in:
- British Physics Olympiad and British Astronomy & Astrophysics Olympiad competitions
- House Physics – in which every year group competes in a variety of physics-based competitions
- Physics lectures
- National physics and engineering competitions
- Any physics-based project inventive students can come up with (amongst a variety of previous projects, we have launched high-altitude balloons, ocean-going buoys and built muon detectors)
Key Stage 3 Physics is taught in Years 7 & 8.
In Year 7 and 8, pupils are taught in their form groups of 27, allowing them settle quickly into their forms. They have four 45 minute physics lessons per fortnight.
Practical skills and scientific literacy is introduced early. Due the high number of students taking physics at A level, many concepts are taught using GCSE and A level terminology and ideas so that students are well-prepared for the rest of their physics course.
GCSE Physics is taught in Years 9, 10 and 11.
The GCSE will be assessed at the end of Year 11 for all students. Those obtaining a grade 8 or higher, will be eligible to continue studying Physics at A level.
GCSE students no longer sit a written exam as part of their coursework. Instead, they have a series of 10 required practical experiments which they must complete in order to obtain their GCSE certificate.
Students are taught in groups of 27. These are mixed from previous years, not by ability, to help students integrate within the year group. There are six 45 minute physics lessons per fortnight.
Physics is the study of the range of science dealing with matter and energy, and the relationships between them. Being a science subject, practical work is an important element of the study.
There are eleven 45 minute lessons per fortnight, shared between two teachers. The current specification consists of the following units:
- Measurements and their errors
- Particles and Radiation
- Mechanics and Materials
There are twelve 45 minute lessons per fortnight, shared between two teachers. The units covered are:
- Further Mechanics & Thermal Physics
- Fields & Their Consequences
- Nuclear Physics
- Astrophysics (option module)
As part of the course, all students must complete a series of 12 practical assessments during the two year course. Whilst there is no separate written examination on these practicals, questions about them can appear in their final examinations.
Further Study and Careers
With a qualification in Physics, you could go on to Further or Higher Education, studying Physics or one of the other sciences or related subjects. Physics is also an ideal pathway to a career in the science-based industry, or in engineering or even finance.