Physics is the study of the universe, from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the largest galaxies. The GCSE course provides a foundation in the fundamentals of Physics, from Waves to Electricity, and provides opportunities for pupils to develop their investigative skills. The A Level course builds on these concepts and allows students to gain the analytical and problem solving skills valued by university admissions tutors and employers.
The GCSE course begins in Year Nine. The curriculum covers the key concepts necessary for study at GCSE level, including Waves, Forces and Motion and Radioactivity. During this year, with advice from teachers, pupils will choose whether to pursue Physics as a separate GCSE or as part of the Trilogy programme (leading to two Science GCSEs).
Our current Year Eleven students are following the Edexcel iGCSE course, with Year Ten and future students following the new AQA 9-1 GCSE syllabus. Both of these courses serve as a thorough preparation for A Level Physics. In Year Ten, pupils study Heat Transfer, Electricity, Pressure, Nuclear Physics and Energy. The key concepts are reinforced with practical work where relevant, and students can expect to develop strong practical and mathematical skills. The Year Eleven curriculum includes Electromagnetism, Newton’s Laws, Momentum, Space, Light and Sound. The British Physics Olympiad GCSE Challenge allows pupils to challenge themselves beyond the GCSE specification, in competition with the best Physics students from schools across the country. Weekly support sessions are offered for those who require help to improve their attainment.
Physics A Level is an excellent preparation for further study of Physics, other Scientific disciplines, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. It also supports applications for apprenticeships in finance and engineering and allows students to demonstrate important transferable skills to employers.
The first year of the course covers Investigative Skills, Electricity, Waves and Mechanics, extending students’ GCSE knowledge and understanding and developing their analytical skills. The second year introduces more challenging topics, including Electric, Magnetic and Gravitational Fields, Thermal Physics, Oscillations, Cosmology and Medical Physics.
Throughout the course, students will keep a laboratory book for their practical work, and will receive a Practical Endorsement subject to the successful completion of the required practical tasks. Practical skills will also be assessed in the examination papers.
Support is available on a one-to-one basis, or through regular support and revision sessions. Teachers also help with university applications, including personal statement advice and entrance exam clinics. The British Physics Olympiad competition, and the AS Challenge allow students to develop advanced problem solving skills and to challenge themselves.