Welcome to the Physics Department
Physics General Aims
- In the Physics department we aim to provide knowledge and understanding which can be used not only in the classroom but in the environment around us.
- To help students appreciate some of the most profound questions. How was the Universe formed? What is matter made from and how does it behave? How can we prevent climate change?.
- To help students appreciate the main issues around the behaviour and use of energy, both in the present day and the future.
Student participation in extracurricular activities is encouraged, such as Science Club, the National Water Rocket Competition or entry into various competitions. Outside visits are organised as part of the KS5 course such as the national facilities at Harwell or the medical physics aspects of cancer treatment at the Institute of Cancer Research.
Key Stage Five
The current course follows the AQA Specification. It takes into account the needs of different groups of students, whether they will study Physics beyond A-level or not. It aims to make students more aware of the relevance of Physics to their everyday lives and to show the importance of Physics as a human endeavour that interacts with social, philosophical, economic and industrial matters.
It covers the following topics to AS level:
Measurements and their errors
- Particles and Radiation.
- Mechanics and Materials.
The following are also studied for those continuing to A level
- Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics.
- Fields and their Consequences.
- Nuclear Physics.
with one option from the following
- Medical Physics.
- Engineering Physics.
- Turning points in Physics.
During the two years students have to undertake at least 12 practicals on which a separate exam paper will be set. Practical competencies will also be internally assessed and externally monitored to gain the ‘Practical Endorsement’, as an adjunct to the A level.
Progression - How will the study of Physics benefit students’ future education and career?
- Training in analysis, understanding, evaluation, application of knowledge and data handling provide foundations for many AS/A Level subjects as well as sciences.
- The study of Physics at AS/A level requires a grade A in GCSE Physics or A grades in GCSE Science and Additional Science.
- Physics A level particularly prepares students for further study in the subject at university, and also for applied sciences such as engineering or architecture.