Physics

Physics is the study of the laws that govern the working of the physical world. It helps us to answer the questions 'Why?' and 'How?' Each topic is chosen to broaden a students’ knowledge of the surroundings and to encourage them to want to find out more.


Each year students will be introduced to specialised scientific terms and units and will learn how to measure accurately, use laboratory equipment safely, manipulate equations to calculate values, interpret simple graphs and draw scientific diagrams. They will have an opportunity to display data in tables, draw bar charts, pie charts and graphs and look for patterns and trends in data.  Students will be encouraged to make use of the school library facilities, the School Physics Extranet site and the World Wide Web when researching topics for homework.

Key Stage 3
 
Year 7
 

Topics Include:

  • Forces: Students will begin a topic to study the forces around us; they will go on to study concepts such as floating, magnetism, friction.

  • Space and the Solar System: This topic studies the Planets and Sun in our Solar System.  Students become equipped to analyse data relating to this and to explain the phenomena we see in the sky.

  • Energy and Electricity: Students study different energy types and begin work to understand how an electric current transfers energy around a circuit. Work continues to understand how an electric current transfers energy in various circuits and the factors affecting current.

  • Sound: Students will study the key difference between light and sound and the properties of sound waves.

  • Investigative Skills: Students will design and carry out an investigation into how a ball bounces. Their practical skills will be assessed at the end of this.

  • Assessment

Head of Department: Ms J Davies

At the end of each topic there is a test to make sure that the work has been understood and to show the type of questions on each topic likely to be asked in the summer examination. Students are given plenty of notice of the test date and homework time to revise for the test and the teacher advises how best to set about learning the work.

At the end of the year there is an examination that will examine how their skills at plotting graphs and drawing bar charts and interpreting data has developed during the year. This will be done within the context of the topics they have studied.
 
Year 8
 
Topics include:
 

  • Electricity, Magnets and Electromagnets: They will study magnetism and electromagnetism and extend their understanding of electricity.  

  • Light: Students will look at waves in the context of light – studying reflection, refraction and how we see in colour.

  • Energy: Students will study the different methods of heat transfer and study house insulation. 

  • Forces and Motion: Students will recap and further their understanding of forces, moments and pressure and work on developing their practical skills. After the summer exams they will study speed, how it is measured and the ways in which resultant forces change it.

 
Assessment
 
At the end of each topic there is a test to check on students’ understanding of the material covered and to indicate the type of questions on each topic they are likely to be asked in the summer examination. Plenty of notice of the test date is given and homework time is allocated for revision. The teacher gives advice how best to set about learning the work.
 
At the end of the year there is an examination that will examine how their skills at plotting graphs and drawing bar charts and interpreting data has developed during the year. This will be done within the context of the topics they have studied.

Year 9 


Physics GCSE (AQA Physics Syllabus 8463)

Aims 


This year students will begin the study of the Physics GCSE. Students have access to an online book and resources through the Kerboodle website.
During the GCSE course students complete a wide variety of practical work. There are a number of required practicals the students must complete. They will have an opportunity to display data in tables, draw bar charts, pie charts and graphs and look for patterns and trends in data. They will be expected to use the correct scientific vocabulary to describe their findings.

Content

  • Topic P1 Conservation of Energy  

  • Topic P2: Energy transfer by heating

  • Topic P3  Energy resources

  • Topic P6  Waves


Assessment

At the end of each topic there is a test to make sure that the work has been understood and to show the type of questions on each topic they are likely to be asked in the summer examination. Students are given plenty of notice of the test date and homework time to revise for the test and the teacher advises how best to set about learning the work.  At the end of the year they will undertake an examination paper composed of GCSE standard questions. They will also be tested on their graph plotting skills and ability to interpret data.

Key Stage 4

Year 10  


Physics GCSE (AQA Physics Syllabus 8463)
 
Aims 


In this year students continue the GCSE course begun in year 9. 

Assessment 


At the end of each topic there is a test to make sure that the work has been understood and to show the type of questions on each topic they are likely to be asked in the AQA GCSE examination. At the end of the year they will undertake a 45 minute examination paper composed of GCSE standard questions. They will also be tested on their graph plotting skills and ability to interpret data.

At some point in either year 10 or year 11 students will take part in a practical activity which enables them to soon after sit their ISA examination. This is an important part of the GCSE and counts towards 25% of the final grade.

Content:

  • Topic 8   Forces in Balance (part)

  • Topic 9   Motion

  • Topic 10 Forces in Motion

  • Topic 4   Current Electricity

  • Topic 5   Electricity at Home

  • Topic 6   Molecules and Matter

  • Topic 13 Electromagnetic Waves

Year 11


Physics GCSE (AQA Physics Syllabus 8463)
 
Aims


In this year students complete the GCSE course studied in year 9 and 10 
 

Assessment


At the end of each topic there is a test to make sure that the work has been understood and to show the type of questions on each topic they are likely to be asked in the AQA GCSE examination. They will also be tested on their graph plotting skills and ability to interpret data.
 
In November they will sit a mock examination. This provides a good indicator of what a student will achieve in the GCSE examination, and highlights areas for improvement. ​


Key Stage 5
 
A / AS Level


Physics A and AS levels are interesting, practical, challenging and very highly regarded by employers and Universities alike.
These qualifications are essential, relevant or recommended for a huge number of careers and are also highly valued in many careers that do not involve Physics per se. 


Although Mathematics at A level is not required for the study of A level Physics, those who are intending to pursue Physics or Engineering to degree level will need to have also studied Mathematics to A level. 


To enter the course students must have achieved a minimum of a GCSE A grade in Physics or Additional Science.


Year 12: Students study the AQA Specification (7407) AS Level.


Core content

  1. Measurements and their errors

  2. Particles and radiation

  3. Waves

  4. Mechanics and materials

  5. Electricity


Students will be assessed throughout the course and will sit the AS examination in May and June.

1/3

Year 13: Students will continue with their studies and complete sections 6,7 and 8 (see below) of the course.  Students will also study one optional unit.  Currently students are studying Astrophysics.
 


A2: Core content (7408) 


•    1 Measurements and their errors
•    2 Particles and radiation
•    3 Waves
•    4 Mechanics and materials
•    5 Electricity
•    6 Further mechanics and thermal physics
•    7 Fields and their consequences
•    8 Nuclear physics


Options


•    9 Astrophysics
•    10 Medical physics
•    11 Engineering physics
•    12 Turning points in physics
•    13 Electronics
 
Students will be assessed throughout the course and will sit the A Level examination in May and June.  The A Level examination tests knowledge and understanding of all the content studied during KS5

A2 Level