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Physics

 

Teaching Staff

Miss H Drummond (Subject Leader) 
Mr R McKee
Miss Hedgley
Miss McCrisken

 

 

Introduction

Physics deals with the forces that shape our world – from the smallest particle to the galaxies of stars that make up our universe. It also deals with the way in which forces and energy is used by all of us.
.

We grapple with such questions as

“What are quarks?”
“How safe is nuclear power?”
“How can Physics help our environment?”

As we move through the Key Stages to Advanced Level we dig even deeper to find answers, some of which are on the edge of current understanding and research.


Teaching and Learning Aims

Physics is taught as a separate subject throughout the school. Our intention is to make Physics accessible and relevant to all our pupils. With this in mind we have adopted a “hands on” approach with an emphasis on experimental work

Key Stage 3 summary

Year 8

Introduction to Physics

Forces
Earth and Space
Forces and motion
Electricity

Year 9

Electricity (cont’d)
Light
Energy
Forces

Year 10

Forces (cont’d)

Electrostatics

Waves and Sound
Electromagnetism

 

GCSE Physics Summary

All elements are entered at the end of the two year course. 

Content

Assessment

Weighting

Unit 1: Force and

Motion, Energy,

Moments and

Radioactivity

An externally assessed written examination consisting of a number of compulsory structured questions that provide opportunities for short answers, extended writing and calculations.

 

Foundation Tier: 1 hour 15 mins

Higher Tier: 1 hour 30 mins

35%

2: Waves,

Sound and Light,

Electricity, and the

Earth and Universe

 

An externally assessed written examination consisting of a number of compulsory structured questions that provide opportunities for short answers, extended writing and calculations.

 

Foundation Tier: 1 hour 30 mins

Higher Tier: 1 hour 45 mins

40%

Unit 3: Practical

Skills

 

Controlled assessment

Students complete one controlled assessment task from a choice of two.

25%


A Level Physics Summary

Pupils who have studied Double Award Science must attain an AA grade. An A grade must also have been attained in the Physics component of the Double Award examination. Entry into the course for pupils, who have achieved a B grade in separate Physics, will also be subject to Subject Leader confirmation. Pupils must also have attained a B Grade in all written papers. Pupils should also have achieved a B grade in GCSE Mathematics. Additional Mathematics at GCSE would be helpful but not essential.

Physics AS level is usually studied alongside subjects such as Technology, Mathematics, Computer Studies and Chemistry, but also provides a useful scientific background for those studying non-technical subjects.


Year 13

Unit

Title

Mode of Assessment

Weighting

AS 1

Forces,

Energy and

Electricity

Externally assessed

A written examination, consisting of a number of compulsory short answer questions, some of which will afford the

opportunity for extended writing.

 

1 ¾ hour

Written paper

40% of AS

16% of

A Level

AS 2

 

Waves,

Photons and

Astronomy

 

January and

Summer

 

Externally assessed

A written examination, consisting of a number of compulsory short answer questions, some of which will afford the

opportunity for extended writing.

 

1 ¾ hour

Written paper

40% of AS

16% of

A Level

AS 3

Practical

Techniques

 

Externally assessed

Two papers. Paper 1:practical skills, consisting of 4 short experimental tests

and Paper 2 question requiring the analysis of experimental results.

 

2 x 1 hour

26% of AS

13% of

A Level

Year 14

Unit

Title

Mode of Assessment

Weighting

A2 1

Momentum, Thermal Physics, Circular Motion, Oscillations and Atomic and Nuclear Physics

 

 

 

 

Externally assessed

A written examination, consisting of a number of compulsory short answer questions, some of which will afford the opportunity for extended writing. Elements of synoptic assessment will be embedded within the questions, and in a data analysis question.

Maximum raw marks = 90

1 hour 30 minutes

37% of A2

18.5% of

A Level

A2 2

 

Fields and their Applications

 

Externally assessed

A written examination, consisting of a number of compulsory short answer questions, some of which will afford the opportunity for extended writing. Elements of synoptic assessment will be embedded within the questions, and in a longer question drawing together different strands of the specification.

Maximum raw marks = 90

1 hour 30 minutes

37% of A2

18.5% of

A Level

A2 3

 

Practical Techniques

Externally assessed

A test of practical skills, consisting of 2 experimental tests (40 marks) and 1 question on planning and design (20 marks). Synoptic assessment will be assessed through the planning and design question.

Maximum raw marks = 60

1 hour 30 minutes

 

26% of A2

13% of

A Level

 

Extra Curricular/Extended Learning Opportunities


Where the curriculum allows, guest speakers are arranged or the chance to participate in competitions such as First Lego League or the Physics Olympiad may be given.


Career Opportunities

G.C.S.E. Physics and especially 'A' level Physics form a solid basis for careers such as engineering, medicine, veterinary, pharmacy, environmental science, medical sciences, biotechnology, dentistry, laboratory work in industry and hospitals, music, architecture, sports science, civil service and teaching etc.

For information on possible careers you may find the following web sites useful:

www.ccea.org.uk

www.s-cool.co.uk/alevel/physics.html

 Department Achievements

Ben Collister awarded 3rd place in NI in A level Physics (2016)

Ben Collister – a merit in the A2 challenge paper in the British Olympiad 2015 – the highest category available.

Matthew Dobson – Merit in the British Astronomy and astrophysics Olympiad.

Morgan Skillen and Adam Boyd – Bronze certificates in the GCSE British Olympiad Physics Challenge.