Menu

Science KS5 Physics

Back

Welcome to the Physics Department

 

To inspire and empower our students to make exceptional progress in science, to ensure they reach their academic potential and have the tools to apply scientific reasoning and logical thinking to everyday life and STEM based careers.

Why Choose A Level Physics?

Physics is seen in every part of the universe, from the properties of protons and neutrons to the movement of objects in the universe.  In fact, Physics is vital in explaining and discovering forces and objects we have yet to discover. Whether you wish to study Astronomy, Engineering, Quantum Physics, Electronics or just curious about how the way the world works, Physics is for you.

Furthermore, Physics and the problem solving skills it develops is useful in many different jobs including agriculture, project management, environmental sciences, construction, manufacturing, medicine and nursing, medical technology.

Physics is a linear course which is taught over two years and the students are assessed throughout their time on the course. There will be three end of term assessments and some end of topic tests that students are expected to revise thoroughly for. Pupils will also be expected to complete 12 core practical which will be assessed by their teachers on their investigative skills. 

Examination Board:

AQA

Entry Requirements

There will be a significant increase in the mathematical content of the physics course so it would be advisable that students wishing to study physics have a good GCSE grade in Science and Mathematics (Grade 6 or above) and be prepared allocate sufficient time during the course brushing up on the specialist mathematical skill required. 

Curriculum

Outline of AS Syllabus

Candidates will be expected to study:

Paper 1:  Core physics I

  • Mechanics.
  • Electric Circuits

Paper 2: Core physics II

  • Materials
  • Waves and Particle Nature of Light

Outline of A2 syllabus

Paper 1: Advanced Physics 1

  • Mechanics
  • Electric circuits
  • Further mechanics
  • Electric and Magnetic Fields
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics

Paper 2: Advanced Physics II

  • Materials
  • Waves and Particle Nature of light
  • Thermodynamics
  • Space
  • Nuclear Radiation
  • Gravitational Fields
  • Oscillation

Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Physics

  • Questions in this paper may draw on any of the topics in this specification.
  • The paper includes synoptic questions that may draw on two or more different topics. For example, a question could ask students to compare electric fields with gravitational fields.
  • The paper will include questions that assess conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods (indirect practical skills) that will draw on students’ experiences of the core practicals.

Essential Student Qualities/Abilities

Grade B or above in GCSE Core & Additional Science

Grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics

An interest in scientific phenomena; basic practical skills in science; and problem solving skills.

Desirable Student Qualities/Abilities

Grade C or above in GCSE English

Method of Assessment

Paper

Method

Level

Time

AS

A

1

Unit Test

AS

1hr 30min

50%

 

2

Unit Test

AS

1hr 30min

50%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Unit Test

A2

1hr 45min

 

 30%

2

Unit Test

A2

1hr 45min

 

30%

3

Assessed

Practical

A2

2 hrs 30min

 

 40%

 

Time  of Assessment

AS                                                  A2

Paper 1            June                      Paper 1            June

Paper 2            June                     Paper 2            June                                     

                                                      Paper 3            June

Teaching & Learning Styles

Students learning experiences will include problem solving exercises; practical work; demonstrations of physical phenomena; data analysis; ICT (data-logging, software programmes and internet research); comprehension exercises; student presentations.

Students are provided with a range of text books and other resources which cover the units at AS and A2 level.

Higher Education Courses for which this subject is essential at A level:

Physics and most engineering courses.

Higher Education Courses for which this subject is desirable as AS or A level:

Medicine; Mathematics; Physical and Natural Sciences and Computer Sciences.

KS5-Physics-Specification

Physics-A-Level-course.pdf

Extra-Curricular

Specialist teachers are always available to support students and answer any questions they may have.  We also support students with interview skills, especially those who apply to Engineering.

Intervention through sessions after school to support students achieve their academic goals.

Students participate in Physics Olympiad competition with the support of the specialist teacher.

Careers & Employment

The aim of the course is to broaden and enhance students’ practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills and to develop their interest and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject. Beyond A level most student who study physics choose to continue into physics-based higher education courses such as Engineering, Architecture, and Astrophysicist. 

Recommended Reading

Books

Bill Bryson: A short History of Nearly Everything

NewScientist: Why don’t penguins’ feet freeze?

Stephen Hawkin and Leonard Mlodinow: The Grand Design

Peter Ackroyd: Newton

 

Journals

New Journal of Physics: https://iopscience.iop.org/journal/1367-2630

Nature: https://www.nature.com/nphys/

New Scientist: https://www.newscientist.com/

Links

Facilities

The Science Faculty enjoys excellent facilities with 9 well equipped purpose built laboratories and a great team of subject specialists. The team is led by a Curriculum Leader. The faculty receives excellent support from an experienced team of professional technicians.