Excited and interested pupils tend to be good learners and one of the best ways of exciting pupils is by letting them carry out their own experiments. Consequently the Physics curriculum is designed to maximise the opportunities for pupils to experiment. This is especially true of the first few years, where almost every lesson will involve pupils carrying out experiments with the aim of training pupils to think logically about their results.
The Lower School curriculum is based on the National Curriculum Key Stage 3 with particular emphasis on preparing pupils for the GCSE course. In the First Year we study Magnetism, Kinetic Theory, Density, Heat and Astronomy.
The Second Year course starts with Electricity and continues with Forces, Motion, Energy and Sound, and concludes with the study of Electronics using the 'Micro Electronics for All' scheme.
In the Third Year, Light and Waves are studied followed by Motion, Pressure, Space, Properties of Materials, and Machines. The GCSE topics of Kinetic Theory and Heat Transfer are then introduced.
Combined Science: Trilogy (8484)
Physics is taught as a separate subject to all students, with examinations being taken in the Fifth Year.
The Physics subjects studied include: Heat, Energy, Electricity, Radioactivity, Forces and Motion, Waves, and Cosmology.
Pupils in the higher science sets are entered for Physics, Chemistry and Biology at GCSE and pupils in the lower sets for Combined Science: Trilogy (which is worth two GCSE awards).
There is no coursework in the assessments at GCSE – instead there are a series of "required practicals" that pupils complete as part of their course. Practical skills are assessed in the written examinations.
The AS course content includes the study of Measurement, Particles and Radiation, Waves, Mechanics and Energy and Electricity. The A2 course content includes the study of Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics, Field and Nuclear Physics and Special Relativity. (Some students substitute the study of Astrophysics, Medical Physics or Electronics for the unit of Special Relativity.)