Physics is the quest to understand the workings of our amazing universe: from the unimaginably tiny particles that make up everything around us to the mind-boggling enormity of space.
How can it be that the atoms in our body are billions of years old and made in stars? What happens in a black hole? Will microwave-emitting mobile phones fry your brain? Why is the sky blue? Why do twins age differently if one of them goes on a fast space-ship ride? How can we fit the whole human race into the volume of a malteser? All of these questions and many more can be answered using basic Physics ideas.
Simply put, if you understand Physics, you understand everything!
In Year 7 pupils study topics such as electricity, space and forces in fun and engaging ways. There is an emphasis on practical experimentation and a focus on providing a broad base for further study of the subject.
Year 8 pupils enjoy addressing questions such as: What is everything made of? How can you break a steel bar with just a flame? How does the electricity we use for our Mobile phones and iPads get generated?
Year 9 pupils move onto the areas of light and optics, wave behaviour and electric circuits as well as an introduction to GCSE physics topics. They are provided with a strong foundation in the skills and knowledge essential for their GCSE studies.
Practical work is an important element of these courses with the aim of developing data analysis skills in particular.
The GCSE Physics course follows the AQA GCSE specification with units of study covering the following topics: energy, electricity, particle model of matter, forces, waves, magnetism and electromagnetism, atomic structure, and space.
External assessment takes place at the end of Year 11, and consists of two written exams worth 50% each. Practical work is taught as an integral part of the course, and the skills and methods learned in the laboratory will also be assessed in both of the final exams.
See Sixth Form Curriculum here for full details of our A-Level Physics course.
STEM Club: Open to all ages, anybody who is interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths is welcome to attend. The club will focus on working towards the CREST Stem Award; pupils have a chance to choose their own subject and methodology when completing hands-on investigations.
Physics Olympiad: Our lower sixth students are given the opportunity to enter the Senior Physics Challenge paper, and those who score particularly highly will go on to enter the British Physics Olympiad Round 1 competition in the upper sixth. Year 11 students are also given an opportunity to enter the Intermediate Physics Challenge.
Depending on demand, the physics department has run various lunchtime clubs, including an Astronomy club.
CERN laboratories, Geneva, Switzerland – this is a biennial trip for Year 11 and Sixth Form students. A chance to see one of the world’s most famous research establishments, home to the Large Hadron Collider.
Occasional trips are run on the basis of demand; in the past these have included the Spaceguard Centre in Knighton, the national synchrotron science facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in Oxfordshire and GCSE Science Live at Birmingham Symphony Hall.