Do you find yourself asking questions in life? Does a black hole lead to a parallel universe? How did the universe begin? Why is the sky red at sunset? How does a mobile phone work? But Physicists don't only ask questions about topics ranging from sub-atomic particles to the whole universe - they provide answers. They also develop:- safer transport systems, new ways of diagnosing illness, new modes of communication, materials to build stronger structures, reliable ways of forecasting the weather and better sound recording systems - to name but a few. So Physics is vital to the modern world.

The Department runs trips to visit Lecturers and Universities, recent trips have included Southampton University where students met Postgraduate researchers and listened to a very exciting Lecture given by a Nobel Laureate on ‘The Accelerating Universe’.

Years 7 - 9

In Years 7, 8 & 9 Physics is taught as a separate subject by specialist teachers in a bright, airy, spacious and well equipped Physics laboratory and broadly follows the National Curriculum for Physics at KS3.

The Department appreciates that learners have different styles which suit them best and that different topics are best taught in different ways so they use a variety of teaching/learning techniques so that optimum learning takes place. These include practical work, role-play and oral work as well as more formal written work. Prep is set and marked weekly and the merit stamp is in regular use for Years 7 and 8 whilst Year 9 have the chance to earn science merit stickers.

Project work includes posters, models, handouts and power-point presentations. Presentations are displayed on the data projector with girls either bringing their work on a memory stick or e-mailing it into school. Posters and models are displayed in the laboratory or on the corridors.

  • Year 7 – Energy resources, forces and their effects, the solar system and beyond
  • Year 8 - Heating and cooling, magnets and electromagnets, light, sound and hearing
  • Year 9 – Energy and electricity, gravity and space, speeding up, pressure and moments. 

GCSE

At GCSE level, we follow the AQA course. We offer the trilogy award option (2 GCSEs) , Science or the separate science option where GCSE Physics is studied and results in a whole GCSE for Physics. http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463

There are two units for GCSE Physics. Practical skills are assessed in the examination papers at the end of year.
Both units contribute to 50% of the final examination each 1 hour 45 minutes long.

  • In Year 10, the topics 1-4 are studied are: Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure, Energy and Electricity.
  • In year 11 topics 5-8: Forces; Waves; Magnetism and electromagnetism; and Space physics. 

A Level

It is recommended that girls taking A Level Physics have gained a good grade at GCSE in both Physics and Mathematics and the study of Mathematics at A Level is essential if girls intend to follow a career in Physics or Engineering, but if not studied at this level, some help will be needed to cope with the mathematical demands of the A Level course. This is usually provided during the Lower Sixth year. These qualifications are linear. If students wish to study just AS Physics then they can sit all the AS exams at the end of their AS course (sections 1-5 only). The A-level exams are taken at the end of their A-level course. (sections 1-8 plus one from topics 9-13)

Subject content for the AQA A level course can be accessed in more detail from the AQA link below :

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level

Core Content

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 – Students choose from one of the following topics:

9 Astrophysics
10 Medical physics
11 Engineering physics
12 Turning points in physics
13 Electronics