Learning Physics should be exciting, thought provoking and at times amusing. The Physics department's aim is that students look forward to their classes as places of fun and discovery.
Physics is taught in the purpose built Science block, providing a stimulating environment in which to study the way in which things work. Learning by discovery is encouraged; students carry out practical work on a regular basis and practical investigations form an important part of the assessment of the students at every level of the School. All labs are equipped with Smart Boards, computers and audio-visual resources are used throughout the teaching of the subject.
The department consists of four specialist physicists supported by an excellent team of technicians. The staff have experience in industry and research so can offer excellent advice on careers and other opportunities.
Whether students are interested in the inner working of the atom or the mysteries of the vast unknown universe, the Physics department has a place for them. The department prides itself on being completely inclusive, ensuring that students of all abilities are taught to appreciate how physics relates to the world in which we live. The School’s best students go on to study physics, engineering and related courses at the top universities, including Oxbridge.
As importantly, those students who follow different career paths still look back at what they did in physics with fondness, armed with inquisitive minds and an ability and preparedness to question and analyse things around them.
From Year 9 students begin studying the Edexcel International Physics GCSE level, concentrating on the core units relevant to all of our IGCSE courses. In Year 10, students embark on their chosen science course. Topics covered include: Waves, Forces and motion, Electricity and Astrophysics.
Practical work puts theory into practice and develops essential skills for further study of this subject. Physics trips and activities enable students to appreciate how a knowledge of physics is critical to everyday materials, technology and innovations.
Sixth Form students can follow an A Level course or study Standard or Higher Level Physics as part of the International Baccalaureate. Both courses continue the voyage of discovery through the medium of Physics at a higher level, taking the knowledge from GCSE separate sciences on to a higher level. Problem solving and application of the subject in novel situations are the main focusses of the course and final exams. Students who choose to follow these courses are given an excellent preparation for many university courses. At A level we follow the OCR Physics A course, including the practical endorsement which involves an investigation into a practical subject of their choice. In IB all Physics pupils take part in the Group 4 project that brings all the scientists together to work on a series of challenges. The Internal Assessment is the opportunity for pupils to research an area of Physics which captures their interest.
Visits are arranged for students to attend lectures outside school and to see examples of careers related to Physics and Engineering. Pupils are also helped to prepare for university interviews particularly for Oxford, Cambridge and Medicine courses.
We also run a biannual trip to CERN for Sixth Form students, which is open to the whole school, but those studying Physics at Sixth Form level are given priority. This takes in both the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and the high intensity laser facility in Lausanne.