Physics

Overview

Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles, quarks, to the vast distances between galaxies.

Physics is the natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force. Many students who take Physics at A level go on to study Engineering, Architecture, Astronomy and Physics related courses at university.

The Physics department is committed to providing a supportive and purposeful environment in which students are well supported and encouraged to pursue opportunities to beyond the taught syllabus. All lessons are taught by subject specialists and in dedicated teaching laboratories. Lessons and topics have been developed with an emphasis on a student centred approach to learning, with lessons usually built around investigative practical work.

The Physics Department is also committed to developing our practice as educators and are a member of the Institute of Physics.

Curriculum

Students who choose to study Physics at A level will follow the Edexcel A Level Physics Specification. This requires candidates to study several modules throughout the two years.

In the first year, students will cover the topics of classical mechanics, electricity, materials, waves and the particle nature of light. During year two, students will also study thermodynamics; gravitational, electric and magnetic fields; oscillations and nuclear and particle Physics. There is an emphasis on practical work through which students develop their manual dexterity and analytical skills. Throughout their study of Physics at A level, students will also develop their knowledge and understanding of what it means to work scientifically. They will develop their competence in working with a variety of scientific instruments using a range of techniques in order to learn how to take accurate and precise measurements.

Many of the models used to explain the phenomena studied across the two years require an ability to manipulate equations, therefore, a strong mathematical understanding is an advantage. Studying both Physics and Mathematics at A level complement each other well, although this is not essential.

A level Physics is essential for students if they were to pursue a career in Physics or Engineering and is highly recommended for some university courses such as Mathematics, Architecture, Geology, Material Science and Medicine.

Trips, activities and clubs

There are a large range of extra-curricular activities offered for A level Physics students. In the Lower Sixth students have the option to visit the CERN laboratories in Geneva providing a hands on way to see how discoveries are in genuine laboratories that are currently extended out understanding of the world and see the real world applications of the Physics concepts they are learning about in the classroom. There are also a large range of activities that take part closer to home such as:

  • The UK Space Design competition
  • Physics Olympiad
  • A programme of guest speakers
  • Physics in Action lectures
  • Physics Society
  • Engineering Club
  • Rocket Club.

Staff

  • Mr A Hindocha BSc (Head of Physics)
  • Mr A Chan MEng
  • Dr M Cianciaruso PHD
  • Mr J Crowley BEng
  • Mrs E Goakes BEng MA
  • Mr G Hammond MEng PGCE
  • Mr S Whittaker MSc (Head of Science)
  • Mr E Wright MA (Director of Studies)
  • Mr G Ward (Physics Technician)

Recent trips, activities and clubs gallery