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Physics

Curriculum Intent & Rationale

Physics is all about understanding the world around us. It involves the study of the Universe, from huge galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles. The subject leads to great discoveries and technologies which change our lives – from treating cancer to developing sustainable electricity generation. 

As a department we endeavour to provide a high-quality Physics curriculum to engage students and instil a sense of excitement and curiosity about physical phenomena.  Our intent is to develop the students’ skills and knowledge so that they can question the world around them, provide reasoned responses to unfamiliar concepts and so that they have the possibility of one day making their own future discoveries.

We deliver the fundamentals of Physics over a 2-year KS3 course, which is continually revisited, reflected on, and knowledge developed throughout KS4 and KS5. The revisiting of the fundamental concepts in Physics is essential to ensure that students can access a wealth of information to secure their knowledge of how and why things work as they do. Opportunities are provided at the start of each topic to find out what students already know from the previous Key stage or topic, so that the class teacher can respond to prior knowledge, ascertain if there are misconceptions and develop lessons accordingly.

We incorporate historical scientific discoveries into our curriculum so that students can see how scientific understanding has been building throughout the centuries and relate the studied topics to everyday examples and careers so that they can clearly see how Physics fits into everyday life.

Physics is taught by subject specialists from Year 7 onwards. Experienced staff help students to understand concepts using diagrams, photographs, video clips, calculations, explanations, demonstrations and practical work. Alongside the subject content students have many opportunities to plan, observe, analyse and evaluate scientific data in our very well-equipped, modern and attractive labs. We focus on enhancing students' ability to solve problems, improve numeracy and literacy and create an environment which allows for discussion, questioning, independent study and group work throughout all Key Stages.

We offer students the opportunity to take part in numerous extracurricular activities such as HiSPARC, The British Physics Olympiad, University Lectures, Physics Society and the Physics newsletter.

Implementing Our Curriculum

Key Stage 3

We utilise the Department for Education programme of study for Key Stage 3 Physics alongside Science Works to create a comprehensive scheme of work which is targeted at high achieving, inquisitive and dynamic young students. Resources include Science works text books, support packs and challenge questions.

Year 7 content includes Electricity and Magnetism, Energy, Forces and Space. In Year 8 students study Heating and Cooling, Light, Sound and Further Forces.

During each topic scientific skills such as planning, observation, analysis and evaluation are taught and developed alongside the content. Students have the opportunity to investigate different aspects of the course, enhance their observation, analysis, literacy, numeracy and evaluation skills whilst developing new subject knowledge.

Opportunities are provided for independent study, group work and use of IT such as data logging and graph work.

Key Stage 4

At GCSE we follow the GCSE AQA Physics (8463) scheme of work which we start in year 9. We use this as a starting point and build upon this with resources from Kerboodle and teacher experience to create a comprehensive scheme of work which is targeted at high achieving, inquisitive and dynamic young students. All students take the higher paper. We supply comprehensive lesson objectives and perfect notes which match the specification.  The students have access to these resources so that they can monitor their understanding of all aspects of the curriculum and see what topics/learning objectives are coming next. The students also have access to GCSE Physics online, Kerboodle (digital text book) and resources, Collins revision guides and a wealth of support packs and challenge questions. 

The GCSE content includes Energy, Electricity, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure, Forces, Waves, Magnetism and Electromagnetism and Space.

Opportunities are provided for independent study, group work and use of IT such as data logging and graph work. During each topic scientific skills such as planning, observation, analysis and evaluation are taught and developed alongside the content. The scheme of work allows students to investigate different aspects of the course, enhance their observation, analysis, literacy, numeracy and evaluation skills whilst developing new subject knowledge. Students complete ten required practicals throughout the GCSE which correspond to guidance provided by AQA.

Students are encouraged to become involved in extra-curricular activities such as HiSPARC, British Physics Olympiad Intermediate challenge and the Physics Newsletter.

Key Stage 5

At A-level we follow the A-level AQA Physics (7407,7408) scheme of work. We use this as a starting point and build upon this with resources from Kerboodle and teacher experience to create a comprehensive scheme of work which is targeted at high achieving, inquisitive and dynamic young students. We supply comprehensive lesson objectives and perfect notes which match the specification.  The students have access to these resources so that they can monitor their understanding of all aspects of the curriculum and see what topics/learning objectives are coming next. The students also have access to A-Level Physics online, Kerboodle (digital textbook and resources), CGP revision guides, Isaac Physics and a wealth of support packs and challenge questions.

The A-level content includes Measurements and their errors, Particles and radiation, Waves, Mechanics and materials, Electricity, Further mechanics and thermal Physics, Fields and their consequences, Nuclear Physics and an option of Astrophysics or Medical Physics. The decision as to which option is completed is made by a student vote.

Opportunities are provided for independent study, group work and use of IT such as data logging and graph work. During each topic scientific skills such as planning, observation, analysis and evaluation are taught and developed alongside the content. The scheme of work allows students to investigate different aspects of the course, enhance their observation, analysis, literacy, numeracy and evaluation skills whilst developing new subject knowledge. Students complete twelve required practicals throughout the course which correspond to the CPAC guidance provided by AQA. Culmination of the course involves three 2 hour Physics papers.

Students are encouraged to become involved in extra-curricular activities such as HiSPARC, British Physics Olympiad Senior challenge, the Physics Newsletter and a mentoring programme for lower year groups.

 

Transition work for Year 11 moving into Year 12

 

 

 

Physics students are problem solvers. Their skills are transferable to a huge range of careers which makes physicists highly regarded and sought after. Careers include engineering, medicine, computer science, finance, law, astronomy and journalism. Physicists can be found working in industrial and university laboratories, aerospace and automotive companies, the armed forces and even trading on the Stock Exchange!

Curriculum Maps

Physics Newsletters

Physics Newsletters

Issue 14 - October 2021
Issue 13 - September 2021
Issue 12 - May 2021
Issue 11 - April 2021
Issue 10 - March 2021
Issue 9 - February 2021
Issue 8 - January 2021
Issue 7 - December 2020
Issue 5 – 19th October 2020
Issue 4 – October 2020

Physics lab