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Physics

Curriculum intent

The Science subjects are intrinsically linked and we have therefore adopted a holistic approach in devising a curriculum that supports the whole school aims to provide a broad and balanced education for all students.  They provide an excellent opportunity to develop lifelong skills that help students get ready for a rapidly changing world.   

 

Through the study of the Sciences we enable students to develop: 

  • A deep and rich knowledge of the Science subjects 
  • A sense of wonder and fascination at the beauty, complexity and make-up of the world around them
  • A recognition that problems can be solved, and mysteries explained through an innovative and practical approach
  • The skills and understanding required to use the scientific method to hypothesise and answer questions
  • Sufficient knowledge and understanding of the way in which the world around them works to open doors into further study, should they choose to do so
  • An understanding of how to evaluate scientific claims by applying knowledge and thinking critically
  • Scientific Literacy that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, in areas of Science and beyond

Key Stage 3

Our KS3 course is based on the AQA 5 year programme of study.  The course has been designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills required to access the Science GCSEs.  Students study the following biology topics in Year 7 and 8.

 

Year 7 Year 8

FORCES

1.1 Speed
1.2 Gravity

ELECTROMAGNETS

2.1 Potential difference and
resistance
2.2 Current

ENERGY

3.1 Energy costs
3.2 Energy transfer

WAVES

4.1 Sound
4.2 Light

FORCES

1.3 Contact forces
1.4 Pressure

ELECTROMAGNETS

2.3 Magnestism
2.4 Electromagnets

ENERGY

3.3 Work
3.4 Heating and cooling

WAVES

4.3 Wave effects
4.4 Wave properties
 

 

Key Stage 3 assessment

  • Termly assessments on the topics that have been studied
  • These assessments are comprised of a range of short and longer answer questions, focusing on both concepts and investigative skills
  • Students also complete progress tasks each term - these are extended writing tasks, with each one focusing on a different concept and skill area

 

Key Stage 4

AQA GCSE Physics 8463

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11

1. Energy

1.1 Energy changes in a system, and the ways energy is stored
before and after such changes
1.2 Conservation and dissipation of energy
1.3 National and global energy resources

2. Electricity

2.1 Current, potential difference and resistance
2.2 Series and parallel circuits
2.3 Domestic uses and safety                                
2.4 Energy transfers
2.5 Static electricity






 

3. Particle model of matter

3.1 Changes of state and the particle model
3.2 Internal energy and energy transfers
3.3 Particle model and pressure

5. Forces

5.1 Forces and their interactions
5.2 Work done and energy transfer
5.3 Forces and elasticity
5.4 Moments, levers and gears
5.5 Pressure and pressure differences in fluids                                       
5.6 Forces and motion
5.7 Momentum

6. Waves

6.1 Waves in air, fluids and solids
6.2 Electromagnetic waves
6.3 Black body radiation

4. Atomic structure

4.1 Atoms and isotopes
4.2 Atoms and nuclear radiation
4.3 Hazards and uses of radioactive emissions and of background radiation
4.4 Nuclear fission and fusion

7. Magnetism and electromagnetism

7.1 Permanent and induced magnetism, magnetic
forces and fields
7.2 The motor effect
7.3 Induced potential, transformers and
the National Grid

8. Space physics

8.1 Solar system; stability of orbital motions; satellites
8.2 Red-shift



 

 

Key Stage 4 assessment

  • Students undertake a formal test at the end of each topic
  • These are comprised of a wide range of past GCSE questions -they include short, content led questions, and many longer answer questions, where students are given an opportunity to show a deeper understanding of the skills and concepts studied
  • Some questions at GCSE are set in unfamiliar contexts.
  • There is also a practical assessment component which involves the completion of a series of assessed practical tasks during the course and keeping a record of progress in their exercise book.

 

Key Stage 5

AQA A - level Physics 7408

Year 12 Year 13

1. Measurements and their errors 
2. Particles and radiation 
3. Waves 
4. Mechanics & Materials 


 

5. Electricity 
6. Further mechanics and thermal
physics 
7. Fields and their consequences 
8. Nuclear physics 
We then study the optional
topic Astrophysics 

 

Key Stage 5 assessment

  • Students undertake a formal test at the end of the first half term in Year 12, a UCAS prediction exam at the end of Year 12 and mock examinations in January and March of Year 13
  • They also sit a test at the end of each topic - these are comprised of a wide range of past A-level questions.  They include a small number of short, content led questions, and many longer answer questions, where students are given an opportunity to show a deeper understanding of the skills and concepts studied
  • Questions at A-level are frequently set in unfamiliar contexts

 

Curriculum enrichment outside of the classroom

We offer a wide range of extra-curricular and co-curricular opportunities to students, including:

  • KS3 STEM Club
  • Field work days
  • Go4Set programme
  • British Science Week Celebrations and Lectures
  • MedSoc – run in collaboration with Medic Mentors
  • ChemSoc
  • PhysSoc
  • STEM Careers events
  • STEM Work Placements, in collaboration with Science Oxford

A level Physics:  Please see the Sixth Form section of our website: sixth-form-subject-information