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Physics

Practical work is at the heart of the subject

Physics remains a highly regarded GCSE and A Level subject and its study brings with it many transferable skills, which evidence an organised, dextrous and questioning intellect. Through studying Physics, a wide range of degree courses opens up, for instance: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Material Sciences, Geology, Architecture, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Medicine, Mathematics and Particle Physics, to name just a few. All these courses open doors into careers in industries such as aerospace, defence, education, energy, engineering, instrumentation, manufacturing, science, and telecommunications.

Intellectually Curious

The course at The Oratory is built around two main aims; first, to encourage a curiosity for the subject in its own right and, secondly, to present the relevance of Physics to everyday life. 

About

Physics is a practical subject that seeks to explore the rules which govern how the universe works. The Physics Department is housed in three inter-linked, modern, well-equipped laboratories. The subject is taught by specialist teachers and supported by scientists and a technician. Our educational aim in the department is to encourage curiosity and enthusiasm for the subject, while at the same time ensuring that the pupils are taught to a rigorously high standard, so that they can pursue the subject successfully as far as they would wish. There is a spirit of enthusiasm and fun within the department; we really do enjoy teaching Physics and aim to share this enthusiasm and passion with the pupils.

Vasso Zafeiriadou - Head of Physics

Curriculum

First and Second Forms

Energy

Light and Sound

Space

Forces and motion

Electricity and Magnetism

 

iGCSE

COURSE: EDEXCEL 4PH1

The IGCSE syllabus in Physics is built around two main aims; first, to encourage a curiosity for the subject in its own right and, secondly, to present the relevance of Physics to everyday life. The course covers a systematic body of scientific knowledge, skills and the practical nature of physics.

The course consists of eight modules:

Forces and Motion

Electricity

Waves

Energy Resources and Energy Transfers

Solids, Liquids and Gases

Magnetism and Electromagnetism

Radioactivity and Particles

Astrophysics

 The course is assessed over two exam papers, as specified below:

Paper Content Summary Assessment Weighting

Paper 1   

Assesses core content.    Questions can come from any topic area of the       syllabus that is not in bold in the specification.

2-hour written examination paper.

 

Mixture of multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and  extended open-response  questions

61.1% of total         International

GCSE

Paper 2   

Assesses all the content,    including content that is in bold in the specification. Questions may come from any topic area across the specification.
Bold statements cover some sub-topics in greater depth

1-hour and 15-minute written        examination paper.

 

Mixture of multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and  extended open-response   questions

38.9% of total         International

GCSE

The first three of these modules will be taught during the Third Form, with the remaining five being covered across the Fourth and Fifth Forms. Four periods per week are allotted in the Fourth and Fifth Forms and all pupils sit the GCSE examination at the end of the Fifth Form. The examination consists of two written papers only.

 A GCSE in Physics is very desirable. It shows evidence of an analytical and scientific mind to potential employers and university admission tutors, while for those pupils aiming at eventual careers in the physical sciences or Engineering, it is almost a necessity.

 

A Level

AQA

A Level Physics not only expands on the topics covered at GCSE but goes on to look at some of the most fascinating and challenging aspects of this subject, including quantum phenomena, cosmology and particle physics. Pupils who choose Physics should be confident in using Mathematics, as the subject certainly complements the study of Mathematics as well as the other science subjects.

Practical work is at the heart of the subject and now features heavily within the A Level; pupils will have to keep a practical lab book and will be assessed on their findings in a written exam.

The course content is split into three sections, taught across the two years of the course. Pupils in the Upper 6th also choose an optional topic; these include Astrophysics, medical Physics, applied Physics or a historical study of some of the key discoveries in this subject.

Course Content  

Assessement

Content is split into different sections:

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

9-13: optional topics such as Astrophysics

Sections 1-5 and 6.1 (periodic motion) (34%)

2 hour written paper

 

Sections 6.2 (thermal Physics) and 7-8 (34%)

2 hour written paper

 

Practical skills and data analysis and one of sections 9-13 (32%)

2 hour written paper

 

Practical endorsement in Physics

(non-exam assessment)

Beyond the Course: Physics remains a highly regarded A Level subject and its study brings with it many transferable skills, which evidence an organised, dextrous, and questioning intellect. Through studying Physics, a wide range of degree courses is open to you, for instance: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Material Sciences, Geology, Architecture, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Medicine, Mathematics and Particle Physics, to name just a few. All these courses open doors into careers in industries such as aerospace, defence, education, energy, engineering, instrumentation, manufacturing, science and telecommunications.

Co-Curricular

First Form: Bloodhound project with Design and Technology department

Physics Society:

o   Physics Olympiad

o   Building and design projects

o   Astronomy

Visits and fieldwork

·         Big Bang Fair

·         McLaren

·         Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Projects

·         Building and design projects – Our Sixth Formers have previously built a functioning Ruben’s Tube

·         Astronomy – stargazing