Physics is taught as a separate subject to all boys from the Upper 4th year onwards. In the early years the emphasis is placed upon wholeclass experimental and investigative work, as boys explore their interest in Physics through practical work wherever possible. The course focuses on the major themes of Physics: electricity, forces, motion, waves and energy.
In the Lower 5th year we begin the GCSE course, building on the knowledge and understanding already gained. We also teach, more formally, the practical skills needed to succeed at GCSE and beyond. This is in addition to experiments and demonstrations that help to illustrate the theoretical principles involved, whilst enhancing interest and confidence in the subject.
As with Biology and Chemistry, traditional coursework at GCSE has now been replaced by internal assessment in the form of Practical Skills Assessments (PSA) and Investigative Skills Assessments (ISA). The PSA is an ongoing assessment by the teacher. The ISA provides the majority of the marks, and has two components, both carried out under controlled conditions. Boys must firstly conduct an experiment themselves to acquire reliable results. They then plot a graph and demonstrate their ability to analyse and evaluate data. These assessments contribute 25% of the final GCSE mark. The remainder of their marks are from written examinations.
Physics is also a popular choice at A-level, and each year the department prepares a large number of boys for AS and A2 examinations. Many of these boys go on to study directly related subjects at university. The department is extremely well provided with modern apparatus for stimulating Sixth Form teaching and learning. Regular class teaching, supplemented by practical work and demonstrations, develops the thorough understanding of the key concepts that is essential for examination success. The syllabus we follow is from Edexcel, a traditional and well-regarded course, which features a practical examination instead of coursework.
Head of Department (Physics) - Mr A.D Millington - firstname.lastname@example.org