Physics is taught as a separate subject to all boys from Year 7 onwards. In the early years the emphasis is placed upon whole-class 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 Year 9 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.
Head of Department - Mr T Munoz-Britton
At the most fundamental level, A Level Physics is all about learning to solve problems through a combination of critical, creative and logical thinking. By developing your understanding of how the world around you works (and indeed the entire Universe!) you will develop a skill set that allows you to approach unfamiliar and challenging problems beyond the scope of just this subject.
The A Level specification covers a number of areas familiar from the GCSE course, such as electricity, waves and radioactivity, while also addressing more contemporary topics like quantum mechanics and special relativity. A Level Physics is now linear in nature, meaning you will only be externally assessed at the end of the two-year course; this is done through three examinations that carry approximately equal weighting towards your final grade. New examination guidelines stipulate that 40% of the final examinations must now directly assess mathematical skills.
As one of what has traditionally been known as the ‘facilitating’ subjects, Physics is highly valued as part of an application to almost any university course, with the creative problem-solving skills you will develop welcomed in the worlds of both sciences and humanities alike. It is a requirement at many universities to have studied Physics should you wish to go on to study any kind of Engineering or Architecture and it also considered to be ‘highly recommended’ should you want to study medicine.
Beyond higher education, Physics can lead to a wide variety of careers. In addition to vocational courses such as Engineering, Physics graduates are highly sought after in the industries such as law and finance, where strong logical and mathematical skill sets are considered very desirable.
Science in Action offers students the opportunity to undertake some extended science practical work. Ideal for those who love to experiment, investigate and ponder… but without the pressure of any write-ups or exams. Freed from the confines of the syllabus, Science in Action runs a carousel of biological, chemical and physical science activities, which give students the chance to see some of the synthesis, analysis and applied techniques more commonly used in undergraduate laboratories. Those choosing this course will have the opportunity to work alongside students and teachers from other schools and as such develop better communication skills as they form efficient working relationships. There is a degree of responsibility – some of the techniques require careful risk assessment, whilst the quality of products and results will depend upon each student’s own experimental diligence, as well as their ability to work in a team.
Having undertaken the first year of Science in Action, students may apply to carry out an independent research project. With limited places, commitment and aptitude must be shown, but the potential payoffs are huge. Working independently in Warwick School’s research-standard laboratories, students have the opportunity to genuinely contribute to the progress of the group’s work and get a privileged insight into the world of scientific research.