Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All students should learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of physics. They should gain appreciation of how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas that relate to physics and that are both inter-linked and of universal application. Students should develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Students should appreciate the power and limitations of physics, and consider any ethical issues that may arise. They should explain common every day and technological applications of physics; evaluate risks both in practical science and the wider societal context.
KS4 Physics (separate science)
The exam board is Edexcel (Pearson 9-1) for GCSE Physics and the GCSEs are awarded under the new 9-1 grading system. All assessment at GCSE is by examination at the end of Year 11. There are two exam papers sat at the end of year 11. There is no coursework but there are 8 compulsory Physics core practicals that may be assessed in the written exams. For both paper 1 and paper 2:
- First assessment: May/June (at the end of year 11).
- The assessment is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- The assessment is out of 100 marks.
- Students must answer all questions.
- The paper will include multiple-choice, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.
- Calculators may be used in the examination.
- Available at foundation tier and higher tier.
- The foundation tier paper will target grades 1–5.
- The higher tier paper will target grades 4–9.
There are 15 topics studied during the GCSE Physics course; topics 2- 4 are taught in year 9, topics 5 - 10 are taught in year 10 and topics and topics 11 – 15 are taught in year 11.
Paper 1 assesses Topics 1-7, paper 2 assesses topics 1,8-15.
Throughout the three years pupils will complete various core practicals related to each of the sciences. This allows them to develop their practical skills and data handling. In order to support pupils they are provided with a lab book in year 9 which is used up until year 11. Practical skills are assessed in the written examinations at the end of the course and can be up to 30% of the paper.
There are various resources available to support pupils:
Active Learn Digital Service - a digital learning environment that provides students with an online version of the textbooks and access to interactive online tasks
Revision guides and workbooks - available to buy at a reduced rate from the school shop
Websites such as 'Physics and Maths Tutor' and 'BBC Bitesize' are highly recommended
Teachers - students can come and see their teacher outside of lesson time with any queries or questions.
KS5 - A Level Physics
The exam board is OCR for A level Physics and the grading follows the A*- E system. We follow the OCR ‘A’ specification. All assessment at A level is by examination at the end of Year 13. There are three exam papers sat at the end of year 13. There is no coursework but there are a minimum of 12 compulsory Physics core practicals that may be assessed in the written exams.
Content is split into six teaching modules:
Modules 1 and 2 are embedded throughout the course and can be examined in all three papers. Modules 3-6 comprise of 5 topics each, with an end of topic test for each topic out of 40 marks.
Paper 1 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.
Paper 2 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.
Paper 3 assesses content from all modules (1 to 6).