Exam Board: AQA

Why study this subject?

Physicists are fascinated about the fundamental nature of reality and how the universe works. Studying the nature and properties of matter and energy and how they interact is key to success within our curriculum. We want to encourage and inspire students to develop an innate fascination in our subject and ask big questions. We aim to produce students who are not afraid to make mistakes, can work independently to solve novel problems and carry out investigations in a scientifically rigorous way. Asking questions, testing hypotheses, making observations and recording data are all important in discovering and instilling core ideas from our specification.

What will a lesson look like?

A typical physics lesson will require you to recall knowledge from the previous lesson, followed by the learning of new knowledge and making notes on that theory. Although there is plenty of writing in physics, there is significantly more maths than you will find in the other two sciences. However, you do not need to be an expert mathematician to be a good physicist!

Physics is the science of matter and its motion—the science that deals with concepts such as force, energy, mass, and charge. Its goal is to understand the universe and everything in it!

Carrying out experiments and observing practicals is a big part of applying the knowledge you will learn in lessons and you will be tested on that knowledge using exam questions.

You will often be asked to describe, explain and evaluate the evidence from experiments and draw your own conclusions too.

What does Homework look like in this subject?

In GCSE Physics the homework’s will fall into one of two categories; Pre-learning or re-learning. Where a pre-learning homework is set this will be used as your basis for the next step in learning and gives you an insight into where the future lessons will be going but also the aspects within that topic that you struggle with. This kind of homework is key so that you come into the lessons with an initial appreciation of where we will be going within the topic. These may consist of projects or pre-reading.

 For re-learning this is done to cement ideas and understanding gained during lesson time and the benefits of this type of homework will be the retention and deeper understanding of each topic. These types of homework’s will often focus on exam questions.


GCSE Physics is assessed on a 100% written Examination split between two 1 hr and 45 min written papers each worth 50%. 

Paper 1 (1 hr 45 mins):

1.    Energy
2.    Electricity
3.    Particle Model
4.    Atomic Structure

Paper 2 (1 hr 45 mins):

5.    Forces
6.    Waves
7.    Electromagnetism
8.    Space  

Where can it lead?

GCSE Physics acts as a foundation for many A-level and university courses.

A firm understanding of Physics gained from GCSE will aid you in all the sciences as well as maths and all types of engineering. . The transferable skills learnt through topics requiring practical work and problem solving are invaluable and sought after by colleges, universities and employers alike. Physics is very versatile and is also one of the only subjects that must be sat at A-level to be able to access courses related to maths, engineering and the study of space.