Physics

At its heart, the field of Physics is a framework to describe how everything in our Universe happens. From the smallest particles to the largest galaxies, it is with Physics that observations can be explained.

As an academic subject, Physics is highly respected with graduates of Physics being employed in graduate roles in a wide-range of fields including: Healthcare, Finance, Business, Aerospace, Research, Engineering, Technology, Climate, Management, Education, Energy, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science.

GCSE Physics

Our curriculum is built around three key skills in Physics. These are:

Quantifying
This is the key skill developed at KS3. Quantifying is all about being able to describe our world as a Physicist would – through careful measurement and analysis. We do this by exploring five key themes. These are:

  1. Force and motion
  2. Electromagnetism
  3. Energy
  4. Waves
  5. Environmental issues in Physics

Conceptualising
At KS4 our students use their now established ability to quantify a physical problem to begin to explain why it is happening. This relies on the key skill on conceptualising – of taking a problem and stripping away extraneous information to leave behind a system which can be modelled mathematically. In Physics, the underlying concept behind all phenomena is energy. Early in the course students learn to describe a system in terms of energy stores – where the energy is. Once this is established, the remainder of the course is spent explaining how energy moves from one store to another which we call an energy transfer. The four energy transfers they need to understand deeply form the remaining four areas of the KS4 curriculum which are:

  1. Energy stores
  2. Energy transfer 1: mechanically
  3. Energy transfer 2: thermally
  4. Energy transfer 3: radiatively
  5. Energy transfer 4: electromagnetically

A-level Physics

Conserving
Our KS5 curriculum takes an idea which students embed throughout KS4 – conservation of energy – and looks to extend that to an additional two conservation laws: charge and momentum. This is because, as our students encounter more physical problems to explain, the skill of conceptualising a problem through only energy can become cumbersome. In this way, our students are beginning to break down a problem in a very deep way which uniquely prepares them for further study in Physics but also in other complex fields such as medicine. Using these three conservation laws we structure our KS5 course:

  1. Conservation of energy
    1. Matter and radiation
    2. Quarks and leptons
    3. Quantum phenomena
    4. Waves
    5. Optics
    6. Simple harmonic motion
    7. Thermal Physics
    8. Gases
    9. Gravitational fields
    10. Radioactivity
    11. Nuclear energy
  2. Conservation of momentum
    1. Forces in equilibrium
    2. On the move
    3. Newton’s laws of motion
    4. Force and momentum
    5. Work, energy, and power
    6. Materials
    7. Motion in a circle
  3. Conservation of charge
    1. Electric current
    2. DC circuits
    3. Electric fields
    4. Capacitors
    5. Magnetic fields
    6. Electromagnetic induction

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