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Waves and light, forces and motion, electricity and magnetism: all of these and much more go to make up the fascinating study of the material world that is Physics.  Taken together, and in conjunction with the other sciences, Physics has the potential to offer deep insight into both the beauties and the elusive mysteries of the material world.  Throughout the course, pupils are encouraged to develop their conceptual understanding of Physics through investigative practical work and mathematical manipulation. The Physics Department offers a vast range of experiments designed to stimulate pupils’ curiosity and help develop scientific knowledge.  Pupils deepen their understanding of nature’s processes and gain an awareness of Physics and Engineering applications.

Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14)

Physics is taught as part of a combined science program in the First and Second Form.  Pupils are taught topics from the three sciences by one class teacher.  The topics covered follow those suggested by the national curriculum. From the Third Form, Physics is taught by a Physics specialist as a discrete subject.  Pupils continue developing their Physics understanding and practical skills. Emphasis is placed on observing and explaining a variety of physical phenomena and encouraging scientific enquiry.  Pupils are also introduced to the mathematical content needed to progress further with Physics.

Topics covered in the Third Form include:      

  • Waves and light
  • Forces and  motion
  • Energy transfer due to heating 
  • Electricity and  magnetism
  • Space     

Towards the end of the year, investigation work is carried out and the KS4 GCSE
course is started.

Key Stage 4 (ages 14-16)

Pupils will either follow separate science courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, leading to three independent GCSEs, or if appropriate, and in their best interests, smaller groups of pupils may be entered for the Combined Science Award (worth two GCSEs or Double Award). This will be discussed with pupils and parents, but the final decision will rest with the School.

Aim of Syllabus

We hope that by the end of the course, boys will be able to:

  • develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods;
  • apply scientific skills, knowledge and understanding;
  • appreciate how science works and understand its essential role in society;
  • understand the main scientific models in Biology, Chemistry and Physics;
  • develop their use of the mathematical content within the sciences.

In addition, it should help boys develop their interest and enthusiasm for science giving them the ability to progress further.

Scheme of Assessment Triple Award:

Written Papers                      100%

For each subject, there are 2 papers. Every paper is examined by a 1 hour 45 minute written examination, worth 50%.  The papers will contain a mixture of question styles, including objective questions, short answer questions and extended writing questions.  Pupils can be entered into Foundation or Higher for all the papers in each subject.  A* to G grades will be replaced by 9 to 1 grades for Chemistry, Biology and Physics.


Scheme of Assessment Combined Science Award:

Written Papers                      100%

The content for the Combined Science Award is a subset of the content from the Triple Award.  It is worth two GCSEs (Double Award).  The three science subjects will still be taught separately and there will be six papers: two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Each will assess different topics.  All the papers are 1 hour 15 minutes.  Foundation and Higher tiers are available.  The papers are equally weighted.  Each is worth 16.7% of the grade.  The papers will contain a mixture of multiple choice, short answer questions and extended writing questions. The Combined Science Award will have a 17 point grading scale, from 9-9, 9-8 through to 2-1 and 1-1.

Awarding Body: AQ                                     Specification: AQA Sciences


                     GCSE Biology  8461

                     GCSE Chemistry 8462

                     GCSE Physics 8463

                     GCSE Combined Science 8464