The Department Ethos
The Physics Department aims to make Physics an enjoyable subject for all those who study it, incorporating as much practical work at all levels and with as many unusual experiments as possible. A plethora of toys, popcorn, jellies on turntables, steam puddings and the invisible man have all made an appearance within a lesson! Beyond the timetabled lessons pupils can take part in co-curricular related activities, such as Astronomy, Engineering and coding. We are a friendly department and encourage pupils to get involved, ask questions and seek out extra help when they need it.
Up to the end of Year 8, we aim to teach pupils the fundamental basics that apply to physics. Pupils are introduced to a broad spectrum of ideas and topics, many of which form an essential foundation to the GCSE course they later follow.
Pupils in their early formative years of study in the subject of Physics can look forward to learning how it all works and why nature is the way it is. In the department we aim to keep the subject up to date and to help the pupils learn effectively using such methods as independent study, personal research, group work, presentations and posters, as well as traditional experiments.
During these two years, the department embeds lessons that encourage pupils to develop new skills and ways of thinking that we firmly believe enable them to be more independent learners and to develop better skills of analysis and evaluation. These lessons incorporate the strategy of social construction, metacognition and peer feedback on what they have learnt and how they have learnt it.
Content through Years 7–8
Each year group looks at the basic topics of electricity, waves, forces and energy in increasing depth and detail. In addition, each year group focuses on a particular issue, idea or personality within science.
Year 7: Starting with the basics, pupils learn about the SI system of units and the importance of measurements. They are then introduced to the nature of Force and its effects, through mobiles, tug-of-wars and bridges. They also begin studying the elementary nature of electricity and magnetism before moving onto light as an introduction to waves. The year ends with topics covering space and astronomy.
Year 8: During this year, students learn about electricity and magnetism. This covers reminders on the differences and construction of basic circuits, and how electricity and magnetism are linked. They look at energy transfers and why our use of energy is important. Ideas about forces from year 7 are incorporated into looking at motion. Students look at water pressure and atmospheric pressure in detail.
Content in Year 9
In Year 9, we begin to start the initial topics on their GCSE course. These comprise the basic foundational topics and ideas that underpin many of the higher concepts that pupils encounter during Years 10 and 11. These include waves and the electromagnetic spectrum; particle theory; energy stores and transfers; and energy resources.