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Pupils have very good levels of scientific skills

ISI 2013

Physics

We run a trip to the CERN high energy Physics research facility in Geneva every two years, which is open to Sixth Form students and Year 11 students who are interested in post-16 Physics.

In the past few years, we have also run a gifted and talented workshop – GCSE. Physics is taught separately in all years by specialist staff. We have five dedicated Physics laboratories which hold a large amount of apparatus for the important experimental side of the subject. Each of the laboratories is equipped with interactive smartboards, which are utilised effectively across all age groups. We employ a variety of teaching methods, and include a lot of experimental work to complement the theory. Engaging activities result in a lively feel to lessons and enhance pupil enjoyment of the subject. 

Small class sizes - particularly for students of lower abilities - result in a more individual learning experience which improves the outcomes for each student. We also have a newly-refurbished student common room with work spaces reserved for the use of our Sixth Form physicists.


In Years 7 and 8, pupils have one double lesson of Physics each week (1 hour and 20 minutes), followed by a homework exercise to be completed by the next lesson. A broad range of basic physics topics are taught through these two years in order to give the students an excellent grounding in the various branches of the subject that will be needed for GCSE later on.

In Year 7, we start by studying energy before continuing on to study light and reflection, forces, density, gravity and space. In Year 8, electricity and magnetism are studied, as well as refraction and colour, sound, force and motion, pressure and moments.

We start teaching GCSE topics in Year 9. The students are gently introduced to GCSE level work and the three year GCSE allows plenty of time to cover the material. In addition to the actual GCSE content, we also explicitly teach scientific skills, which will be needed for the assessed practical work which forms a part of the GCSE examinations.

We offer two different routes at GCSE. Some of our pupils are entered for the Edexcel International GCSE in either Separate or Combined Science and the others are entered for the AQA Science A and Additional Science courses.

The course that each individual follows depends on their ability, and is decided in part by the examination at the end of Year 9 and finally by a rigorous test in the February of Year 10. The marks of these tests are used to inform us of the course of study that will enable each child to progress to the best of their ability and gain the best GCSE grades possible. The A* grade is accessible in all GCSE courses.

The Edexcel IGCSE course is examined at the end of Year 11, while the AQA course is actually two GCSEs with examinations at the end of Year 10 and then Year 11. The AQA course also includes an Investigative Skills Assessment which is separate to the exams - worth 25% of the overall course.

 

Pupils have very good levels of scientific skills

ISI 2013
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