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Pupils have very good levels of scientific skills

ISI 2013

Physics

Aims and Philosophy

Physics is a fundamental subject that drives our technology-rich society.  The department’s aim is to reflect this energy in our teaching. The department aims to build on the academic excellence of the past, constantly enhance the use of up-to-date teaching methods and employ quality resources to engage pupils and help them achieve to their highest potential. We will provide a coherent educational experience for our students which will enable them to acquire sufficient knowledge and understanding to become confident citizens in a technologically-driven world, able to take or develop an informed interest and opinion in matters of scientific importance.

Most importantly, we wish to develop in our pupils:

  • A sense of wonder in, and awe of, the natural world
  • An appreciation of the explanatory and predictive power of science
  • An enjoyment and satisfaction in solving problems using scientific techniques, including practical investigations
  • An understanding of some applications of science, of the work of scientists, and how science works
  • The ability to learn independently, to locate and use relevant information themselves and to develop a desire to read outside the curriculum
  • The ability to communicate their work, both in writing and by other methods

At A level we follow the AQA syllabus. The AS course consists of topics in particles, mechanics, waves and electricity, and the A2 course comprises further mechanics, thermal physics, fields and nuclear physics, plus an optional topic, usually Astrophysics but this depends on the wishes of the particular cohort. AS exams are no longer taken in the linear A levels, so all the assessment is at the end of the two-year course.

Resources

Physics A level is taught by three specialist teachers. We have five fully-equipped Physics laboratories clustered around an office and student support room. Each laboratory has an interactive whiteboard and projector with full AV. We have a dedicated Physics technician who oversees a thorough range of key stage-specific apparatus.

Our teaching employs modern methodology including a wide range of teaching strategies to ensure that all types of learner are able to access the lessons. This includes the use of technology in appropriate forms, active learning, group work and experimental work, whist also integrating traditional teaching techniques.

We pride ourselves on our open-door policy for 1:1 support for all our students.

 

Achievements

We achieve good results for our students: in 2015 at A level we achieved 26% A*/A percentage at A level with a 100% pass, and in 2016 our A*/A percentage was 21% with a 93% pass (one student didn’t quite make it!). Our value added 3 year average is +0.2.

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, and we are involved in various STEM related projects in school and beyond. We also enter high ability A level students in the British Physics Olympiad.

Pupils have very good levels of scientific skills

ISI 2013
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