Physics

Course ID
A Level (Physics) and IGCSE (Physics, Science Double Award)

Introduction to the Physics department

The Physics department at Wolverhampton Grammar school aims to develop interests in the way the physical world around us works and how we in turn interact with it. They aim to do this through stimulating the students curiosity and engaging them with practical activities.

The department includes three full time teachers and a technician.

  • Nick Munson (Head of Department)
  • Ryan Lovatt
  • Emily Watson
  • David Naughton (Technician)

The department has three dedicated laboratories in the Merridale building. These are well stocked with apparatus including the latest Pasco data-logging equipment. Students benefit from trips to the ThinkTank and science lectures at The University of Birmingham.

In Years 7 and 8 the aim is to ensure that students have the same knowledge of the fundamental physical concepts. As they progress through the GCSE years they develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the subject. Emphasis is placed upon developing this understanding using practical and real life examples. Some students are entered for the Physics Challenge in Year 11.

Physics is a popular choice at A Level. It is essential for the study of engineering and many other science related courses at university. A deeper understanding of the intricacies of the atom and the nature of our universe are developed over the two year course. The department has a good record in the Physics Olympiad which is used to stretch the most able students.

Students can study single sciences ie biology, chemistry and physics at GCSE or the Science Double Award, which counts as two GCSEs.

Introduction to the Course

With the continual advances in technology Physics is integral to understanding life in the 21st century. Physics is a continually evolving subject and is at the forefront of current scientific research helping drive future global innovations; the world wide web was invented by a Physicist just 25 years ago. The IGCSE course will help students to develop their curiosity and understanding of the physical world. It covers a broad range of topics from the detailed intricacies of the atom to the spectacular nature of the wider universe we live in. Students will learn about the way we interact with the world around us and how, in return it interacts back with them. A significant amount of the course involves practical work, but there is no separate practical assessment. The course follows a linear structure.

What the student will learn

  • Forces and their effects: Resultant forces, forces on vehicles, terminal velocity, stretching, hydraulics.
  • Momentum: conservation and impulse.
  • Motion: displacement, velocity, acceleration, graphical approach.
  • Energy: gravitational, kinetic and energy transfers.
  • Moments and rotation: centre of mass, equilibrium, circular motion.
  • Properties of waves: definitions, reflection, refraction, sound and ultrasound.
  • Electromagnetic spectrum: properties and uses, redshift.
  • Lenses and the eye: structure of the eye and uses and properties of lens.
  • Kinetic theory: specific heat capacity, latent heat.
  • Energy transfer by heating: conduction, convection and radiation, efficiency, heating buildings.
  • Electrical circuits: voltage, current, components their characteristics and uses.
  • Household electricity: electrical energy usage, national grid.
  • Electro-magnetism: motors, generators and transformers.
  • Nuclear Physics: Atomic structure, radiation, fission, fusion, life cycle of stars.

How the student will be assessed

Assessment

Paper 1

Time

1 hour and 30 minutes

 

About

  • Structured and open questions.
  • 90 marks – 50%.
  • Weighted more to assessment of knowledge, understanding and application.
Paper 2 

1 hour and 30 minutes

 

  • Structured and open questions.
  • 90 marks – 50%.
  • Includes a higher proportion of questions testing skills.

Physics A Level covers the key ideas required or explaining how the world around us works. It can lead to great discoveries and technologies that can change our lives from healing joints, curing cancer to developing sustainable energy solutions.

At Wolverhampton Grammar School we will teach you a broad range of skills, ranging from mathematical and analytical thought to presentation and communication skills, making it a highly regarded discipline by both universities and employers alike.

Physics is one of the core STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths subjects) and is highly regarded by universities and employers alike. Purpose built Physics laboratories at Wolverhampton Grammar School, together with dedicated Technician and expert staff will provide the best environment possible for you to succeed in this discipline.

Assessment

  • Paper 1. AS Content, 2 hours exam. 34% of A Level.
  • Paper 2. Core A Level Physics, 2 hours exam. 34% of A Level.
  • Paper 3. Option topic and practical skills, 2 hours exam. 32% of A Level.

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