Physics

Physics is a popular subject at Kendrick with its large uptake of girls taking A Level Physics being recognised by a national award in November 2016. There were were 80 Year 12 and 13 students taking physics in 2016-2017, and numbers are similar each year.

The Physics department aims to introduce students to the wonders of the natural world from the very small to the very large, from every day phenomena to the exotic, from simple to complex. The aim is to make this world more accessible and understood and to allow students to enjoy the experiments, expand their thinking, and be amazed at how the laws of physics make the physical world behave. We aim to help students to realise that ‘Physics is Fun’ rather than the popular perception that Physics is hard. 

Physics occupies a central position in science and is concerned with the whole range of natural phenomena from the study of sub-nuclear particles to the structure of the universe. In addition, the wide practical applications of Physics mean that it has immediate relevance to modern technological developments. The Physicist thus has a vital role to play in extending our knowledge and in helping to develop our technology further, and a qualification in Physics is an excellent foundation for a wide range of careers, from pure science, engineering, medicine, finance, law, music technology, in fact any discipline requiring well developed thinking skills.

What is studied at KS3?

Physics KS3 is taught alongside Biology and Chemistry as part of the Science programme.

The Physic topics are:

  • Year 7: Energy, Forces, Light and Sound, Electricity
  • Year 8: Space, Dynamics, Electrostatics, Pressure, Electromagnetism

The emphasis is very much on creating an enjoyment of the challenges of science through practical activities.  It prepares them for future studies at GCSE and beyond.

What is studied at KS4?

The rationale of the teaching approach is to enthuse the students, so that they recognise the use of physics in the world around us, and to know for themselves how the world works.

All students take the GCSE Physics AQA 8463 course at KS4.

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463

Practical work is the foundation of all topics:

  • Year 9: Energy, Forces, Waves, Matter
  • Year 10: Electricity, Atomic Structure, More Energy, Forces & Motion, Optics,
  • Year 11: Space, More Electricity, Electromagnetism, More Energy; Elasticity and Simple machines, Gas behaviour

What is studied at KS5?

The rationale of the teaching approach is to make the more difficult concepts accessible so students are able to access STEM careers.  This is achieved through engaging the students with a variety of approaches which include numerous practicals, on-line learning, and weekly drop-in sessions.

Exam Board: Edexcel Subject specification codes: AS: 8PH0   ALevel: 9PH0

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/physics-2015.html

Assessment: AS: Core Physics I: 8PH0/01 50%, Core Physics II: 8PHP/02   50%

A Level: Advanced Physics I: 9PHO/01 30%, Advanced Physics: 2 9PHO/02 30%,

General and Practical principles in Physics: 9PHO/03 40%

Science Practical Endorsement: Students complete Core Practicals within the course to cover this.

Both AS and the full A Level are possible within the Kendrick KS5 pathways.  There is common teaching of the AS course as it is integral to the full A Level.

Facilities

The department is well resourced and well supported by a Physics Technician. There is a very high element of practical work throughout all years. The new A level course has renewed the emphasis on practical skills and students quickly adapt to using lab books as a working record of their experimental work.    

Opportunities
 

Trips are arranged, eg to Rutherford Appleton events.

'Engineering Society' and 'Space Society' are both student-led clubs which provide opportunities for students. eg entering competitions together and arranging 'Space' related events.

Students are entered for Physics Olympiad competitions at all levels:  Year 10 On-line Challenge, GCSE Challenge, Year 12 and Year 13 Challenges, and the BHPO competition.

Staff

Mrs Theresa Conlon FlnstP - Subject Leader of Physics
Mr Geoff Hill - Teacher of Physics and Assistant Headteacher
Mrs Eileen Sheppard - Teacher of Physics
Dr Helen Smalley - Teacher of Physics
Mrs Anne Pulsford - Physics Technician