Mr R Tanner-Smith – Head of Science
Mr J Ibison – Head of Physics
Mr W Rhodes
Dr D Rose – Chief Technician
Mrs A Peck
Mrs T Atkinson
Physics A Level
Physics is a fascinating subject to study at A Level. It is also very highly regarded by universities and employers who recognise that studying Physics develops practical, analytical and logical problem solving skills as well as increasing students’ awareness of how the world works. An A Level in Physics is essential, highly desirable or very useful for many different careers/professions. Amongst these are Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Architecture, Management, Research, Geophysics and Geology.
Preferred Previous Studies
Ideally students will have achieved a grade B in GCSE Separate Science Physics or an A in Additional Science (Coordinated Science). A grade B in Maths is also required before admission to the course, preferably in the Higher Tier paper at GCSE.
GCE A Level Awarding Body AQA
Course Content AS Level
Over the whole AS course students will study the following:
• Measurements and their errors
• Particles and Radiation
Through Particles and Radiation many new ideas will be introduced including quarks, antiparticles and quantum concepts such as the photoelectric effect and wave particle duality. We will also cover many of the fundamental aspects of Physics. Although many topics covered will be familiar from GCSE they are developed further for greater appreciation of the ideas. Concepts encountered will be Equations of Motion, Newton’s Laws, Work, Power, Momentum, Hooke’s Law, Longitudinal and Transverse Waves, Refraction, Diffraction and Interference, Current, Voltage, Resistance, Resistivity, AC and Oscilloscopes and much more besides.
Course Content A Level
During the A2 course students will study:
• Further Mechanics
• Thermal Physics
• Nuclear Physics
• An optional topic (usually Turning Points in Physics or Astrophysics)
Year 13 allows students to deepen their understanding of Physics and to establish links between the previously separate yet fundamental topics. Some of the concepts to be studied are Circular Motion, Simple Harmonic Motion, Gravitational, Electric and Magnetic Fields, Capacitance and Electromagnetic Induction, Radioactivity, Probing the Nucleus, Nuclear Instability, Nuclear Energy, Heat Capacity, Ideal Gases and Kinetic Theory.
The AS course is assessed by two exams, each worth 50% of the course, both assessing material from the whole of Year 12. Students continuing to A2 level will not be able to carry their marks forward from AS. At the end of the two year course students will sit three exams:
Paper 1 – primarily assessing AS subject material is worth 34% of the overall grade.
Paper 2 – primarily assessing A2 subject material but with assumed knowledge of all the AS material is
also worth 34% of the overall grade.
Each of these papers will consist of long and short answer questions as well as some multiple choice questions
Paper 3 – This final exam makes up the final 32% of the overall grade.
It is made up of two sections, 18% based on practical experiments and data analysis and 14% based
on the optional topic.