Mr R Tanner-Smith – Head of Science
Mr M Johnson – Head of Physics
Mr W Rhodes
Mr D Grainger
Dr D Rose – Chief Technician
Mrs A Peck
Physics A Level
The A Level Physics course offered at St John Fishers aims to inspire students, nurture a passion for Physics and lay the groundwork for further study in science or engineering. Physics is inherently a fascinating subject to study at A Level but 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 an essential or highly desirable qualification for many different careers/professions. Amongst these are Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Architecture, Management, Research, Geophysics and Geology. For more ideas about possible careers, please use the following link:
Preferred Previous Studies
Students should have gained a grade B in Physics (pre June 2017) or a 6 in the new GCSE Separate Science Physics (June 2017 onwards) or a grade A in Additional Science (pre June 2017) or a 7 in GCSE Combined Science (June 2017 onwards). Students must also have at least a grade 6 in Math’s. On occasion students who do not meet these criteria may be allowed on the course after a Year 11 Physics teacher’s recommendation.
GCE A Level Awarding Body AQA
Physics is a linear course meaning all of the A Level exams are sat after two years of study. During the two year course, there are 12 standard practical assessments to complete to gain the practical endorsement. Other practical learning opportunities and demonstrations are also given to aid learning. This should give students the necessary practical skills to pursue science at university.
Course Content Year 1
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 Year 2
During Year 2 of the course students will study:
• Further Mechanics
• Thermal Physics
• Nuclear Physics
• An optional topic (usually Astrophysics)
Year 2 of the course allows students to deepen their understanding of Physics and to encourage them 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.
Assessment for A Level Physics in May/June of Year 13
The exams for this course will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.
• AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures.
• AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures:
• in a theoretical context • in a practical context
• when handling qualitative data
• when handling quantitative data.
• AO3: Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to issues, to:
• make judgements and reach conclusions
• develop and refine practical design and procedures
Assessment Objectives Paper 1 (%) Paper 2 (%) Paper 3 (%) Overall Weighting (%)