The aim of Physics is to understand how nature works. Developing this understanding begins with careful observation and experimentation, followed by tentative hypotheses and eventually formal theories to explain the phenomena. Predictions made by these theories are in turn tested against new experiments leading to refinements in theory.
Historically, the first successful theory of universal scope was Newtonian mechanics, which explained how forces cause objects to change their motion. Later physicists developed equally successful theories of electromagnetism, light (optics), and heat (thermodynamics). The aim of the GCSE course is to introduce students to these universal theories and to develop an understanding of how engineers have used them to build the structures and machines that have revolutionised our lives.
This new specification contains a broad range of Physics topics that are designed to engage and stimulate students’ interest, whilst providing the knowledge and understanding required for progression to A Level. The specification emphasises scientific knowledge, the application of science and the scientific process.
GCSE Physics is a highly regarded qualification which is designed to develop analytical and investigative skills. It is an essential foundation for any pupil wishing to study the subject to AS or A Level, and is vital for those considering a career in the physical sciences or engineering. The subject offers a crucial insight into how the universe works and even how it came into being.
The study of Physics develops many valuable skills: you will learn how to observe and describe situations and events precisely, collect reliable data, construct models to explain the observations, draw logical conclusions and make sound recommendations based upon the evidence. These transferable skills will be vital in your subsequent career, whatever the field.
The course initially follows on seamlessly from your GCSE studies, consolidating your existing knowledge by adding simple equations and calculations.
The subject is intellectually stimulating and challenging as you discover new concepts to explain the world around you, but this should be no hurdle if you tackle your work with steady determination and good study skills. The regular tasks include reading, making notes and solving problems. The practical work in the laboratory is chosen to illustrate the topics that you are studying and to develop your proficiency as an experimental scientist. More sophisticated apparatus, high quality data loggers and software for computer analysis of results have been acquired recently for use in the Sixth Form.