Head of Department - Mr Lee Flanagan
Building on the experimental and processing skills fostered in the First Year, we use a ‘Year in Space' theme for the Second Year to introduce boys to the flavour and breadth of topic areas within the subject. The nature of Physics as a discrete discipline- in terms of both content and process - is illustrated by studying aspects of astronomy, space travel and space exploration.
Built into the scheme of work are ‘STEM’ challenges that encourage creativity, team-working and construction skills. They serve to demonstrate the inter-relationship and inter-dependence of the sciences, technology and maths in engineering contexts, and also add a healthy element of competition.
This transition year leads into the IGCSE courses, started in year 9, where the emphasis on practical investigation is maintained as we establish the necessary knowledge and skills bases in traditional Physics as either a separate subject (Edexcel 4PH0) or an element in the Dual Award course (Edexcel 4SC0). These courses offer sensible, coherent packages for those who will cease study of the subject after GCSE, but both also provide secure platforms and solid content that equip the many who choose to continue study of Physics to A-level and beyond.
In the Sixth Form we follow OCR's well-established Physics ‘A’ specification. Initially concept focused, it develops a broad knowledge base before extending its reach to take in both some important areas of application and ideas at the "Frontiers of Physics" in the final theory unit of the A2 course. The AS course is an attractive ‘stand-alone’ qualification that offers to many a contrasting or supporting fourth option as they start their Sixth Form careers. Internally assessed practical tasks are a feature of both AS (H158) and A2 (H558) courses.
The department is well resourced and the subject is taught by energetic specialists who are able to communicate their understanding effectively. Senior students especially are encouraged to attend lectures relevant to their study and interests, both those organised periodically at school and those available elsewhere, such as UCL’s Science Centre lecture programme that runs on Friday evenings during term time.
A Sixth Form trip to CERN has become an established highlight of the department's year.