Curriculum - Physics


What will I learn?

Forces, Energy, Waves, Electricity, Magnetism and electromagnetism, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure, Space Physics

How will I be assessed?

Two papers: each paper will assess different topics.

Paper 1 – Energy, Electricity, Particle model of matter and Atomic structure

Paper 2 – Forces, Waves, Magnetism and electromagnetism and Space Physics

Duration: both papers are 1 hour 45 minutes.

Tiers: Foundation and Higher.

Weighting: the papers are equally weighted. Each is worth 50% of the grade and has 100 marks available.

Question types: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

What resources are used?

VLE: Year/Teacher/Specific pages and links

Electronic textbooks: AQA GCSE Combined Science, AQA GCSE Biology, AQA GCSE Chemistry, AQA GCSE Physics

Kerboodle Science: All pupils will have their own access to the link on VLE

How this subject help me in future?

Many of the issues in Science are part of everyday life, studying Science will help you make important decisions in the future. GCSE Core/Additional Science and GCSE Separate Science, will also help anyone wishing to study Sciences further at A Level (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). It will lay a good foundation for a career in medicine, nursing, sports Science, marine biology, zoology, dentistry, engineering, environmental science, computer science, mechanics or astrophysics.


GCE A Level

Physics A-Level is a two year linear course, with three exams at the end of year 13.  We currently follow the AQA specification.

Course Content:

  1. Particles and Radiation
    1. Matter and Radiation
    2. Quarks and Leptons
    3. Quantum Phenomena
  2. Waves and Optics
    1. Waves
    2. Optics
  3. Mechanics and Materials
    1. Forces in Equilibrium
    2. On The Move
    3. Newton’s Laws of Motion
    4. Force and Momentum
    5. Work, Energy and Power
    6. Materials
  4. Electricity
    1. Electric Current
    2. Direct Current Circuits
  5. Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics
    1. Motion in a Circle
    2. Simple Harmonic Motion
    3. Thermal Physics
    4. Gases
  6. Fields
    1. Gravitational Fields
    2. Electric Fields
    3. Capacitors
    4. Magnetic Fields
    5. Electromagnetic Induction
  7. Nuclear Physics
    1. Radioactivity
    2. Nuclear Energy
  8. Optional Units
    1. Astrophysics
    2. Medical Physics
    3. Engineering Physics
    4. Turning Points in Physics
    5. Electronics

A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams.

There are 12 required practicals which must be carried out by all students taking this course. Written papers will assess knowledge and understanding of these, and the skills exemplified within each practical.

  1. Investigation into the variation of the frequency of stationary waves on a string with length, tension and mass per unit length of the string.
  2. Investigation of interference effects to include the Young’s slit experiment and interference by a diffraction grating.
  3. Determination of g by a free-fall method.
  4. Determination of the Young modulus by a simple method.
  5. Determination of resistivity of a wire using a micrometer, ammeter and voltmeter.
  6. Investigation of the emf and internal resistance of electric cells and batteries by measuring the variation of the terminal pd of the cell with current in it.
  7. Investigation into simple harmonic motion using a mass-spring system and a simple pendulum.
  8. Investigation of Boyle’s (constant temperature) law and Charles’s (constant pressure) law for a gas.
  9. Investigation of the charge and discharge of capacitors. Analysis techniques should include log-linear plotting leading to a determination of the time constant RC.
  10. Investigate how the force on a wire varies with flux density, current and length of wire using a top pan balance.
  11. Investigate, using a search coil and oscilloscope, the effect on magnetic flux linkage of varying the angle between a search coil and magnetic field direction.
  12. Investigation of the inverse-square law for gamma radiation.

All exams take place at the end of year 13.

Paper 1

  • Sections 1 – 5b
  • 2 hour written exam
  • 85 marks, made up of 60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.
  • 34% of A-Level

Paper 2

  • Sections 5c. – 7b, with assumed knowledge from sections 1 – 5b.
  • 2 hour written exam
  • 85 marks, made up of 60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.
  • 34% of A-Level

Paper 3

  • Section A – Compulsory section on practical skills and data analysis.
  • Section B – Students enter for one of the optional units.
  • 2 hour written exam
  • 80 marks, made up of 45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical skills and data analysis, and 35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional unit
  • 32% of A-Level