What the Department does:
Building Physics foundations, Years 7-9
(Year 7 is a 'Science' course.)
ICGSE Dual Award Science, Years 10-11
Edexcel AS and A2 Physics
IB Physics; Standard and Higher levels.
IGCSE (International GCSE) since September 2006
Recent Visits and Coming Events
To the Hayward Gallery: Physics Meets Art
To the Institute of Education for Lectures (Music, Mobiles and Microwaves)
Physics in the Kitchen
Dr Alex Porter (ONL) on Nanotechnology
To Northwick Park Hospital: Medical Physics
To Culham, Oxfordshire: Nuclear Fusion
Shadowing a Physics student at KCL
The Department consists of five teachers and a technician. We have three modernised and well equipped laboratories.
Members of the Department also participate in the teaching of Science in Year 7.
Years 8 - 11
Physics is a compulsory subject in Years 8 - 11. All pupils work for the IGCSE Dual Award which they enter at Higher Tier level.
The size of the teaching groups is about 18. Regular practical work is undertaken by pupils usually working in pairs.
The Physics component of the course occupies, each week, two lessons (a double) in Year 9, and three lessons in each of Years 10 and 11. In addition there is one homework.
These are the features of our teaching which we consider to be important:
Frequent experimental work by pupils themselves and an emphasis that Science should be based on first hand observation whenever possible.
Demonstration of experiments which enables the most relevant outcomes to be highlighted.
Involvement of pupils, both in demonstrations and in building up ideas through discussion and drawing on pupils own experiences.
Willingness to take time to explore ideas introduced by pupils.
Creating opportunities for helping individuals, both in and out of class.
In each of Years 9 - 11 we build in opportunities for pupils to do independent library / internet research within a topic under a specific heading of their own choice.
The use of computers for word processing, data-logging, spreadsheets or simulations.
Opportunities to build up and practise the skills of investigative experimentation in which pupils carry out investigations they have planned themselves.
Years 12 and 13 A level and International Baccalaureate
We prepare for Edexcel examinations at AS and A2 level. Within the AS course, we have elected to include Particle Physics as the choice topic. There is a practical examination at the end of each year.
In each year there are two classes, typically of eight students, and each class has two teachers. By this arrangement, students enjoy a variety of teaching styles and extra opportunities to seek support when needed.
Teaching time each week is 7 lessons in Year 12 and 8 lessons in Year 13 providing flexibility for extra support and for more advanced study.
In September 2004 we embarked on the International Baccalaureate Course with a small group of Higher and Standard Level students. Our options are Mechanics Extension, Quantum and Nuclear Physics, History and Development of Physics and Astrophysics.
There is a Science Interdisciplinary project towards the end of Year 12.
Sixth-form groups are taken out of School for visits. This year we have visited Northwick Park Hospital to study diagnostic imaging and King's College, London to study fluorescence.
Our students leave us to undertake an impressive range of university studies. Over the last few years they have embarked on courses in Physics, Physics with Philosophy, Natural Sciences, Engineering (Civil and Mechanical), Architecture, Medical Physics, Materials Science, Marine Biology, Medicine, Mathematics and Management, as well as others which involve no Physics at all.
Above all, we believe we teach with enthusiasm and share our love of the subject with students.