Head of Department: Ms S Patel
Head of Physics: Mr L Mescia
The Science faculty consists of 18 experienced teachers, many with science related masters degrees and PhDs. All teachers teach Biology, Chemistry and Physics at Key Stage 3 and their science speciality at Key Stage 4 and 5.
The department has 17 well equipped laboratories that are purpose built for theory and practical work. In addition, we have a brilliant technician team who are fantastic at supporting pupils and staff with all practical requirements.
The science teachers pride themselves in ensuring high quality teaching and learning takes place in line with the curriculum and whole school vision and values. Teachers build outstanding relationships with pupils and are always willing to give up their time outside of lessons to help pupils progress.
Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All students should learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of physics. They should gain appreciation of how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas that relate to physics and that are both inter-linked and of universal application. Students should develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Students should appreciate the power and limitations of physics, and consider any ethical issues that may arise. They should explain common every day and technological applications of physics; evaluate risks both in practical science and the wider societal context.
Key Stage 3
Please visit our Key Stage 3 and Combined Science page.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 pupils will build on knowledge and skills from Key Stage 3. Topics taught are in line with the specification and provide an excellent foundation for those wanting to study Physics at A Level. Throughout Year 10 and 11, core concepts will be elicited through retrieval and built upon in different topics. Concepts are also underpinned by practical and mathematical skills. Pupils experience working in a laboratory and pay close attention to health and safety. They have opportunities to carry out investigations, evaluate data, carry out calculations and draw conclusions based on scientific evidence.
The skills we expect our pupils to gain are a knowledge of topic specific content, exam technique, extended writing, core laboratory practical skills, collaboration, solving mathematical problems in physics and the ability to make cross-curricular links. This will help students become well rounded individuals with knowledge and understanding that are transferable to everyday life.
Course and Exam information:
- The exam board we follow is Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) in Physics
- All assessment at GCSE is by examination at the end of Year 11
- There is no coursework but there are 15 topics and 8 compulsory Physics core practicals that may be assessed in the written exams
- Students sit two exam papers at the end of Year 11
- Paper 1 assesses Topics 1-7 and Paper 2 assesses Topics 1 and 8-15
- Exams are 1 hour 45 minutes and worth 100 marks each
- GCSEs are awarded under the 9-1 grading system
- Higher tier (grades 4-9) and Foundation tier (grades 1-5) are available
Topic 1 is key skills in Physics that are embedded throughout the course. Topics 2- 4 are taught in Year 9 as they overlap with the KS3 curriculum.
Topics 5 - 10 are taught in Year 10 and topics and topics 11 – 15 are taught in Year 11.
At the end of each topic pupils sit an end of topic assessment.
At the end of Year 10 there is an end of year exam.
During Year 11 there are two mock exam sessions.
Links to each topic checklists
The full specification for the Edexcel GCSE Physics can be found here:
There are various resources available to support pupils:
- Pearson Active Learn - a digital learning environment that provides students with an online version of the textbooks and access to interactive online tasks (pupils should have their own log in to access this)
- Revision guides and workbooks – provided to pupils
- ScienceFocus - interactive version of all the core practicals learnt at GCSE (found on Teams)
- Teachers - students can come and see their teacher outside of lesson time with any queries or questions.
- Websites – “BBC Bitesize” and “Physics and Maths tutor”
Key Stage 5
The exam board is OCR for A level Physics and the grading follows the A*- E system. We follow the OCR ‘A’ specification. All assessment at A level is by examination at the end of Year 13. There are three exam papers sat at the end of year 13. There is no coursework but there are a minimum of 12 compulsory Physics core practicals that may be assessed in the written exams.
Content is split into six teaching modules:
Modules 1 and 2 are embedded throughout the course and can be examined in all three papers. Modules 3-6 comprise of 5 topics each, with an end of topic test for each topic out of 40 marks.
Paper 1 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.
Paper 2 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.
Paper 3 assesses content from all modules (1 to 6).
Throughout the key stages teachers organise various opportunities for pupils within school. This includes our co-curricular clubs; lego club, science club and stemettes, along with guest speakers and workshops such as robotics, medical diagnostics challenge day and Moorfield Eye Hospital workshop with volunteering opportunities.
Pupils are also encouraged to enter UK-wide competitions such as the Biology Challenge and Chemistry Challenge to compete for Bronze, Silver or Gold awards.
In addition to this, pupils have the opportunity to attend external workshops and excursions. These have included trips to the Science Museum, RAF museum, various STEM days and STEM lectures at UCL.
Every year, many of our students choose undergraduate courses related directly to Physics.
Courses at Higher Education and Careers related to the Physics:
- Engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical/electronic, aeronautical/aerospace, chemical, materials)
- Natural sciences
- Medicine (including medical physics, radiography and medical technology)
- Computer science