Physics is taught as a separate subject by specialist Physics teachers in form groups during Years 7, 8, and 9. This provides an excellent basis for both GCSE and A-Level, where our students continue to enjoy great success.
Girls who study this popular subject routinely go on to study at top UK universities, pursuing not only science or engineering, but many other subjects such as law, economics, and medicine.
We have regular voluntary Physics Clinics running throughout the week at lunchtimes, designed to help girls who may be struggling with homework or classwork.
There is a flourishing Science Club for Lower School and all pupils are encouraged to take part in a number of extracurricular trips and activities throughout the academic year, including the very popular trip to NASA, Houston, Texas. This highly educational trip runs every three years and gives girls the opportunity to complete the NASA Space University programme whilst have lots of fun!
Girls are encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities available outside of the curriculum and enjoy public lectures, summer schools and national competitions in order to develop their interest and depth of knowledge.
In Year 7, girls study Electricity, Space, Energy and Forces. Experimental work features heavily wherever possible although space is taught through observation and independent study. This allows for a number of crucial scientific skills to be developed throughout the year.
In Year 8 the topic of Forces is continued, focusing on pressure. The topic of Heating and Cooling and Waves also feature in Year 8. Content is taught through experimentation and investigation with the majority of lessons being practically based, allowing for both independent and group work during the year.
In Year 9, the girls begin the AQA GCSE Physics course. Pupils study the topic of Energy, focusing on energy transfers and the generation of electricity. We then move onto the topic of Particle Model of Matter. Both of these topics feature in the GCSE separate science specification and the GCSE trilogy specification, ensuring all girls are catered for when they make their final GCSE decisions.
All lower school lessons cover content that actively promotes the foundations for the AQA GCSE Physics course. This aids in the pupils’ transition to GCSE teaching and external examinations.
GCSE Physics continues to be a key element of a modern scientific education and is vital preparation for a variety of career routes.
Girls study the AQA Physics course and receive 2 hours and 10 minutes of tuition each week from a specialised Physics teacher. GCSE teaching begins part way through Year 9, allowing ample time for revision at the end of the course.
Students are taken on a journey from the subatomic to the outer reaches of our universe and acquire a systematic body of scientific knowledge and skills that can be applied in new and changing situations in domestic, environmental and industrial contexts. Physics is fundamental to all that is around us and allows its students to stand out from the crowd.
Physics offers roads into an endless array of career options and develops skills that are sought after in all walks of life. Its analytical approach to problem-solving, its development of rational thinking skills and its emphasis on investigative and practical skills make Physics a universally-respected A-Level for university entrance.
Learning extends beyond the classroom and our strong extra-curricular programme focuses on engaging and encouraging girls in all aspects of Physics, whether medical, engineering or astronomy based.
The topics covered at AQA A-Level Physics are an extension of those studied at GCSE and allow girls to develop their knowledge of forces, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism.
Students look at these areas in more detail and find out how they are interconnected, while also learning how to apply maths to real-world problems and explore new areas such as quantum phenomena and special relativity. Most importantly however, they develop skills that can be transferred to just about any other area of work, from medicine to business to law.
Even for girls who don’t want to become a Physicist, learning to think like one will help them to get to the root of any problem and draw connections that aren’t always obvious to others. These skills are obtained by being given abstract problems and completing required practical work throughout the course, collecting and analysing data.
It is not necessary to study A-Level Mathematics to achieve the highest grade in A-Level Physics. We teach the required mathematical techniques as an integral part of the course for all students and also offer additional support to anyone who needs it.
Within the department we strive to give the girls as many opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom to allow them to develop a wealth of skills. Hosting Physics Masterclasses to primary school children is one of the highlights of the year and our pupils are the perfect female role models for younger physics students. Pupils are offered the opportunity to attend lectures, complete the Physics British Olympiad and take part in national competitions. Each year we have students who have won places on the national XMaS competition, run by Warwick University. This competition sees girls being assessed on their communication skills and creativity with the prize being a four day, all-expenses paid trip to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble. We also have an amazing opportunity for pupils to complete the NASA Space University course when we travel to Houston, Texas every three years.