Years 10 and 11: IGCSE
Students are taught the Edexcel IGCSE Physics course. No coursework is required, but the development of investigation skills is still an important element of the course. IGCSE courses are a good foundation for International Baccalaureate courses. Physics also forms part of the Science Dual Award course for those who take this option rather than the three separate sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Students acquire practical and investigative skills and learn to appreciate the importance of accurate experimental work. Forces and motion, electricity and radioactivity are all part of the course.
Students learn to describe and explain patterns in data and learn to evaluate the social, environmental and economic impact of scientific developments.
Sixth Form: International Baccalaureate
IB Physics is offered at both Higher and Standard Level as part of the IB Diploma programme.
Developing the ideas of mechanics, waves, electricity and nuclear physics started at GCSE the IB level students move into the more challenging concepts of quantum physics, photoelectric effect and Faraday’s laws. IB Physics also includes coursework where students investigate an area of physics they are interested in, developing the experiment from the question right through to its conclusion.
A highlight of the IB course is the Experimental Sciences Project, conducted over two days in Year 12. Students are placed in groups and have to design a method to answer a question of their own choosing, based on a theme (for example the beach, eggs or the Olympics). Self-motivation and perseverance, working within a team and self-reflection are assessed. It is a great opportunity to work with others and have freedom to explore different approaches to problem solving.