Head of Science Faculty and Physics Department: Mr S Burn
Head of Biology Department: Mr C Quirk
Head of Chemistry Department: Mrs C Quibell
Key Stage 3 Coordinator: MrP Dorney
Faculty Staff: Mrs A Baker, Mr C Boutland-Smith, Dr S Gurr, Mrs M Kestell, Miss S Newton, Miss G Shepherd, Mrs J Tidball
Support Staff: Miss H Morrison, Mr C Spooner
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5 at The New Sixth
Physics is the study of how things work from the very large to the incredibly small – the universe to the atom. The specification introduces students to some of the concepts and applications of physics from the use and transfer of energy, to insights into waves, radiation and space.
The study of Physics enables students to explore how things work from the very large to the incredibly small – the universe to the atom. The specification introduces students to some of the concepts and applications of physics from the use and transfer of energy, to insights into waves, radiation and space. Physics is a fascinating subject which engages learners at many levels, linking direct practical experience with scientific ideas. Experimentation and modelling are used to develop and evaluate explanations, encouraging critical and creative thought. Students learn how knowledge and understanding in Physics are rooted in evidence. They discover how scientific ideas contribute to technological change – affecting industry, business and medicine and improving quality of life. They trace the development of science worldwide and recognise its cultural significance. They learn to question and discuss issues that may affect their own lives, the directions of societies and the future of the world.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7-8)
In KS3 Science, we follow the AQA Activate Science Course. This involves learning about the ’10 Big Ideas’ science curriculum over a 2-year key stage. Each ‘Big Idea’ contain four smaller topics that build in complexity. Details are as follows:
Forces: Speed & Gravity
Electromagnets: Voltage and Resistance & Current
Energy: Energy costs & Energy transfer
Waves: Sound & Light
Matter: Particle model & Separating mixtures
Reactions: Metals and non-metals & Acids and alkalis
Earth: Earth structure & Universe
Organisms: Movement & Cells
Ecosystems: Interdependence & Plant reproduction
Genes: Variation & Human reproduction
Forces: Contact forces & Pressure
Electromagnets: Electromagnets & Magnetism
Energy: Work & Heating and cooling
Waves: Wave effects & Wave properties
Matter: Periodic table & Elements
Reactions: Chemical energy & Types of reaction
Earth: Climate & Earth resources
Organisms: Breathing & Digestion
Ecosystems: Respiration & Photosynthesis
Genes: Evolution & Inheritance
In KS3 Science, we rotate Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics through the year to complete all the outcomes within the ten big ideas topics. We follow the AQA Activate Science schemes of work, which provide students with opportunities for regular practical work, and development of their numeracy and literacy skills within Science. The progress of students is tracked regularly with end of unit assessments and formal end of year exams.
Key Stage 4 (Years 9–11)
Course Code: GCSE Physics AQA 8463
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463
Course Code: GCSE Combined Science Trilogy AQA 8464
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464
GCSE Physics offers students the chance to gain a good understanding of:
- The use and transfer of energy
- Waves, radiation and space
- The application of Physics
The specification is designed to give students the tools and concepts they need to be able to construct a scientific approach to solving problems. Students will learn to ask and answer questions about the fundamental laws that govern natural phenomena. This is done by integrating the ‘How Science Works’ approach throughout the specification. Students are likely to be engaged by the aspects of the specification that they can relate to their everyday life such as the efficiency of electrical appliances and braking distances as well as larger concepts like nuclear fission and fusion and evidence of the Big Bang. This course provides a firm foundation for progression to AS and A-level Physics.
GCSE Physics is examined by 2 x 1hr 45min exams at the end of the course. It also involves a practical endorsement which doesn’t contribute to the overall grade.
Unit 1: Physics Paper 1 – Written paper 1hr 45mins – 100 marks worth 50%
Unit 2: Physics Paper 2 – Written paper 1hr 45mins – 100 marks worth 50%
Students start GCSE in Year 9 and rotate classes so that students get a taste of all three GCSE sciences before making their option choices where they choose to do either Combined or Triple Science in Year 10. We therefore teach everyone the triple science curriculum for the initial topics during Year 9 for an easy transition into Year 10.
In Year 10, students will continue on the course that they have chosen within their options.
- Particle model of matter
- Atomic structure
- Magnetism and electromagnetism
- Space physics
GCSE Combined Science Pathway:
The GCSE Combined Science topics covered will involve a subset of the content from the three separate sciences.
Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)
Course Code: A Level Physics OCR A H556
Exam Board Specification: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-physics-a-h156-h556-from-2015/
Recommended Entry Requirements
- Grade 6 GCSE Physics or Grade 6-6 GCSE Combined or Triple Science
- Grade 6 GCSE Mathematics
- Students who have studied Combined Science must complete additional preparatory work over the summer holidays.
This exciting course provides insights into how the universe works. You will build on concepts covered in GCSE but in more depth and how these are applied in everyday and technological settings.
The course embraces six modules:
- Development of practical skills
- Foundations of physics
- Forces and motion
- Electrons, waves and photons
- Newtonian world and astrophysics and
- Particles and medical physics.
A fascinating and complex area, ideally suited to anyone wanting to challenge themselves.
For more information on A Level Physics, click here.
Resources & Links:
Past papers and mark schemes can be downloaded from:
The Science Faculty website is now live and contains useful revision PowerPoint’s and web links:
Students also have access to the GCSE Science textbooks online using their usernames and passwords for Kerboodle:
www.kerboodle.com (Institution Code: ik1)
Students also have access to GCSE Science Resources on Doddle including PowerPoint’s and Assessments using their usernames and passwords:
www.doddlelearn.co.uk (Institution: search by postcode BA2 & select St Gregory’s)
KS3 Science Club, National Science & Engineering Week enrichment activities, curriculum visits to Bristol Zoo, @Bristol, The Big Bang Fair, National Science Museum. A Level Biology Residential Ecology trip, DNA Workshop day trip and further enrichment opportunities.
It has been fantastic to see that, on the whole, our students are all now established on Google Classroom and are making great progress in their studies whilst away from school.
GCSE students were jumping for joy this morning as they celebrated another year of outstanding GCSE results with 81% of students achieving five or more GCSEs at grades 9 – 4 (A*-C equivalent).
Prior to starting in September, please complete any Summer Assignment for your chosen courses. This is intended to spark your curiosity and support your transition to A level.