Physics

Staff

Mrs Rosie McKee

Mr. Fred Gilmour

Mr. Stewart Henry

Mr. C Hunter (Technician) 

Subject overview

In Bangor Grammar School, Physics is delivered at Key Stage 3 to Years 9 & 10*. It is also offered as a GCSE subject at Key Stage 4 and as an AS and A2 subject at Key Stage 5.  The curriculum encourages pupils to examine the world around them, in providing scientific explanations for many everyday phenomena, as well as engage in higher level scientific study.  It aims to stimulate pupils’ natural curiosity and to develop their numeracy, literacy, problem solving and team working skills through a wide range of learning activities and resources.

(*There is also a Physics component within Year 8 Science).

Accommodation

  • 3 fully equipped laboratories
  • Adjoining store rooms
  • Preparation rooms

Key Stage 3 Physics

At KS3 the lessons are delivered in a fun and interactive way with scientific investigation running throughout.  Pupils have two, one hour periods of Physics timetabled per fortnight.

All notes are provided in the form of booklets that the students fill in along with their teachers in class.  They also receive ‘Super Summaries’ at the end of topics to help consolidate learning and to assist with revision.

The Physics component within Year 8 Science is based around the Earth and Space.

The Year 9 course introduces the concept of forces and looks at some of the major and most common forces in our world such as weight and friction.  After this pupils study light and then sound.

The Year 10 course introduces pupils to the workings of electricity which involves the building and making sense of electrical circuits and also developing an understanding of basic electrical safety. Later in the year they study turning forces and stability, and motion calculations and graphs. They also look at magnetism and the generation of electricity which leads to the study of renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

PDF icon CCEA Specification

Key Stage 4

Pupils have five one hour periods of Physics timetabled per fortnight.  All notes are provided in booklet form and the content is delivered in a fun and interactive way.  An emphasis is placed on developing pupils’ scientific numeracy and literacy, and there is an expectation of independent learning from pupils.

At GCSE, students follow the CCEA Physics specification, which is split into three units:

  • Unit 1 covers Motion, Force, Density and Kinetic Theory, Energy and Atomic and Nuclear Physics.
  • Unit 2 covers Waves, Light, Electricity, Magnetism, Electromagnetism and Space Physics.  
  • Units 1 & 2 are examined by written paper at the end of Year 12.
  • Unit 3 is based around Practical Skills.  Students will be expected to carry out two pre-release practical tasks under examination conditions during Term 2 in Year 12.  There will also be an external written examination during the normal examination window at the end of Year 12 where students will be expected to answer structured questions set in a practical context.

PDF icon CCEA GCSE Specification

Key Stage 5

At AS Level pupils have ten one hour periods of Physics timetabled per fortnight; at A2 Level they have nine one hour periods of Physics timetabled per fortnight. These periods will be taught by two teachers from the Physics department.

At AS Level the course is split into three units:

  1. Unit AS 1 covers Forces, Energy and Electricity.  It is examined by a written paper at the end of Year 13.
  2. Unit AS 2 covers Waves, Photons and Astronomy.  It is examined by a written paper at the end of Year 13.
  3. Unit AS 3 covers Practical Techniques and Data Analysis.  It is examined by an externally assessed test of practical skills consisting of short tasks, and a separate paper requiring the analysis of experimental results, both at the end of Year 13.

At A2 Level, there are also three units:

  1. Unit A2 1 covers Deformation of Solids, Thermal Physics, Circular Motion, Oscillations and Atomic and Nuclear Physics.  It is examined by a written paper at the end of Year 14.
  1. Unit A2 2 covers Fields, Capacitors and Particle Physics.  It is examined by a written paper at the end of Year 14.
  2. Unit A2 3 covers Practical Techniques and Data Analysis.  It is examined by an externally assessed test of practical skills consisting of two experimental tests, and a separate paper requiring the analysis of experimental results, both at the end of Year 14.

Pupils follow the Revised CCEA Physics specification.

PDF icon Revised CCEA Specification

Career Opportunities

The study of Physics can lead to a wide range of different career paths; from engineering to computer programming, architecture to medicine.  Employers value the mathematical, logic and problem solving elements of the subject, as well as the literacy and communication skills it promotes in describing and explaining a wide range of complex ideas and observations.