Physics

What is Physics?

Physics is the study of the world around us and how it works. This helps us live and adapt in a world which is advancing so quickly in terms of technology and culture. Studying physics opens doors to courses and careers where people shape the direction of that technological advance. It is the cutting edge of Physics which has given us many of the world changing ideas and inventions in the last 200 years, from radio and aircraft, to modern computing and satellite communications. Physicists work in many jobs from management and engineering to research and design.

Aims of the Department

The Department is committed to making Physics interesting, relevant and accessible to the boys and to promoting active learning in the classroom.

As a team of teachers we try to learn from each other drawing upon strengths within the Department. We aim to provide the best education for the students who study with us. As physicists we aim to make the study of this branch of science both challenging and interesting and encourage students at all times to push the boundaries of what they think they can achieve.

Development of skills 

The aim of the Physics Department is to help pupils develop key skills in the following areas:

physics3

Physics Staff

Teachers

Mr R. P. Griffiths - Head of Physics

Miss E. R. Mahoney

Mr T. H. Lynn

Mr J. A. Macafee

Technician

Mr W. Agnew

Results

As a department, we like you to know what to expect from physics so the table below gives details of the results our pupils achieve last year. We hope you find this information useful in making decisions about whether or not to study Physics with us.

We are particularly pleased to highlight the success of the 2012-2013 Upper sixth who not only had an 81.5% A*-C pass rate but 14.8% of these results were A* grades.

 

%A*-C

RBAI

%A*-C

Northern Ireland

%A*-C

UK

GCSE

96.0

93.1

90.5

AS

66.7

70.2

57.2

A2

81.5

78.6

72.9

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Year 8

During year 8 the boys are taught aspects of all three sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)  by two science teachers. During the year they cover topics such as Forces, Density, Earth in Space as well as developing their experimental, analytical and mathematical skills.

Year 9

As with year 8, in year 9 the classes are once again taught Science by two Science teachers. During the year the boys cover topics such as Energy, Heat transfer, Magnetism and Electromagnets whilst continuing to develop their scientific skills that they have begun to develop in year 8.

Year 10

In Year 10 the boys are taught Science by 3 separate Science teachers. In Physics the boys cover a wide range of concepts including, Light, Sound, Electricity, Pressure and Dynamics. They once again are continuing to develop their scientific and analytical skills that are crucial at GCSE and beyond.

GCSE Physics

At GCSE we follow the CCEA physics specification which is a two year course. The course is divided into two units. Unit 2 being taught in year 11 and unit 1 in year 12.

Unit 2 contains:

• Waves

• Sound and Light

• Electricity

• The Earth and Universe.

Unit 1 contains:

• Force and Motion

• Energy

• Moments

• Radioactivity

More information on what the course covers can be found at: http://www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/microsites/Physics/revised_gcse/specification/index.asp

GCSE Astronomy

The physics department is proud to be able to offer the boys in year 11 the opportunity to study the EDEXCEL GCSE astronomy course in one year.

The course consists of 4 core areas:

1. Earth, moon, sun,

2. Planetary systems,

3. Stars,

4. Galaxies and Cosmology.

These are further broken down into Comets, Meteors, Solar system discoveries, Exoplanets, Constellations, Properties of stars and their evolution.

The course also takes into consideration the main activity of astronomers which is observing the night sky.

This is currently a twilight class and is being taught on a Tuesday from 7.30 - 8.30 am.

More information on what the course covers can be found at: http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/gcse09/Astronomy/Pages/default.aspx

AS and A-level

As with GCSE at A-level we follow the CCEA specification.

Each year consists of two written papers and one practical exam.

At AS the boys will study:

AS 1: Forces, Energy and Electricity

AS 2: Waves, Photons and Medical Physics

AS 3: Practical Techniques

At A2 Level the boys will study:

A2 1: Momentum, Thermal Physics, Circular Motion, Oscillations and Atomic and Nuclear Physics

A2 2: Fields and their Applications

A2 3:Practical Techniques

More information on the course can be found at:

http://www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/microsites/Physics/revised_gce/specification/index.asp

Careers

Because of the fundamental nature of its subject matter, knowledge of Physics is essential for a wide variety of jobs.  It is particularly relevant to those wishing to pursue careers in Engineering or Science. A small selection of the type of jobs open to those with qualifications in A-level Physics is given below.

Pure Science

Applied Science/Engineering

Research and Development

Electrical and Electronic Engineer

Astronomer

Mechanical Engineer

Environmental Physicist

Civil Engineer

Geophysicist

Aeronautical Engineer

Government Scientist

Meteorologist

Teacher, Lecturer

Computer Scientist

Medicine

General

Doctor

Broadcaster

Radiologist

Patent Agent

Medical Physicist

Satellite Designer

Optics Consultant

Science Journalist

More details of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related careers can be found at:

www.qub.ac.uk/sites/STEM/

Outside of the Classroom

As well as encouraging the boys to participate well in class we also strive to offer the boys opportunities to develop outside of the classroom through a variety of competitions and trips.

In recent years we have had boys participate in the following competitions:

Physics at home

Physics Olympiad

Sentinus R&D scheme

We also offer a regular trip for 6th form to CERN, Geneva to visit the Large Hadron Collider.

Location

Links