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What will I Learn?

Pupils study science in Year 7 and Year 8. From Year 9, as with the other sciences, we follow the AQA GCSE specification. This qualification is linear and learners will sit all their exams at the end of the course. Some pupils will study AQA GCSE physics; other pupils will study AQA GCSE combined science.

GCSE

Pupils will study eight topic areas in physics:

  1. Energy
  2. Electricity
  3. Particle model of matter
  4. Atomic structure
  5. Forces
  6. Waves
  7. Magnetism and electromagnetism
  8. Space physics* (Separate science only)

Practical work

Pupils carry out a range of practical activities throughout the GCSE course to allow opportunities for choice and use of appropriate laboratory apparatus for a variety of experimental problem-solving and/or enquiry-based activities. These include:

  • Use of appropriate apparatus to make and record a range of measurements accurately, including length, area, mass, time, volume and temperature. Use of such measurements to determine densities of solid and liquid objects.
  • Use of appropriate apparatus to measure and observe the effects of forces including the extension of springs.
  • Use of appropriate apparatus and techniques for measuring motion, including determination of speed and rate of change of speed (acceleration/deceleration).
  • Making observations of waves in fluids and solids to identify the suitability of apparatus to measure speed/frequency/wavelength. Making observations of the effects of the interaction of electromagnetic waves with matter.
  • Safe use of appropriate apparatus in a range of contexts to measure energy changes/ transfers and associated values such as work done.
  • Use of appropriate apparatus to measure current, potential difference (voltage) and resistance, and to explore the characteristics of a variety of circuit elements.
  • Use of circuit diagrams to construct and check series and parallel circuits including a variety of common circuit elements.

Maths skills

Maths skills are included in the assessment of physics; a minimum of 30% of the marks in physics assess mathematical skills.

Progression

AQA GCSE physics and AQA GCSE combined science are both good routes to study physics at A level in the sixth form.