|Without knowledge of physics, we would still be reading by candlelight, travelling by foot and communicating with smoke signals. And without the application of physics to engineering and medicine, designing a microscope to investigate cells and organisms too small to see with the naked eye, or getting humans to the moon, would only be fantasies.
Physics is an interesting and exciting subject that helps us to understand the world in which we live. It achieves this goal by trying to explain what we observe around us in terms of a set of inter-related and experimentally verifiable laws and principles.
Physics at Denstone is taught as a separate subject from the First Form to the Upper Sixth by a team of highly qualified subject specialists. In the First and Second Forms we aim to give our students a solid foundation in key concepts such as force and energy, and to help them develop practical skills in the laboratory. This, in turn, gives them the ability to spot simple relationships between variables and encourages an appreciation of how an investigation must be conducted to ensure validity, accuracy and reliability. At the same time, they are gradually building up a body of necessary knowledge which they can recall and apply to novel situations.
In the GCSE years we follow the OCR Gateway Science programme. Students in the higher sets (who are most likely to pursue one or more of the sciences at A level) are taught biology, chemistry and physics as separate subjects, while the remaining sets follow a slightly less demanding course leading to two GCSEs in science and additional science. Controlled assessment constitutes a significant component of whichever course is taken and this involves laboratory work, data-handling tasks and researching the news media to help develop an awareness of the social, ethical and economic dimensions of the subject.
In the Sixth Form student following the AQA 'A' Physics specification. It encompasses a range of traditional and modern topics including astrophysics, forces, nuclear radiation and energy, particles and quantum physics among others. Practical work is a key focus with 12 compulsory practicals examined in the three terminal A2 papers.
Further subject information can be found in the relevant school curriculum document on the Curriculum page.