Physics


Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grades 7+6 in GCSE science combined trilogy OR grade 7 physics + 6 biology + 6 chemistry.
 
Grade 7 in GCSE mathematics.
 
BTEC science is not a suitable entry qualification for this course.
 
Grade 5 in GCSE English language

Course Content

Why physics?
 
Physics at A level is a subject for the curious, for those who ask the deepest questions about the universe but who also want to know about the workings of the physical world in everyday life.You’ll develop the ability to plan, implement, analyse and evaluate practical exercises. You’ll learn strategies for successful problem solving, and gain an understanding of the use of IT for analysis of results using Excel, data gathering and research. You’ll also become skilled at communicating difficult concepts clearly.
 
The course is essential for students who wish to go on to study engineering as well as physics and prepares you for a wide range of other related degrees such as architecture, natural sciences, maths and medicine. Our students often gain entry to Russell Group universities including Oxbridge and Imperial.
 
Course content
 
The course covers a complete A level grounding in the fundamentals of the subject.
 
In the first year, you’ll cover familiar areas in more depth: mechanics, materials, electricity and waves, and exciting new topics: particles, quantum phenomena and material science.
 
In year two, you’ll be introduced to topics including fields and nuclear physics, and choose from options such as astrophysics, electronics, medical physics, and engineering physics. The practical skills relating to how science works are integrated throughout the two years.
 
Recent trips include visits to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva and Astrium, an aerospace manufacturer. We often offer a number of enrichment activities such as research projects with universities and physics-related clubs. We also enter students for the British Physics Olympiad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

How much maths is there and do I need to take maths A level to study A level physics?

The maths content is set by all exam boards to be 40% of the course. You are not required to take A level maths although it does help with your understanding and it is required should you apply for a physics related course at university.

How big are your classes?

Approximately 22 students per group

How much homework is there?

Students are expected to do a minimum of 5 hours work a week outside of lessons. This includes one major piece of homework every week and independent consolidation work such as problem-solving practice, reading ahead.

How is practical work assessed?

This is assessed continually throughout the year and the theory of practical work is tested in the exam papers. Students are required to keep an up to date lab book to show the development of lab skills through the practicals they do. A certificate of endorsement is awarded at the end of the A level course.

Does it help if I take Further Maths?

It will help but again is not required. It may also help in the first term of a physics related university course.

How much support is there?

There is a 60 minute drop-in tutorial once a week and peer mentoring is arranged between upper and lower-sixth students. Booster classes are also run as the exams get closer. Teachers are also very generous with their time when not teaching and are often available when free. For students applying to Oxbridge we run tutorials to help them prepare for the entrance exams and give mock interviews for all physics related applications, including engineering.

What do your students go on to do?

Engineering, (mechanical, civil, aeronautical, electrical, chemical), physics, astrophysics, maths, architecture, chemistry and degree apprenticeships at Oxbridge, Russell Group and 1994 Group universities.

What sort of enrichment activities do you run?

We run a number of visits throughout the year including a popular 2 day trip to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.
 
Other visits in recent years have included British Aerospace, BMW Mini, Cambridge and Oxford universities and Imperial College’s physics dept.
 
Every year we also attend a day of physics related lectures in London.
 
There is also the opportunity to enter the British Physics Olympiad.
 
Over the last 3 years we have taken part in a research project with Queen Mary, University of London that used Python coding to search for exoplanets in data from NASA’s Kepler satellite.
 
Last year there was a popular Engineering club run by two upper-sixth students.
“I want to do engineering at university and I love mechanics, it’s just so interesting, you see it everywhere.
 
The teachers here really know what they are talking about. They teach the stuff you have to know and then give you extra information that’s really useful. They are very interested in their subject.
 
The college is so on top of everything, especially UCAS, I sent off mine the first week of term! Everyone works hard because that’s what Woodhouse is about, but there’s also a lot of socialising.”
 
REBECCA
Highgate Wood Secondary School
 
 


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