Physics

Exam Board

  • AQA

Students will follow a linear 2-year course in physics, with external exams at the end of Year 13.

The Kings Norton Girls’ School physics department follows the AQA (specification A) course at A-level. We provide a wide and varied range of stimulating activities and challenges whereby cutting edge developments are studied alongside classical physics concepts.

Students make predictions, test them through observations and measurements and learn about the theories and laws which underpin the subject.

Physics is the only subject in which students investigate phenomena from the smallest possible scale – quarks and neutrinos – to the largest conceivable distance, stretching across the entire Universe.

Course Content

Year 12 Year 13
1. Measurements and their errors 6. Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics
2 Particles and Radiation 7. Fields (Gravitational, Electric and Magnetic)
3. Waves and Optics 8. Nuclear Physics
4. Mechanics and Energy 9. Astrophysics
5. Electricity

Assessments

Paper
Length
Content
1 (34% of A Level) 2 hours Sections 1 – 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion)
2 (34% of A Level) 2 hours

Sections 6.2 (Thermal physics), 7 and 8

Assumed knowledge from sections 1 – 6.1

3 (32% of A Level) 2 hours

Practical skills and data analysis

Section 9

There is a separate practical endorsement, taken alongside the A Level. This is assessed internally and is based on observations of student competency in a range of skills.

Entry Requirements

GCSE Separate Science: Physics 7 (or grade 7 in Double Award Science). GCSE grade 6 in mathematics.

Maths: At least 40% of the marks in assessments require the use of mathematical skills. Consequently, it would be beneficial for prospective students to be studying A Level Maths

Extra-Curricular

  • Students can attend a selection of evening lectures at the University of Birmingham.
  • In previous years, physics students have visited CERN, the European nuclear research facility in Geneva, Switzerland. We are hoping to establish this trip as a regular feature of the course.

Future Progression and Careers

Top universities recommend physics as one of the most useful subjects to take at A Level. It has tremendous value in a wide range of further education subjects. This is particularly useful if you want to keep your options open. Physics broadens your horizons and provides thinking and reasoning skills which are highly valued by employers in many sectors, from accounting to zoology to engineering, or law and medicine.