The KS3 Physics curriculum is designed to engage pupils and further the idea that Physics explains the world around us. Each module is themed. The Physics of weather, rollercoasters and magic are all considered.
The curriculum spirals so that most key topics, such as forces and electricity, are visited each year. All work is completed using OneNote which gives pupils a valuable opportunity to put their IT skills to good use as well as enabling interactive games and simulations to be part of every lesson.
We place a huge emphasis on practical work with some great opportunities to make hot air balloons, clouds, Cartesian divers as well as standard experiments to improve basic skills.
At GCSE we follow the AQA specification with the opportunity to follow both the separate and combined courses. Again, practical work is at the forefront and as many real-world links and possible careers are introduced where possible.
Physics is taught using a “flipped classroom” approach throughout. This means that homework is always to look ahead to the next lesson using the resources provided. This develops valuable independent learning skills as well as allowing the lessons to move more quickly, with extra time available for doing experiments, practising exam skills or extending students beyond the curriculum.
For A-level, we follow the Edexcel course. The “flipped classroom” is very much in evidence with students expected to learn most of the basic material independently. This frees up the lesson time for more advanced practical work, focusing on the trickier concepts and doing the exam question in class, where the teacher is available to support in case of difficulties.
We have a good take up at A level with many girls going on to study related subjects at University. Recent leavers are studying Space Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Engineering, Particle Physics and Architecture.
There is a KS3 STEM based Challenge Day every year for pupils to practise their design and building skills as well as the important soft skills such a team work, time management, problem solving and leadership. Previous days have involved building a theme park, designing and building a working house complete with electricity and plumbing installed and building and racing fan powered cars.
There is a now traditional STEM day on the last day of Upper Six when all the Sixth Form build catapults to fire water balloons at targets and teachers. You can see a film of this and other challenge day activities here.