In the Department of Physics and Astronomy we believe that knowledge and understanding of concepts is far more important than the ability to simply remember and state facts. We aim to build and develop a pupil’s ability to think and to reason and, in the process, provide a coherent description of the physical world.
Physics is taught as a separate subject from Year 7 through to the Sixth Form by specialist teachers. We teach well beyond the National Curriculum to provide a broad and fascinating view of the universe, one that links the theory, via the language of mathematics and logic, to their everyday experience of the world. We currently following the AQA syllabuses for both GCSE and A-level. We also offer a GCSE in Astronomy as an extra-curricular enrichment activity for our most gifted and talented pupils who have an interest in this most exciting field. For our Sixth Form pupils, we are planning from Autumn 2018 to run an annual trip to the Particle Physics laboratory of CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.
Concepts are introduced in a logical sequence and the links between them are explored through problem-solving and in increasing detail as they move through the key stages. Our broader syllabus means that we can show how ideas fit together and explore how physics principles come into play in a multitude of ways in their lives. There is a very strong hands-on component. Most lessons will involve a demonstration or a practical to develop experimental skills, attention to detail and the linking of concepts to the real world. We have kept up to date with modern developments, and have invested over recent years in data-logging equipment to enable our pupils to learn the hi-tech skills which will be expected both at university and in the world of employment, if they embark on a career in STEM.
We are not afraid to introduce complex ideas even at an early stage as the joy of discovery and the insight gained prepares the path for the following years. The aim is to stretch our pupils. While this approach is more challenging, the journey is extremely worthwhile for all involved. A confident grasp of the inner workings of the universe, combined with a strong reasoning ability, is the legacy that we wish to leave to our pupils.
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Dr J Steel
B.Sc. (Leicester) Ph.D.
Head of Physics & Boarding Tutor
Mr PJ Dolding
B.Sc. PhD (UCL)
Head of Talbot House