Physics

Head of Department: Simon Arthur

Exam board: OCR

The A-level physics course begins by giving students a solid grounding in the fundamental skills associated with quantities, units and measurements. Year 12 students then complete work on forces and motion, materials, electricity, waves and quantum physics. Year 13 begins with gas laws, circular motion, oscillation, gravity and cosmology. The course is completed with topics on capacitance, fields, particle physics, radioactivity, nuclear physics and medical imaging. Alongside this material, students are assessed on their ability to complete a series of standard practical tasks. Lessons typically involve the introduction of new concepts through delivery of theory and discussion with students. Often learning is reinforced through the use of practical work and demonstrations, and students have the opportunity to use advanced equipment.

We make a great effort to offer a rich variety of activities beyond the curriculum. Students participate in many trips to lectures either in Ipswich or at the Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge. Year 12 students visit the Diamond Light Synchrotron in Oxfordshire. Year 13 students join us for a day trip to the Large Hadron Collider (CERN) in Geneva. Students are also encouraged to help out with other Physics events so that they can enthuse younger pupils and also to enhance their own university applications. For example helping to run the LEGO robotics club, assisting with outreach events such as PhysicsFest and science activity days here at Ipswich School.

The course is assessed by three exams at the end of Year 13.

To be successful at A-level physics, students are strongly advised to take A-level maths as well.

Exam Results

Average of the A Level results in Physics achieved by Ipswich School students over the most recent three year period (2017, 2018 and 2019) A* 9%, A*-A 44%, A*-B 66%, A*-C 87%