Physics

From the structure of matter to how the Earth came to be, these are the types of questions we seek to answer through studying Physics. 

As a species we have a curiosity about the world, and indeed the universe in which we live; this drives us to make new discoveries and through thought and experimentation try to gain a better understanding of nature.  Through supportive and engaging teaching we seek to encourage curiosity and independent learning. Our goal is for pupils to want to understand more about the world around them and enjoy making new discoveries.

Physics is one of the most requested compulsory A levels by courses offered at Russell  Group universities and it is a popular A level choice here at Sutton Valence School. Many pupils go on to university to study Engineering, Economics, Medicine and other related degrees. With growing concern over the number of pupils taking up STEM related courses, there has arguably never been a better time to be a scientist or engineer in terms of the opportunities available. Most of our daily lives are in some way touched by scientific endeavour, clever engineering or the ingenious mathematics that keeps the world around us ticking. Studying Physics can take you to the forefront of our ever-advancing technological society.

Junior Curriculum

Physics is taught as a separate subject at junior level with an emphasis on skills and how science works, the topics include: Forces, Energy, Electricity, Sound, Light and Space.   

Third Form Curriculum

In Third Form Physics is taught by specialists and we look to ensure students are fully prepared before they embark on their GCSEs. Fundamental subject knowledge and key skills are honed in preparation for KS4; Forces and Motion, Energy and Electricity are the topics taught.  The pupils also complete a ten-hour project as a joint Science venture, which contributes towards their CoPE award.

GCSE Curriculum

We follow the Edexcel syllabus for the separate Physics GCSE.  The course is challenging and exciting; including a range of topics from particle theory to the Big Bang model.  The course prepares pupils well whether they choose to continue to the next level with the subject or take the skills into other areas of their studies.

Assessment Structure:

  • Two 1 hour 45 minute papers, each worth 50%.

A Level Curriculum

At A Level we follow the OCR Physics A course. There are six compulsory modules

Module 1:  Development of practical skills in physics

Module 2:  Foundations of physics

Module 3:  Forces and motion

Module 4:  Electrons, waves and photons

Module 5:  Newtonian world snad astrophysics

Module 6:  Particles and medical physics

Assessment Structure:

  • Modelling physics:  2 hour 15 minutes worth 37%
  • Exploring physics: 2 hour 15 minutes worth 37%
  • Unifying physics: 1 hour 30 minutes worth 26%

 

Physics staff

Miss Melissa Halleron heads the department and has been with us since 2007. She is also involved in various aspects of school life; a boarding tutor at Sutton House, an officer in the CCF and a member of the games department coaching various sports teams. She studied at the University of Leeds where she gained her degree in Physics with Astrophysics.  She is currently an examiner for both AQA and OCR.  

Mrs Wendy Loy came to the school in 2015.  She is a senior tutor in Founder’s house and Junior Science Coordinator.  She has two Masters degrees from Durham and Birmingham Universities and before coming into teaching worked in Medical Physics specialising in clinical nuclear medicine.  She is currently an A Level examiner for OCR.

Mr Paul Lindsay recently joined the Physics department just before the summer break. He has a degree in Applied Physics, having undertaken research work on alpha radiation levels in the environment, and a PGCE from University of Warwick focused on practical teaching of Physics and Science.

Mrs Jennifer Gibbons is the Physics technician, responsible for all the practical work within the department. She is the longest serving member of the department having joined the school in 2006. She has a Foundation degree in Education from The University of Kent and previously worked in Learning Support.

 

Miss Melissa Halleron
Head of Department

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