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Physics A Level at Wirral Grammar School for Girls

Course description

In Year 12 we begin by studying the relatively new and constantly evolving area of particle physics. For almost all students this will be completely new and includes learning about antimatter, photons, hadrons (those used in the Large Hadron Collider experiment near Geneva which creates the most energetic particle collisions in the Universe!), leptons and quantum effects such as Einstein’s photoelectric effect. More traditional physics including classical mechanics, material science, wave properties & electricity are also studied during AS.

Year 13 physics builds on the mechanics learned during lower sixth, for example in simple harmonic motion, and in the behaviour of gravitational, electric and magnetic fields with reference to practical applications e.g. in the generation of electricity. Later on in the year students study thermodynamics e.g. kinetic theory, nuclear physics e.g. understand the relevance of E=mc2 and astrophysics. The latter is our option topic which involves learning about different types of telescope, evolution of stars, black holes, quasars and cosmology.

All such topics develop students’ ability to problem solve by applying mathematical and theoretical concepts to different scenarios and are the basis to many a career.

Entry requirements

At least grade A in separate GCSE physics or a AA in GCSE Core and Additional Science. If following the Double Award course at GCSE at least one grade A is preferable. The better the starting grade the better the chances of success at A level. A level physics requires sound mathematical skills so those students studying mathematics in the sixth form are at an advantage. Students not taking Advanced level mathematics may require additional support outside of normal timetabled lessons should they require it.

Assessment

The course has a modular structure consisting of six modules, three taken in Year 12 which can lead to the award of an AS level and three further modules in Year 13, which combine with the Year 12 modules to make up the full A-level qualification. In each of the AS and A2 courses, two of the modules are written examinations and the third consists of an externally marked practical assessment (EMPA).

The written examinations are taken in January and June with each module accounting for 20% of the full A level. Assessment of practical skills is an essential element of the course and is assessed via the EMPA. A separate practical assessment is carried out in lower and upper sixth in the latter half of the spring term, equating overall to 20% of the full A level.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Wirral Grammar School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 23 September 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years

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