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A Level Physics at Matthew Arnold School

Course description

The Advancing Physics course has been developed by OCR and The Institute of Physics to give students a rigorous grounding in the principles and techniques of physics, and the opportunity to experience the latest developments in all aspects of the subject. At AS level, you will study image processing; design and testing of sensors; data transmission and storage; the physics of novel materials; waves and quantum behaviour; the physics of motion in space and time. At A2 level, you will study numerical modelling; physics of space travel and the solar system; cosmology; matter at extremes of temperature; electromagnetic machines; particle accelerators; the search for the ultimate theory of matter; nuclear fission and fusion. As you proceed through the course, you will see how physics underlies every aspect of modern life. You will also see how many diverse areas of the subject are unified by a few key principles. In addition, you will develop problem-solving skills that will prove useful beyond the physics laboratory.

At the end of the course, you could go on to university and study a huge range of degree courses: physics, astronomy, geology, all branches of engineering, software design, medicine, and dentistry. Because of its fundamental position among the sciences, physics will also be extremely useful to those studying chemical and biological subjects. All university departments will be impressed by a good grade in physics. Matthew Arnold School has an excellent record in A level physics students going on to study physics and related subjects at Russell Group universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

Entry requirements

Students should have at the very least B grades in GCSE physics and in GCSE mathematics. The concurrent study of at least AS level mathematics is required for A level physics.


The course is designed to take advantage of the opportunities to use a variety of media to aid students’ learning in physics. All students receive access to online resources written for the course, including software, images, video clips, animations, hyperlinks to useful websites, sets of questions with answers and reading exercises to supplement the course textbook. Additional material is also available on the school Intranet, accessible anywhere. In addition to practical work and theory, students have the opportunity to use a variety of software tools, both in and out of lessons, to enhance their understanding and interest. Students also engage in discussion, carry out experimental work, analyse data, research topics of interest for coursework assignments and present work to the class. Students also have the opportunity to visit world-leading institutions such as the Diamond synchrotron light source, Oxford University’s Department of Materials and the JET fusion project.

Financial information

£5 for revision guide; £5 for copying of exam papers.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Matthew Arnold School directly.

Last updated date: 16 April 2015
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    • Students have their own centre with its dedicated study room, common room and computer facilities. Sixth Form students are encouraged to play an active part in the wider life of the school taking advantage of a broad range of enrichment activities including enrichment days, sport, music and drama. Students are also expected to contribute to the wider community through a Community Service programme and assuming roles of responsibility within the school. OFSTED found that “Sixth form students are positive role models within the school and make a good contribution to the school’s ethos, supporting teachers in modelling excellent behaviour and conduct.

      We offer a comprehensive selection of A level subjects, from traditional courses through to newer subjects such as film studies, photography and computing. Each subject is taught by experienced staff with an excellent record in A level success.