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Physics A Level at Gateacre School

Course description

Learners who have achieved an A-Level Physics at Gateacre in the past have gone on to a range of university courses; including Maths, Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Accountancy, Physics and Computing. Due to the nature of the subject being a course in the understanding of how things work, Physics also supports applications to courses without a direct scientific content. In the summer of 2010 and 2011 year 13 students of Physics achieved a 100% pass rate.

The course studied is the AQA Physics GCE course which consists of AS, which is studied in Y12 and A2 which is studied in Year 13. The assessment objectives (AO’S) are common to both.

A01: Recognise, recall and show understanding of scientific knowledge, select, organise and communicate relevant information in a variety of forms.

A02: Analyse and evaluate scientific knowledge and process; apply scientific knowledge and processes to unfamiliar situations including those related to issue; assess the validity, reliability and credibility of scientific information.

A03: Demonstrate and describe ethical, safe and skilful practical techniques and processes, selecting appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods; know how to make, record and communicate reliable and valid observations and measurements with appropriate precision and accuracy; analyse, interpret; explain and evaluate the methodology, results and impact of their own and others experimental and investigative activities in a variety of ways.

Course content

Advanced subsidiary – AS

Learners following an AS course complete three Units, which are assessed in Year 12.

  • Unit 1: Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity (40%) including particles, antiparticles and photons; hadrons and leptons; the quark model; photo electricity; energy levels; wave particle duality; resistivity; circuits and components and alternating currents.
  • Unit 2: Mechanics, Materials and Waves (40%) including the laws of motion, energy and power; properties of materials and waves.
  • Unit 3: Investigative and Practical Skills (20%) learners carry out two experiments under exam conditions, followed by a short test. They are assessed on their ability to record and present data, along with their ability to identify and calculate errors in their work. Their best attempt is submitted at the end of the year.

Advanced Level – A2

At A2 the students build on AS Physics, studying the following topics.

  • Unit 4: Fields and Further Mechanics (40%) covering momentum, circular motion and simple harmonic motion, electric and gravitational fields, capacitors and magnetic fields.
  • Unit 5: Nuclear and Thermal Physics and One Option Unit (40%) The Nuclear Physics unit studies Radioactivity, Nuclear Instability and Nuclear Energy and Thermal Properties. The learners then choose one from the following as an option: Astrophysics, Medical Physics, Applied Physics and Turning points in Physics. In recent years the Year 13’s have opted to study Astrophysics.
  • Unit 6: Investigate and Practical Skills (20%) as in AS, the learners are expected to carry out two controlled assessments which are assessed and submitted in the same manner. Best mark counts for the final grade.

Entry requirements

It would be advisable for learners to have at least a grade B in both Core and Additional Science GCSE; however each individual case will be considered along with teacher consultation. A strong footing in Maths is also recommended.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 25 June 2015

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