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Physics - AS / A level at Ipswich School

Course description

The Advancing Physics AS and A2 level course has been designed to look at Physics as it is practised now. The course includes some new approaches to familiar topics and some material that is new to A level. It is designed to make Physics exciting and relevant to a wide range of students.

Advancing Physics is a modern course. In addition to the expected elements, it makes heavy use of computers and includes considerable experimental work. Students find it interesting and varied.

Students taking Physics should be happy to use a computer for research, display and analysis of experimental data and for presentation of information to others. One fifth of the final marks for the A level come from coursework. In each year of the course, one of the three modules comprises two coursework elements. It is not necessary to take AS or A2 Maths but good GCSE passes in Physics and Maths are a requirement.

The course provides for the student's future by:

  • providing knowledge of physics
  • developing their ability to learn independently opening new horizons
  • providing a variety of activities.

The course develops the interest of the student by:

  • stimulating their curiosity
  • providing depth and challenge.

The course is made enjoyable by:

  • using a wide range of teaching and learning styles
  • using well chosen activities, including considerable practical work and computer modelling.

The course:

  • is accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds
  • provides opportunities for positive achievement
  • develops a culture of success
  • provides an excellent grounding in the subject which supports a wide range of career opportunities.

Course content

AS Course

The AS course provides a satisfying experience for the student who chooses to take AS Physics as part of a broad post-16 curriculum. For those students who go on to the second year and take the A level examination, the AS course provides a sound foundation. The course covers:

Physics in Action

Communication: is about imaging and instrumentation.

Designer materials: examines the stuff of the world.

Understanding Processes and Experimentation and Data Handling

Waves and quantum behaviour: introduces some simple quantum ideas.

Space, time and motion: develops ideas about accelerated motion, projectiles and vectors.

Physics in Practice
The coursework module

A2 Course

This leads to an A level Physics qualification which is necessary for going to University to study Physics or Engineering and very beneficial for many other career paths. It is an interesting and stimulating experience for the student who does not pursue the subject further. During the year, students cover:

The Rise and Fall of the Clockwork Universe

Models and rules: introduces the use of mathematical modelling in a wide range of situations, including cosmology.

Matter in extremes: develops a bridge between random events and physical laws.

Field and Particle Pictures

Fields: examines electric and magnetic fields related to atoms and nuclei as well as electromagnetic machines.

Fundamental particles: looks beyond atoms to deeper levels of structure and examines radiation risks.

Researching Physics

The A2 coursework module.


The Advancing Physics course gives students opportunities to develop their ability to work independently and in small groups.

AS coursework module comprises:

Quality of measurement (a task which asks for careful measurement of a physical quantity)

Physics in use (students give a presentation on the use of their own choice material)

AS level

Two written exams: Physics in Action (January) and Understanding Processes (June) and one coursework module Physics in Practice.

A2 level

Two exams: Rise and Fall of the Clockwork Universe (January) and Field and Particle Pictures ( June) and one coursework module Researching Physics.

Further information

Resources for Students

Student Books

Full colour

Ideas and images of physics

Physics and maths explanations

Student CD`s

Virtually all the course materials are available on the CD

Numerical answers to the questions are provided

There is a full glossary giving the meaning of term

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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