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Aims & Philosophy of the Physics Department

The Physics Department at Queen Margaret’s aims to make Physics an accessible and interesting subject for all girls and to ensure each is able to make positive progress. This is done by providing challenging and interesting courses that encourage both girls and staff to think imaginatively about Physics. Girls are empowered to be actively involved in all stages in their learning, and are provided with support and encouragement to help them develop the tools for learning through Physics. We work diligently to support the girls’ development of initiative and independence in their work while also encouraging cooperation and teamwork. Lastly, we provide opportunities for girls to develop the skills necessary to apply their knowledge and understanding of Physics to life outside the classroom.

Overview of Key Stage 5 Curriculum

At Sixth Form level, the major ideas in Physics are explored through the AQA (A) specification (set to change in September 2015 with new A Level specification changes). The topics are covered in four theory units and two practical assessments. At AS level, the units include Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity (Unit 1) and Mechanics, Materials and Waves (Unit 2).

At A2 level, units include Fields & Further Mechanics (Unit 4) and Nuclear & Thermal Physics. An optional module is also included (Unit 5) which is usually chosen by the teacher and is often Astrophysics. Both halves of the course include a practical assessment (Units 3 & 6) and all the marks for the six units are combined to produce an overall grade.

What makes the department unique from those at other schools?

The Physics department at QM encourages independence of thought and challenges each girl to understand the fundamentals of the world around her.

Teaching is regularly accompanied with trips and visits to Universities for lectures appropriate to Year groups, as well as visits to see Physics in action at power stations and other industrial sites.

A dynamic and enthusiastic team of teachers introduce the courses through stimulating lessons and the Head of Department is an experienced examiner with AQA.

To learn about the Physics Department curriculum
in other Key Stages please choose a link