Physics

Physics is the study of the fundamental structure and behaviour of the universe in which we live. It also provides a sound framework upon which technological applications, such as engineering and electronics, are based. The language of physics is mathematics and, as such, this is a subject that provides an important and sort-after core skill of numeracy. Physics is a rapidly changing discipline where new and exciting discoveries are made daily.

GCSE/IGCSE

The department teaches physics to the EdExcel International GCSE Specification. This consists of seven major themes: mechanics, electricity, electromagnetism, waves, energy, matter and nuclear.  There is no coursework element and grades are based solely examination results. There is a 2 hour core and 1 hour extension paper. Practical skills are examined through questions set in these papers.

The aim of the specification is to provide thorough exposure to core skills in physics, tested equally through mathematical and descriptive challenges. The importance of experimental work is clear throughout the course and the department ensures that candidates are exposed to as much practical work as possible. This includes IT skills and data logging.

Pupils are encouraged to take an enquiring approach to this subject, to analyse evidence and to reflect critically on the validity of their own data and that of others. The importance of physics in the everyday world is emphasised, as well as considering its impact upon society.

A grade A* or A for International GCSE Physics is an excellent starting point for an A level in this subject.

AS/A Level

Physics A level is a challenging and interesting course which is usually studied in combination with mathematics and the other sciences.  Typically, the subject is taken by 30-40 students. Current exam results are outstanding, with about 60% of candidates achieving A*/A grades.

A grade A* or A for International GCSE Physics is an excellent starting point for an A level in this subject. The minimum qualification is a BB grade in Science/Additional Science or Double Award Science but candidates should be aware that they face a large step-up to cope with A level material.

The course includes both traditional physics, such as mechanics and modern disciplines, such as quantum and particle physics. Students find much to engage their enthusiasm and can extend their interest beyond the curriculum by participating in the Monmouth Science Initiative programme and the Monmouth Astronomical Research Society.

A levels changed in September 2015 but we are continuing with the AQA Specification. AS candidates will sit 2 examinations at the end of their course whilst pupils taking the full A-Level will sit 3 terminal examinations at the end of the second year of study.

Beyond Monmouth School

Most candidates go on to physics, mathematics and engineering at university.  A lesser number study economics and medicine. Physics is a key subject in a large range of undergraduate courses, providing core numeracy skills.  A surprising number of City of London workers are former physicists!