About the Curriculum
All pupils in the Third Form follow a Foundation course, aimed at developing a core of knowledge common to entrants from every background. The course studies many interesting topics and introduces experimental and study skills, which will prove useful in later years. At the end of this first year, as pupils make decisions about the subjects they wish to follow to GCSE, one of the judgements is whether to continue with the GCSE Dual Award, the ‘Combined Science: Trilogy’, or to use one of the option blocks in order to study the three separate sciences at GCSE. The first option will require three lessons per subject (9 in total) and allow another different subject to be studied to GCSE, while the latter choice demands an extra three lessons, one per subject. The choice is made after discussion with parents and tutors and is guided by recommendations from the Physics Department. At the end of the Fifth Form all candidates take two papers in Physics; Dual Award papers are both one hour, while separate GCSE candidates sit two 1½ hour papers. The Physics Department follows the AQA GCSE specification.
The Department organises trips and visits to lectures and scientific establishments on a regular basis. Last year visits were organised to CERN, the Diamond Light Source research facility at Harwell, the Euro Space Centre in Belgium, as well and regular IoP lectures at the University of Sussex.