Students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects and are taught in mixed ability tutor groups in the first three years.

Although each Science is taught by separate subject specialists, we aim to show the connections between the Sciences where appropriate, and we emphasise the nature of Science through practical and enquiry skills.

1st – 3rd Year Physics

In the 1st Year, the students look at topics such as Astronomy (making use of the school telescope), Forces, Energy and Electricity. In the 2nd Year the students study Heat, Magnetism, Sound and Light. And in the 3rd Year students use more of their mathematical skills to help describe and explain the Physics.

There is also the opportunity to delve further into the world of Physics, Astronomy and Electronics through clubs which are enthusiastically run by the department. Students follow the AQA GCSE and GCSE subject material is introduced in the 3rd Year. Performance in the 3rd Year is used to help set students by ability; set sizes vary between 12 and 24, with the lowest ability set being the smallest.

GCSE Physics

Assessed practical work takes place throughout the 4th and 5th Years in class time, but is completed early in the 5th Year. Most students study the three Sciences in the 5th Year and receive separate GCSE certificates in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. However the 4th Year module results help decide which students are entered for the Double Award Science course; this decision is made to ensure they get the best possible results by the end of the 5th Year.

Physics at A-Level

For Physics A Level we follow an OCR specification which sees students embracing a wide range of talents including numeracy, literacy and problem solving. A good grasp of mathematics is important, although no tougher that at GCSE level.

They develop a thorough understanding of nature and an insight into the issues that will face humanity in the future, while using language and calculations precisely and accurately. The Sixth Form A Level course extends to more esoteric aspects of modern physics including Nuclear Physics, Cosmology and Quantum Theory, with A2 unpacking Newton’s Laws in greater detail. Students also study the basic structure of the atom leading to an explanation of radioactivity, nuclear fission, fusion and consideration into the nature of the origins of the universe and possible future.

In both the AS and A2 courses, practical skills are assessed under controlled examination conditions. There are opportunities to see physics in action through a number of Medical physics trips to the hospital and excursions to Particle Physics laboratories such as CERN in Geneva.

Academic Scholarships for Physics

Outstanding students may be entitled to one of our academic scholarships for Physics. Scholarships are awarded to candidates entering Truro School at 11+, 13+ and 16+. To find out more, please visit our scholarships pages.


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Physics | Independent School in Cornwall, UK