Physics (Salters Horners)
(Exam Board: Edexcel)
Mrs D Waller
“There are millions of students in the world, but to get a job you have to stand out from the crowd. Physics will help to give you that edge; people are always impressed by a qualification in Physics” [Steff, weather forecaster]
What do I need?
You will need a Grade B or above in:
• GCSE Additional Science (not additional Applied Science) or GCSE Physics (triple award)
• GCSE Maths
You will need an interest in the universal principles that apply to everything from the smallest atoms to the largest galaxies.
What will I learn?
At Notre Dame we follow the Edexcel context-led approach based on the Salters Horners Advanced Physics Project.
The AS course is made up of three units
Unit 1: Physics on the go
In the module Higher, Faster, Stronger you study the physics of activities such as bungee jumping, weightlifting, rock climbing, running and tennis.
The module Good Enough to Eat involves you in various aspects of testing jellies, wafers and mints, and seeing the factors that control the flow of liquids such as chocolate and sugar solutions.
The Spare part Surgery module allows you to investigate various materials, test their suitability, and analyse their structure and to consider their ethical issues relating to surgical use. At some time or other almost everyone uses a ‘spare part’, be it an artificial hip, heart pacemaker or even just spectacles or contact lenses.
Unit 2: Physics at work
The Sound of Music shows how physics relates to the study of music, how musical instruments produce sound and how a CD player works.
Technology in Space gives you opportunities to see the problems involved in powering an orbiting satellite and keeping its instruments within a suitable temperature range.
Digging up the Past provides you with an opportunity to learn some physics through the techniques of geophysical surveying, artefact analysis and dating.
Unit 3: Exploring Physics
This unit consists of a case study involving an application of Physics and a related practical..
In the A2 course you study a further three units. These convert the AS into an A-Level course.
Unit 4: Physics on the move. This includes a look at safety on the railways as well as particle physics and the Large Hadron Collider..
Unit 5: Physics from creation to collapse. This includes how Physics can apply to protect buildings from earthquakes and the study of stars and the Big Bang.
Unit 6: Experimental Physics. Students carry out experiments, which are assessed.
How will I be assessed?
Unit Method of assessment Value When it is assessed
Unit 1 Exam (1hour 30 minutes) 120 January
Unit 2 Exam (1hour 30 minutes) 120 May
Unit 3 Coursework 60 Spring term
Unit 4 Exam (1hour 35 minutes) 120 January
Unit 5 Exam (1hour 35 minutes) 120 May
Unit 6 Coursework 60 Autumn term
Is there anything else I need to know?
• You are the same age as the Universe. The fundamental particles, which make up
the atoms in your cells, were made in the Big Bang.
• The Galaxy is a hundred thousand light years across. The most energetic cosmic
ray particle yet discovered seems to itself to take 30 seconds to cross it.
• 60 billion neutrinos pass straight through each square centimetre of your bodies
• Moving ions change the electrical potential of your heart cell membranes by
about 140mV and your heartbeats.
• If you hold a grain of sand, the patch of sky it covers contains 10,000 galaxies.
Physics at A-level can be a bit mathematical at times, so it is best to take Maths as well (at least to AS). Many students choose to combine Physics with at least one of the other sciences such as Chemistry or Biology, while others who are thinking of becoming an engineer or architect combine Physics with Design Technology or Art.
Studying Physics helps to develop numerical skills, problem solving, analysis and interpretive skills, communication – written, visual and verbal, research skills and computing skills.