Physics - KS4


Progress Leader: Mrs A Howarth
Assistant Progress Leader: Mrs R Barry/ Mrs N Griffiths
Teaching Staff: Mrs D Preston, Mrs L Atkinson, Miss S Stocks, Mr A Carey, Mr R Johnston
Science Technician: Mrs L Mason
Link Governor: Mr J Gardner


Physics will be taught in progressively greater depth over the course of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. GCSE outcomes may reflect or build upon subject content which is typically taught at Key Stage 3. There is no expectation that teaching of such content should be repeated during the GCSE course where it has already been covered at an earlier stage. GCSE study in physics provides the foundations for understanding the material world. Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.

They will be helped to appreciate how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas relating to the sciences which are both inter-linked, and are of universal application. These key ideas include:

  • the use of models, as in the particle model of matter or the wave models of light and of sound
  • the concept of cause and effect in explaining such links as those between force and acceleration, or between changes in atomic nuclei and radioactive emissions 
  • the phenomena of ‘action at a distance’ and the related concept of the field as the key to analysing electrical, magnetic and gravitational effects that differences, for example between pressures or temperatures or electrical potentials, are the drivers of change
  • that proportionality, for example between weight and mass of an object or between force and extension in a spring, is an important aspect of many models in science
  • that physical laws and models are expressed in mathematical form.

These key ideas are relevant in different ways and with different emphases in biology, chemistry and physics: examples of their relevance are given below for physics.

GCSE specifications in Physics will enable students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of physics
  • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments
  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on physics through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Physics should be studied in ways that help students to develop curiosity about the natural world, insight into how science works, and appreciation of its relevance to their everyday lives. The scope and nature of such study should be broad, coherent, practical and satisfying, and thereby encourage students to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the subject and its achievements.


Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE Physics specifications and all exam boards.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

  • AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: scientific ideas; scientific techniques and procedures.
  • AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of: scientific ideas; scientific enquiry, techniques and procedures.
  • AO3: Analyse information and ideas to: interpret and evaluate; make judgments and draw conclusions; develop and improve experimental procedures.

The marks awarded on the papers will be scaled to meet the weighting of the components.

Students’ final marks will be calculated by adding together the scaled marks for each component.
Grade boundaries will be set using this total scaled mark. The scaling and total scaled marks are shown below.

Component Maximum raw mark Scaling factor Maximum scaled mark
Paper 1 marks available 100
Paper 2 Marks available 100
Total scaled mark: 2


*Understanding of chemical changes began when people began experimenting with chemical reactions in a systematic way and organizing their results logically. Knowing about these different chemical changes meant that scientists could begin to predict exactly what new substances would be formed and use this knowledge to develop a wide range of different materials and processes. It also helped biochemists to understand the complex reactions that take place in living organisms. The extraction of important resources from the earth makes use of the way that some elements and compounds react with each other and how easily they can be ‘pulled apart’. This unit will cover these important processes and students will explore how thy can be carried out in the lab.
* In this unit students will explore why electric charge is a fundamental property of matter everywhere. Understanding the difference in the microstructure of conductors, semiconductors and insulators makes it possible to design components and build electric circuits. Many circuits are powered with mains electricity, but portable electrical devices must use batteries of some kind. Electrical power fills the modern world with artificial light and sound, information and entertainment, remote sensing and control. The fundamentals of electromagnetism were worked out by scientists of the 19th century. However, power stations, like all machines, have a limited lifetime. If we all continue to demand more electricity this means building new power stations in every generation but what mix of power stations can promise a sustainable future?
*Students will engineers analyse forces when designing a great variety of machines and instruments, from roadbridges and fairground rides to atomic force microscopes. Anything mechanical can be analysed in this way. Recent developments in artificial limbs use the analysis of forces to make movement


* Students will understand how wave behaviour is common in both natural and man-made systems. Waves carry energy from one place to another and can also carry information. Designing comfortable and safe structures such as bridges, houses and music performance halls requires an understanding of mechanical waves. Modern technologies such as imaging and communication systems show how we can make the most of electromagnetic waves
Magnetism & electromagnetism
*Students will learn how electromagnetic effects are used in a wide variety of devices. Engineers make use of the fact that a magnet moving in a coil can produce electric current and also that when current flows around a magnet it can produce movement. It means that systems that involve control or communications can take full advantage of this.
*Students will explore questions about where we are, and where we came from, that have been asked for thousands of years. In the past century, astronomers and astrophysicists have made remarkable progress in understanding the scale and structure of the universe, its evolution and ours. New questions have emerged recently. ’Dark matter’, which bends light and holds galaxies together but does not emit electromagnetic radiation, is everywhere – what is it? And what is causing the universe to expand ever faster?
Course complete


CERN trip to Geneva
STEM club
Science club
Eco club
Revision sessions available weekly at lunchtimes and after school


Students are required to gain a grade 6 or above to study biology, chemistry or physics at AS/A2 level. There are many BTEC course available that require a grade 9-5.


Support your child with homework. Ask them questions about what they are learning about in science & how it applies to the real World around them. Watch documentaries with them and talk about how the World is changing and the impact that humans are having on the world.


Museum of Science & Industry
Natural History Museum
Knowsley Safari Park
Chester zoo
Blackpool zoo
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre
The Sealife Centre
Blue planet Aquarium


Gadget Show on Discovery Science
Brain Games on National Geographic
Nat Geo Extreme Wild on National Geographic
Modern Marvels on History
Prehistoric on Animal Planet
Ancient Aliens on History
Superhumans on History
Megascience on Discovery Science
Science of stupid on National Geographic
Magic of science on Discovery Science


Horrible Sciences
Catalyst Magazine
Bad Science Series
KS3 CGP Revision Guides
BBC Operation Ouch
500 Things You Should Know about Science
Richard Hammond Blast Lab
Focus Magazine

BBC Bitesize
GCSE pod


Applied Science

• Aeronautical engineer
• Biomedical engineer
• Civil engineer
• Chemical engineer
• Educational technologist
• Electrical engineer
• Engineering technician
• Engineering technologist
• Petrochemical engineer
• Mechanical engineer

General science

• Forensic scientist
• Government scientist
• Healthcare science
• Inventor
• Psychologist
• Research fellow
• School science technician
• Scientist

Life science

• Biologist
• Biomedical scientist
• Botanist
• Herpetologist
• Medical laboratory scientist
• Microbiologist
• Neuroscientist
• Clinical pharmaceutical scientist
• Zoologist

Natural science

• Archaeologist
• Astronaut
• Astronomer
• Biochemist
• Chemist
• Ecologist
• Geographer
• Naturalist
• Oceanographer
• Palaeontologist
• Pathologist

Physics Learning Journey

Jun 28
Y7 are having a wonderful time on the London STEM trip 🚀🛸
Jun 13
Trip letter for Miss Baines' Y10 class. Deadline is 3rd July 🚀🛰🛸
Apr 07
Here are some fantastic heart models made by Y9.3 👏❤ #creative #homework #heart
Apr 01
Y9 have been learning all about the components of blood and have used bioviewers to look at samples 🔬👨‍🔬
Mar 16
Y7.3B have had a great time making parachutes during yesterday's lesson. Amazing work guys 👏 #scienceweek