Physicists aim to understand the origins and workings of the Universe by formulating physical laws that describe everyday observations.
At Kimbolton we adopt a traditional approach to the subject based on thought-provoking practical work with the emphasis on academic rigour.
We teach Physics as a separate science throughout the Senior School.
Head of Physics
First to Third Forms – compulsory for all pupils
In the First and Second Forms we provide an introduction to the main areas of Physics with no topic lasting more than six weeks.
In the Third Form we commence GCSE work with some of the easier topics being covered. Practical work becomes more demanding. Pupils choose whether to study the GCSE Core and Additional SciencesEdexcel IGCSE Dual Award or separate Cambridge International Examinations Board International IGCSE Physics during the course of this year.
Fourth and Fifth Forms – optional IGCSE Subject
In the Fourth and Fifth Forms, pupils opt to study either two (Core Science and Additional ScienceEdexcel IGCSE Dual Award) or three (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) science IGCSEs. In each case, the three sciences are taught by subject specialists rather than by general science teachers. Please see our separate page on Science at GCSE Level to find out more about this option.
We offer the Cambridge International GCSE Physics which consists of three written papers:
- multiple-choice (30%)
- structured questions (50%)
- a practical skills paper (20%).
There is no controlled assessment of practical skills.
Lower and Upper Sixth Form – A Level optional subject
At AS we follow the AQA Physics A course consisting of two written modules and a controlled assessment of practical skills as follows:
- Unit 1: Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity
- Unit 2: Mechanics, Materials and Waves
- Unit 3: Investigations Skills (EMPA)
Lower and Upper Sixth Form – A2 optional subject
At Kimbolton, we follow the Linear AQA A course for A-level Physics, Specification code 7408, over two years.
In the Lower Sixth we study: Measurement, Errors, Particle Physics, Radiation, Waves, Mechanics, Materials and Electricity
In the Upper Sixth we study Thermal Physics, Fields, Astrophysics and Nuclear Physics.
In each year in the Sixth Form there are six compulsory practicals as part of the course with a host of supplementary practicals.
Kimbolton 7th Period Super Curriculum: This allows us to to delve deeper into the world of Physics by using techniques such as electron diffraction to probe crystals and find the distances between their atoms. We will extend the scope of our work to perform experiments in Particle Physics and each of the other topic areas to extend our work beyond the curriculum. We will participate in competitions such as the Beamline Competition at CERN where the winner has the opportunity to run an experiment using the LHC.
At Kimbolton, in the Sixth Form, we also extend the curriculum with a course in Astronomy for both Physicists and Non-Physicists.
The Kimbolton Astrophysoc meets each week throughout the year and having been awarded a grant by the Kimbolton Parent’s Association we are equipped with a telescope and camera to observe the heavens. We observed the transit of Mercury earlier in the year
Regular Trips, Visitors and Competitions
The highlight of trips for the Sixth Form is the biennial trip to the LHC at CERN. This allows both Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth to travel to Geneva in Switzerland for a 3-5 day residential and fully experience the largest man-made structure, discovering the secrets of the Universe.
The Department regularly attend the annual Physics at Work exhibition at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge and is a subscriber to the Cambridge Physics Centre’s evening lecture programme. Recently,, we also visited the Royal Greenwich Observatory with the Second Form and the University of London Observatory with the Sixth Form.
We invite guest speakers and also participate in competitions such as the British Physics Olympiad competitions and the Beamline Competition at CERN.