The 3rd year Physics course at Queen Anne is a ‘hands on’ course that gives pupils the opportunity to carry out a wide range of physics experiments. The apparatus provided in the department is modern and in sufficient quantity to allow pupils to work in pairs or small groups. Pupils will gain experience in working with oscilloscopes, signal generators, light ray boxes, a range of different types of magnets, electronic components and circuitry, sound level meters, Pasco mechanics runways with motion timers and light gates, computers and Pasco interfaces for measurement.
The department has pupil practical work as one of its key aims. The resources are continually being added to and this session the department purchased with approval radioactive sources and associated measurement equipment – one of the few schools in Fife to have these. Bright, new electronic components (resistors, diodes, capacitors, LEDs, switches, thermisors, LDRs, motors, ..) have been purchased from Lascells and this stock will increase yearly. New Pasco Mechanics systems are in all five physics labs. New Pasco Optics systems are in two labs and will be added to. Each lab stocks a set of high quality 10 MHz oscilloscopes. A new range of permanent magnets (including neodymium ‘supermagnets’) and electromagnets are in use in the new CfE 3rd year physics course.
The 3rd year course develops scientific skills (practical investigative skills, practical abilities, problem solving skills, thinking skills, algebraic skills, researching skills, ICT skills, scientific writing skills) though the study of nine topics :
- Electrical circuits
- Electric and Magnetic fields
- Waves and Sound
- Properties of Matter
- Researching Physics
The experiences and outcomes are delivered at level 4 and level 4+ within the CfE organisers :
- Planet Earth
- Forces, Electricity and Waves
- Topical Science
Level 4+ work introduces skills and content from the senior phase which spans across the broad general education. Systematic problem solving and physics equations are formally developed in preparation for 4th year and beyond. Pupils may complete practical investigations and research tasks during 3rd year which will meet the standards of assessment in the senior phase and so some of the senior phase work will be covered here in S3. There is an increased expectation in the understanding of physics phenomena and in what the pupils can do (both practically and written). Skills learned will be transferable across other subjects.
Assessments will be at two levels (level 4 and level 4+) and will comprise of a variety of :
- End of topic tests (Electricity/Electronics/Waves, sound and light/Kinematics)
- Practical investigations
- Research tasks (Magnets/Space)
Pupils passing level 4+ work will also be expected to complete level 4 assessments.
Homeworks will be issued for each topic at level 4 and level 4+. Homework is given weekly or at a minimum of fortnightly. The department runs lunchtime and after school support classes to help with homework. All pupils are given a Bright Red revision textbook inside a ring binder with ruler and jotters (classwork and homework). The department undertakes ‘book scrutinies’ at departmental meetings to review the quality of pupil written work. In particular pupils must learn to show a systematic method including physics equations used for solving problems.