Physics is taught as a separate subject from Year 9. This is an option subject and enables pupils to gain a GCSE in each of the three separate Science subjects, graded independently of each other.


  • To help pupils acquire a systematic body of knowledge and understanding of Physics.
  • To help pupils appreciate that the concepts of Physics are constantly developing.
  • To stimulate pupils’ interest in Physics, so encouraging them to undertake further studies.
  • To develop safe experimental and investigative abilities.
  • To encourage effective communication skills in working with others.
  • To encourage an understanding of technological applications of Physics and its importance as a subject of social, economic and industrial relevance.
  • To continuously challenge pupils to encourage them to reach their full potential.


Students should be able to:

  • Make use of existing scientific knowledge and ideas where appropriate (e.g. on transitioning from KS3).
  • Understand, recall and apply the knowledge set out in the syllabus for each year group and be well prepared to meet the demands of external examination boards.
  • Communicate observations, ideas and arguments, using a range of scientific terms and vocabulary, both orally and in writing.
  • Solve problems and explain phenomena qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • Demonstrate a range of practical skills including:
    • following a detailed set of instructions
    • selection and use of apparatus with confidence
    • controlling variables so conclusions are valid
    • observation, recording and manipulation of results
    • mathematical and graphical analysis
    • concluding and evaluating their work, including suggesting improvements.
  • Develop a degree of responsibility for their learning.
  • Be aware of Health and Safety implications for themselves and others.
  • Have the opportunity for the use of ICT as a source of information and as a tool in the collection and processing of results.




The aim of the AQA (7407, 7408) course is to stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment of Physics and to equip students for further study. AS Physics and A-level Physics are now de-coupled. None of the marks obtained for the AS qualification, if taken, are carried forward for the A-level qualification. This means that the A-level examinations will examine the full course after two years of study.


Year 1 (and AS-level) content Year 2 content
Particles and Radiation Circular Motion
Quantum Phenomena Simple Harmonic Motion
Moments and Equilibria Gravitational Fields
Forces and Motion Electric Fields
Momentum Capacitance
Work, Energy and Power Magnetic fields and motors
Materials Electromagnetic Induction
Waves Thermal Physics
Optics Gases
Electricity Nuclear Physics
* Option Unit

* An Option Unit is studied in the second year of the A-level course and is assessed as part of the third examination paper. In 2021-22, Engineering Physics is being studied while in many previous years, Astrophysics has been studied (this decision is made by the Subject Leader, depending on the specialist knowledge of the teacher delivering this part of the course each year).

Practical Skills and Endorsement

All students complete 12 required practicals as part of the A-level course. These build up the required experience of “Apparatus and Techniques” as set out by the examination board and are assessed according to the Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPACs) which are common to all A-level Science courses. Should a student successfully meet all of these criteria, they will achieve “Practical Endorsement” alongside their A-level qualification. Investigative skills and understanding are assessed as part of the third examination paper.



GCSE Physics AQA Physics Third Edition (online Kerboodle access) Ryan and Peacock Oxford
A level Physics AQA Physics A-Level Year 1 and AS paperback copies issued to Year 12 students (including  online Kerboodle access)

AQA Physics A-Level paperback copies issued to Year 13 students (including  online Kerboodle access)



Oxford University Press

A selection of textbooks are also available for the pupils in the school library. A selection of reference books are available for staff in the Subject Leader’s office.


There are four laboratories, one preparation area and one equipment storeroom. Each teacher has their own teaching laboratory with P2 being used mainly as a Sixth Form teaching room.

P1 has 14 desktop computers for use with data logging equipment and all labs are well equipped with class sets of the basic, frequently used equipment.

The Subject Leader’s office is between P3 and P4.

A class set of Learning by Questions tablets is available to be booked by teachers.


  • GCSE Science Live Conference
  • Visiting speakers e.g Dr. Mark Norris from Alston Observatory (Stellar evolution)
  • STEM challenge
  • Science trip to London – museums and sightseeing
  • Hub School for the Ogden Trust Partnership provides enrichment and staff CPD for six Blackburn with Darwen schools enrichment and Staff CPD.
  • Olympiads
  • Big Bang NEC
  • Physics Olympics at King’s Chester
  • Alston Observatory
  • National Space Centre
  • Jodrell Bank
  • Mobile Planetarium
  • Level-up event
  • Regional finals of Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenge
  • Sixth form visit to CERN, Switzerland


  • Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenge
  • Physics Olympiad
  • Year 11 Physics Revision (Tuesdays Week B after school in P1)
  • Year 11 Physics Stretch and Challenge (Wednesday Week B lunchtime in P4)
  • Year 12 Physics Revision (Wednesday lunchtime in P1)
  • Year 13 Physics Revision (Tuesdays Week B after school in P3)

For more information please contact:

Mr. P Hargreaves
Subject Leader Physics