The Physics Department is located, together with Chemistry, in the modern science block, called the Mawby Centre. There are three laboratories that are used primarily for Physics, as well as two smaller classrooms, designed for teaching Sixth Form sets. A central Preparation Room and workshop provides the support services and acts as a base for the technicians.
The Department is very well equipped and the emphasis in lessons is to include as much practical work as is possible. A large number of students choose to study Physics beyond the compulsory GCSE course, continuing to AS and A2 level, usually with four or five sets in each of the Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth years. We achieve excellent results in exams and in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of pupils who go on to take Physics at university.
We teach the Key Stage 3 course in the First and Second Years. We then teach Module 1 of the GCSE course in the Third Year, Module 2 in the Fourth Year and Module 3 in the Fifth Year. The aim of the Physics Department at Lancaster Royal Grammar School is to develop individual students to their full potential, to educate them in all aspects of the theory of physics and its many applications to everyday life in the real world.
Mr S Bell, Head of DepartmentMr S Bell teaches Physics to all year groups. Mr Bell started at LRGS in 2009. Before that he taught at QES in Kirkby Lonsdale, at Hutton Grammar School and in Zimbabwe. He enjoys outdoor activities, especially standing on the top of mountains.
Dr C Ellwood joined the Department in September 2004, having spent the previous two years teaching at Queen Elizabeth's School, Kirkby Lonsdale. He teaches Physics to all year groups, as well as the Maths for Physics course in the L6 year, and is in charge of sailing at Pine Lake.
Mr M J English joined LRGS from Bedford Modern School where he taught Physics for seven years. Earlier in Canada he was involved in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) research. Initially he obtained a BSc in Physiology from King's College, London followed by a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Medical Radiation Physics, both from McGill University, Canada.
Dr D R Rowe joined LRGS in 1994, after completing a PhD at Lancaster University. He is Assistant Head (Information and Systems) and Senior Housemaster of School House. He is the officer in charge of the Army Section of the CCF and teaches Physics to all year groups. He is the Science Coordinator with responsibility for the Primary School Science programme.
Dr A Shawcross joined LRGS in September 2004, having spent three years teaching physics at Dallam School. He teaches physics to all year groups and is Housemaster of Frankland House. He enjoys rock climbing and other adventurous activities.
J Holmes Technician
Physics - 11+
All pupils in each of the first three years study each of Physics, Chemistry and Biology for two periods each subject each week.
In the following two years this increases to two periods one week and three periods the following week, alternately.
- Energy Types and Resources
- Electrical Circuits
- Forces and their Effects
- The Solar System and Beyond
- Heating and Cooling
- Magnets and Electromagnets
- Light and Sound
- Pressure and Moments
Is there much opportunity to do practical work?
In addition to covering the topics outlined above, the Key Stage 3 course also covers “how science works”. Throughout the three years, practical experiments and investigations are routinely undertaken to enhance scientific methodology and concepts. These skills build and enhance both future work and basic scientific literacy.
Is there opportunity to use ICT?
Increasingly the boys are given chance to research subjects independently using the internet resources and develop modelling programmes. The Science Department has its own suite of laptop computers and of course can use one of three dedicated IT labs.
Physics - 13+
All pupils in each of the first three years study each of Physics, Chemistry and Biology for two periods each subject each week. In the following two years this increases to two periods one week and three periods the following week, alternately.
At GCSE all students take Physics and achieve their GCSE at the end of the Fifth Year. Practical work is assessed using an ISA exam. These consist of practical sessions in normal lessons (when the pupils obtain a table of results) and an exam style lesson (the following week) where they answer questions that complete the practical task, testing their practical skills. Their teacher then uses the Official Mark Scheme and eventually the marks scored are sent to a Moderator (as previously was the case for coursework).
In what format are the external exams?
The P1 exam can be carried out in one written test or two multiple choice tests. We have entered students for both tests and we are awaiting results so to determine future policy.
When are the external exams?
The P1 exam is conducted during the Fourth Year (in one or two exams – see above). The P2 exam is taken in the January of Fifth Year, with P3 plus resits in either P1 or P2 (if needed) being taken in the June of Fifth Year.
Physics - Sixth Form
Sixth Form Curriculum
In the Sixth Form we offer the AQA Physics (Specification A) at both AS ( in L6) and A2 in U6. There are three modules for each course, two theory and the third is an ISA which consists of practical sessions and an exam-style question paper that is done during the course and assessed by AQA.
Sixth Form Extra-curricular Projects
The Institute of Physics organises the Physics Olympiad Competition and this has been routinely entered with great success for several years by students in their U6 Year. Many students gain awards including the gold award for being in the top 50 students nationally.
The Nuffield Science Bursary Scheme provides outstanding candidates with opportunity to spend four weeks researching an investigation at a high academic level, usually in a university department and often leads to a Crest Gold Award being achieved.
Regular expert outside speakers are invited into school to give stimulating lectures and thought provoking discussions.
Sixth Form FAQs
Where can I find out more?
The examination board (AQA) has a very useful website in which the full specification, past papers and mark schemes, guidance and examiner’s reports can all be found. The address is www.aqa.org.uk
When will it be assessed?
The course is split into two separate parts, the AS completed in the lower sixth form and A2 completed in the Upper Sixth Year. There are assessment points in January and June of each year in which to take or retake the separate module examinations. The practical investigations will be carried out at convenient points throughout the course.
Physics - Primary Links
Primary Schools Science classes are organised by the Science Coordinator, with several primary schools sending pupils into our school, where they are taught by our specialist science teachers in our specialist labs.