Lancaster Royal
Grammar School


The Physics Department is located on the upper site. Four of our laboratories are in the Mawby Building and one in the Timberlake Building. A central Preparation Room and workshop provides the support services and acts as a base for the technicians.

The Department is 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 GCSE and at A level. We currently have four sets in each of the Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth years. We achieve excellent results in exams and plenty of students go on to study Physics, Engineering or other similar subjects at university.

We teach the Key Stage 3 course in Years 7 and 8.  We then start the EDEXCEL 9-1 GCSE in Physics in Year 9. We continue to teach this in Years 10 and 11 and it is examined in two written papers in June of Year 11. 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.

Staff profiles

Mr S Bell, Head of Department- Mr Bell teaches Physics across the age range.  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.

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). 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, he manages the school's Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and he runs the annual Year 7 residential trip.  Dr Shawcross also enjoys rock climbing and other adventurous activities.

Mr T M Hynes joined LRGS in 2022 having spent four years teaching physics in South Yorkshire. He possesses an MPhys from Durham University and an MA in Education from The University of Sheffield. Mr Hynes is also keen jazz listener and outdoor enthusiast who can often be found cycling and walking in the hills.

Email Physics Department staff

Physics - 11+

11+ Curriculum

All pupils in each of the first three years study each of Physics. In Year 7 there are four lessons a fortnight and in Year 8 three lessons a fortnight.

Year 7

  • Forces and their Effects
  • Energy Types and Resources
  • Heat

Year 8

  • Electricity and Magnets
  • Light and Sound
  • Space

11+ FAQs

Is there much opportunity to do practical work?

In addition to covering the topics outlined above, the Key Stage 3 course also covers practical and other scientific skills like researching information and looking at the history of science. 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 use modelling programmes.

Physics - 13+

13+ Curriculum

In Year 9 all pupils start GCSE Physics and have four lessons of Physics a fortnight. In Year 10 the vast majority of pupils choose to continue to study Physics GCSE, which they continue into Year 11. In each year there are six lessons of Physics a fortnight.

13+ FAQs

In what format are the external exams?

There are two papers each of 1 hour 45 minutes duration.

What exam board do you follow for GCSE?

We follow the Edexcel GCSE Physics (9-1) syllabus.

Physics - Sixth Form

Sixth Form Curriculum

In the Sixth Form we offer the AQA Physics.

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 L6 and  U6 Year. Many students gain awards including the gold award for being in the top 50 students nationally.

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