Subject Intent: Why Physics?

Physics develops key transferable skills through the study of the universe from the smallest to the largest scales. Some of the highest skills shortages in Yorkshire are in STEM and our curriculum is designed to develop scientific methodology, awareness of the advances of technology and recognition of the value of Physics in society so that students can go on to enjoy careers in fields such as engineering (mechanical, structural and civil), geophysics and radiation protection.

What will I study?

Year 12
  • Waves, including the strange things that happen when waves meet.
  • Particles and radiation, including antiparticles, quarks and quantum phenomena.
  • Mechanics and materials, including projectile motion and collisions.
  • Electricity, including resistivity and superconductivity.
  • Practical skills.
Year 13
  • Further mechanics, including oscillations and circular motion.
  • Thermal physics, including gas laws.
  • Fields and their consequences, including electrical fields, capacitors, gravitational fields, orbits, magnetic fields and electromagnetic induction.
  • Nuclear physics, our knowledge of the nucleus and its application.
  • An optional unit, ‘Turning points in Physics’, which builds on a range of the physics studied in earlier sections.
  • Practical skills.


Please note: Subject videos have been filmed from colleges across our Trust.

What are lessons like in this subject?

New content is shared in small chunks to support students in their understanding. After the initial explanation, the understanding of the material is then deepened through problem solving, group work and analysing exam questions. Physics is a very hands-on subject so whenever there is opportunity to do so, the learning of new content is supported with demonstrations or practical investigations.

In addition to discovering new material, we will also spend part of our lessons on content that we have already covered. Retrieval practice is the most effective way to ensure that we are prepared for the examination, and this will be a part of every lesson.

What our


Studying Physics you learn to not just instinctively accept knowledge. Instead, you begin to ask questions and push towards a deeper understanding where you can know why the information is true.

Isabel Sophia Atkin, Outwood Academy Shafton

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