Physics is one of the oldest and most fundamental of all sciences. It encompasses our understanding from the basic constituents of matter to the structure of the universe in which we live.
From this standpoint, the aim of the Physics department is to maintain and nurture the interest of students and deliver the relevant syllabi.
Physics and its applications are all around us especially in the modern technological environment. Knowledge of how to explain the everyday phenomena around us opens up many opportunities and makes the world a more exciting place to live.
Studying Physics will open up many avenues and careers for students to explore further or take forward to higher education. Some areas that former Gresham’s pupils have moved into are, Computer Science, Finance, Engineering, and Medicine.
- GCSE Physics
Exam board: Edexcel
Pupils at Gresham’s can either complete GCSE Physics alongside separate GCSE qualifications in Biology and Chemistry, or they can choose to complete the Edexcel Double GCSE in Combined Science, equivalent to two GCSE grades.
Pupils in Year 9 to 11 study the Edexcel GCSE course completing two examinations in the summer of Year 11. In the Year 9 course, core Physics skills are taught to all students giving them a sound foundation to take forward. Throughout the course, theory lessons are supported with practical work that develops understanding.
The topics pupils encounter in GCSE Physics:
- Key concepts
- Motion and Forces
- Conservation of Energy
- Light and the EMS
- Energy and Work
- Forces and their Effect
- Electrical Circuits
- Static Electricity
- Electromagnetic Induction
- Particle Models
- Forces and Matter
- A level Physics
Exam board: OCR
Entry requirements: Grade 7 in GCSE Physics or 7:7 in Combined Science.
The A level Physics course is assessed at the end of the second year with three summer examinations. The course covers the fundamentals of Physics giving students the skills required to succeed in numerous disciplines with an emphasis on developing the understanding required to follow a STEAM base degree or career in the future. In particular, the course develops sound problem-solving, through practical work and the use of mathematics.
- IB Physics
Entry requirements: Grade 7 in GCSE Physics or 7:7 in Combined Science
Pupils follow the diploma program at either higher of standard level for two years with a terminal examination consisting of three papers sat on two consecutive days. There is an experimental coursework element, which contributes 24% towards the final grade.
After leaving Gresham’s, Professor Durrant went on to study Physics at Cambridge and was awarded a PhD in Biochemistry at Imperial College in 1991. He took up the position of Professor of Photochemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College in 2005. From 2013 he has also held a joint position as Sêr Cymru research chair in solar energy in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Swansea University. Professor Durrant’s research focuses on the photochemistry of new materials for solar energy conversion. He is also the Director of Imperial’s Centre for Processable Electronics and founder of the UK’s Solar Fuels Network.
PROFESSOR JAMES DURRANT, FRS