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.


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
  • Waves
  • Light and the EMS
  • Radioactivity
  • Astronomy
  • Energy and Work
  • Forces and their Effect
  • Electrical Circuits
  • Static Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Particle Models
  • Forces and Matter

Entry requirements: Grade 7 in GCSE Physics or 7:7 in Combined Science.

Six modules are each divided into key topics:

Module 1: Development of practical skills in physics

  • Practical skills assessed in a written examination
  • Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement

Module 2: Foundation in physics

  • Physical quantities and units
  • Making measurements and analysing data
  • Nature of quantities

Module 3: Forces and motion

  • Motion
  • Forces in action
  • Work, energy and power
  • Materials
  • Newton’s laws of motion and momentum

Module 4: Electrons, waves and photons

  • Charge and current
  • Energy, power and resistance
  • Electrical circuits
  • Waves
  • Quantum physics

Module 5: Newtonian world and astrophysics

  • Thermal physics
  • Circular motion
  • Oscillations
  • Gravitational fields
  • Astrophysics and cosmology

Module 6: Particles and medical physics

  • Capacitors
  • Electric fields
  • Electromagnetism
  • Nuclear and particle physics
  • Medical imaging

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.

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