Science - Physics

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RWSCurriculum Transparent

Intent and Vision

In Physics we have the Ravens Wood vision at heart of our curriculum planning, and it has informed the learning journey of our students. We want our students to be passionate about science and to develop their own curiosity for understanding the world around them.

Key Concepts that Underpin the Curriculum

  1. Understand how scientific methods and theories develop over time.
  2. Use a variety of models such as representational, spatial, descriptive, computational and mathematical to solve problems, make predictions and to develop scientific explanations and understanding of familiar and unfamiliar facts.
  3. Appreciate the power and limitations of science and consider any ethical issues which may arise.
  4. Explain every day and technological applications of science; evaluate associated personal, social, economic and environmental implications; and make decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and arguments.
  5. Evaluate risks both in practical science and the wider societal context, including perception of risk in relation to data and consequences.
  6. Recognise the importance of peer review of results and of communicating results to a range of audiences.

Key Features of Learning

We believe the best way of doing this is teaching students how to learn, problem solve and apply their knowledge to new and changing contexts.

How Does our Curriculum Shape Learners?

Our curriculum helps students to develop into global citizens by equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to surmount the challenges their generation will likely face.

The Learning Journey: End Points for Each Academic Year

Year 13

By the end of Year 13, students will have built on the work of Particles and radiation to link the properties of the nucleus to the production of nuclear power through the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei, and the link between energy and mass. Students will have become aware of the physics that underpins nuclear energy production and also of the impact that it can have on society. After the earlier study of mechanics students will have further advanced through a consideration of circular motion and simple harmonic motion (the harmonic oscillator). Students will have investigated the thermal properties of materials, the properties and nature of ideal gases, and the molecular kinetic theory.The concept of field is one of the great unifying ideas in physics. The ideas of gravitation, electrostatics and magnetic field theory will be developed within the topic to emphasise this unification. Many ideas from mechanics and electricity from earlier in the course support this and are further developed. Practical applications will have been considered including planetary and satellite orbits, capacitance and capacitors, their charge and discharge through resistors, and electromagnetic induction.

Fundamental physical principles have been applied to the study and interpretation of the Universe. Students gained deeper insight into the behaviour of objects at great distances from Earth and discover the ways in which information from these objects can be gathered. The underlying physical principles of the devices used and how the new information gained using radio astronomy is applied.

Year 12

By the end of Year 12, students will have studied the fundamental properties of matter, becoming aware of the way ideas develop and evolve in physics. They will appreciate the importance of international collaboration in the development of new experiments and theories in this area of fundamental research. GCSE studies of wave phenomena are extended through the development of knowledge of the characteristics, properties, and applications of travelling waves and stationary waves. Topics treated include refraction, diffraction, superposition and interference. Vectors and their treatment have been followed by development of the student’s knowledge and understanding of forces, energy and momentum. This involves a study of materials considered in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength. Electricity builds on and develops earlier study of these phenomena from GCSE. It provided opportunities for the development of practical skills at an early stage in the course and laid the groundwork for later study of the many electrical applications that are important to society.

Year 11

By the end of Year 11, students will understand that wave behaviour is common in both natural and man-made systems knowing that waves carry energy from one place to another and can also carry information. They will be able to apply this to examples such as designing comfortable and safe structures such as bridges, houses and music performance halls. As well as how modern technologies such as imaging and communication systems show how we can make the most of electromagnetic waves. In studying Electromagnets students will understand how Engineers make use of the fact that a magnet moving in a coil can produce electric current and also that when current flows around a magnet it can produce movement meaning that systems that involve control or communications can take full advantage of this. In the past century, astronomers and astrophysicists have made remarkable progress in understanding the scale and structure of the universe, its evolution and ours. New questions have emerged recently. ‘Dark matter’, which bends light and holds galaxies together but does not emit electromagnetic radiation, is everywhere – what is it? And what is causing the universe to expand ever faster? In this new area of Physics students will be able to answer these questions according to current thinking.

Year 10

By the end of Year 10, students will understand that the particle model is widely used to predict the behaviour of solids, liquids and gases and this has many applications in everyday life. Students will be able to explain a wide range of observations and know that engineers use these principles when designing vessels to withstand high pressures and temperatures, such as submarines and spacecraft. Students will know that ionising radiation is hazardous but can be very useful. Although radioactivity was discovered over a century ago, it took many nuclear physicists several decades to understand the structure of atoms, nuclear forces and stability. Early researchers suffered from their exposure to ionising radiation. Rules for radiological protection were first introduced in the 1930s and subsequently improved. Today radioactive materials are widely used in medicine, industry, agriculture and electrical power generation. Students will have investigated how engineers analyse forces when designing a great variety of machines and instruments, from road bridges and fairground rides to atomic force microscopes. Anything mechanical can be analysed in this way. Recent developments in artificial limbs use the analysis of forces to make movement possible.

Year 9

By the end of Year 9, students will understand that the concept of energy emerged in the 19th century and that the idea was used to explain the work output of steam engines and then generalised to understand other heat engines. Also becoming a key tool for understanding chemical reactions and biological systems. Students will have investigated the limits to the use of fossil fuels and global warming and how this is a critical problem for this century. Physicists and engineers are working hard to identify ways to reduce our energy usage. Electric charge is a fundamental property of matter everywhere. Understanding how the difference in the microstructure of conductors, semiconductors and insulators makes it possible to design components and build electric circuits. Many circuits are powered with mains electricity, but portable electrical devices must use batteries of some kind. Knowing electrical power fills the modern world with artificial light and sound, information and entertainment, remote sensing and control. However, power stations, like all machines, have a limited lifetime. If we all continue to demand more electricity this means building new power stations in every generation – but what mix of power stations can promise a sustainable future?

Year 8

By the end of Year 8, students will build on the key concepts of internal energy and particle physics where they learn how pressure is exerted and how temperature affects pressures of fluids. Following which they will learn about convection and conduction of heat and how we exploit this to heat our homes. The concepts of energy transfers, resultant forces and practical knowledge of how to measure speed of a sound wave in the speed topic where students will investigate ways to measure the speed of objects and construct distance-time graphs to represent journeys. Students will apply their knowledge of forces to the concept of work done and be able to explain which factors affect the amount of work done. Finally, students will review how the energy is transferred from power stations to our homes electrically. They will dive further into the behaviour of electrons by learning about current, resistance and potential difference. Finally, they will be able to explain how these factors change to due to changing behaviour of electrons.

Year 7

By the end of Year 7, students will have a solid understanding of the law of the conservation of energy and be able to articulate a variety of ways energy moves from one energy store to another. They will delve further into these concepts by reviewing how energy can move from place to another via different waves. They will have had the practical opportunity to investigate the speed at which waves travel and the behaviour of waves such as reflection and refraction. Additionally, students will be able to explain how radio waves, microwaves, x-rays and ultrasound can be exploited for human use. They will investigate this further into this idea by looking at electromagnetism and having the opportunity to build their own electromagnets and discover the various ways to increase the electromagnets strength. Furthermore, they will broaden their understanding of internal energy stores as they learn about particle physics and changes of state of substances. Students will investigate how energy can be used to do work and be able to explain how a variety of forces may affect the shape or movement of everyday objects. Finally, they will hear latest theories on how energy came into existence and lead the development of matter, the universe, stars, planets and moons.


Provision Maps

Physics - Y7 - Energy Transfers
Physics - Y7 - Forces
Physics - Y7 - Light
Physics - Y7 - Magnets and Electromagnets
Physics - Y7 - Sound
Physics - Y7 - Space
Physics - Y7 - Waves
Physics - Y8 - Electricity
Physics - Y8 - Energy Costs
Physics - Y8 - Energy resources
Physics - Y8 - Forces
Physics - Y8 - Heating and Cooling
Physics - Y8 - Pressure
Physics - Y8 - Speed
Physics - Y8 - Work Done
Physics - Y9 - 1 - Energy
Physics - Y9 - 2 - Electricity
Physics - Y9 - 3 - Particle Model of Matter