Physics is all about understanding the world around us. It involves the study of the Universe, from huge galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles. The subject leads to great discoveries and technologies which change our lives – from treating cancer to developing sustainable electricity generation.
The physics laboratories at Camp Hill Girls are well equipped, modern and attractive. Lessons are purposeful and enjoyable. Experienced staff help students to understand concepts using diagrams, photographs, video clips, calculations, explanations, demonstrations and practical work. There are lots of opportunities to ask questions, clarify your ideas and discuss concepts with your classmates. Physics is a great subject if you enjoy problem-solving and like to discover why things happen. It helps to have good mathematical ability but none of the maths used exceeds what you do in GCSE mathematics. Physics, chemistry and biology are taught separately by subject specialists in all years at CHG. In Year 7, students study electricity, magnetism, energy, forces and space. In Year 8, they go on to cover thermal energy, light, sound and do further work on forces. Students start their GCSE course (AQA specification) at the beginning of Year 9. All students study three separate GCSEs in physics, chemistry and biology. Physics topics include electricity generation, radioactivity, the Big Bang, the life cycle of stars and medical physics. You learn how devices work from spectacles to spacecraft and consider how our use of energy is impacting our environment. The GCSE course has a particular emphasis on ‘how science works’. The Investigative Skills Assessment (ISA) takes place during Year 11 and the P1, P2 and P3 examinations are taken at the end of Year 11. A level physics is a popular choice at CHG with around 40 students taking the subject in Year 12 each year. We study the AQA Physics A specification and opt to do the Externally Marked Practical Assessment (EMPA). Topics studied in Year 12 include particle physics, quantum physics, electricity, statics and dynamics, materials, waves and optics. In Year 13 students go on to study topics including circular motion, simple harmonic motion, magnetic / electric / gravitational fields, radioactivity and nuclear energy. Many students attend the evening lecture programme at the University of Birmingham on a variety of fascinating topics. Many students have gone on to study physics and engineering at university. Physics students are problem solvers. Their skills are transferable to a huge range of careers which makes physicists highly regarded and sought after. Careers include engineering, medicine, computer science, finance, law, astronomy and journalism. Physicists can be found working in industrial and university laboratories, aerospace and automotive companies, the armed forces and even trading on the Stock Exchange!