Physics

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Students follow the AQA Physics course which consists of 4 separate units; each worth 25%. Units 1, 2 and 3 are examined by a 1 hour written paper, consisting of structured and closed questions. There is at least one longer response question assessing Quality of Written Communication in a science context on each exam paper. Unit 4 is an Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA) for which pupils complete a practical task and are then tested on their data processing, analysis and evaluation skills.

In unit 1 the topics are:

• The transfer of energy by heating processes and the factors that affect the rate at which that energy is transferred

• Energy and efficiency

• The usefulness of electrical appliances

• Methods we use to generate electricity

• The use of waves for communication and to provide evidence that the universe is expanding

In unit 2 the topics are:

• Forces and their effects

• The kinetic energy of objects speeding up or slowing down

• Currents in electrical circuits

• Using mains electricity safely and the power of electrical appliances

• What happens when radioactive substances decay, and the uses and dangers of their emissions

• Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion

In unit 3 the topics are:

• Medical applications of physics

• Using physics to make things work

• Keeping things moving

For the Unit 4 Investigative Skills Assignment pupils plan practical ways to develop and test their own scientific ideas, including assessing and managing risks associated with practical work. All students will collect and process primary and secondary data, make observations, present their results in an appropriate way, analyse the data by looking for patterns and draw conclusions using scientific ideas.

Further specification information can be obtained from:

http://www.sciencelab.org.uk/gcses/physics-unit-1.php