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Physics

Many things we reply on in our modern society, such as transport systems, energy supplies, electronic devices, modern medicine and communications technology depends on physics. Studying physics helps us understand how things work such as the underlying laws of nature and the physical principles involved.

The courses on offer within the department include:

National 3, 4 and 5 Physics
Higher Physics
Advanced Higher Physics

 

Pupils in S1-S3 will sutdy physics as part of their science course.

 

National 4 Physics

The aims of the National 4 Physics Course are to enable learners to:

  • develop and apply knowledge and understanding of physics
  • develop an understanding of the role of physics in scientific issues and relevant applications of physics in society and the environment
  • develop scientific inquiry and investigative skills
  • develop scientific analytical thinking skills in a physics context
  • develop the use of technology, equipment and materials, safely, in practical scientific activities
  • develop problem solving skills in a physics context
    use and understand scientific literacy, in everyday contexts, to communicate ideas and issues
  • develop the knowledge and skills for more advanced learning in physics 

Unit 1. Electricity and Energy

In this Unit learners develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of electricity and energy.

Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of electricity and energy on our lives, as well as the implications on society/the environment. This can be done by using a variety of approaches, including investigation and problem solving.

The Unit covers the key areas of:

Generation of electricity
Electrical power
Electromagnetism
Practical electrical and electronic circuits
Gas laws and the kinetic model

Unit 2. Waves and Radiation

In this Unit learners develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of waves and radiation.

Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of waves and radiation on our lives, as well as the implications on society/ the environment. This can be done by using a variety of approaches, including investigation and problem solving.

The Unit covers the key areas:

Wave characteristics
Sound
Electromagnetic spectrum
Nuclear radiation

Unit 3. Dynamics and Space

In this Unit learners develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of dynamics and space.

Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of dynamics and space on our lives, as well as the implications on society/the environment. This can be done by using a variety of approaches, including investigation and problem solving.

The Unit covers the key areas of:

Speed and acceleration
Relationships between forces, motion and energy
Satellites and cosmology

Unit 4. Added Value Unit

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills relevant to undertaking research in physics. Learners will collect and synthesise information from different sources, plan and undertake a practical investigation, analyse results and communicate information related to their findings.

The Unit offers opportunities for collaborative and for independent learning. Learners will develop knowledge and skills associated with standard laboratory apparatus and in the recording and processing of results. The communication of findings will develop skills in scientific literacy.

National 4 Physics - BBC Education http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/znb39j6

 

National 5 Physics  

The aims of the National 5 Physics Course are to enable learners to:

  • develop and apply knowledge and understanding of physics
  • develop an understanding of the role of physics in scientific issues and relevant applications of physics, including the impact these could make in society and the environment
  • develop scientific inquiry and investigative skills
  • develop scientific analytical thinking skills in a physics context
  • develop the use of technology, equipment and materials, safely, in practical scientific activities
  • develop planning skills
  • develop problem solving skills in a physics context
  • use and understand scientific literacy, in everyday contexts, to communicate ideas and issues and to make scientifically informed choices
  • develop the knowledge and skills for more advanced learning in physics
  • develop skills of independent working

 Unit 1. Electricity and Energy

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of electricity and energy.

Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of electricity and energy on our lives, as well as the implications on society/ the environment. This can be done by using a variety of approaches, including investigation and problem solving.

The Unit covers the key areas of:

Energy transfer
Heat
The gas laws

Unit 2. Waves and Radiation

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of waves and radiation. Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of waves and radiation on our lives, as well as the implications on society/ the environment. This can be done by using a variety of approaches, including investigation and problem solving.

The Unit covers the key areas of:

Waves
Nuclear Radiation

Unit 3 Dynamics And Space

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of dynamics and space.

Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of dynamics and space on our lives, as well as the implications on society/ the environment. This can be done by using a variety of approaches, including investigation and problem solving.

The Unit covers the key areas of:

Kinematics
Forces
Space

Unit 4 Assignment

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills relevant to undertaking research in physics. Learners will collect and synthesise information from different sources, plan and undertake a practical investigation, analyse results and communicate information related to their findings. They will also consider any applications of the physics involved and implications for society/ the environment.

The Unit offers opportunities for collaborative and for independent learning. Learners will develop knowledge and skills associated with standard laboratory apparatus and in the recording and processing of results. The communication of findings will develop skills in scientific literacy.

National 5 Physics - BBC Education http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z6fsgk7

 

Higher Physics

The aims of the Higher Physics Course are to enable learners to:

  • develop and apply knowledge and understanding of physics
  • develop an understanding of the role of physics in scientific issues and relevant applications of physics, including the impact these could make in society and the environment
  • develop scientific inquiry and investigative skills
  • develop scientific analytical thinking skills in a physics context
  • develop the use of technology, equipment and materials, safely, in practical scientific activities
  • develop planning skills
  • develop problem solving skills in a physics context
  • use and understand scientific literacy, in everyday contexts, to communicate ideas and issues and to make scientifically informed choices
  • develop the knowledge and skills for more advanced learning in physics
  • develop skills of independent working

 Unit 1 Our Dynamic Universe

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of Our Dynamic Universe.

Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of Our Dynamic Universe on our lives, as well as the implications on society/the environment.

The Unit covers the key areas of: kinematics, dynamics and space-time.

Unit 2 Particles and Waves

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of Particles and Waves.

Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of Particles and Waves on our lives, as well as the implications on society/ the environment.

The Unit covers the key areas of: particles and waves.

Unit 3 Electricity

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of Electricity.

Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of Electricity on our lives, as well as the implications on society/ the environment.

The Unit covers the key areas of: electricity, electrical storage and transfer.

Unit 4 Researching Physics

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills relevant to undertaking research in physics. Learners will collect and synthesise information from different sources, plan and undertake a practical investigation, analyse results and communicate information related to their findings. They will also consider any applications of the physics involved and implications for society/ the environment.

The Unit offers opportunities for collaborative and for independent learning. Learners will develop knowledge and skills associated with standard laboratory apparatus and in the recording and processing of results. The communication of findings will develop skills in scientific literacy.

Advanced Higher Physics

The Advanced Higher Physics course has been designed to articulate with and provide a progression from the Higher Physics course. Through a deeper insight into the structure of the subject, the course aims to provide a challenging experience for those who wish to study the subject to a greater depth and to assist candidates towards an understanding of the use of mathematical models and techniques for describing the behaviour of nature. The course seeks to illustrate and emphasise situations where the principles of physics are used and applied, thus promoting the candidate’s awareness that physics involves interaction between theory and practice. An opportunity for engaging in some independent research is provided. The resulting elements of knowledge and understanding, problem solving and practical activities form the basis of the Advanced Higher Physics course.

As a result of following an Advanced Higher Physics course, candidates should acquire:

a deeper knowledge and understanding of the nature of physics and its applications
skill in applying their knowledge and understanding in a wide variety of theoretical and practical problem solving contexts
skills associated with carrying out experimental and investigative work in physics and analysing the information obtained.

The study of Advanced Higher Physics should also foster an interest in current developments in, and applications of physics, the willingness to make critical and evaluative comment and the acceptance that physics is a changing subject. Positive attitudes, such as being self-reliant, open-minded and willing to recognise alternative points of view, are promoted.

The course endeavours to provide learning experiences leading to the acquisition of worthwhile knowledge, skills and attitudes which will assist candidates to make their own reasoned decisions on many issues within a modern society increasingly dependent on science and technology. The course will also provide those who wish to proceed beyond Advanced Higher Physics with a suitable basis for further study.

Course Content

The course is made up of four mandatory units: Mechanics, Electrical Phenomena, Wave Phenomena, and Physics Investigation. While these units are valuable in their own right, candidates will gain considerable additional benefit from completing this course, since there will be opportunities for the integration of skills developed through the study of the units, and for tackling problem solving of a more complex nature than that required for attainment of the performance criteria of the units. Evidence of achievement of the problem solving core skill will be provided by end of Unit assessments, reports on practical work and the external examination. The following Content Statements describe in detail what the candidate should be able to do in order to demonstrate the knowledge and understanding associated with the course. External assessment will sample from across all of the Content Statements.