Contact Us


  • Physics
  • Text size
  • a A

Science is taught in the three specialist disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics throughout the Senior School although it is known as ‘Science’ within Years 7-9 and at GCSE. This reflects the language used by Examination Boards. At A level, the language of ‘Science’ is replaced by the individual disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Within this context you will find detailed on this page the delivery of Physics from Year 7 to the Sixth Form.

Lower & Middle School Physics

Year 7 Topics:

  • Energy stores and energy transfers.
  • Dissipating energy as heat.
  • Gravitational potential energy and work done.
  • Energy from fuels.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Types of forces.
  • Hooke’s Law.
  • Balanced forces.
  • Friction and force.
  • Electrical current and potential difference.
  • Series and parallel circuits.
  • Resistance.
  • Resistance calculations.
  • The generator.
  • Fossil fuels.
  • Renewable energy.
  • Magnetism.
  • Magnetic fields.
  • Electromagnetism.


Year 8 Topics:

  • Domestic electricity and power.
  • Paying for electricity.
  • Static electricity
  • Effects of static electricity.
  • Wave basics.
  • Sound waves.
  • Sound and ultrasound.
  • Speed of sound and echoes.
  • Travelling light.
  • Reflection and refraction.
  • Focusing light.
  • Coloured light.
  • Turning moments.
  • Levers.
  • Pressure.
  • Pressure in fluids.
  • Floating and sinking.
  • Conduction.
  • Convection.
  • Radiation.
  • Insulation.


Year 9 Topics

  • Wave features.
  • Electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Infra-red absorption and emission.
  • Density calculations.
  • Kinetic Theory and changes of state.
  • Specific heat capacity.
  • Specific latent heat.
  • Gases and pressure.
  • Energy types and transfers.
  • Efficiency.
  • Renewable and non-renewable energy resources.
  • Kinetic energy and GPE.
  • Hooke’s Law and elastic energy.
  • Work done and power.

GCSE Physics


Pupils entering Year 10 will continue to study a balanced Science course which can lead to a number of different Science GCSEs by the end of Year 11.  These are GCSE Combined Science and GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics.  We always ensure that the most appropriate course is matched to the pupil.  All pupils have to study all three Science disciplines for GCSE.  Rishworth School teaches the AQA Science course as three separate Sciences but emphasis is placed on the linking of ideas between the three Science disciplines.  Pupils are taught by specialist Science teachers across the three subjects, with nine hours of Science teaching over a two-week period.  This allows three hours to be dedicated to each Science over two weeks.


Course Content:

Summary of content for the courses:

  • Forces.
  • Energy.
  • Waves.
  • Electricity.
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism.
  • Particle model of matter.
  • Atomic structure.
  • Space Physics.


Examination Board

AQA Physics


Mode of Assessment:

8 practicals that teachers must deliver during lessons.


Paper 1

  • Questions on topics 2, 4, 6, 7
  • 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks)

Paper 2

  • Questions on topics 1, 3, 5, 8
  • 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks)


Questions: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open-response, and questions about the required practicals.


All examinations take place in June of Year 11.  These courses offer flexibility in teaching and assessment, while remaining a challenging and purposeful course for all pupils.  Both Combined Science and the three separate Sciences form a sound foundation for studying Sciences at A Level.

A-Level Physics


The aim of the course is to give students an insight into how physics works in the modern world through following the AQA Physics A syllabus.  By the incorporation of material from the leading edge of physics, and encouraging an appraisal of how we currently view the universe, students will find this subject stimulating and thought provoking.


The minimum GCSE requirement is grade B in additional science and in mathematics.


Course content


AS and A-level (Year 1)


Topics covered

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and energy
  • Electricity


A-level (Year 2)


Topics covered

  • Further mechanics and thermal physics
  • Fields
  • Nuclear physics
  • Astrophysics


Examination Board: AQA


Mode of assessment


AS Level qualification

The AS papers include all the types of questions that are in the A-level, but at a lower level, helping students to progress towards the more challenging A-level questions.


AS will be assessed by two examination papers.


Paper 1: Written exam worth 50% of AS.

This paper is divided into questions on each AS topic.

Paper 2: Written exam worth 50% of AS.

The paper includes questions on practical skills, data analysis, and all AS topics.


A-Level qualification

To gain the A-level qualification, students will need to take a total of three papers.


Paper 1: Written exam worth 34% of A-level covers AS material (topics 1-5) and ‘Periodic motion’, from topic 6.  The questions will be both written and multiple choice questions.

Paper 2: Written exam worth 34% of A-level covers A-level topics 6-8.  The questions will be both written and multiple choice questions.

Paper 3: Written exam worth 32% of A-level.  The paper will include questions on practical skills, data analysis and astrophysics.