The study of Physics is an attempt to understand everything that we can observe and measure in the universe, from the infinitesimally small to the infinitely large: from the beginning of the universe in the Big Bang, to its ultimate fate.
The great physicist Richard Feynman said “We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.”
Why study Physics?
Physics provides a route into many careers. These prospects are not only confined to research – they extend into a wide range of industries: food, medicine, finance, marketing, business, law and management – anywhere that might call for an ability to analyse and model complex situations. A decisive factor in choosing Physics at higher levels should be whether a pupil has found the subject interesting and enjoyable lower down the school, although there is a major change of emphasis from largely factual knowledge at Key Stage 3 (years 7-9) and GCSE (years 10-11), to a requirement for much greater understanding and problem-solving ability at A-level and IB (Sixth form).
For GCSE science at Rydal Penrhos, pupils have the opportunity to study Physics as a separate subject. In the Sixth form, pupils can choose between A-level or the International Baccalaureate. In recent years, pupils have gone on to study Physics and Engineering at Cambridge University, Astrophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Particle Physics at Royal Holloway.
A pupil who has studied Physics is always in high demand for the many careers that value an ability to think logically and analytically and to solve complex problems including the sciences, engineering, technical and computing, finance and management.
The Rydal Penrhos Physics Department has three fully equipped Physics laboratories and is staffed by experienced Physics teachers who were described at our last inspection by Estyn inspectors as ‘experts’.
Physics is necessarily a very practical subject where students undertake many experiments at all levels of the school. Full use is made of modern teaching techniques and resources including computer animations, simulations, independent learning and trips out of school such as engineering problem-solving days, lecture trips to Manchester and Liverpool Universities, and visits to facilities such as Dinorwic Power Station.