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Inverkeithing
High School

Physics

Welcome to the Physics Department!

Below you will find information about the S3 Physics Course, National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Course.

 

STAFF LIST:

Mr. A. McGimpsey (PTC Physics and DET)

Mrs S. White (Physics) 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

PHYSICS DEPARTMENT

S3 PHYSICS BGE

The course aims to develop:

 

The Topics covered are:

 

 

NATIONAL 4 COURSE

 

Science is vital to everyday life, and allows us to understand and shape the world in which we live and influence its future. Scientists play a key role in meeting society’s needs in areas such as medicine, energy, industry, material development, the environment and sustainability. As the importance and application of science continues to grow and develop, more trained scientists will be required. It is also important that everyone has an informed view of science. The Course is practical and experiential, and develops scientific understanding of issues relating to physics. It aims to generate interest and enthusiasm in physics.

The Course develops skills in a physics context. Learners will gain an understanding of physics, and develop this through a variety of approaches, including practical activities. The Course has four mandatory Units including the Added Value Unit. The first three Units listed below are designed to provide progression to the corresponding Units at National 5:

 

 

 

NATIONAL 5 COURSE

 

The purpose of the course is to develop learners’ interest and enthusiasm for physics in a range of contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry are integrated and developed, throughout the course, by investigating the applications of physics. This enables learners to become scientifically literate citizens, able to review the science-based claims they will meet. Physics gives learners an insight into the underlying nature of our world and its place in the universe. From the sources of the energy we use, to the exploration of space, it covers a range of applications of the relationships that have been discovered through experiment and calculation, including those used in modern technology. An experimental and investigative approach is used to develop knowledge and understanding of physics concepts. This course enables learners to develop a deeper understanding of physics concepts and the ability to describe and interpret physical phenomena using mathematical skills. They develop scientific methods of research in which issues in physics are explored and conclusions drawn.

 

Learners gain an understanding of physics and develop this through a variety of approaches, including practical activities, investigations and problem solving. Learners research topics, apply scientific skills and communicate information related to their findings, which develops skills of scientific literacy.

 

The course content includes the following areas of physics:

Dynamics

In this area, the topics covered are: vectors and scalars; velocity–time graphs; acceleration; Newton’s laws; energy; projectile motion.

Space

In this area, the topics covered are: space exploration; cosmology.

Electricity

In this area, the topics covered are: electrical charge carriers; potential difference (voltage); Ohm’s law; practical electrical and electronic circuits; electrical power.

Properties of matter

In this area, the topics covered are: specific heat capacity; specific latent heat; gas laws and the kinetic model.

Waves

In this area, the topics covered are: wave parameters and behaviours; electromagnetic spectrum; refraction of light.

Radiation

In this area, the topic covered is nuclear radiation.

 

Course assessment structure:

Question paper

The purpose of the question paper is to assess breadth, challenge and application of skills, knowledge and understanding from across the course. The question paper also assesses scientific inquiry skills and analytical thinking skills.

 

The question paper gives learners an opportunity to demonstrate skills, knowledge and understanding by:

 

Assignment

The purpose of the assignment is to assess the application of skills of scientific inquiry and related physics knowledge and understanding.

 

The assignment gives learners an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

 

 

 

HIGHER COURSE

 

The course develops learners’ interest and enthusiasm for physics in a range of contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed throughout the course. The relevance of physics is highlighted by the study of the applications of physics in everyday contexts. The course develops scientific understanding of issues relating to physics. It enables learners to gain an in-depth knowledge of concepts in physics, and to develop confidence in the skills of scientific inquiry. Learners develop their ability to describe and interpret physical phenomena using mathematical skills, and practise scientific methods of investigation from which general relationships are derived and explored. Learners gain a deeper insight into the structure of the subject, and reinforce and extend their knowledge and understanding of the concepts of physics. Advances in physics mean that our view of what is possible is continually being updated. The course allows learners to deepen their understanding of the processes behind scientific advances, and thus promotes awareness that physics involves interaction between theory and practice.

 

The course aims to:

 

The course content includes the following areas of physics:

Our Dynamic Universe

The topics covered are:

 

Particles and waves

The topics covered are:

 

Electricity

The topics covered are:

 

Course Assessment Structure

Question paper

The question papers assess breadth, challenge and application of skills, knowledge and understanding from across the course. The question papers also assess scientific inquiry skills and analytical thinking skills. A data sheet and a relationships sheet are provided.

 

Assignment

The assignment assesses the application of skills of scientific inquiry and related physics knowledge and understanding.

 

The assignment gives learners an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

 

 

ADVANCED HIGHER COURSE

 

In this course there is an emphasis on developing an understanding of physics concepts and applying this to familiar and unfamiliar contexts. The course also gives learners the opportunity to develop and apply skills of scientific inquiry. The course develops learners’ ability to think analytically, creatively and independently, and to make reasoned evaluations. It gives learners the opportunity to apply critical thinking to solve problems. The course also develops learners’ communication skills. As our understanding of physics and its potential applications is constantly evolving, our success as a technological society depends on the development of young people who are secure in their knowledge of physics, and who are resilient, adaptable, creative, and inventive.

 

The course content includes the following areas of physics:

Rotational motion and astrophysics

The topics covered are:

 

Quanta and waves

The topics covered are:

 

Electromagnetism

The topics covered are:

 

Units, prefixes and uncertainties

The topics covered are:

 

Course assessment structure:

Question paper

The question paper contains restricted-response and extended-response questions. A data sheet and a relationships sheet are provided.

The question paper gives learners an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

 

Project

The purpose of the project is to allow the learner to carry out an in-depth investigation of a physics topic and produce a project report. Learners are required to plan and carry out a physics investigation. Learners should keep a record of their work (daybook) as this will form the basis of their project report. This record should include details of their research, experiments and recorded data.

The project gives learners an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

 

Learners choose their topic and individually investigate/research its underlying physics. Learners must discuss potential topics with their teacher and/or lecturer to ensure that they do not waste time researching unsuitable topics.