What is it about at sixth-form level?
Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science. Physics challenges our imaginations with concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great discoveries, like computers and lasers, that lead to technologies which change our lives—from healing joints, to curing cancer, to developing sustainable energy solutions.
A level Physics teaching uses a flexible approach where the specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of Physics. As you progress through the course, you’ll build on knowledge of the laws of Physics, applying your understanding to many areas.
Science began with Physics: Physics encompasses the study of the universe from the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles. Moreover, it’s the basis of many other sciences, including Chemistry, oceanography, seismology, and astronomy.
Why study it and what skills does it develop?
Physics A level students will develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other; develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods; develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills; develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject; as well as understanding how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.
What prior knowledge and skills are required?
You will need to have obtained 5 GCSEs at 9-4 including a 4 grade in English. You will need to have gained a grade 6 or above in Physics GCSE, Double Science GCSE or their equivalent. Students should also have gained a 6 or better at GCSE Maths.
How is the course assessed?
Modelling Physics (Component 01) assesses content from teaching modules 1, 2, 3 and 5. Exploring Physics (Component 02) assesses content from teaching modules 1, 2, 4 and 6. Both include multiple choice, short answer (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical) and extended response questions. Unified Physics (Component 03) assesses content from across all teaching modules 1 to 6 with compulsory questions. Question styles include short answer and extended response questions. Practical endorsement in Physics (Component 04) is a separately reported non-exam assessment component which rewards practical skills. Students may work in groups but must be able to demonstrate and let teachers record independent evidence of their competency. The activities will take place throughout the lower sixth and upper sixth.
To be confirmed at the start of the course
A Level Physics A for OCR Student Book
By G. Bone, N Saunders
Published by OUP, ISBN 978-0-19-835218-1
A Level Physics A for OCR Year 1 and AS Student Book
By G. Bone, G. Chadha, N. Saunders
Published by OUP, ISBN 978-0-19-835217-4
A Level Physics A for OCR Year 2 Student Book
By G. Bone, N Saunders
Published by OUP, ISBN 978-0-19-835766-7
Exam Board and Specification Codes
A level: OCR-A H556
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