Physics: Durham School: independent day and boarding school in the North East of England for boys and girls
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DIscover how Physics is fundamental to explaining and understanding us, our world and The Universe.

Head of Department: Mr A Smith 

Teaching Staff: Mr T Williams, Mr K McLaughlin


Physics “is a way to teach how something gets to be known, what is not known, to what extent things are known (for nothing is known absolutely), how to handle doubt and uncertainty, what the rules of evidence are, how to think about things so that judgments can be made, how to distinguish truth from fraud, and from show” – Richard Feynman, Nobel-Prize winning physicist.

Whatever your interests and however you approach life Physics is fundamental to explaining and understanding us, our world and The Universe. The study of Physics has allowed us to examine the smallest building blocks from the moment of creation and lets us look into the future and the possible fate of The Universe. Physics has always been here answering questions both big and small and will continue to provide us with insight and knowledge. At Durham School we aim to bring the excitement of Physics into the classroom to enthuse and motivate the next generation. We believe the pupils we teach today will be the scientific pioneers of the future.

Year 9-11

In Year 9 students begin the AQA iGCSE Physics course [8403]. The course is covered over three years with a balance of theoretical, practical and investigative work.

Course Content

  • Forces and their effects
  • Waves
  • Heating processes
  • Electricity
  • Motors, generators and transformers
  • Nuclear physics 

Year 12-13

At A Level we follow the Edexcel course [9PH01].

Course Content

  • Mechanics and Materials
  • Waves, electricity and light
  • Fields and particle physics
  • Thermodynamics, nuclear physics, oscillations and astrophysics
  • Practical skills and data analysis

After Durham

Physics as a subject is highly respected by universities and employers alike. It is one of the few courses which will allow you access to specialist fields, such as engineering and medicine, and also allow you to keep your options open with relevance in other areas such as finance and politics.

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