Physics is an exciting and intellectually stimulating natural science. It is the most fundamental science and underpins other sciences and engineering.

In our technological age, physicists are needed to understand and appreciate the complexities and subtleties of the physical world.

Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 | core subject

From Year 7, Physics, along with the other sciences is taught as a separate subject to all pupils.

In Years 7 and 8 pupils learn the foundations of the subject, covering topics such as electricity, light, space, forces, and energy. In line with the other two sciences, they also gain experience of the scientific method – developing and testing theories, making observations, designing investigations and general Good Lab Practice. The amount of practical work is high, taking advantage of our well-equipped Department and also benefitting from our experienced team of teachers.

In Year 9 preparation for IGCSE begins and pupils will begin learning elements of that IGCSE course. Studying topics such as thermal energy, force and movement, and properties of waves, the mathematical depth of the course increases, helping pupils understand how important measurements are in testing physical theories. The material covered in Year 9 is all examinable at the end of Year 11.

Year 10 and 11, IGCSE | option subject

For IGCSE although Physics is an option subject, all pupils are strongly encouraged to continue their study of at least two of the three sciences.

Pupils who study IGCSE Physics acquire an understanding of the fundamental phenomena that exist within the universe as well as an appreciation of how these phenomena are harnessed by humans for uses from energy production to domestic technology. The course covers traditional topics including forces and electricity alongside more recent discoveries in radioactivity and astrophysics. Recreating these phenomena within the laboratory provides pupils with a more vivid experience of the theories covered and experimental work is a significant component of the course. There is a strong emphasis on practical work with continued use of data logging, but the use of simulations, virtual reality, and online resources is actively encouraged.

– There are no specific academic requirements to study IGCSE Physics. The IGCSE material covered during Year 9 is the basis for the rest of the course and it is essential that pupils spend time consolidating this work before commencing Physics IGCSE in Year 10.

– Edexcel IGCSE 4PH1 Physics

Sixth Form, A-Level | option subject

The Physics specification is split into six teaching modules: Development of practical skills in physics; Foundations of physics; Forces and motion; Electrons, waves and photons; Newtonian world and astrophysics; Particles and medical physics.

Each covers different key concepts of physics. As learners progress through the course they will build on their knowledge of the laws of Physics, applying their understanding to solve problems on topics ranging from sub-atomic particles to the entire universe.

The Practical Endorsement will also support the development of practical skills, through the use of lab books and customised practical activity groups. This is awarded separately to the final grade on a “Pass” or “Not Classified” basis.

– Grade 7 at (I)GCSE Physics. It is strongly advised that Physics is studied alongside A-Level Mathematics.

– OCR A-Level H556A Physics

John Lyon Success

– 65% of A-Level students gained A*-B grades.
– 44% of IGCSE pupils achieved a 9 or 8 grade.
– Arshan Shroff (2019) left John Lyon to read Mechanical Engineering at Queen Mary University of London.

Outside the Classroom

John Lyon’s programme of extra-curricular activities includes a number of options directly related to or complementary to Physics, such as Astonomy, Architecture, CREST Award, Paper Circuits Club and VEX Robotics.

Beyond School

The study of Physics will develop analytical and logical skills and these are important for many future careers, including physics related fields such as engineering (aeronautical, civil, mechanical and chemical), materials science, seismology and medical physics but also including a more broad range such as finance, economics, business administration, law and ICT. Physics pupils are perceived to be mathematically able, methodical and concise, all important characteristics to employers.