Physics

Of all the experimental sciences none is more fundamental than Physics.

Physics is the subject which describes the nature of the physical world and even how it came into being - there are now physical models for the first millisecond of creation. A study of Physics ranges from the sub-nuclear worlds of quarks and gluons through the properties of the everyday world of solids and liquids to stars, galaxies and the universe as a whole. In addition to these deep philosophical ideas, Physics has an immense impact on our life-style, and is quite incredibly useful. The understanding Physics gives of physical reality underpins much of modern life - electricity and electronics, communications, transport, energy resources, textiles, food production and medicine are strongly influenced by developments in Physics.

Curriculum

Second Form

The Second Form are taught one lesson per week as part of a combined science course by a subject specialist. The aim of this course is to give the pupils as much chance as possible to learn through practical work and cover the topics met  by the other pupils who will join the College in the Third Form as  part of the Common Entrance syllabus.

Third Form

The Third Form have two lessons per week and we concentrate during the first term on improving their practical skills. This will also include the use of computer simulated experiments. They will be taught the correct way to tabulate their results and how to display it in graphical form. The second part of the year is spent looking at electricity and energy again with a large amount of practical work.

Fourth and Fifth Form

These year groups have 2 periods of Physics per week and they work towards an i-GCSE in Dual Award Science. This is offered by Edexcel and the examination in May of the Fifth Form is a 2 hour paper covering all of the topics taught in the 2 year course. The two grades awarded are from the combined results for all three papers, one for each Science.

Lower Sixth

They follow an AS course which is designed to be completed in one year. The pupils have 5 lessons per week. It is part of the Edexcel A level  Physics course and is examined by 2 written papers which count 80% of the AS grade and a practical exam which is internally set and marked and accounts for the final 20%.

Upper Sixth

The pupils have 5 lessons per week and the A2 course offered by Edexcel is also designed to be completed in the year. Both the subject matter and mathematical requirement is at a higher level and the course is examined by 2 written papers and a practical examination with the same weighting as for the AS. The final grade is decided by combining all of the scores generated from all of the papers.

Extra Curricular

The department organises several visits to external lectures on topics such as Engineering and Astronomy, including the Observatory in Dundee. We also invite speakers to Glenalmond to speak to pupils about topics linked to Physics in general or aspects of the specifacations. These have recently included photography, the development of the Ford Eco-Tec engine and running diesel engines on cooking oil.

Head of Department

Roger Benson 
Graduated 1979 from University of Nottingham with a 2(i) in Pure Physics. He completed his PGCE at University of Nottingham in 1981-2 and was a teacher of Science at Wilsthorpe School, Long Eaton 1982-5 then a teacher of Physics at Nottingham High School 1985-2001. He has been a teacher of Physics at Glenalmond College 2001 to present, becoming Head of Department in 2009

Other Staff in the Department

Dr Stephen Kinge (Deputy Head Academic)
David Smith
David Young (Physics Technician)