Purpose of Course

Physics aims to give students an understanding the natural world; from determining the nature of the atom to finding patterns in the structure of the universe. It is the search for answers from how the universe exploded into life to the nature of time itself. Observations are essential to the very core of the subject. Models are developed to try to understand observations, and these themselves can become theories that attempt to explain the observations. Besides leading to a better understanding of the natural world, physics gives us the ability to alter our environments.

The study of physics enables students to constructively engage with topical scientific issues. Students examine scientific knowledge claims in a real-world context, fostering interest and curiosity. By exploring the subject, they develop understandings, skills and techniques which can be applied across their studies and beyond.

Core Themes

Both HL and SL students integrate concepts, topic content and the nature of science through inquiry.  The course is organised into 6 themes: Space, time and motion, The particulate nature of matter, Wave behaviour, Fields, and Nuclear and quantum physics.

Higher Level extension

Whilst the SL course provides students with a fundamental understanding of biology and experience of the associated skills the HL course requires students to increase their knowledge and understanding of the subject, and provides a solid foundation for further study at university level.


All students undertake a collaborative sciences project, an interdisciplinary sciences project that addresses real world problems that can be explored through the sciences.

All students then complete two summative assessments, their internal assessment and external examinations.

The students will then complete an internal assessment worth 20% of their final mark which enables the students to demonstrate the application of their skills and knowledge in investigating a topic of personal interest and writing a scientific report.

The external assessment will consist of two exams which will assess their understanding of the material covered in the course as well as their ability to analyse and evaluate experimental data. The two exams will make up the remaining 80% of the final mark.


Students intending on proceeding with Standard Level Physics should be working towards obtaining a minimum of 60% average in Year 10 Physics. Students intending on proceeding with Higher Level Physics should be working towards obtaining a minimum average of 65% in Year 10 Physics. Students should also be competent in Science Investigation Skills.