Physics at Malvern enables pupils to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to do as well as possible in their external Physics examinations. However it is more than that. It attempts to make pupils aware of the relevance of physics to environmental, social, technical and economic issues and to their lives. Through studying Physics pupils develops the ability for innovative thought and problem solving. Additionally their interest is stimulated so that they feel encouraged to continue their studies in the subject.
The philosophy of the Physics Department is to encourage pupils' analytical skills, rather than their ability to recall factual knowledge. The approach is to ensure that they are given as much first hand practical experience as possible.
In the Foundation Year (Year 9) the study of Physics as an independent subject is compulsory. An introduction to all the GCSE physics topics is provided, and there is a strong emphasis on practical work. The intention is that at least one of the two physics lessons in each week will involve the pupils doing some practical work themselves.
In the Remove (Year 10) and Hundred (Year 11) Physics is offered as a separate IGCSE or as part of the Dual Award Science IGCSE (which also contains elements of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Science). In either case the emphasis on practical work continues where the syllabus material allows.
In the Sixth Form, the AS/A2 Physics course is designed to reflect Physics as it is practised and used today. The course content ranges from the study of fundamental particles and Quantum Physics to more traditional topics such as Thermodynamics and Mechanics. It also puts many of the topics studied into context by looking at their application to the modern world.
Also in the Sixth Form, International Baccalaureate Physics is offered at both Higher and Standard Level. The IB takes a rather more traditional approach to Physics, and topics such as Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Waves and Fields are covered to some depth. However, there are options in Relativity and Cosmology which are frequently taught at Malvern.