Physics is the part of science that deals with the nature and properties of matter and energy, and the interaction between them. It includes the study of mechanics, light and other radiation, heat, sound, magnetism, electricity and the structure of atoms. Physicists are interested in the fundamental questions and using observations and experiments to attempt to answer them.

This might make it sound daunting, but physics also plays an enormous part in our everyday lives, as our Science Week demonstrates to pupils every Spring Term (follow this link to see how) . If you want to know how things work, from mobile phones to magnets, or if you just want to understand why the sky is blue, physics has the answers. 

Studying Physics at GCSE is a great place to start unpacking life’s great and small mysteries. If you find the subject catches your imagination, continuing your studies into Harrodian Sixth Form could provide a platform for progress further into Physics, or other sciences, such as Chemistry, and related disciplines, like Engineering. Physics can also open other doors. As many employers recognise, physicists are problem solvers with transferable skills, so whether your ambitions lie in the worlds of law, finance or computer gaming, a Physics A Level on your CV could provide a useful head start.


We use the AQA exam board courses, which are designed to inspire and challenge pupils. Most pupils study the AQA GCSE Physics course. For full details of the course please visit AQA Physics GCSE or download the Harrodian GCSE Prospectus. The School also teaches GCSE Combined Science : Trilogy which includes most of the content of GCSE Physics.

Course Introduction

The GCSE Physics course consists of the following topics, taught during the 13s, 14s and 15s:

  1. Energy
  2. Electricity
  3. Particle model of matter
  4. Atomic structure
  5. Forces
  6. Waves
  7. Magnetism and electromagnetism
  8. Space physics



A Level

Students study the AQA Physics A Level course. For full details of the curriculum and its assessment please visit AQA A Level Physics or download the Harrodian Sixth Form Prospectus.

Course Introduction

The course has been designed both to provide a seamless progression from GCSE to A Level and to generate interest and enthusiasm in the subject. It develops essential knowledge and understanding of the subject’s key principles, as well as introducing students to new and exciting areas.

Unit 1

  1. Measurements and their errors
  2. Particles and radiation
  3. Waves
  4. Mechanics and materials
  5. Electricity
  6. Periodic Motion

Unit 2

  1. Thermal Physics
  2. Fields and their consequences
  3. Nuclear physics

Unit 3

Practical Skills and Data Analysis and one of the following topics:

  1. Astrophysics
  2. Medical physics
  3. Engineering physics
  4. Turning points in physics
  5. Electronics

Course Requirements:

Pupils need to have achieved grades 7 – 9 in GCSE Physics. Combined award grade 8 minimum. Taking Mathematics at A Level is recommended.

For more specific year-by-year information, please refer to our Curriculum Handbooks/Information Booklets


Head of Science: Taryn Oldacre

Head of Physics: Toby Stride

Other teachers of Physics: please select the relevant department on the dropdown menu to view our full staff list by clicking here.