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Ribston Hall High School

Ribston HallHigh School

Key Stage 3 


The Key Stage Three curriculum provides a broad foundation of knowledge in preparation for GCSE. We focus on the skills, both theoretical and practical, that are essential for future success in the subject. By incorporating some GCSE content, we challenge students, encourage curiosity and build confidence in independent learning.



Year 7 – Electricity, Forces, Space

Year 8 – Heating and Cooling, Light and Sound, Magnetism

Year 9 - Forces, Waves and Electromagnetic Spectrum

Key Stage 4 

Exam board

8463 AQA GCSE Physics & 8464

AQA Combined Science: Trilogy


We follow the AQA specifications for Separate and Combined Physics and we ensure high levels of challenge for students to inspire and prepare them for possible further studies beyond GCSE. Students gain confidence in applying the theory to new situations through relevant practical work. A level content is incorporated, where appropriate, to provide a greater depth of understanding of fundamental concepts.


Year 10 – Energy, Energy Resources, Electricity, Mains Electricity, Particle Model of Matter, Atomic Structure/Nuclear Physics, Space

Year 11 – Forces, Light and Lenses, Electromagnetism

Key Stage 5 

Exam board

A – Level OCR Physics Specification A


We follow the OCR Physics Specification A as it includes a high level of practical based skills, to prepare students for their next step, whether it be industry or further scientific studies. A core requirement of the course is independent work, to consolidate the concepts covered in class, and this benefits students across all their subjects. Where relevant, higher-level content is touched upon, to support students’ understanding of abstract concepts and further ignite their scientific curiosity.


Module 1: Practical Skills

Module 2: Foundations of Physics:

SI Units, base and derived units, standard form, prefixes, orders of magnitude

Module 3: Forces and Motion

Motion - equations of motion (suvat), projectiles, vectors, resolving vectors, resultant vectors

Forces in Action - balanced forces, equilibrium, resolving forces, resultant forces

Work Energy & Power - work done, power, energy, calculating kinetic energy, gravitational potential energy

Materials - stress, strain, Young's Modulus, properties of materials in terms of stress-strain

graphs, elastic limit/yield point, ultimate tensile strength, breaking stress etc.

Laws of Motion & Momentum - Newton's Laws, changes in momentum, impulse and

Force-Time graphs

Module 4: Electrons, Waves and Photons

Charge and Current - calculating current, charge, drift velocity of electrons etc.

Energy, Power & Resistance - electrical energy and power calculations, defining

resistance, resistance, Ohm's Law, internal resistance, electromotive force (emf), terminal p.d.

Electrical Circuits - series and parallel circuits, potential divider circuits, solving circuit problems with current. p.d, resistance, power.

Waves - wave features, amplitude, frequency, period, wavelength. Superposition of waves, interference, Young's double slit experiment. Stationary waves with 2 fixed ends, open tube at one end and open tube at both ends.

Quantum Physics - Photoelectric effect and equation, photons, E=hf equation. Planck's Constant. Wave-particle duality.

Module 5: Newtonian World and Astrophysics

Thermal Physics - particle theory, kinetic theory and assumptions, Brownian motion

Ideal Gases - key factors (P, V and T); ideal gas equation, gas laws (Charles' Law, Boyle's Law, Gay-Lusaac Law); molar gas constant.

Circular Motion - centripetal and centrifugal forces. Calculating force, velocity, mass and radius of an object.

Oscillations - simple harmonic motion (SHM) and equations/graphs to represent velocity, acceleration kinetic and potential energies.

Gravity Fields - Newton's gravitational law, Kepler's Laws, Gravitational potential energy and potential. Link to circular motion (e.g. orbits) and waves (e.g. time period of orbit)

Stars - formation of stars/planets, lifecycle/evolution of stars, Hertzsprung- Russell (HR) diagram; black holes, white dwarves, neutron stars. Stellar luminosity, temperature, brightness etc. Stefan-Boltzmann Law, Wien's Law. Energy Levels in atoms to explain emission and absorption spectra (links to quantum physics).

Cosmology - scales in the universe, distances (light years, parsecs, astronomical units); parallax method. Big Bang theory, Doppler effect and equations.

Module 6: Particles and Medical Physics

Capacitance - structure of capacitors; charging and discharging (graphs and equations); time constant for a capacitor, uses of capacitors.

Electric Fields - parallel plates and point charges, E-field diagrams, Coulomb's Law, equipotentials.

Magnetic Fields - the Tesla, magnetic flux/flux density, the Motor Effect, electric motors, affect on charge particles, the velocity selector. Electromagnetic induction, generators and national grid. Faraday's Law(s) of EM induction.

Particle Physics - subatomic particles, leptons, hadrons, baryons etc.

Radioactivity - decay equations, half-life, properties of alpha/beta/gamma, uses and dangers of nuclear radiation, modelling radioactive decay, carbon dating.

Nuclear Physics - strong and weak nuclear forces, binding energy and the binding energy curve; nuclear fusion and fission in relation to the curve; E = mc2 equation.

Medical Imaging - X-rays, ultrasound scanning, PET and CT scanning, Doppler affect for blood flow, acoustic impedance, radiation in medicine.

Extra-curricular opportunities 

Science Club

GE Aviation 'Girls Get Set'