“My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”
Mr E Mitchell (HoD)
Mrs A Hunter
Mr B Duffin
Mr E Thompson
Ms M Smart
- To encourage in our pupils a scientific curiosity through experimental, theoretical and investigatory work, both in the laboratory and elsewhere.
- To provide a knowledge and understanding of the principles and applications of Physics which contribute to the quality of life in our society and be aware of their social, economic, environmental, moral and spiritual implications.
- To provide a safe and stimulating learning environment in which pupils can develop as individual learners and also members of a team.
Years 8 & 9
Pupils learn about Physics as a part of their Key Stage 3 science course. Each pupil has 6 periods of science each week, usually with one teacher. Physics topics covered in these two years include forces, energy, heat and electricity.
Pupils complete their exploration of Key Stage 3 Physics with a specialist teacher for 2 periods each week. Topics covered include light, earth & space, sound and alternative sources of energy. In this year there is strong focus on developing practical and research skills.
Years 11 and 12
Pupils can opt to study GCSE Physics or to study physics as a component of the GCSE Double Award Science course. Both courses follow the CCEA specifications, covering a wide range of topics, and both provide a suitable foundation for studying Physics at Advanced Level.
Years 13 and 14
In Year 13 students study the CCEA AS Physics specification where the topics covered are Forces, Energy, Electricity, Waves, Photons and Medical Physics. The majority of our Physics AS students continue to study for A2 in Year 14 where the topics include Further Mechanics, Fields and Atomic & Nuclear Physics. Before embarking on an A level course in physics students should have attained a high grade in GCSE Physics or Double Award Science and have shown a high level of competence in Mathematics.
Resources and facilities
Down High has nine science laboratories equipped for delivering KS3 science. In addition, three of these laboratories are equipped with the specialist apparatus required for physics teaching at GCSE and A level. Use of ICT is an integral part of learning and teaching at Down High.
Achievements and recent successes
Many of our students progress to study Physics or related subjects at universities throughout the UK and Ireland. Students routinely represent the school at competitions such as the Irish Physics Olympiad. In 2008 one of our students was short-listed to represent Ireland at the International Physics Olympiad.