From Year 9 to Year 11 the students follow the rigorous Edexcel IGCSE specification in Physics. This qualification is designed to stretch students while developing their interest and giving them a firm foundation in the subject should they choose to continue it to A Level. It also links very closely with the skills that they will develop in Mathematics.

The course is strongly practical in emphasis, providing an excellent opportunity to hone investigative and practical skills in order to develop confident experimental Physicists as well as developing general practical skills useful outside of Physics.

The specification creates a strong foundation of skills and concepts for those wishing to pursue Physics A Level, and enables students to evaluate, in terms of their knowledge and understanding, the benefits and drawbacks of scientific and technological developments. It also addresses ‘How Science Works’ which is a feature of the A Level. It contains both traditional and thoroughly modern and relevant physics.

The areas of physics studied include: Forces & Motion, Astrophysics & Cosmology, Electricity, Waves, Energy, States of Matter, Electromagnetism, Radioactivity and Particles.


Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles, quarks, to the vast distances between galaxies.

Physics is the natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force. Many students who take Physics at A-Level go on to study Engineering, Architecture, Astronomy and Physics related courses at university.

The Physics department is committed to providing a supportive and purposeful environment in which students are well supported and encouraged to peruse opportunities to beyond the taught syllabus. All lessons are taught by subject specialists and in dedicated teaching laboratories. Lessons and topics have been developed with an emphasis on a student centred approach to learning, with lessons usually built around investigative practical work.

The Physics department is also committed to developing our practice as educators and are a member of the Institute of Physics.


Years 7 and 8

In Years 7 and 8, students have one double lesson per week and one piece of homework. The course has been designed to enable students to develop an understanding of underlying concepts as well as cultivate practical skills.
The topics which students will study are:

Year 7 Year 8 
Energy transfers and resources Moments
Forces Electricity
Light Magnetism and Electromagnetism
Space Motion

We provide students with a core textbook and topic checklists in the Lower School.


At GCSE, Physics is a core subject in the curriculum and is taught by subject specialists in our fully equipped laboratories. Students begin the Edexcel IGCSE course in Year 9 and the majority of students will continue to follow this course in Year 10 and 11. During the course, students learn about mechanics, thermal physics, waves, nuclear physics, space and electricity. The IGCSE is a challenging but interesting course and an ideal foundation for A Level.

All students will begin their GCSE Science courses in Year 9, following the Edexcel International GCSE syllabus for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. When classes have completed the majority of each course, and following their mock examinations in January of Year 11, the option remains for some to follow the Dual Award syllabus to completion. This is the normal course for most in the UK, where they will be assessed on approximately two thirds of each separate science course, learned so far, leading to two GCSE combined science grades rather three separate science grades. This system provides the best opportunity for each student to show their ability and develop their skills through Years 9 to 11, yet sufficient time to prepare for the appropriate examinations that will allow them to achieve their best possible grade outcomes.

Students have one double and one single lesson in Year 9 and two doubles in Year 10 and 11 and typically set one piece of homework per week. Further details can be found in the specification, but topics studied include:

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Energy Transfers Electricity 1 Forces 2
Waves 1 Solids, Liquids and Gases Electricity 2
Motion Nuclear Radiation Electromagnetism
Forces 1 Astrophysics Waves 2
Energy Resources

The course is examined by two exams at the end of Year 11. Paper 1 is 2 hours and Paper 2 is 1 hour and 15 minutes

Trips, Activities and Clubs

In addition to our teaching there are a range of opportunities to support the development of Physics knowledge including:

  • Faraday Day Challenge (Year 8)
  • Lego Robotics League (Year 7 and 8)
  • UKSDC Galactic Challenge (Year 9)
  • GCSE Physics Challenge (Year 11)
  • GCSE Science Live (Year 11)
  • Mr A Hindocha BSc (Head of Physics)
  • Mr A Chan MEng
  • Dr M Cianciaruso PHD
  • Mr J Crowley BEng
  • Mrs E Goakes BEng MA (Head of Junior School and Lower School Science)
  • Mr G Hammond MEng PGCE
  • Mr S Whittaker MSc (Head of Science)
  • Mr E Wright MA (Deputy Head)
  • Mr G Ward (Physics Technician)


School News

The latest leg of the Hans Woyda Mathematics Competition concluded on Wednesday with an impressive showcase of mathematical skills at St Dunstan’s College.
Last evening marked a significant milestone for the Eltham College Hans Woyda Team as they took the stage for their eagerly anticipated second league match of the academic year.
For our first ‘Meet The Teacher’ interview this academic year, we are diving into the world of mathematics to introduce André Astbury-Palmer, our new Maths Teacher at Eltham College.
Our Head of Junior School at Eltham College, Vikki Meier, shares her insights on the important decision of choosing the right school for your child.
On Sunday, our Chess team travelled to Eton to participate in the National Schools Rapid Play competition.