Physics is taught as a separate subject throughout the Senior School in Hamilton College. In S1 and S2 pupils complete an internally produced course which covers the relevant physics content for the Curriculum for Excellence, and for part of the National 4 Physics course. If they decide to continue in their study of the subject they can complete the National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Physics courses as they progress through S3 - S6.
S1 & S2 Physics
In S1 and S2 all pupils complete physics as a separate science subject. The internally produced course that they complete covers the relevant physics content for the Curriculum for Excellence, and for part of the National 4 Physics course.
National 4/5 Physics
Physics gives us an insight into the underlying nature of our world and its place in the universe. From the study of the electrical and heat energy that we use in our society, to the exploration of space, it covers a range of applications of the relationships that have been discovered through experiment and calculation, including those used in modern technology. Advances in physics mean that our view of what is possible is continually being updated. This course will allow you to understand the processes behind scientific advances, and to appreciate and contribute to topical scientific debate.
Skills and Knowledge
A broad overview of the subject skills, knowledge and understanding that will be covered in the course includes:
- demonstrating your knowledge of physics by making accurate statements
- applying your knowledge of physics to new situations, interpreting information and solving problems
- demonstrating your understanding of physics by providing explanations and by bringing together different areas of knowledge
- selecting relevant information from a variety of sources
- presenting information appropriately in a variety of forms
- processing information accurately, using calculations where appropriate
- planning, designing and carrying out experimental procedures to test hypotheses or to illustrate effects
- evaluating experimental procedures
- drawing valid conclusions and giving explanations supported by evidence or justification
- making predictions and generalisations based on evidence/information.
Learning and Teaching Methods
The course will be taught using various methods including whole class lessons, group work and individual investigation and research. A range of resources will be used including prepared notes, textbooks, video material and Moodle, our virtual learning environment. Practical tasks are teacher-demonstrated and undertaken in groups.
Physics is an important qualification if you intend to enter a career in engineering, physical science and some medical sciences. Furthermore, for many other career lines, it is a recommended course for study. These include such diverse fields as law, military service, accountancy and other non-physical sciences.
The Higher Grade Physics course is composed of three units on Mechanics and Properties of Matter, Electricity and Electronics and Radiation and Matter. These units are 40 hour nits. Each unit is assessed by an end of unit test. The candidate must also complete a practical test for the course. If a candidate passes the test for a given unit he/she will be awarded a pass in that unit. Furthermore, if the candidate then passes the terminal Higher Grade Physics examination (which covers work from all three component units) he/she will be awarded an overall pass for the course at Grade A, B or C.
Advanced Higher Physics
The Advanced Higher Grade Physics course is composed of four Units on Mechanics, Electrical Phenomena, Wave Phenomena and Physics Investigation. The first two listed Units are 40 hour Units whilst the last two are 20 hour Units. The first three Units listed above are assessed by an End of Unit Test. The candidate must also complete a practical test for the course. If a candidate passes the Test for a given Unit he/she will be awarded a pass in that Unit. The Physics Investigation Unit will be assessed via a project report. The candidate will complete a terminal examination for the whole Advanced Higher Grade Physics course and this, in conjunction with an external assessment of the project, will determine whether or not he/she passes the overall course. Pass grades for the course as a whole are differentiated into A, B and C grades.