March 16, 2011


During KS4 Physics, students learn about the way science and scientists work within society. They consider the relationships between data, evidence, theories and explanations, and develop their practical, problem-solving and enquiry skills, working individually and in groups. They evaluate enquiry methods and conclusions both qualitatively and quantitatively, and communicate their ideas with clarity and precision. All students develop their ability to relate their understanding of science to their own and others’ decisions about lifestyles, and to scientific and technological developments in society. Students also develop their understanding and skills in ways that provide the basis for further studies in science and related areas.

In KS4 Physics students build on their knowledge from KS3 covering the following areas of study:

Energy, electricity and radiations

  • Energy transfers can be measured and their efficiency calculated, which is important in considering the economic costs and environmental effects of energy use
  • Electrical power is readily transferred and controlled, and can be used in a range of different situations
  • Radiations, including ionising radiations, can transfer energy
  • Radiations in the form of waves can be used for communication


  • The solar system is part of the universe, which has changed
  • The beginnings of the Universe
  • The life cycle of stars and how this depends on fuel and gravity

Forces and motion

  • Forces arise from interactions between objects.
  • The balance, or otherwise, of these forces on an object affects its movement.
  • Energy transfers can occur due to these interactions though the total energy remains constant.

Nuclear changes

  • Nuclear changes within unstable atoms cause random emissions of particles.
  • Nuclear changes also cause the emission of energy in the form of useful and dangerous radiation.
  • Nuclear fusion and fission and the pros and cons associated with each of these with regard to generating electricity.