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St Peter's 13-18


Stpeters27thSept 78

Nature has a great simplicity and therefore a great beauty.

Richard Feynman

The Physics Department consists of four specialist teachers who each have their own fully equipped laboratory. This encourages a practical approach to the subject and, as a general principle, experimental work is carried out whenever possible.


Physics is taught as part of the EdExcel International GCSE Science (Double Award).

The Sixth Form

At A level the department follows the OCR A specification. This is a linear course where all of the assessment is at the end of the U6th. There is no coursework, but there is a separate pass/fail practical endorsement grade which is also given on the final certificate. The sixth form curriculum booklet gives further details. A level Physics requires a strong ability in mathematics and pupils who take A Level Physics are encouraged to also take A Level Mathematics.


Students are encouraged to attend the School’s Science Society Meetings and Public Physics Lectures, which are held on several occasions throughout the year. Trips are arranged to lectures at York University and other venues in the area.

A team is entered annually for the Liverpool University Physics Olympics competition in which the School has come first and second in recent years. The School also enters pupils for the British Physics Challenge, AS Challenge and British Physics Olympiad Competitions and each year has won awards. Recently one of our pupils was selected for the British Olympiad team and took part in the International Olympiad Competition.

The School has also won several Certificates of Excellence for outstanding achievement at A level.

Cloud Chamber, 2013

Students are also encouraged to attend university courses such as the Headstart Scheme and each year we have a number of students who gain research placements at York University Physics Department through the Nuffield Foundation. In 2013 one of our pupils represented the UK in an international science competition and won a silver medal.

St Peter's plays an active role in the York Independent-State School Partnership. Each year we organise and host a Physics Olympics Competition for Year 8 pupils (which attracts teams from 35 schools from across the North of England), a Science Technicians' Conference and a York Schools' Science Quiz.

The Physics Department is proud of the outreach work that it gets involved within the city and of the links it has forged with the University Physics Department. Each year our teachers run workshops at the Institute of Physics events and host lectures as part of the York Festival of Ideas.

The department recently acquired a demonstration cloud chamber which is available for loan by arrangement and also owns a selection of telescopes and solar telescopes.

Featured St Peter's Physics News