KS5 Physics

In September 2016 we started the new AS (and A2) Physics Course with OCR – H156 and H556. This new course is linear and those studying A2 Physics will be examined in 2017. The exam papers will cover the material from both years of study.

This new course is designed to integrate a wide range of practical based work that must be completed throughout the course to develop the scientific competencies that are expected of a young scientist preparing for university. Pupils are expected to keep detailed records of all experiments that they complete to evidence the development of their practical skills.

Physics A is a content-led approach. A flexible approach where the specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of physics. As students progress through the course they will build on their knowledge of the laws of Physics, applying their understanding to solve problems on topics ranging from sub-atomic particles to the entire universe. For A level only, the Practical Endorsement will also support the development of practical skills.

Year 12

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
1.1 Practical skills assessed in a written examination

2.1 Physical quantities and units

2.2 Making measurements and analysing data

2.3 Nature of quantities

3.1 Motion

3.2 Forces in action

3.3 Work, energy and power

3.4 Materials

3.5 Newton’s laws of motion and momentum

4.1 Charge and current

4.2 Energy, power and resistance

4.3 Electrical circuits

4.4 Waves

4.5 Quantum physics

5.1 Thermal physics


5.2 Circular motion


5.3 Oscillations

5.4 Gravitational fields


Year 13

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
6.1 Capacitors


6.2 Electric fields


6.3 Electromagnetism

6.4 Nuclear and particle physics

5.5 Astrophysics and cosmology

6.5 Medical imaging



Homework is an integral part of the Physics course. It encompasses a wide range of activities including; past paper questions, marking papers, highlighting nuances of the exam board mark schemes, learning definitions, investigating how scientific ideas have been developed, background reading and explaining physical phenomenon in extended essay tasks.

Other Useful Information

AS/A-LEVEL specification link: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-physics-a-h156-h556-from-2015/

AS/A-LEVEL past papers link: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-physics-a-h158-h558/ (Please note these are legacy papers and there are some differences in the syllabus

5 ways to help my son/ daughter

  • Ensure that they complete their homework
  • Ensure that they know when assessments are taking place and are doing the necessary revision for them
  • Ensure that they use their PLCs (personal learning checklists) in order to self-check what they have covered in the specification
  • Ensure that they use their PLCs when revising
  • Ensure that they are using the AQA website to download, and complete, as many past papers as possible