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The Waid Academy

Higher Physics


Rationale: The purpose of the Course is to develop learners’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for physics.  Skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed throughout the Course. The relevance of physics is highlighted by the study of the applications of physics in everyday contexts.

The course is designed for students who wish to continue their study of physics beyond National 5 and who may wish to progress to Advanced Higher. 

Recommended Entry:  While entry is at the discretion of the department, pupils would normally have obtained an A or B pass at National 5 Physics.

Units – Title and Brief Description – The general aim of all Units is to develop skills of scientific inquiry, investigation and analytical thinking, along with knowledge and understanding of physics. Learners will apply these skills when considering the applications of physics on our lives, as well as the implications on society and the environment. This is done by using a variety of approaches, including investigation and problem solving. Learners will research issues, apply scientific skills and communicate information related to their findings, which will develop skills of scientific literacy.

Physics: Our Dynamic Universe (Higher)

The Unit covers the key areas of kinematics, dynamics, gravitation, special relativity and cosmology.

Physics: Particles and Waves (Higher)

The Unit covers the key areas of the Standard Model, electric and magnetic fields, nuclear reactions, wave-particle duality and the interference, diffraction and refraction of light.

Progression:  Successful completion of this course can lead to Advanced Higher Physics

Researching Physics (Higher)

The general aim of this Unit is to develop skills relevant to undertaking research in Physics. Learners will collect and synthesize information from different sources, plan and undertake a practical investigation, analyse results and communicate information related to their findings. They will also consider any applications of the physics involved and implications for society/ the environment.

The Unit offers opportunities for collaborative and for independent learning. Learners will develop knowledge and skills associated with standard laboratory apparatus and in the recording and processing of results. The communication of findings will develop skills in scientific literacy

Assessment:  Internal Assessment is based on: End of unit tests.  Pupils have up to three attempts to pass.

External Assessment is based on: two question paper, which requires learners to demonstrate aspects of breadth, challenge and application; learners will apply breadth and depth of skills, knowledge and understanding from across the Course to answer questions in physics.   (155 marks scaled to 120 marks)

an assignment, which requires learners apply skills of scientific inquiry, using related knowledge, to carry out a meaningful and appropriately challenging task in physics and communicate findings. (20 marks scaled to 30 mark)