Physics explores questions like how did the universe start? How will it end? What is a black hole? Is time travel possible? Physics is a way of thinking.

If you have an enquiring mind and are always asking why things happen, then Physics will help you find the answers. It forms the basis of most modern technologies and holds the future to global well-being. It trains a mind to be capable of looking at problems and finding solutions. This makes the skills taught in Physics highly marketable and makes Physics a well-respected course when applying for Further Education.

The country is desperately short of Engineers and Scientists. Physics offers a route to a rewarding and well-paid profession with excellent job security.

In the Lower School we follow the Edexcel IGCSE course. We attempt to include as much practical work as possible. The course is up-to-date, relevant and challenging, providing an excellent foundation to study the sciences at a higher level.

At A Level we follow the AQA course and in the IB we offer Higher Level Physics and Standard Level Astronomy. Both courses are suitably rigorous, but with a strong emphasis on practical work.

We try to encourage pupils to see Physics as essential, interesting and stimulating beyond the classroom workshops and visits. To this end we organise a number of lectures as well as educational trips: Electronics Club for the lower school, XKCD Club for the Sixth Form; and trips to Diamond, RAL, Winchester Planetarium and Thorpe Park alongside various public lectures. We even use our own Chapel pipe organ and its workings, and examine how physics is used in a modern theatre.  Visiting lecturers also attend the School to discuss RADAR, Engineering and Particle Physics.

Head of Department: Dr Matthew Rigby


Dr Matt Rigby MPhys Physics, Exeter College, Oxford; DPhil Physics, Exeter College, Oxford
Tom Holdsworth BEng, Cranfield University
Natalie McDaid MChem, Hertford College, Oxford
Heather Murphy BSc, University of Nottingham
Dr Jem Pearson PhD, Hertford College, Oxford; MSc Mathematics, BA Natural Science, Trinity College, Cambridge; MSc Chemistry, Queen Mary, University of London; MSc Theoretical Particle Physics, University of Sussex
Philip Waghorn BSc, University of Bradford; MSc, Open University
Judy Young BSc, Warwick University
Technicians: Graham Quelch, Gail Benson

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