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An adventure with the laws of the universe

“Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration, not to mention the deep awe and joy that the natural order of things brings to the true scientist.” – Lise Meitner, Austrian-Swedish physicist.

At Eastbourne College we believe passionately that the study of physics should be an adventure. It is challenging, sometimes frustrating, and often richly rewarding and satisfying. It appeals to the emotions and the aesthetic sense as well as to the intellect.

Department Overview

The College’s state-of-the-art science centre gives all pupils access to cutting edge technology. All four teaching laboratories on the physics floor are fully equipped with interactive white boards, data-logging facilities and the very latest teaching aids. All pupils have a device which can be connected to our data logging equipment for analysis and exploration. 

There is an emphasis on practical work in the department, and pupils are encouraged to make full use of our extensive apparatus to improve their experiments during investigations. By arrangement and under staff supervision, pupils may use the laboratories in their spare time for theoretical and project work, and to catch up with any work which they may have missed.

“My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”
Stephen Hawking

Pupils study for either a full GCSE in physics or a double science GCSE in combination with their biology and chemistry studies. All pupils study the subject core defined in the National Curriculum, and those aiming for the separate physics GCSE study five additional topic areas. In 2022, 72 per cent of pupils who took physics GCSE were awarded an A* or A grade.

At A-level, the subject content is broadly based and the course reflects modern developments in physics and its applications, providing a sound foundation for further study.

In recent years, the department has enjoyed outstanding national success at A-level and a number of pupils have successfully applied to read physics at Cambridge or Oxford as well as at other top universities in the country. In 2022, 87 per cent of pupils were awarded A*-B grades at A-level.

Beyond the Classroom

Pupils who show potential are encouraged to advance their study of physics by entering national competitions designed to recognise and reward excellence. In the junior years, pupils enter the Physics Challenge and, in the sixth form, the Physics Olympiad, an examination-based competition entered by over 1,600 pupils annually in which the College has enjoyed significant success. 

The department runs additional lectures and encourages pupils to take advantage of residential university courses such as Headstart.

Through our astronomy club, we visit observatories and attend lectures relating to all things ‘space’. We also have an annual trip to CERN for our Upper Sixth pupils which allows them to see the cutting edge of particle physics.