The Physics Department at Rugby has a strong tradition of national curriculum development contributing to the development of the Nuffield Physics scheme in the 1970s and the Salters Edexcel A Level course in the 1990s. More recently the department was involved in developing the Cambridge Pre U syllabus as an alternative to A Level and our ninth cohort will be taking these exams in 2019.
Teaching and technical staff in the department have a shared passion and enthusiasm for Physics education. Currently there are seven highly qualified teaching staff and three highly skilled full time technicians in the department.
The Department is very generously resourced in terms of space and equipment and we are located across three floors of the Science Schools; consisting of four Lower School laboratories, three Upper School Laboratories, a spectral laboratory, two project laboratories , a seminar room as well as access to the Foxcroft Lecture Theatre. Each teacher has their own office space in our central administration area. We also have access to the refurbished Temple Observatory which houses the historical 8¼" refracting telescope.
In the Lower School we teach the Edexcel IGCSE Physics course to all of our students. This qualification provides a very good grounding for taking Physics further in the Sixth Form. There is a good balance between practical work and theory in our courses and our teaching schemes and cross set tests ensure that we can provide consistency in both our teaching and assessment.
In the Upper School we teach the Cambridge Pre U course to all of our students. Not only does the Pre-U course provide an excellent preparation for Physics and Engineering based degree courses but also allows students to access the D1 grade which is above the A* A Level grade. All students studying Physics in the Upper School are strongly encouraged to study Maths alongside Physics and many Physics students will in addition study Further Maths.
The department runs numerous lectures and trips. Recent visits have included a residential Lower Sixth trip to London for the Perspectives in Physics conference, and a trip to skydive in a wind tunnel.
We also organise events for teachers and students from other schools. For more than 25 years we have hosted the Institute of Physics Rugby Meeting, the largest meeting of Physics teachers in England, typically attracting over 150 delegates
In the summer term of the Lower Sixth we begin Oxbridge preparation for those students applying to read Physics and Engineering related subjects. We encourage students to participate in national competitions such as the Physics Olympiad where we have had recent success.