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Exam Board and Specification Codes: OCR (H556) 

The Physics syllabus studied at KPS contains all the elements of a traditional syllabus, whilst also touching on more recent scientific developments. It is set out in a sequential way; each unit containing a number of self-contained topics. All good Physics syllabuses contain synoptic elements, with which students can relate pieces of information from different branches of the subject to solve problems. 

The practical work consists of total of twelve practical activities, six in Year 12 and six in Year 13. These are done in the laboratory throughout the year, so some of the pressure of practical examinations is avoided.

With these assessments, students develop the skills to be able to investigate and manipulate information and to analyse data. These are important skills to carry forward into higher education. 


What is covered by the course? 

Physics A content is split into six teaching modules – these modules, combined with the Practical Endorsement, constitute the full A-level. 

Component 1 - Development of practical skills 
Component 2 - Foundations of physics 
Component 3 - Forces and motion 
Component 4 - Electrons, waves, and photons 
Component 5 - Newtonian world and astrophysics 
Component 6 - Particles and medical physics 


How is it examined? 

A-Levels are fully linear, so assessment of students’ knowledge and understanding of the whole course takes place at the end of two years of study. There are no exams for practicals, but students are required to keep a record of the practicals: 6 practicals in Year 12 and 6 practicals in Year 13, giving a total of 12. 

Paper 1 - Written Assessment (2 hours 15 minutes) 

  • Content from Components 1, 2, 3 and 5 
  • 37% of the A-Level 

Paper 2 - Written Assessment (2 hours 15 minutes) 

  • Content from Components 1, 2, 4 and 6 
  • 37% of the A-Level 

Paper 3 - Written Assessment (1 hour 30 minutes) 

  • Content from Components 1-6 
  • 26% of the A-Level 

Related university courses & careers? 

A diverse set of degrees can be applied for with a Physics A-level, including all forms of Engineering, all the Medical Sciences, Architecture, Optometry, Space technology and, of course, Physics and Mathematics degrees.

Suggested literature & resources 

‘A Level Physics A for OCR Student Book’ by Gurinder Chadha, Graham Bone and Nigel Saunders 

https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-and-a-level/physics-a-h156-h556-from-2015
https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/category/physics
http://www.physics.org/
http://www.iop.org/#gref 


Lower School

Kensington Park School (Years 7-11),
40-44 Bark Place,
London,
W2 4AT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7616 4400


Sixth Form

Kensington Park School Sixth Form,
59 Queen's Gate,
South Kensington, London,
SW7 5JP, UK

Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 0577


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