As part of the SciTec Campus, the Physics department is housed in the Needham building, with seven teaching laboratories, an ICT room, a library and seminar room with computers, and a dedicated project room.

Physics is a core subject up until GCSE, and is one of the most popular subjects in Sixth Form, when pupils studying Physics take the academically rigorous Cambridge Pre-U qualification, allowing them to aim for a D1 grade, which is higher than A*.

The Pre-U is an exciting opportunity to study Physics in great depth. The material covered is similar to that in the A level course, but the approach is more mathematical, and the ideas are taken further. A key part of the course is the Personal Investigation: an opportunity to carry out an in-depth experimental study on a topic of particular personal interest or relevance to a future course or career.

Electronics is taught as a separate subject within the department. This is useful for those wishing to study Engineering, and because of the importance of instrumentation, those interested in Medicine have also found it helpful.

Oundle School has a strong tradition of teaching through practical and independent project work. The Physics department has excellent facilities, including a wind tunnel, scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope and extensive data logging equipment. Pupils are involved in a range of project work based on Arduinos and Raspberry Pis, including robotics and CANSAT.

Able pupils have participated successfully in the annual Physics Olympiad competition, and over the years many have gone on to study at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Physics is also a highly regarded supporting subject for other subjects, including Chemistry and Medicine.

It is firmly believed that exposing pupils to the real world of science through trips and expeditions helps them to engage more fully and develop a passion for the subject. With this in mind, each year a group of pupils goes to the AAAS conference in the United States, and to CERN.

David Talbot
Head of Department