The Physics department takes great pride in high achievement which is reflected in its pupils’ exam successes and in relatively large numbers going on to study Physics and related subjects at university. A particular highlight was when the department was designated a ‘Centre for Excellence’ by the Institute of Physics’ (IoP) in 2008 in recognition of two of our pupils having scored top marks in SQA Higher and Advanced Higher Physics.
There are five laboratories which are all very well furnished with state-of-the- art apparatus, ensuring pupils gain hands-on experience of sophisticated modern instruments. One laboratory has been assigned for use by Advanced Higher pupils allowing them space and specialised equipment to perform their investigative research.
Outside the classroom, pupils are encouraged to participate in activities promoting the applications and enjoyment of Physics. St Andrews and Dundee Universities give support by offering experimental workshops for Senior pupils and summer placements for pupils who have been awarded Nuffield Bursaries. The department also enters pupils for quizzes and the NASA Space School. Trips have been made to Science Centres and the (IoP) ‘Lab in a Lorry’ has been a visitor to the school. Pupils will soon be able to track earthquakes happening anywhere in the world, thanks to a seismometer recently supplied by the Scottish Schools Seismology Project run by the British Geological Survey.
Development of relevant knowledge and understanding, problem-solving and practical activities form the basis of all the Physics courses which follow the courses offered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). The overall aim is to contribute to a pupil’s general education by helping to make sense of the physical environment.
The Physics department consists of four full-time members of teaching staff: Mrs Sarah Fletcher, Mr Tom Guild, Dr George Mackay, Mr Stuart Hill and a dedicated Physics technician, Mr Pete Hancock.
The staff are all involved with the implementation of the National courses, and the review and upgrading of current teaching materials and resources, for all classes. Continuing professional development is integral to the progress of staff and the department. In her role as Principal Assessor in the SQA for Intermediate 2 Physics, Mrs Sarah Fletcher, Head of Department has a wealth of experience in evaluating and setting exams which benefits the department in its production of valid and rigorous assessments. Staff members are also involved with co-curricular activities such as Charities and Table-tennis and they regularly assist the P.E., Music and Drama Departments.
For further information, please see the curriculum pages.