Reception: 01235 520173

Admissions: 01235 530593

Executive Assistant to the Headmistress: 01235 546502

Bursary: 01235 520657

Joint Bus Service: 01235 546565

St Helen and St Katharine, Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1BE

How to find us


Year 9

In Year 9 the students begin the Edexcel GCSE course and are taught practical terminology and skills, key concepts of physics, waves and energy (conservation of energy and forces doing work).


Opportunities include British Science Week activities, Talent 2030 engineering competition and CREST awards.

Year 10 and 11

In Years 10 and 11 the topics are:

  • Motion and forces and their effects
  • Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Radioactivity
  • Astronomy (for separate science only)
  • Electricity and circuits
  • Static Electricity (for separate science only)
  • Magnetism and the motor effect
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Particle model
  • Forces and matter

These are covered in both the separate and combined science courses (except for astronomy and static electricity) but the depth of each topic obviously varies according to the course chosen.

The separate science GCSE course is taught in four periods per week. The combined science GCSE course is taught in three periods per week. Either route is excellent preparation for A-level Physics, with summer bridging work at the end of Year 11 forming a sure foundation for transition to A-level. Lessons have a mix of theory and practical work, with our emphasis on learning by experiment wherever possible. Weekly homework exercises are set to reinforce and consolidate teaching.

The department has four dedicated teaching laboratories and a prep room area. Students are encouraged to enter the British Physics Olympiad practical project competition in Years 10 and 11 and a BPhO theory competition is available in Year 11, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth.