Welcome to St. Benedict's High School
St. Benedict's High School: Physics

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BBC News - Science & Environment

Neanderthal brains 'grew more slowly'

A new study shows that Neanderthal brains developed more slowly than ours.

How business is driving the new space race

Why firms are spending millions to beat each other into orbit

Bright sparks

The fast-growing US solar industry is at odds with itself - and the decision may be left to Trump.

Sir David Attenborough on his hunt for the Kimodo Dragon

Sir David Attenborough spoke to the BBC about Zoo Quest, the environment and the planet's future.

Ancient DNA sheds light on African history

DNA from ancient remains is used to reconstruct thousands of years of population history in Africa.

Plant-eating dinosaurs 'strayed from veggie diet'

The idea of plant-eating dinosaurs having a strict vegetarian diet is called into question.

'We are planning weekly rocket launches'

The small satellite industry is the fastest growing part of the space sector "and they all require launch" says Rocket Lab boss Peter Beck.

DNA dogma

Evolutionary biologist Matthew Cobb unpicks a lecture that, sixty years ago, set the course for the genetic revolution.

Moving on up

The people of the Guna Yala archipelago, off the Panama coast, may be among the first island communities to leave their homes and move onshore.

'What I saw'

In this photo essay, photographer Clayton Conn shares his experience of the Mexico City earthquake.

UK strikes research deal with US in run-up to Brexit

The UK and US reach an agreement that aims to allow freer movement of research equipment and scientists.

UK scientists edit DNA of human embryos

Understanding the first moments of life could lead to better IVF and explain why women miscarry.

Owls hold secret to ageless ears

Barn owls keep their acute sense of hearing into old age, scientists have discovered.

Neolithic Orkney rivalries detailed in new study

Rivalries in Orkney more than 4,500 years ago led to competition between communities, according to new research.

Paris climate aim 'still achievable'

The ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C is still within reach, a study indicates.

Size matters when it comes to extinction risk

The biggest and the smallest of the world's fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are most at risk of dying out.

Horsey seal injured by flying ring 'making recovery'

Volunteers came to the aid of a seal after its neck was trapped within a plastic flying ring.

The man trying to save bats' lives

Meet Dr Matt Zeale who is leading a team of conservationists tracking the rare barbastrelle bat.

Rhino horn smuggled as jewellery

Rhino horn is being processed into bangles, beads and bracelets, a charity's investigation reveals.

Paris climate deal: US denies it will stay in accord

Reports say the US will no longer withdraw from the Paris deal or will change its approach.


How tiny creatures with small brains outwit us so easily.

Henry the hippo reunites with his baby Fiona

A happy ending for a family of hippos.

Cassini: Probe incinerates on entry to Saturn

The US-led Cassini space probe reaches a spectacular climax, burning up in Saturn's atmosphere.

Snow leopard no longer 'endangered'

The conservation status of the elusive snow leopard is downgraded from "endangered" to "vulnerable".

Orchid gives up the secrets of its success

Science is laying bare the secrets of orchids, one of the biggest families of flowering plant.

Belfast scientists design flexible organic battery

Queen's University scientists design a flexible long-life battery that could be used in pacemakers.

Why are there so many berries this year?

Berries are appearing early this year - and promise to last much longer than usual, according to experts.

Man-of-war spotted along coast in Cornwall and Wales

The RNLI closed Perranporth beach to swimmers because of large numbers of jellyfish-like creatures.

Row over AI that 'identifies gay faces'

Researchers and LGBT groups clash over facial recognition tech that supposedly spots gay people.

Badger culling gets go-ahead in 11 new areas of England

A vaccination programme to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis is also restarting.

Course Information

S1/S2 Course

S3 Course

S4/5/6 Courses


Course Info


S1/2 Science


Information coming soon!



Course Info


S3 Physics

Physics is the study of the universe around us. It seeks to ask how and why things happen. The level 4 Physics course covers a wide range of topics from the tiny particles that make up all matter to space exploration. We will consider how physics impacts our everyday lives through experimentation and investigation. Physics allows you to understand how power stations generate electricity, why seat belts save lives, how a rocket works, and much more!

Below is a list of the topics you will cover:


About Science

Science is an important part of our heritage and we use its applications every day in our lives at work, at leisure and in the home.  Science and the application of science are central to our economic future and to our health and wellbeing as individuals and as a society.  Scotland has a long tradition of scientific discovery, of innovation in the application of scientific discovery, and of the application of science in the protection and enhancement  of the natural and built environment.  Children and young people are fascinated by new discoveries and technologies and become increasingly aware of, and passionate about, the impact of science on their own health and wellbeing, the health of society and the health of the environment.

Through learning in the sciences, children and young people develop their interest in, and understanding of, the living, material and physical world. They engage in a wide range of collaborative investigative tasks, which allows them to develop important skills to become creative, inventive and enterprising adults in a world where the skills and knowledge of the sciences are needed across all sectors of the economy.

What can learning in the Sciences achieve for young people?


How is the Science Framework Structured?

What are the features of effective learning and teaching in Science?

In the sciences, effective learning and teaching will use a variety of approaches, including: AiFL, collaborative and independent learning, ICT, discussion, debate, external contributors, cross-curricular experiences & links. Whenever applicable and possible, learning will be through experimentation and reinforcement aiming to assist the:

How do we build on prior knowledge?

What are the broad features of assessment in the Sciences?


Connections with other areas of the curriculum

Useful websites for information on careers using Sciences


www.iop.org (Institute of Physics)

www.iob.org (Institute of Biology)

www.rsc.org/studentzone (Royal Society of Chemistry)


Many other useful websites exist for the Sciences, ask your teacher for some advice.

Course Info


S4/5/6 Physics



Physics: Higher





This course reinforces and extends the knowledge and understanding of the concepts of physics and related problem solving skills and practical abilities acquired at the Intermediate 2 and Standard Grade level by providing a deeper insight into the structure of the subject.  The course endeavours to provide learning experiences leading to the acquisition of worthwhile knowledge, skills and attitudes.



Recommended Entry


While entry is at the discretion of the centre, students would normally be expected to have attained Standard Grade Physics at 1 or 2 (KU and PS) or Intermediate 2 Physics course or its component units and Standard Grade Mathematics at 1 or 2, or Intermediate 2 Mathematics course.



Course Details


The course comprises three mandatory units (3 x 40 hours) plus 40 hours flexible time.





Mechanics and Properties of Matter (H) 40 hours

Content outline: vectors, equations of motion, Newton’s second law of “energy and power”, momentum and impulse, pressure and density, gas laws.



Electricity and Electronics (H) 40 hours

Content outline: electric fields and resistors in circuits, alternating current and voltage, capacitance, analogue electronics.

Radiation and Matter (H) 40 hours

Content outline: waves, refraction of light, optoelectronics and semiconductors, nuclear reactions, dosimetry and safety.





Physics: Intermediate 2



This course develops knowledge and understanding, problem solving skills and practical abilities in physics to Intermediate 2 level.  It aims to develop the skills

Recommended Entry


While entry is at the discretion of the centre, students would normally be expected to have attained Standard Grade Physics at 3 or 4 (KU and PS) or Standard Grade Biology, Chemistry or Science at 1, 2 or 3 (KU or PS) or the Intermediate 1 Physics course or its component units and Standard Grade Mathematics at 3 or 4, or the Intermediate 1 Mathematics course.



Course Details

The course comprises four mandatory units (2 x 40 hours and 2 x 20 hours), plus 40 hours flexible time.  The knowledge and understanding and problem solving content is broadly similar to that of Standard Grade Physics although developed in a different context.  Where appropriate, some straightforward concepts from the Higher Physics course are introduced.





Mechanics and Heat (Int 2) 40 hours

Content outline: kinematics, dynamics, momentum and energy heat.


Electricity and Electronics (Int 2) 40 hours

Content outline: circuits, electrical energy, electromagnetism, electronic components.


Waves and Optics (Int 2) 20 hours

Content outline: waves, reflection, refraction.


Radioactivity (Int 2) 20 hours

Content outline: ionising radiations, dosimetry, half life and safety, nuclear reactions.