S3 Physics content details

Electricity and Electronics

Components and Circuit diagrams

Multimeters (developed in N4)

Charge and Current (AC/DC and field in N5)

By contributing to investigations into the properties of a range of electronic components, I can select and use them as input and output devices in practical electronic circuits.  SCN 4-09b

Ohm’s law for single resistors (non-ohmic and networks in N5)

Through investigation, I understand the relationship between current, voltage and resistance. I can apply this knowledge to solve practical problems.  SCN 4-09a  (Developed in N4)

Current in Series and Parallel

Switching in series and parallel (resistors in series parallel in N5)

Electrical power (revised in N5) (Efficiency and conservation in N4)

Voltages in Series and Parallel

Potential difference and EMF related to energy in circuits

Logic gates Basic gates and combinational systems

Using my knowledge of electronic components and switching devices, I can help to engineer an electronic system to provide a practical solution to a real-life situation. SCN 4-09c (Developed in N4)

EM induction and alternators

I can help to design and carry out investigations into the strength of magnets and electromagnets. From investigations, I can compare the properties, uses and commercial applications of electromagnets and supermagnets.  SCN 4-08a (More applications in N4)

By contributing to an investigation on different ways of meeting society’s energy needs, I can express an informed view on the risks and benefits of different energy sources, including those produced from plants. SCN 4-04a  (Gen of elec in N4)


Motion and Space

Speed and distance (Vectors and velocity etc in N5)

Instantaneous speed of cars on roads

Use of light gates to measure average and instantaneous speeds

Speed time graphs – description of journey from graph

I can use appropriate methods to measure, calculate and display graphically the speed of an object, and show how these methods can be used in a selected application. SCN 4-07a

Acceleration investigations

Acceleration down a slope with varying mass/slope using graph

Acceleration with variable towing force using light gates

Forces –Newton’s laws I and II (Weight/mass, friction & F=ma in N4) (Terminal velocity rocket motion, grav field str, free fall & work done in N5)

Crash challenge – investigated force of impact with mass/speed/cushioning

By making accurate measurements of speed and acceleration, I can relate the motion of an object to the forces acting on it and apply this knowledge to transport safety. SCN 4-07b

Satellites (Parabolic reflectors and time lag in N4) (Projectiles in N5)

Potential and kinetic energy conversions – conservation of energy

Acceleration on different planets

By researching developments used to observe or explore space, I can illustrate how our knowledge of the universe has evolved over time. SCN 4-06a  (EM spec and spectral lines in N5) (Developed in N4)

ROE Solar system models & alien life (Light years in N4)



1. State that waves transfer Energy

2. State the difference between a transverse and   Longitudinal wave and give examples of each

3. Use the following terms correctly in context: wave, frequency, wavelength, speed, amplitude and period

4. Carry out calculations involving the relationship between speed, wavelength and frequency of waves

5. Describe the method of measuring the speed of sound in air, using the relationship between distance, time and speed

6. Explain what is meant by the term ‘Noise Pollution’

7. Describe how/why audio signals can be manipulated

8. State the law of reflection

9. Use correctly in context the terms: angle of incidence, angle of reflection and normal when a ray of light is reflected from a plane mirror

10. State what is meant by the refraction of light

11. Draw diagrams to show the change in direction as light passes from air to glass and glass to a

12. Use correctly in context the terms angle of incidence, angle of refraction and normal

13. State in order of wavelength the members of the electromagnetic spectrum: gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, microwaves, TV and Radio

14. Explain applications of the different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum


1. State that Pressure exerted by an object is measured in Newtons per square metre (Nm-2) and is the measure of the Force per unit area acting normal to the surface.

2. Carry out calculations involving the relationship between Pressure, Force and Area. [P=F/A]

3. State that the Density of an object is measured in kilograms per cubic metre (kgm-3) and is the measure of the mass per unit volume.

4. Carry out calculations involving the relationship between density, mass and volume. [?=m/v]  (? is the greek letter ‘rho’)

5. Explain floating and sinking in terms of weight, upthrust and the relative densities of different materials.

6. Describe the relationship between the Pressure & Volume and Pressure & Temperature of a fixed mass of gas.

7. State that the Kelvin scale is a measure of temperature, where 0 Kelvin is absolute zero and equals -273oC

8. Describe the Kinetic theory of Gases in terms of the speed, direction and Energy of the particles.