S3 Physics

The aim of this year in Physics is to build on the third level Science developed in S1/2 and allow learners to attain fourth level in many Science experiences and outcomes this year.  For more details of the Curriculum for Excellence levels search for CfE sciences.

 Physics S3 year plan 2015 16

After studying Physics in the context of general Science many pupils enjoy the chance to study the subject using high quality resources with teachers whose background is specific to Physics.   Our third year course is intended to build an awareness of the importance of Physics in everyday life but also be sufficiently challenging to make pupils aware of the academic rigour that is needed to take the subject further.


Physics used to have a reputation for involving many calculations.  There still is the need for calculations and the use of a collection of formulae that can look like alphabet soup at first sight.  However Physics later in the school is placing emphasis on the deeper understanding on a narrower range of concepts. Physics aims to describe the natural world in terms of conceptual models and physical laws as well as calculations.  Over the year we hope learners will be interested, challenged and possibly surprised by some of these concepts,


The three main areas covered over the year are:

Electricity and Electronics

S3 Electricity folder sheets

S3 Electricity Hwks


Common components,

Use of multimeters,

Series and parallel circuits,

Electrical power

Logic Gates and systems

Electromagnetic Induction and generation of electricity


Motion and Space


Distance, speed and acceleration

Speed time graphs

Newtons laws of motion

Potential and kinetic energy


Acceleration on different planets

Waves and Fluids


Wave parameters – frequency, wavelength and wavespeed


Electromagnetic Spectrum

Pressure and gas laws

Density and Buoyancy

S3 Waves Activity Sheets Sept 2014

S3 Physics Fluids folder sheets

S3 Waves Study Guide

Learning Outcomes for Waves and Fluids

Homework is issued approximately once every two weeks and each of the above units has an end of term test.  The third year report issued in November, will be based on the first of these tests as well as impressions on how well pupils are settling in class.

S3 Waves Homework Booklet

Next year pupils may choose National 4 or National 5 in Physics or pick up these qualifications in S5/6.    The third year parents evening in March will allow a chance to discuss which level would be most appropriate for your son or daughter. If pupils wish to pursue National 5 in future it is important that pupils use third year wisely as we will not be offering a combined national 4/5 class and they may find themselves missing out on the chance to do national 5.  The S3 report will give an indication if a learner is not achieving their potential.