S3 Physics

A new site has been setup to aid pupils - National 4&5 Physics.

The SQA Physics Data booklet can be found here.  This booklet still has to be updated for National 3,4 and 5 but will be soon.  In the meantime the Standard Grade page on page 3 of the booklet will be very helpful, giving all the formulae which you will need to know.

In third year pupils will get the chance to complete level 4 CfE outcomes while covering an amount of National 4 & 5 outcomes. This will ensure pupils' receive their CfE entitlement while at the same time preparing them National qualifications should they choose to continue in fourth year.

In fourth year pupils will further develop their skills by completing all National 4 & 5 outcomes. This will include practical and research based investigations centered around topics of the National 4 & 5 topics. At the end of the year pupils will be presented to the SQA in either National 4 or National 5 qualification based on their attainment to date.

The topics to be covered are:

Dynamics & Space

Waves and Radiation

Energy and Electricity


Powers Of 10 And Scientific Notation & The Use Of Scientific Calculators In Physics

Many of you have asked for extra help with the use of "Powers of 10" in Physics and "The Use of Scientific Calculators".  You can download a booklet to work through below which should help you understand the basics.  Answers to questions have been included to help you but please speak to your teacher if there is still something you are not sure about.

Powers Of 10 And Scientific Notation & The Use Of Scientific Calculators In Physics.


Ms Goodsman
Mr Johnstone
Mr Taylor

S3 Physics Curriculum

Term 1 (August - October)
Waves and Radiation
•    An introduction to transverse and longitudinal waves focusing on the similarities and also the differences between them.
•    Developing an understanding of different types of electromagnetic radiation and investigate the risks and benefits of the members of the electromagnetic spectrum. 
•    Nuclear radiation and its ionising effects.  We consider the sources of nuclear radiation and research how nuclear fuels are used to produce electricity in nuclear power stations.
Term 2 (October – December)
Dynamics and Space
•    Here we will investigate the relationships between speed, time and acceleration and the forces that cause a change in motion of any object.  Newton’s laws will help explain these changes.
•    We investigate the risks and benefits of space exploration.  We build on the Dynamics section by understanding how rockets move and satellites stay in orbit, helping with communications amongst a wide range of other uses.  We also look deep into space to try to understand what would be required for life to exist on another planet.
Term 3 (January – April)
•    In this topic we will further enhance our understanding of electricity by investigating the efficiency of electrical appliances, the movement of charged particles in electric fields and the effects of magnetic fields on charged particles.
Term 4 (April – June)
•    In this topic he explore the relationship between power, energy and time as well as investigating energy efficiency as a key factor in conserving resources and the environment.
•    We will also consider applications of the kinetic model of a gas using knowledge of pressure, volume and temperature (for a fixed mass of gas).