The overarching aim of the Physics Curriculum is to provide physics-related learning experiences for students to develop scientific literacy, so that they can participate actively in our rapidly changing knowledge-based society, prepare for further studies or careers in fields related to physics, and become lifelong learners in science and technology.
The broad aims of the curriculum are to enable students to:
- develop interest in the physical world and maintain a sense of wonder and curiosity about it;
- construct and apply knowledge of physics, and appreciate the relationship between physical science and other is disciplines;
- appreciate and understand the nature of science in physics-related contexts;
- develop skills for making scientific inquiries;
- develop the ability to think scientifically, critically and creatively, and to solve problems individually or collaboratively in physics-related contexts;
- understand the language of science and communicate ideas and views on physics-related issues;
- make informed decisions and judgments on physics-related issues; and
- be aware of the social, ethical, economic, environmental and technological implications of physics, and develop an attitude of responsible citizenship.
The learning targets of this curriculum are categorized into three domains: knowledge and understanding, skills and processes, and values and attitudes. Through the learning embodied in the curriculum, it is intended that students should reach the relevant learning targets.
- This curriculum consists of compulsory and elective parts. The compulsory part covers a range of content that enables students to develop understanding of fundamental principles and concepts in physics, and scientific process skills. The following topics: “Heat and Gases”, “Force and Motion”, “Wave Motion”, “Electricity and Magnetism” and “Radioactivity and Nuclear Energy” should be included.
- The content of the compulsory part consists of two components, core and extension. The core is the basic component for all students whereas the extension component is generally more cognitively demanding.
To cater for the diverse interests, abilities and needs of students, an elective part is included in the curriculum. The elective part aims to provide in-depth treatment of some of the compulsory topics, an extension of certain areas of study, or a synthesis of knowledge, understanding and skills in a particular context. Topics suggested in the elective part are: “E1 Astronomy and Space Science”, “E2 Atomic World”, “E3 Energy and Use of Energy” and “E4 Medical Physics”. Our school has chosen “E2 Atomic World” and “E3 Energy and Use of Energy” as our Physics electives.
- For some students, it will be more beneficial, less stressful and more effective to concentrate on the core component, so that more time is available for them to master basic concepts and principles; for others the challenges provided by the extension component may provide a higher degree of achievement. A good school-based physics curriculum should have an in-built flexibility to cater for the abilities of students, so that a balance between the quantity and quality of learning may be achieved. However, certain knowledge in the extension component must be introduced to prepare students better for the topics in the elective part.