"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better" – Albert Einstein
The Physics Department at Caterham is one of the most successful in the country. We have consistently excellent results, a large uptake at A-level and have received no less than six Good Schools Guides Awards in the last three years. We have five specialist teachers and the excellent support of a designated Technician. We are fortunate to teach within a new building with five dedicated physics laboratories and a spacious prep room.
The First and Second Years have two lessons a week rising to three in the Third, Fourth and Fifth Years. Pupils generally study the Edexcel IGCSE Single (Triple) Award course, with some opting for the IGCSE Double Award (Combined) course at the start of the Fifth Year. In the Sixth Form we follow the OCR specifications, with eight periods a week in both years.
The department has always had a strong academic reputation and this continues to be the case. Last year 96% of our GCSE students achieved A* or A whilst 82% of our A2 students managed A* or A in their exams. This success has brought increasing numbers of students and we now have more than 90 students studying the subject in the Sixth Form.
The Department places great emphasis on practical work and has a continuing programme of development of its own experiments for use with all year groups.
For lower years our teaching programme is augmented by Science trips to places such as the Science Museum, Marwell Zoo and the Science Centre at Herstmonceux. In this way, all students are encouraged to engage in the subject in an active way.
For the Sixth Form and the most able younger students we run an astronomy club, an in-house electronics and modelling club and we put on a series of challenging and stimulating lectures throughout the year. Attendance at these activities is high, with 60 or more pupils attending lectures. For our most able A-level pupils we run regular stretch and challenge sessions to prepare them for university interviews and Physics beyond school.
Many of our A-Level students go on to pursue Physics, Engineering or other closely related degrees in Higher Education. Every year students studying Physics successfully achieve places at Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College.
In 2012 the Department received two further Good School Guide Awards:
- Boys taking Physics at AS level at an English School
- Girls taking Physics at AS level at an English School
Magnus Anderson MA (Cantab) MEng, Head of Physics
Magnus studied engineering at Pembroke College, Cambridge, specialising in fluid flows and aerodynamics. He began his career as an NHS manager and subsequently worked as a strategy consultant for retail and financial clients. He also enjoyed a stint working in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a medical charity. He was previously Head of Physics at Lingfield Notre Dame School and moved to Caterham in 2012. His interests outside of teaching include rugby, cycling and sailing.
Ryan Anderson MEng, Teacher of Physics
John Armitage BSc, Teacher of Physics
John Armitage teaches Physics but has specialised in the teaching of science to the younger pupils enabling them to enjoy the subject and find it fun and exciting from the moment they start. He arranges the annual whole year educational outings to the Science Museum and Marwell Zoo for the lower school. As a Flt Lt in the RAF section of the CCF many have benefited from this demanding co-curricular organisation. Cadets have recently been to RAF bases at Kinloss, Lossiemouth, Leuchars and Marham and enjoyed the flying opportunities provided. John has a PGCE & a BSc in Mathematical Sciences and lives in Warlingham.
John Mansell BA (Oxon), Teacher of Physics
John studied Physics at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, with his final year project focussed within the Planetary Science on instrumentation for a proposed ESA mission. He maintains an interest in e-learning, in which he worked as a training consultant for a number of years. Away from the classroom John is involved in both school music and sport, supporting Caterham's Vocalpoint, Sinfonia and Running Club. Having aided in university admissions, John also takes a leading role in preparing Physics and Engineering candidates for interviews. His further interests include hiking and rowing.
Alexander Wood MSci ARCS, Teacher of Physics
Alex studied Physics at Imperial College London and then completed a PGCE at the Institute of Education. Before coming to Caterham he taught for three years at Westminster School. Alex is very involved in the co-curricular activities in the Physics department, and so far this has included running the new Sixth Form electronics club and the computer modelling group. He enjoys both camping and theological discussion, and he assists with the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and he runs the Christian Forum.