Physics

Physics

The Physics Department at Caterham is one of the most successful in the country.

Our students achieve consistently excellent results and we have received no less than six Good Schools Guides Awards in the last three years. However, there is much more to Physics than examinations and our aim is to help students see the beauty and power of Physics and its uses in the world outside of school.

To achieve this we run a busy programme of co-curricular events. Our CSI Club (Caterham Science Investigators) attracts large numbers of students who relish the chance to engage in hands-on science. This year students are undertaking programming and robotics for two lunchtimes per week. In the Winter we run Astronomy Club and in the Summer Rockets Club in which students design, build and fly their own rockets. Our Problem Solving Club gives students the chance to develop their own solutions to unusual problems, whilst a series of challenging and stimulating lectures, given by teachers and outside speakers, introduces them to the world of Physics beyond A-level.

The enthusiasm of our students helps them to achieve well academically. Last year 91% of our GCSE students achieved A* or A whilst two-thirds 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 100 students studying the subject in the Sixth Form.

For our most able A-level pupils we run regular stretch and challenge sessions to prepare them for interviews at the top universities, and every year our students achieve places at Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College.

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 A specifications, with eight periods a week in both years. 

Biographies

John Mansell BA (Oxon), Head of Physics

John studied Physics at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, with his final year project focused 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.

Magnus Anderson MA (Cantab) MEng, Teacher of Physics, Head of Fourth Year

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.

Mr Philip Comerford, Msc, Teacher of Physics, Head of Townsend

Dr Marc Scott, MPhys, PhD, Teacher of Physics

Dr Christopher Sinclair, MSc, PhD, Teacher of Physics

Miss Hannah Walters, BSc, Teacher of Physics, Assistant Head of Underwood

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