Leaving Certificate Physics aims to give students an understanding of the fundamental principles of physics and their application to everyday life. It deals with the laws of nature and how they impact on our daily lives. In Physics we study events in the Universe and with Laws and Principles we try to explain them. Physics is also an experimental subject and practical work by students is mandatory, thus enabling them to develop an understanding of the scientific method and develops the ability to observe, think logically, understand and use scientific method and to communicate effectively. Science technology and society (STS) is an integral part of the syllabus so that students can be aware of the principles of the applications of physics in the everyday world. The course provides a good basis for further study of sciences and also for any course where the ability to think logically is required. Approximately 50% of the course is dependent upon learning – involving the mandatory experiments and the many definitions. The remaining 50% is down to your own logic and reasoning. It examines your comprehension of the course content and your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding to the problem at hand.
The Leaving Certificate Physics course covers the following topics:
The Physics Curriculum (aims and objectives) is available on the NCCA website
Approximately 50% of the course is dependent upon learning – involving the mandatory experiments and the many definitions. The remaining 50% is down to your own logic and reasoning. It examines your comprehension of the course content and your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding to the problem at hand. The course includes 24 mandatory experiments within these topics, which are covered in-depth throughout the two years at senior cycle (5th and 6th year). The Physics Department in Roscommon Community College has a strong focus on the practical aspects of Physics at both the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate cycles. The school’s tradition of discovery learning in Science is now an integral part of the new Department of Education and Science syllabi through mandatory experiments and project work. RCC has a fully equipped laboratory making it feasible for all students to complete these experiments and investigations themselves, giving them the opportunity to develop and upskill their scientific skills.
This syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Higher and Ordinary levels. The Leaving Certificate exam is 3 hours in duration, with plenty of choice on the paper.
From solving difficult theoretical constructs to collecting and analysing data, physics graduates are marketable in a wide range of professional settings. Physics forms some part of the following courses at third level: Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Science, Meteorology, Sports Science, Electronics and Computing. A detailed description of possible Physics and STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths are available on the Institute of Physics (IOP) and Smart Futures website.
- www.education.ie - for the course syllabus
- www.thephysicsteacher.ie- Mr. Cunningham from King’s Hospital has created an outstanding website, bursting with resources for both leaving cert Physics and Applied Maths. Be sure to email him a thank you!
- www.cern.ch- information regarding the Particle Accelerator
- http://nasaphysics.cet.edu/reflection.html - NASA Physics is an interesting narrative written in an engaging style. The combination of graphics, text, and on-line links has the potential to attract every student and encourage them to further their study of Physics
Links to “fun stuff”
- https://project-cernland.web.cern.ch/project-CERNland/ - Kids section on CERN website
- www.crayonphysics.com- A fun game which tests your knowledge of the laws of physics!
- www.youtube.com/channel/UCpDWm1W78tPRfsl3XCjCtkA - Ireland's First Secondary School Experiment in Space