Semester, Full Year

The study of Physics is constructed around using qualitative and quantitative models, laws, and theories to better understand matter, forces, energy, and the interaction among them. Physics seeks to explain natural phenomena, from the subatomic world to the macro cosmos, and to make predictions about them. The models, laws, and theories in physics are based on evidence obtained from observations, measurements, and active experimentation over thousands of years. In Physics, students integrate and apply a range of understanding, inquiry, and scientific thinking skills that encourage and inspire them to contribute their own solutions to current and future problems and challenges. Students also pursue scientific pathways, for example, in engineering, renewable energy generation, communications, materials innovation, transport and vehicle safety, medical science, scientific research, and the exploration of the universe.

Recommended background

Working at or above standard (a C grade or better) in the Year 10 Science Physic units.


The following topics provide the framework for learning in Stage 1 Physics:

Semester 1

  • Linear Motion and Forces
  • Energy and Momentum
  • Heat

Semester 2

  • Electricity
  • Waves
  • Nuclear Models and Radioactivity


Assessment at Stage 1 is school based.

Students demonstrate evidence of their learning through the following assessment types:

  • Investigations Folio (practical investigations and Science as a Human Endeavour investigations)
  • Skills and Applications Tasks (topic tests)

Four assessment pieces are completed in each semester of Stage 1 Physics.

Semester 1

  • Parachute design investigation (IF)
  • Linear Motion and Forces topic test (SAT)
  • Importance of Space Flight SHE investigation (IF)
  • Rocket Science presentation (SAT)

Semester 2

  • Radiotracers SHE investigation (IF)
  • Medical Imaging topic test (SAT)
  • Energy practical report (IF)
  • Medical Physics topic test (SAT)

Stage 1 Physics is assessed using two criteria:

  • Investigation, Analysis and Evaluation
    • This criterion assesses students ability to research relevant information, to deconstruct problems, design investigations, test hypotheses, identify variables, consider possible risks, create tables and graphs, analyse data and evaluate results.
  • Knowledge and Application
    • This criterion assesses students ability to understand science as a human endeavour, to recall physics-related information, to use physics terminology and use their knowledge in unfamiliar situations.

A Course Overview, outlining the specific criteria assessed for each task, can be provided upon request.

Successful completion of this subject leads to: Stage 2 Physics

Students who intend to study Physics at Stage 2: must complete 20 credits of Stage 1 Physics.

Students should investigate whether tertiary study requires Stage 2 Physics as a prerequisite or assumed knowledge.