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: IBMYP level 5 or higher in the Year 10 Science physical science units.


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

Semester 1

  • Linear Motion and Forces
  • Electric Circuits
  • Heat

Semester 2

  • Energy and Momentum
  • 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

  • Disease Spread and Prevention essay (IF)
  • Infectious Disease topic test (SAT)
  • Enzymes practical report (IF)
  • Multicellular Organism 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 Understanding

  • 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.

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.