George Watson's College Physics Department has a proud tradition of innovation and excellence and remains at the forefront of Physics teaching in Scotland.

Seven teachers share the teaching of the subject, ably supported by our Physics Technicians. Together this team provides our pupils with a high quality learning experience, which is also stimulating and good fun with pupils encouraged to perform at their highest level throughout their Physics education.

There are six laboratory classrooms, an optics laboratory, another small room used for complex Advanced Higher apparatus, and a staff base. The Department is very well equipped, ensuring pupils gain hands-on experience of modern apparatus including the very latest data logging equipment.

The Physics Department is involved in specialist science teaching in Primary 7, but, not again until S2 when pupils enjoy a very adventurous programme. This incorporates not only traditional Physics, but also innovative open-ended project work which allows for a measure of peer Assessment, encompassing many of the key aspects of Curriculum for Excellence. The S2 Physics course provides an everyday knowledge of the subject for those who will take it no further, but also the basis for further study for those continuing the subject into S3. From August 2018, we will also be teaching S1 STEM skills and S1 Physics.

In S3 and S4, all pupils follow the SQA National 5 course with the possibility of changing to National 4 in S4 for those who may find that course more suitable. In addition to providing for those who wish to do SQA Higher in S5, there is a National 5 course for those wishing or requiring a slower route to SQA Higher presentation in S6. This latter group includes some who did no Physics beyond S2 or those who switched to National 4 in S4. In S6 our pupils can study Physics at SQA Advanced Higher, Higher or National 5 level.

As part of the school’s IB Diploma Programme we also offer the IB DP Physics course at both Standard and Higher levels for pupils in S5 and S6.  These two-year courses are well resourced and provide either an excellent grounding in the subject or the basis for further study in tertiary education. 

Subject Information - Physics