Course Outline


Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus at GEMS Wesgreen International School aims to provide the students an opportunity to develop attitudes relevant to Physics such as; concern for accuracy and precision, objectivity and inquiry. It will provide students the opportunity to study wide range of courses including Cambridge International AS & A Level Physics.

Learning Outcomes

Students should be helped to understand how, through the ideas of physics, the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a number of key ideas which are of universal application and which can be illustrated in the separate topics set out below. These ideas include:

  • the use of models, as in the particle model of matter or the wave models of light and of sound
  • the concept of cause and effect in explaining such links as those between force and acceleration, or between changes in atomic nuclei and radioactive emissions
  • the phenomena of ‘action at a distance’ and the related concept of the field as the key to analysing electrical, magnetic and gravitational effects
  • that differences, for example between pressures or temperatures or electrical potentials, are the drivers of change
  • that proportionality, for example between weight and mass of an object or between force and extension in a spring, is an important aspect of many models in science.

Ongoing Objectives

Throughout each unit, the students are given the opportunity to build on the objectives below:

  • provide an enjoyable and worthwhile educational experience for all learners, whether or not they go on to study science beyond this level
  • enable learners to acquire sufficient knowledge and understanding to:
    • become confident citizens in a technological world and develop an informed interest in scientific matters
    • be suitably prepared for studies beyond Cambridge IGCSE
  • allow learners to recognise that science is evidence-based and understand the usefulness, and the limitations, of scientific method
  • develop skills that:
    • are relevant to the study and practice of physics
    • are useful in everyday life
    • encourage a systematic approach to problem-solving
    • encourage efficient and safe practice
    • encourage effective communication through the language of science
  • develop attitudes relevant to physics such as:
    • concern for accuracy and precision
    • objectivity
    • integrity
    • enquiry
    • initiative

Unit Overviews

Term 1

For blended learning we will provide video links, live demonstrations of practical investigation as well as access to the relevant worksheets and resources that all students will need.

2 Thermal physics

Approximate length: 5 weeks

Most things in the world are either a solid, a liquid or a gas. These are the three main states of matter. Substances can change from a solid to a liquid in a process called melting, and from liquid to gas in a process called evaporation. Gases change to liquids by condensation and liquids change to solids in solidification.

We are probably most familiar with these changes for water. It is possible for the states to exist at the same time: for example, there is a temperature at which ice, water and steam are all present. This is called the triple point of water and is used to define the kelvin scale of temperature, which you will meet later in this section.

2.1 Simple kinetic molecular model of matter

2.2 Thermal properties and temperature

2.3 Thermal processes

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

The structure of matter

  • relating models of arrangements and motions of the molecules in solid, liquid and gas phases to their densities
  • melting, evaporation, and sublimation as reversible changes
  • calculating energy changes involved on heating, using specific heat capacity; and those involved in changes of state, using specific latent heat
  • links between pressure and temperature of a gas at constant volume, related to the motion of its particles (qualitative).

3 Properties of waves, including light and sound

Approximate length: 3 weeks

What is the connection between the waves you see on water and light? Light is a wave that behaves in a similar way to water waves. Sound is another type of wave, as we will learn later in this section. Studying the behaviour of waves will help us to understand many of your everyday experiences, ranging from how you see objects to how you hear sounds.

We already know that energy can be transferred as sound and light. White light is made up of a range of different colours and that light can be reflected and refracted. You should also know how the frequency and amplitude of a sound wave are related to the pitch and loudness of the sound.

3.1 General wave properties

3.2 Light

3.3 Electromagnetic spectrum

3.4 Sound

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

Wave motion

amplitude, wavelength, frequency, relating velocity to frequency and wavelength

transverse and longitudinal waves

electromagnetic waves, velocity in vacuum; waves transferring energy; wavelengths and frequencies from radio to gamma-rays

velocities differing between media: absorption, reflection, refraction effects

production and detection, by electrical circuits, or by changes in atoms and nuclei

uses in the radio, microwave, infra-red, visible, ultra-violet, X-ray and gamma-ray regions, hazardous effects on bodily tissues.

Term 2

Programme of Study 


Formative: Throughout the units, the children will complete graded work, quizzes and investigation activities, which allows the teacher to assess the students’ attainment and inform their planning.

For each unit the students complete a pre and posttest. This allows us to see progress across the units and to inform our planning.

Summative: At the end of each term, we complete internal tests. This allows us to measure the students’ progress throughout the term and year. A mock exam papers prior to the final IGCSE exams.

Next Steps

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.