Head of Department: Tim Reade


Bill Irving, Ruth Everness, Arthur Kattavenos and Patrick Reilly

The subject

Physics is the scientific study of matter, energy, space and time. Physics is all around us and affects our lives on a daily basis. It is in the electrical appliances you use in your home, the various types of transport used to get from A to B, it affects our climate and the weather we get to enjoy or suffer, depending on where you are, and it keeps the Sun providing us with light and warmth. Basically, Physics keeps us alive and allows us to experience everything life has to offer.

The scale by which Physics affects us can be anything from the subatomic (eg particles that make up the atom) to the astronomical (eg the dimensions of stars and galaxies).

Physics forms the basis of the foundation of all the physical sciences (eg material science, geology, etc) and is important for many other fields of human endeavour (eg medicine, computing, etc).

There exist many fields of Physics. Examples include acoustics, astronomy/astrophysics/cosmology, atomic and nuclear physics, elementary particles, biomedical physics, electromagnetism, electronics, geophysics, mechanics, meteorology, semiconductors, nanotechnology, optics, thermodynamics, aerodynamics to mention but a few. The list goes on.

What pupils can expect

Physics is a fascinating and exciting subject to study and get involved with. It not only allows us to explore what we already know about the world around us and how we know, but there are still some profound questions that remain unanswered (eg What is dark matter? Are there more than three dimensions in space?). It caters for those who enjoy theoretical-based studies and those who relish the challenge of undertaking practical and experimental work. Physics allows you to develop, consolidate and possess valuable key skills which are not confined just to the subject itself (eg problem-solving, reasoning, research, analysis, presentation - both oral and written). The more we learn about Physics, the better it will help us understand our place in the universe.

If you are asked to describe a typical Physicist then your reply would normally be "a geek wearing a white coat who is quite eccentric". In fact, most Physicists look and behave just like you and me. The employment prospects for people with a Physics qualification tend to include working for research laboratories, universities, private companies and government agencies. They also can teach, perform research and develop new technologies. They're not confined indoors either. They do experiments on mountaintops, underwater, underground in mines and in orbit around the Earth. Physicists are good at solving all kinds of problems from esoteric to the mundane (eg How does a mirror reflect light? What holds an atom together? How fast does a rocket have to go to escape the Earth? How can a worldwide team share data in real time? Solving this last problem led physicists to invent the World Wide Web.).

Having a Physics qualification will impress any employer, even if you are not choosing to work in anything related to the field of Physics as it is perceived as a difficult subject to master. Physics provides a route into many careers. Such prospects are not just confined to research but extend into a wide range of industries including food, medicine, finance, marketing, business and management. The valuable skills of analysis and problem-solving that a Physics qualification fosters enables you to contribute effectively to not only your chosen vocation, but to society as a whole.


A Physics Clinic runs every Monday from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. This is aimed at any pupil who would like to come along and receive support and help from members of the Physics Department.

Staffing and facilities

The Physics Department consists of five dedicated laboratories and four full-time staff supported by two technicians. In addition, there is a large prep room and a resources room.

Tim Reade, Head of Physics

Tim joined Haileybury in January 2008 and has 17 years' teaching experience in the independent sector. He has worked at a number of schools both in the UK and abroad including King William's College IOM, St George's College North (Argentina) and Ardingly College. He has been a Senior Examiner with the IBO as well as an IB coursework moderator. He has a BSc in Physics from King's College London as well as a PCGE from Manchester University. Before becoming a teacher he worked as a manufacturing jeweller.

Bill Irving

Bill joined Haileybury as a physics teacher in 2009 after a 22-year career in the Army where he served in a variety of countries including the USA, the Middle East, the Balkans, Germany, Norway and Italy. The high point of his Army career was to command the Officer's Training Corps of the University of London. Before leaving the Army, he gained his PGCE from Goldsmiths, University of London. He also holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and an MSc in Communications Systems. Bill is the Housemaster of Trevelyan.

Ruth Everness

Ruth joined Haileybury in 2011. She has an MA in Natural Sciences from Girton College, Cambridge, and also has a PGCE from Cambridge University. Ruth's particular interests include the history of science, the relationship between science and religion, and computer programming.

Arthur Kattavenos
Arthur is a Western Australian trained Physics teacher with 27 years of teaching experience. His first major Physics appointment was at Aquinas College, Perth where he stayed for almost ten years. At Aquinas, Arthur coached both cricket and football teams, and as the College’s 1st XI football coach won the WA Public School Boys Lawe-Davies Cup in 1995. Since then Arthur has held a number of senior teaching and administrative positions at the International School of Athens, Greece. As IB Co-ordinator he successfully set-up the IB Diploma programme for the International School and was High School Principal for a number of years. Arthur holds a MSc from the University of Exeter, and a BEd in Physical Science from both Murdoch and Edith Cowan Universities, WA. Arthur is also a keen cricketer.

Patrick Reilly
Patrick joined Haileybury in September 2013. He recently returned to the UK after three years teaching IGCSE and IB Physics in Dubai. Previous to that he taught to A Level in Belfast High School. Patrick gained his PGCE in Physics in the University of Leeds after being employed as an Electronic Engineer. His BEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering is from Queen’s University Belfast.

"...most Physicists look and behave just like you and me."



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