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"The study of Physics challenges pupils to push the frontiers of their knowledge about nature. Here at Haileybury we have an excellent reputation in the subject, engaging pupils in a wide range of activities to broaden their understanding. Our results, as a consequence, have been outstanding."

Timothy Reade Head of Physics


Physics at Haileybury

Haileybury has earned great distinction in the teaching of Physics. One of the three major sciences, Physics plays a crucial role in revealing how matter acts and interacts – from the tiniest subatomic particles to the majestic galaxies of outer space.

Although the concepts and study of Physics can be difficult and complex to master, the rewards of doing so are profound, opening doors to many different areas of study as well as an exciting range of career possibilities.


Pupils studying Physics at Key Stage 4 follow the Edexcel (I)GCSE Physics syllabus, which covers forces and motion, electricity, waves, energy resources and energy transfer, solids, liquids and gases, electromagnetism, as well as radioactivity and particles.

In the Sixth Form, pupils can study Physics as part of their International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or as an A Level qualification. Pupils studying AS and A Level Physics follow the OCR Advancing Physics (B) specification, which was devised by the Institute of Physics. The AS syllabus includes sections on imaging, signalling, sensing, designer materials, quantum physics, waves and mechanics. Open-ended course work is a particular feature of the OCR Advancing Physics course.

The A2 specification includes modelling, Newton’s gravitational law, special relativity, the Big Bang theory, the kinetic model of gases, the Boltzmann Factor, electromagnetic machines, particle physics, ionising radiation and risk.

Our Oxbridge candidates have additional lessons to prepare for the Physics Aptitude Test.


Study enrichment is a key part of the success of Physics at Haileybury. Pupils attend Haileybury Science Society lectures at the College and travel to a number of universities (such as Hertfordshire University and University College, London) and the Institute of Physics for external lecture programmes. They also take part in the Physics Olympiad Competitions offered at Key Stages 4 and 5.

Pupils have also been involved in the Engineering Education Scheme and have obtained Gold and Silver CREST Awards. Younger pupils have entered competitions such as the GSK-McLaren Pit Stop Challenge and the department also has close ties with a local Astronomy Society.

The Physics Department prepares pupils for a wide range of university courses as well as Physics. For example, pupils who have just finished their Lower Sixth year are strongly encouraged to attend Headstart residential courses during the summer vacation to experience a taste of their prospective degree discipline in a genuine university environment.

Whether studying A Level or for the IB Diploma, a number of pupils take Physics in the Sixth Form to obtain a good grade, irrespective of what they choose to study at university. At Haileybury, this for many is a good decision, because examination results obtained by the department in recent years have been exceptional.

Head of Department

Tim Reade BSc PGCE AKC is Head of the Physics Department. He has a Physics degree from King’s College, London, and his particular fields of interest include solid state physics and materials science. He was a Senior Physics Examiner for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for nine years, and has taught on the Isle of Man and in Argentina.

Teaching staff

Tim's team at Haileybury includes:

Ruth Everness MA PGCE Director of MUN; Bill Irving BSc MSc PGCE HM Trevelyan, D of E Co-ordinator; Arthur Kattavenos BEd MSc Head of Science; Hettie Pretorius BSc MEd.


To find out more about our recent Physics results, please click on the link below:

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