Senior School Classes


“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day” – Albert Einstein

Understanding the mysteries of the Universe is what physics is all about. Physics is an incredibly powerful science, capable of explaining a massive range of phenomena, from the Big Bang (where time and space began) to gravity, electricity, magnetism, radioactivity and the nature of light. At Lathallan the physics curriculum is designed to challenge, to inspire and develop a deeper insight into the inner workings of reality.

The S1 and S2 course at Lathallan is designed primarily to build the skills of scientific enquiry, research and problem solving of all pupils. Over these two years, students will also learn about a wide range of topics including waves, mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, light and astrophysics.

S3 and S4 (National 5)

In S3 and S4 pupils study for the SQA National 5 qualification. Building on the knowledge and skills gained in S1&2 pupils will discover more about: the conservation of energy, electrical charge carriers, electric fields, current, voltage, Ohm’s law, electronic circuits, power, specific heat capacity, gas laws, wave properties, electromagnetic spectrum, light, nuclear radiation, velocity, displacement, acceleration, Newton’s laws, projectiles, latent heat, space exploration, and cosmology.

S5 (Higher)

This one year course builds on National 5 and begins to move into modern physics. Pupils will discover about: the equations of motion, forces, energy, power, collisions, explosions, impulse, gravity, special relativity, the Doppler effect, the Big Bang Theory, the standard model of particle physics, electromagnetism, nuclear reactions, wave particle duality, interference, diffraction, refraction, spectra, alternating current, internal resistance, capacitors and semiconductors.

S6 (Advanced Higher)

Advanced Higher is the most challenging course available at the school. It tests the all the scientific abilities of candidates, requiring them to complete a properly researched and carried out experimental investigation. In addition pupils will start to unpick some of the most interesting areas of physics including: kinematic relationships, angular motion, rotational dynamics, gravitation, general relativity, stellar physics, Bohr model of the atom, De Broglie waves, Heisenberg uncertainty principle, cosmic rays, solar wind, simple harmonic motion, waves, interference, polarisation, electric fields, magnetic induction, electromagnetic induction, electromagnetic radiation.

“All science is either physics or stamp collecting” – Earnest Rutherford (Winner of the 1908 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)