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Physics Scholars club

Published: 12 January 2021

Last year, almost 70 students from Years 7, 8 and 9 signed up to take part in Hadley Learning Community (HLC) Physics Scholars club, which is supported by The Ogden Trust. Ogden funding has been used to purchase books and research materials for the children to use, as well as physics badges for the club.

The club was introduced by Dr Tony Wilson, an Ogden alumnus and physics specialist at HLC. “The HLC science department has made significant progress in extending the triple science option to 30 more students in the 2020/21 academic year,” explains Tony. “The aim of this project is to build upon this broad science success but focusing on physics, improving the perception of physics for a wider range of our learners and teachers. We want to promote and encourage the uptake of physics A-level and improve the physics cultural capital and physics literacy across KS3 and KS4.”

“Almost 70 students from across Years 7, 8 and 9 were proudly wearing their physics badges last term” enthuses Tony. “The students have developed their own fantastic certificates that are awarded for commitment and excellence. Within three weeks of launching the programme, 45 research projects were submitted. One of our Year 7s is currently planning the topics for the second Year 7 project on the space race and space exploration. I am immensely proud of all the scholars!”

“With schools now closed to most, the club is still continuing remotely; students have got lists of projects with key questions that they can work on if they are able to. Year 9s are reading books on the Higgs Boson and CERN, Dark Matter and Dark Energy, and Gravitational Waves.”

“Once we return to school, we will start the club again and hope to expand it to after school sessions once COVID restrictions are eased. The books we have bought will last now for several years – we hope that our current Year 7s will follow the club through until the end of Year 9,” concludes Tony.

Thank you for setting this up. I am really enjoying it.
Year 7 student

An image of the student work on nebula

Year 7 have been studying the universe and objects in the solar system. They have been researching nebula, galaxies, types of stars, blackholes and exoplanets. This has enriched their understanding of the universe and objects that lie beyond our solar system. They have also been researching regions of the solar system beyond the orbit of Neptune, reading about the Kuiper belt and comets, and learning the difference between meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites.

An image of student work on nuclear fusion

Year 8 have been studying the formation of the solar system from the genesis of planetary nebula, the birth of our Sun and the formation of planets from the planetary disc of dust and gas. Students have been learning about nuclear fusion which drives the core of our Sun and stars across the cosmos.

An image of the student work on quarks

Year 9 have been studying A-level ideas and writing about the standard models of physics. They have been researching quarks, leptons and the theory of the Big Bang. Year 9 students are also reading books on three areas of cosmology: Dark Energy and Dark Matter, Gravitational Waves, and CERN and the Higgs Boson – some of the most exciting and cutting-edge areas of modern physics.

This project is really promoting the topic of physics with the students across KS3, and areas of science that the children would otherwise not access.
Dan Roycroft, Headteacher

The work they have produced clearly shows they are enjoying the topics.
Mrs Gemma Jefferies, Science Teacher

An image of the certificates awarded to scholars

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