"The best thing I can say of the school was that it worked. It embedded in me habits of reading and thinking as well as an enduring curiosity about just about everything."

Bryan Appleyard - award-winning journalist and author

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Physics is a fun and fascinating subject. Its scope ranges from the smallest particles found within nuclei to the size of the cosmos, from matters of everyday importance, such as the braking distances of cars, to philosophical questions about what is knowable. Our courses enable us to give the boys a feeling for the breadth of the subject and of its relevance to our daily lives, whilst preparing them well for GCSE and A Level qualifications. The scientific method is taught through experimental work, by means of which the skills of collecting valid evidence and of analysing and evaluating data are developed.


Physics is taught as a separate in purpose-built laboratories by subject specialists. Currently at GSCE level, all boys are entered to sit the AQA Certificate offering an iGCSE style qualification with exams being sat in the summer of Year 11. The vast majority of boys choose Physics as a separate GCSE with two 90 minute exams to assess the course. Some students may follow the Science (Double Award) route with two 60 minutes exams providing the assessment at the end of Year 11. From September 2016 Year 10 will commence the new AQA GCSE syllabus.


We organise and run an annual Physics Olympics which involves students from many different schools in the area coming to Bolton School and taking part in a variety of physics challenges which involves team work and problem solving skills. The school was one of the first Ogden Trust Hub schools which has involved organising and taking part in many activities such as planetarium visits, lectures, careers events, visits to power stations and visits to Keble College, Oxford.

A science club takes place every month, this allows students to take part in fun activities and achieve their Bronze Crest Awards.  Older students take part in extreme physics sessions which involves thinking their way through harder physics problems and entering the Physics Olympiad. Some of our sixth formers are on the editing team of the Young Science Journal.

The Astronomy Club has been very popular in recent years.  This has resulted in a selection of students taking a GCSE in Astronomy.


Head of Department
M R Ormerod, BSc

Members of the Department
Dr A S Altimeemy BSc, PhD
Mrs L J Dootson, BSc
Mrs B L Jones, BSc
R McMinn, BSc, MSc

Chris Hanson 
Tim Ashcroft


Pupils taking part in the Physics Olympics

Pupils taking part in the Physics Olympics

Pupils enjoying indoor sky-diving at Air Kix

Pupils enjoying indoor sky-diving at Air Kix

Physics students visit Keble College, Oxford

Physics students visit Keble College, Oxford