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Year 11 Physics

Year 11 is the final year of the GCSE course. You will complete the second half of three topics you started in year 10 and complete one further topic. It is essential that you keep going over content from years 9 and 10 throughout the year and do not leave revision until the end of the year.

The year 11 course covers:

Electricity (part 2)

Electricity (part 2)

Image by israel palacio

By the end of this topic you should be able to:


  • Describe what is meant by resistance, Ohm's law and recall and use the equation linking resistance, voltage and current.

  • Explain how certain factors affect the resistance of a wire and describe an experiment to show the relationship between the length of a wire and its resistance.

  • Describe the effect on total resistance for putting additional resistors into a circuit in series and parallel (you only need to be able to calculate this for series circuits) and describe an experiment to demonstrate this.

  • Draw graphs to show the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of a lamp, resistor and diode and explain the shapes of these. Describe an experimental method to obtain these graphs.

  • Describe how resistance varies for an LDR and thermistor

  • Explain what is meant by a potential divider and describe how these may be used.

  • Recall and use the equation linking power, voltage and current and the equation linking power, current and resistance. 

  • Calculate efficiency of electrical components.

Forces and motion (part 2)
Image by Aral Tasher

Forces and motion (part 2)

By the end of this topic you should be able to:​

  • Calculate the resultant force acting on an object including resolving forces at angles.

  • Recall and use the equation linking pressure, area and volume.

  • Explain how pressure varies in a liquid and calculate pressure at a particular depth in a liquid.

  • Describe the conditions required for an object to float and explain how and why a floating object experiences an upthrust force. 

  • Explain how gases exert a pressure and the relationship between gas pressure, volume, temperature and density. Calculate how a change in volume will change the pressure (Boyle's Law). 

  • Describe how atmospheric pressure is caused and how and why this varies with altitude.

  • State Newton's three laws of motion and recall and use the equation linking force, mass and acceleration

  • Describe an experiment to find the relationship between acceleration and force with a constant mass and acceleration and mass with a constant force.

  • Recall and use the equation linking momentum, mass and velocity. Describe the law of conservation of momentum and use this in calculations

  • Recall and use the equation linking force, change in momentum and time taken. Describe the impact of this relationship on forces involved in collisions.

Waves (part 2)

Waves (part 2)

Image by Dawid Zawiła

By the end of this topic you should be able to:​

  • Draw ray diagrams to show reflection and describe the law of reflection. Describe how reflection varies on smooth and rough surfaces

  • Explain how and why refraction occurs and draw ray diagrams to show refraction. Describe the law of refraction.

  • Describe an experiment to find angles of reflection and refraction for different materials .

  • Draw and label ray diagrams to show the passage of light through a concave and convex lens. 

  • Describe the images formed by convex and concave lenses using the terms; real, imaginary, inverted, upright, diminished and enlarged.

  • Calculate the magnification of a lens.

  • Describe the difference between p and s seismic waves and how these can be used to inform us about the interior of the Earth.

  • Describe how sound travels as a wave and how modification of the amplitude and frequency of a sound wave can change the loudness and pitch of a sound. 

  • State the frequency range of human hearing.

  • Explain uses of sound including ultrasound and echolocation.

Magnetism and electromagnetism
Image by Cherise Evertz

Magnetism and electromagnetism

By the end of this topic you should be able to:

  • Draw the magnetic field lines around a single magnet, two repelling/attracting magnets and the Earth.

  • Describe how you can plot magnetic field lines using iron filings and a compass.

  • Describe how a temporary electromagnet is created by current flowing through a wire and determine the direction of these magnetic field lines.

  • Explain how the magnetic field around a single wire can be increased by coiling it into a solenoid and determine the direction of magnetic field lines around the solenoid. Describe the factors which would increase the strength of this solenoid. 

  • Describe why a wire carrying a current experiences a force when placed within a permanent magnetic field (the motor effect). Use Fleming's lefthand rule to determine the direction of this force. Use the equation linking force, current, magnetic field strength and wire length to determine the size of the force experienced.

  • Explain how a motor works including a description of each part.

  • Describe how when a wire is moved through a permanent magnetic field a potential difference is created across the wire resulting in a flow of current if it is connected to a complete circuit (the generator effect).

  • Explain how a generator works to generate alternating current and a dynamo works to generate direct current including a description of each part of both of these.

  • Describe how electromagnetism is used in loudspeakers and microphones.

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