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What are the key changes to the DP Physics Subject Guide
  • Key changes

    The syllabus content moves from 12 topics (eight of which were required at Standard Level) to 24 compulsory topics, 19 of which are required in full or in part at Standard Level. These 24 topics are grouped under five Themes: l Space, time and motion l The particulate nature of matter l Wave behaviour l Fields l Nuclear and quantum physics Reassuringly, you won’t have to make significant changes to how you plan and teach because the important physics ideas like motion and waves are still addressed. However, students will now need to really understand these Concepts, rather than simply picking an equation and plugging in the numbers
  • Removal of Options

    The removal of the HL Options is the main contributor to a reduction in the content of the course. However, you will note that some topics from each of the former Options are now included in the main syllabus. Students no longer pick HL options. All HL students cover the same content. This is to ensure consistency in the content covered.
  • Nature of Science

    The Nature of Science (NOS) continues to be an important thread that runs through the course. Some references are made to NOS in the syllabus, but mostly, you are encouraged to provide your own examples, including drawing on topical developments.
  • Guiding Questions

    Guiding Questions are a new feature of the syllabus, given at the start of each sub-topic. These questions are purposefully open-ended, lending themselves to increasingly detailed consideration as understanding of the topic deepens. Guiding Questions may serve as openers for a topic, teasing out students’ prior knowledge, and perhaps helping to suggest a sequence of what will be covered. They could also be used as a tool for assessment, looking for increasing depth and breadth at different stages in the learning.
  • Linking Questions

    Linking Questions are another important feature of the new course. They are given in many of the syllabus Understandings, where they show a link to a different but related sub-topic. The goal of Linking Questions is to help create enhanced understanding and a network of knowledge. The content of Linking Questions is often addressed elsewhere in the text as it sometimes encourages a ‘revisiting’ of material and sometimes a preview of upcoming material. Linking Questions are unlikely to be used as questions in examinations per se, but the related concepts are considered an essential part of the course
  • Skills in the Study of Physics

    The Subject Guide includes a section titled Skills in the Study of Physics. This is not intended as a topic to be taught in isolation, but is more of a checklist of skills that students must acquire during the course. It replaces the Prescribed Practicals (or Mandatory Labs) from the 2016 curriculum. The Measurements and Uncertainties topic has been taken out of the main learning points, instead three categories are listed: l Experimental techniques l Technology l and Mathematics