A teacher's guide to the new QCAA Senior Physics syllabus changes

A teacher’s guide to the new QCAA Physics General Senior Syllabus changes

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A change is coming for Queensland senior secondary schooling.

From 2019, Senior Physics in Queensland is changing to help students develop 21st-century skills and knowledge for success in their future work and life. You can trust our expert Queensland author and award-winning publishing team to support you with the tools and resources you need to help you implement the new Queensland Senior Physics syllabus.

The changes to Queensland Senior Physics affect all aspects of teaching and learning – new teaching content, new course structure and a new approach to assessment.

What does the new QCAA Physics General Senior Syllabus look like?

Physics
Unit Syllabus content Assessment Assessment method
Unit 1 Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics
  • Topic 1: Heating processes
  • Topic 2: Ionising radiation and nuclear reactions
  • Topic 3: Electrical circuits
Formative internal assessment/s Schools should develop at least one assessment per unit, with a maximum of four assessments across Units 1 and 2
Unit 2 Linear motion and waves
  • Topic 1: Linear motion and force
  • Topic 2: Waves
Formative internal assessment/s Schools should develop at least one assessment per unit, with a maximum of four assessments across Units 1 and 2
Unit 3 Gravity and electromagnetism
  • Topic 1: Gravity and motion
  • Topic 2: Electromagnetism
Summative internal assessment
  1. Data test (10%) Summative internal assessment
  2. Student experiment (20%)
Summative external assessment: Examination (50%)
Unit 4 Revolutions in modern physics
  • Topic 1: Special relativity
  • Topic 2: Quantum theory
  • Topic 3: The Standard Model
Summative internal assessment
  1. Research investigation (20%)
Summative external assessment: Examination (50%)

Source: Physics 2019 v1.0, QCAA General Senior Syllabus, Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority June 2017

Students studying the Senior Physics syllabus from 2019 will:

develop the skills for success in their future work and life

study modern physics theories and models

engage with the understandings of the universe

develop new knowledge, and have the opportunity to refine their skills through practical activities

distinguish between claims and evidence, opinion and fact, and conjecture and conclusions

explain phenomena and evaluate claims by finding evidence to support or refute the claims

study concepts and theories and explain phenomena using their understanding of physics.

The basics

To successfully implement the new Senior Physics syllabus, there are three basic points to be aware of:

1

The new course is made up of four units of study to be taught over two years (i.e. Units 1 and 2 to be taught in Year 11 and Units 3 and 4 to be taught in Year 12). Students should complete Units 1 and 2 before beginning Unit 3. It is recommended that Unit 3 be completed before Unit 4.

2

Units 1 and 2 have students working across all syllabus objectives and beginning to engage with the course subject matter. The teaching of Units 3 and 4 consolidates students’ learning. Subject matter, learning experiences and assessment increase in complexity from Units 1 through to 4 as students develop independent learning.

3

Only the results from Units 3 and 4 will contribute to ATAR calculations. Each unit has been developed to a notional time of 55 hours of teaching and learning, including assessment.

Meet our expert author for New Century Physics for Queensland (3rd edition)

Richard Walding

Author

Dr Richard Walding is a Senior Physics teacher at Moreton Bay College, Brisbane, where he has taught physics and chemistry for much of his professional life, including two decades as Head of Science.
Richard began his career as a scientist working in industry before teaching in state co-ed, and single-sex boys’ and girls’ schools. His credentials span research into the use of computers in science education, case studies of technology in industry, and most recently doctoral studies of gender differences in physics and chemistry problem-solving by senior students. His doctoral work informs much of this text.
As a research fellow at Griffith University, Richard has for the past decade has been researching the history and applications of electromagnetic induction particularly as related to harbour defence. He is recognised internationally for this work.
Richard was elected Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Physics and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for his lifetime contribution to these disciplines. In 2015, Richard was awarded a Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in STEM Education.

What is Oxford publishing for the new QCAA Physics General Senior Syllabus?

The publishing team at Oxford is currently working with an expert Queensland author to deliver high-quality resources directly mapped to the new syllabus. These include:

New Century Physics for Queensland
Units 1 & 2 (3rd edition)

New Century Physics for Queensland Units 1 & 2 3E Student book + obook assess

  • Print student book with digital access

New Century Physics for Queensland Units 1 & 2 3E obook assess

  • Digital student access (12 months access)

New Century Physics for Queensland Units 1 & 2 3E obook assess MULTI

  • Digital student access (3 x 12 months access)

New Century Physics for Queensland Units 1 & 2 3E Teacher obook assess

  • Digital teacher access

All Unit 1 & 2 titles coming in 2018.

New Century Physics for Queensland
Units 3 & 4 (3rd edition)

New Century Physics for Queensland Units 3 & 4 3E Student book + obook assess

  • Print student book with digital access

New Century Physics for Queensland Units 3 & 4 3E obook assess

  • Digital student access (12 months access)

New Century Physics for Queensland Units 3 & 4 3E obook assess MULTI

  • Digital student access (3 x 12 months access)

New Century Physics for Queensland Units 3 & 4 3E Teacher obook assess

  • Digital teacher access

All Unit 3 & 4 titles coming in 2019.

Why choose Oxford QLD Senior Science resources?

Our Senior Physics resources are designed to work for you in the classroom. They will:

provide learning pathways that ensure complete coverage of the syllabus

clearly model approaches to inquiry learning and critical thinking

provide detailed support and resources for assessment (including exam preparation and practice)

suggest methodologies for mandatory and suggested practicals outlined in the syllabus.

All these features are designed to save you time when lesson planning, reduce the stress of syllabus implementation and ensure the best learning outcomes for your students.

From January 2019, senior secondary syllabuses in Queensland will change to support the introduction of new assessment and tertiary entrance systems. As teachers across Queensland prepare for this significant change, the Secondary team at Oxford will be busy collaborating with local teachers and educators to create a range of world-class teaching and learning materials. Our goal is to make implementation of the new systems as smooth and stress-free as possible for you.

–The Secondary Publishing Team at Oxford University Press

As Secondary Publisher of the Year 2017, Oxford University Press is committed to helping teachers and students in Queensland reach their full potential.

Register for QLD Senior Syllabus updates from Oxford and receive:

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Relevant QCAA syllabus updates where applicable

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