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Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Caring

Topic 5 - Current electricity


About this topic (key
ideas, questions and skills)

Learning goals
(Based on National
Curriculum for England or
IB Diploma statements)

Assessment

Inquirers

Reflective

Number of periods

Electrical devices dominate our modern life. To begin to start to understand what is happening
inside your computer or smart phone students need to develop and test a working model of
electricity that describes how current, potential difference (voltage) and resistance are related.

Year

Thinkers

22

11

This topic allows students to develop a scientific model and test it against reality using simple
electric circuits.
Develop and test a working model of current electricity in simple circuits
Understand calculations of current (Kirchhoffs 1st law) and potential difference (Kirchhoffs 2nd law): for series and parallel
circuits
Use symbolic representations of circuits
Understand the concept of resistance and know how to calculate it using V=IR
Know how to add resistances in series and parallel
Calculate the power transferred in an electric circuit using power = VI and power =I 2R
Key definitions short test and homeworks from Complete Physics text (C1)
Charlie the Coulomb modelling of electricity (C1, C2 and C4)
Investigation: how does the length of a wire affect its resistance (C2, C3 and C4)

Assumed prior learning


(Refer to topics covered in
previous years)

Evaluation of prior
learning

End of topic test based on GCSE standard questions (C1 and C4)
In KS3 students will have studied:

Electric current, measured in amperes, in circuits, series and parallel circuits, currents add where branches meet and current
as flow of charge
Potential difference, measured in volts, battery and bulb ratings; resistance, measured in ohms, as the ratio of potential
difference (p.d.) to current
The differences in resistance between conducting and insulating components (quantitative).
Ask students to set up a variety of circuits using bulbs, cells, resistors, leads and switches. Ask students to explain the function of
each component in the circuit.
Introduce ammeters and voltmeters into the circuits above. What do they measure?
KS3 SAT questions on electricity.

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Caring

Inquirers

Reflective

Thinkers

Key scientific concepts covered:


Potential difference

Session: 1

Electric current

current is a measure of the rate of low of electric charge.


Number of periods:
Resistance
Resistance is a measure of how difficult it is for current to
Learning activities and
products
Resources
flow expected
through a component.

Circuit circus - diagnostic for prior learning

Learning objectives

the potential difference across a component tells us how


much energy one coulomb of charge transfers as it moves
through the component.

Be able to set up various circuits


Know how to identify and correct circuit
problems (fault find for broken bulbs etc)
Be able to draw symbolic representations
of circuits

Students rotate around a circus of activities, designing


and building circuits
Circuit circus worksheet
Teacher assesses prior learning by observing and
questioning students as the complete the activities in
the circus

Voltmeters, ammeters, bulbs, cells, leads,


variables resistors.
Absorb Physics online - Simple circuits

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Caring

Inquirers

Reflective

Thinkers

Higher order
thinking skills
questions

How could you use your apparatus to test that the cells and bulbs work properly?

Differentiation
possibilities

Worksheet with differentiated tasks (easy to hard).

Language for
learning

Complete circuit, electric current, flow, voltage, blown bulb, flat battery, cell, connection, positive terminal, negative terminal, short circuit.

Notes

A complete circuit is needed for current to flow around a circuit.

What is the function of a variable resistor in a circuit?


What changes would you make to the faulty circuit to make the bulbs light?

A short circuit is a route (loop) of zero resistance connecting the positive to negative terminals of a cell. This will cause a high current to flow and
may cause a fire.

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Session: 2

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Caring

So what exactly is electricity?

Learning objectives

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Know that free electrons can move


easily through conductors, but not
through insulators
Understand that current is the rate of
flow of electric charge
Understand that potential difference is
the difference in energy (Joules) per unit
charge (Coulombs) between two points
in a circuit
Explain using the electron flow model of
electricity why a conductor heats up
when a current flows through it
Appreciate that current splits up at a
junction (Kirchhoffs 1st law)

Inquirers

Number of periods:

Learning activities and expected products

Furry Elephant simulation of free electrons in


conductors - link to static electricity topic
Pupil modelling of current flow round the classroom.
Students represent coulombs of charge, bulbs
ammeters, voltmeters and cells. Coulombs take energy
from the cell and give it to the bulbs.

Reflective

Thinkers

Resources
Complete physics p.182
Electricity pupil modelling cards (V, A, cells and
joule cards and stop clocks).
Furry Elephant simulation

Concept map students write their own definitions of


current, p.d. and resistance, and compare them with
the accepted scientific definitions

Higher order
thinking skills
questions

How can the electron flow model be used to explain why a conductor heats up when electricity flows through it?

Differentiation
possibilities

Targeted questions and prompts to students of different abilities.

Language for
learning

Current, potential difference (voltage), resistance, flow, charge (Coulomb), ammeter (amperes), voltmeter (volts)

How would you expect the coulombs to behave if we added one more route for the electricity to flow round the circuit?
Evaluate how useful the model is in explaining how a light switch turns on a light bulb.

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Notes

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Caring

Inquirers

Reflective

Thinkers

FT and HT

In solid conductors, an electric current is a flow of electrons.


Metals are good conductors of electricity because some of the electrons from their atoms can move freely throughout the metal
structure.
An electric current is a flow of charged particles.
When electrical charge flows through a resistor, electrical energy is transferred as heat.
Current is the rate of flow of electric charge. 1 Ampere = 1 Coulomb per second
Potential difference is the difference in energy per coulomb between two points in an electric circuit.1 Volt = 1 Joule per Coulomb

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Session: 3

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Caring

Develop a working model of electricity


based on the Charlie the Coulomb story
Describe the journey of Charlie the
Coulomb around a circuit explaining analogies
for current, voltage and resistance.

Learning activities and expected products

Inquirers

Reflective

Thinkers

Number of periods:

Charlie the Coulomb

Learning objectives

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Students read the Charlie the Coulomb story and


answer questions from the Charlie the Coulomb worksheet.

Higher order
thinking skills
questions

How does the story explain voltage?

Differentiation
possibilities

Worksheet with two differentiated circuits to describe (simple and complicated)

Language for
learning

Charge, coulomb, current, ampere, flow, voltage, resistance.

Notes

Complete activity for homework.

Resources
Charlie the Coulomb booklet pdf

Describe how resistance is represented in the story and evaluate how useful the model is in developing understanding of electricity.

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Session: 4

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Know that current is a flow of electric


charge
Be able to explain the difference
between direct (dc) and alternating (ac)
current.
Solve problems involving flow of charge
using Q=It

Learning activities and expected products

Questions from Physics - the formula bits booklet

Higher order
thinking skills
questions

Rearranging three term equations.

Differentiation
possibilities

Worksheet with differentiated tasks (easy to hard).

Language for
learning

Charge, coulomb, current, ampere, flow

Notes

Caring

Current is a flow of electric charge

Learning objectives

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Inquirers

Reflective

Thinkers

Number of periods:
Resources
Physics - the formula bits booklets

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Session: 5

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Know how to connect voltmeters and


ammeters in a circuit.
Know how to use a multimeter to
measure current and pd.
Understand what is meant by resistance
Know how to calculate the resistance of
a component using V=IR.
Be able to add resistors in series and
parallel

Higher order
thinking skills
questions

Caring

What is resistance and how do you measure it?

Learning objectives

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Learning activities and expected products

Class experiment - measuring the resistance of


various items (bulbs, resistors, pencil lead).
Questions form Physics - The formula bits booklet

Inquirers

Reflective

Number of periods:

Thinkers

Resources
Complete physics p.186/7 & 188/9
Multimeters, cells, bulbs, resistors and resistor
holders, pencil leads, leads and resistor colour
code sheet
Physics - The Formula bits booklet
Absorb Physics online - Ohms law
Absorb Physics online - Combinations of resistors

https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/circuitconstruction-kit-dc - PhET dc circuit simulation


Design, conduct and evaluate an experiment to test the rules for adding resistance in series (FT) and parallel circuits (HT).

Differentiation
possibilities

Differentiated questions from booklet and worksheet (easy to hard).

Language for
learning

Resistance - R (ohms), potential difference - V (volts), current - A (amperes), series, parallel

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Notes

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Caring

Inquirers

Reflective

Thinkers

FT & HT

V =IR

Potential difference, current and resistance are related as shown: potential difference = current x resistance

The resistance of a component tells you how many volts of potential difference are needed to push 1 Ampere of current through the component.

RT R R 2
If two or more resistors are combined in series their total resistance is given by the equation:
HT

RT
If two or more resistors are combined in parallel their total resistance is given by the equation:

1
1

R1

R2

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Session: 6

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Caring

Voltage and current in series and parallel circuits

Learning objectives

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Know how to calculate the pd of cells in


series.
Identify series and parallel circuits.
Understand Kirchhoffs 1st and 2nd law.
Solve circuit problems involving current
and pd in series and parallel circuits.

Inquirers

An introduction to Kirchoffs 1st and 2nd law


Investigation - Testing Kirchhoffs laws. Students
design circuits to test the laws by making predictions of
current and pd in circuits. They test their predictions by
experiment.
o Worksheet HT and FT - Testing Kirchhoffs laws

Thinkers

Number of periods:

Learning activities and expected products

Reflective

Resources
Complete physics p.184/5 & p.191
Bulbs, cells, resistors, leads, multimeters and
ammeters
Absorb Physics online - Current in circuits
Absorb Physics online - Voltage in circuits
https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/circuitconstruction-kit-dc - PhET dc circuit simulation

Higher order
thinking skills
questions

What circuit would you build, and what would you measure to test Kirchhoffs 1 st / 2nd law?

Differentiation
possibilities

Worksheets for HT and FT with suggested circuits to use or with open ended questions. Students choose which sheet to follow.

Language for
learning

Current, ampere, potential difference, volt, series, parallel, loop (route)

Evaluate the accuracy of your predictions made using your model of electricity developed in session 2.

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Notes

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Caring

Inquirers

Reflective

Thinkers

FT and HT
When components are connected in series:
the same current flows through each component
the total potential difference of the supply is shared between them
When components are connected in parallel:
there is the same potential difference across each component
the current through each component depends on its resistance; the greater the resistance; the smaller the current
the total current through the whole circuit is the sum of the currents through the separate components
The potential difference provided by cells connected in series is the sum of the potential difference of each cell separately (bearing in mind the
direction in which they are connected).

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Session: 7

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Caring

Current / voltage graphs

Learning objectives

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Describe the current/voltage


characteristics of a filament lamp and resistor
at constant temperature.
State Ohms law and identify ohmic and
non-ohmic components.

Inquirers

Class experiment - I/V characteristics of bulbs and


resistors. Students plot graphs of current and voltage for a
bulb and a resistor (use a potential divider)

Resources
Complete physics p.186/7 & 188/9
Bulbs, cells, resistors, leads, multimeters and
rheostats.
Absorb Physics online - I-V graphs
Spreadsheet

Higher order
thinking skills
questions

Does the current through an electrical device double when the voltage doubles? How can we test this idea?

Differentiation
possibilities

Differentiation by outcome.

Language for
learning

Characteristic, curved line, non-linear, straight line, linear, proportional, resistance, temperature

Analyse the differences between the I/V characteristics of a filament lamp and resistor at constant temperature.
Describe how the resistance of a filament lamp changes with increased temperature.

Thinkers

Number of periods:

Learning activities and expected products

Reflective

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Notes

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Caring

Inquirers

Reflective

Ohms law states that: The current through a resistor (at a constant temperature) is proportional to the voltage across the resistor.
The resistance of a filament lamp increases as the temperature of the filament increases.
The resistance of resistor is constant provided its temperature remains constant.

Thinkers

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Session: 7

Risk-takers

Knowledgeable

Caring

Be able to calculate the power dissipated


by an electrical component.
Know how to choose the correct fuse for
an electrical appliance.
Be able to explain how the fuse and
Earth wire help make electricity safe.

Learning activities and expected products

Inquirers

Reflective

Thinkers

Number of periods:

Power to the people, safely!

Learning objectives

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Teacher demo of heating fuse wire (risk assessment hot wires)


The power equation P=VI
Questions from Physics - The formula bits booklets
pages 4/5
Absorb Physics online - Section on Electrical safety

Higher order
thinking skills
questions

How does a fuse help make a TV safer?

Differentiation
possibilities

Differentiated questions (easy to hard) in booklet.

Language for
learning

Power - P (Watts), dissipated (spread out), fuse, earth wire

Notes

FT and HT

Resources
Complete physics p.196/7
Physics - The formula bits booklet
Absorb Physics online - Electrical safety

What is the function of the earth wire in a metal electrical kettle?

The rate of energy transfer (power) is given by:


power = potential difference x current

1 watt is the transfer of 1J of energy in 1s.

A fuse is used to turn off the electricity supply if the current to a device gets too high. A 5A fuse will blow (melt) if the current through it exceeds
5A

Y11 Physics

Scheme of work

Topic 5 - Current electricity


Open-minded

Session: 9

Risk-takers

Communicators
Balanced
Principled

Caring

Summative assessment

Learning objectives

Knowledgeable

Inquirers

Number of periods:

Learning activities and expected products

Reflective

Resources
Topic test

Thinkers