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Teacher Guide

Cambridge IGCSE
Physics

0625

Cambridge Secondary 2

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permitted to copy material from this booklet for their own internal use. However, we cannot give permission
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IGCSE is the registered trademark of Cambridge International Examinations.
Cambridge International Examinations February 2015

Contents
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 2
The purpose of the teacher guide
What do I need to get started?

Section 1: Syllabus overview ............................................................................................... 3


1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5

Aims
Assessment objectives
The assessment structure
Curriculum content
Practical assessment

Section 2: Planning the course ............................................................................................ 8


2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4

Key factors to consider when planning your course


Long-term planning
Medium-term planning
Short-term planning

Section 3: Planning lessons ............................................................................................... 11


3.1 Lesson plans and templates
3.2 Constructing a lesson plan
3.3 Reflection and evaluation

Section 4: Classroom practice ........................................................................................... 13


4.1 Practical lessons
4.2 Active learning
4.3 Differentiation

Section 5: Preparing learners for final assessment ............................................................ 15


5.1 Use of past papers, mark schemes and Principal Examiners Reports
5.2 Command words

Section 6: Resources and support ..................................................................................... 17


6.1 Finding and evaluating resources
6.2 Training

Appendices ...................................................................................................................... 18
Appendix A: A suggested teaching order (1)
Appendix B: A suggested teaching order (2)
Appendix C: Sample medium-term plan
Appendix D: Sample lesson plan template
Appendix E: Sample plan for a 70 minute lesson on the law of reflection
Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

Introduction

Introduction
The purpose of the teacher guide
This teacher guide is designed to introduce you to the IGCSE Physics syllabus and support materials from
Cambridge. It will help you to organise and plan your teaching. It also offers advice and guidance on delivery,
classroom practice (including practical work) and preparing your learners for their final assessment.

What do I need to get started?


When planning your course, your starting point should be the syllabus, which contains a large quantity of
essential information. It is most important that you become thoroughly familiar with all parts of the syllabus
document.
You then need to devise a scheme of work. To do this, you need to think how you will organise the time
that you have available to help students to understand and learn all of the facts and concepts required by
the syllabus, and to develop the skills such as handling data and planning experiments that are also
required. Cambridge provides a sample scheme of work that you could use as a starting point, but you will
undoubtedly want to produce your own at some point.
Your scheme of work will help you to determine what resources you will require to deliver the course. You
need to ensure that you have sufficient laboratory facilities to allow learners to carry out the practical work
that is needed. You will also need to build up teaching, learning and reference resources such as text books
and worksheets.
You should make sure, at an early stage, that you have access to the secure online support available to
Cambridge teachers, Teacher Support, at http://teachers.cie.org.uk
This provides a wide range of resources to help you, including past examination papers, mark schemes
and examiner reports. All of these are invaluable in helping you and your learners to understand exactly
what Cambridge expects of candidates in examinations, which will help you to prepare your students
appropriately.
This guidance document provides suggestions and help with all of these aspects of planning your IGCSE
Physics course.
Please have your copy of the most recent syllabus with you as you read through this document, as
you will need to refer to it frequently. References indicate the relevant pages of the syllabus, and also
other documents to which you should refer as you work through this guide.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 1: Syllabus overview

Section 1: Syllabus overview


1.1 Aims
The syllabus aims, which are not in order of priority, are listed at the start of Section 5 in the syllabus.
The aims provide you with an overview of what Cambridge expects learners to experience and achieve
as they follow their IGCSE Physics course. You should bear these in mind as you plan your scheme of
work. Notice that many of the aims relate to attitudes and skills, rather than simply the accumulation of
knowledge. A Cambridge IGCSE Physics learner should develop attitudes and skills that will be useful in
many areas of their life, long after they have taken their IGCSE Physics examinations.

1.2 Assessment objectives


The assessment objectives are statements about what will actually be tested in the final examinations. Each
question or task that is set in the examination relates to one or more of these assessment objectives (AOs).
All of the IGCSE Science syllabuses have the same three AOs. These are:
AO1: Knowledge with understanding
AO2: Handling information and problem solving
AO3: Experimental skills and investigations
Each of these AOs has several components.

AO1: Knowledge with understanding


Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
1. scientific phenomena, facts, laws, definitions, concepts, theories
2. scientific vocabulary, terminology, conventions (including symbols, quantities and units)
3. scientific instruments and apparatus, including techniques of operation and aspects of safety
4. scientific and technological applications with their social, economic and environmental applications
The knowledge that learners should acquire is described in the Content section of the syllabus.

AO2: Handling information and problem solving


Candidates should be able, using oral, written, symbolic, graphical and numerical forms of presentation, to:
1. locate, select, organise and present information from a variety of sources
2. translate information from one form to another
3. manipulate numerical and other data
4. use information to identify patterns, report trends and draw inferences
5. present reasoned explanations of phenomena, patterns and relationships
6. make predictions and propose hypotheses
7. solve problems, including some of a quantitative nature

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 1: Syllabus overview

Questions testing AO2 will frequently be based on contexts and information that are unfamiliar to
candidates. They will require candidates to apply the facts, principles and concepts that they have learnt
(specified in the syllabus content) to new situations. Candidates need to develop confidence in applying their
knowledge and understanding in a logical way, using reasoning or calculation to deduce suitable answers.
This means that your course needs to do much more than simply teach learners the material described
in the Content section of the syllabus. It must also help them to develop these skills of reasoning and
deduction.

AO3: Experimental skills and investigations


Candidates should be able to:
1. demonstrate knowledge of how to safely use techniques, apparatus and materials (including following a
sequence of instructions where appropriate)
2. plan experiments and investigations
3. make and record observations, measurements and estimates
4. interpret and evaluate experimental observations and data
5. evaluate methods and suggest possible improvements.
The development of experimental skills (scientific enquiry skills) should be an important part of your scheme
of work. Learners should have the opportunity to do a wide range of practical work throughout their course.
Some of this will require laboratory facilities, but most practical activities in Physics can be done in a normal
classroom.

1.3 The assessment structure


It is a good idea, right from the start of planning your IGCSE Physics course, to make sure that you have a
full understanding of how your learners will be assessed by Cambridge at the end of it. There are choices
to be made about which papers students can be entered for. You do not need to make final decisions about
these straight away they are made when you actually enter your learners for the examinations, a few
months before the examination period but you should keep them in mind as you construct your scheme of
work and lesson plans.
Each learner will need to take three components, called papers.

Paper 1 or Paper 2
Each candidate takes either Paper 1 (Core) or Paper 2 (Extended). These are multiple-choice papers. The
questions test AO1 and AO2. The Papers are taken in an examination room, under strict examination
conditions. The completed answer sheets are sent to Cambridge to be marked.
You need to be aware of the differences between these two papers.

Paper 3 or Paper 4
Each candidate takes either Paper 3 (Core) or Paper 4 (Extended). These are both made up of structured
questions, which test AO1 and AO2. The papers are taken in an examination room, under strict examination
conditions. The completed papers are sent to Cambridge to be marked.
You need to be aware of the differences between these two papers.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 1: Syllabus overview

Papers 1 and 3 are easier than Papers 2 and 4. This is because:


Paper 1 tests candidates on their knowledge and understanding of the Core syllabus content only, while
Paper 2 tests them on their knowledge and understanding of the Core and Supplement content. (See 1.4.1
for an explanation of Core and Supplement content.)
Paper 3 tends to contain questions that are slightly less demanding in terms of reasoning skills than Paper 4.
The questions tend to be shorter, contain less reading for candidates, and require shorter answers.
However many marks candidates obtain on Papers 1 and 3, they cannot achieve more than a Grade C.
Candidates taking Papers 2 and 4 can achieve any grade from A* down to G.
An understanding of the differences between these papers will help you to decide on whether you will
teach both the Core and Supplement syllabus content, or the Core only. Candidates who are unlikely to get
a Grade C are likely to achieve a better grade if they study only the Core and take Papers 1 and 3. However,
candidates who you think stand a good chance of achieving a Grade C or above should study both Core
and Supplement (known as the Extended Curriculum), and take Papers 2 and 4. This is also important for
candidates who are likely to want to continue their studies of Physics beyond IGCSE.

Paper 5 or Paper 6
Each candidate takes either Paper 5 or Paper 6. These test AO3, Experimental skills and investigations. (See
also section 1.5 Practical assessment.)
Paper 5 is a practical examination. The paper typically consists of four questions, three of which will require
the use of apparatus.
Several weeks before the examination is taken, Cambridge will send you a list of apparatus that you need to
supply. During the examination, your candidates will work in a laboratory, each with their own working space
and set of apparatus, under strict examination conditions. They will write their answers in an examination
paper, just as they would for a theory examination. The examination paper is sent back to Cambridge to be
marked.
Paper 6 is a written paper. The questions test the same experimental skills as Paper 5, and contains many of
the same question parts. The paper is taken in a normal examination room, and is sent to Cambridge to be
marked.

Weightings
The weighting of a paper tells you the relative importance of that paper in deciding the candidates overall
mark and final grade. The table below summarises the weightings of the three components that a candidate
will take at the end of their course.
Paper

Weighting

Paper 1 or 2

30%

Paper 3 or 4

50%

Paper 5 or 6

20%

You will remember that Papers 1, 2, 3 and 4 test largely AO1 and AO2.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 1: Syllabus overview

The table below summarises how the three assessment objectives are tested in the three examination
components. It also shows the weighting of the three AOs in the whole examination.
Assessment
objective

Paper 1
and 2

Paper 3
and 4

Paper 5
and 6

Weighting of
AO in overall
qualification

AO1: Knowledge with


understanding

63%

63%

50%

AO2: Handling
information and
problem solving

37%

37%

30%

100%

20%

30%

50%

20%

AO3: Experimental
skills and
investigations
Weighting of paper in
overall examination

If you look at the final column of the table above, you can see that:

Assessment Objective 1 makes up 50% of the whole assessment

Assessment Objective 2 makes up 30% of the whole assessment

Assessment Objective 3 makes up 20% of the whole assessment

This means that only half of the total marks in the three examination papers are for knowledge and
understanding of the syllabus content. Half of the marks are for being able to use this knowledge and
understanding in new contexts, and for experimental skills. It is essential to bear this in mind as you plan
your IGCSE Physics course. You need to spend at least as much time helping students to develop their AO2
and AO3 skills, as in helping them to learn facts and concepts.

1.4 Curriculum content


The largest section in the syllabus is Section 6, Syllabus content. It is here that you will find details of
exactly what your learners need to know and understand by the end of the course. It is presented as a
series of bullet points (learning objectives) which state clearly what candidates should be able to do in the
examination papers that they take at the end of their course. Each question that is included in the papers,
tests one or more of these learning objectives. Learning objectives for the practical and experimental skills
that your learners will also need to be taught are listed in Section 7 of the syllabus.
You should read each learning objective very carefully. Each one gives you clear guidance about exactly
what candidates should learn.

1.4.1 Core and Supplement


One of the first things you will notice about the syllabus content is that it is presented in two columns.
The left hand column is the Core content. All candidates need to cover all of this. This will be tested in all
papers.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 1: Syllabus overview

The right hand column is the Supplement content. All candidates who you think are likely to achieve a good
Grade C or above should cover all of this, as well as the Core. The Core plus Supplement makes up the
Extended content. This will be tested only in Papers 2 and 4.

1.4.2 Syllabus content


The syllabus content has five main sections.
1. General Physics
2. Thermal Physics
3. Properties of waves, including light and sound
4. Electricity and magnetism
5. Atomic physics
These sections vary in their amount of content.

1.5 Practical assessment


Section 7 of the syllabus covers the alternative ways of assessing practical skills in some detail. Paper 5
involves actually carrying out practical work in a practical examination at the end of the course. Paper 6 is a
written paper designed to assess the same practical skills.
The following points must be noted:

the same assessment objectives apply

the same practical skills are to be learned and developed

the same sequence of practical activities during the course is appropriate

In section 7.1 of the syllabus there is a list of apparatus that may be required by candidates entering for
Paper 5. The availability of this apparatus should be checked before entering candidates for the practical
examination. The confidential Instructions, sent by Cambridge a few weeks before the examination, will
provide details of the exact requirements.
The Cambridge teachers website (http://teachers.cie.org.uk) has further very helpful information about
Practical Physics under the heading Practical Physics Notes Addendum to Syllabus. This contains a list
of apparatus that is typically used to teach the IGCSE Physics syllabus and more advice relating to Papers 5
and 6.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 2: Planning the course

Section 2: Planning the course


This section looks at how you can plan your course to ensure that you can cover the whole syllabus
(whether this is to be just the Core, or the Core plus Supplement) within the time that you have available. It
includes long-term planning (developing a scheme of work) and planning for individual lessons.

2.1 Key factors to consider when planning your course


These factors will need to be considered before starting the planning of your course:

the amount of teaching time available each week for the duration of the course.

the availability of resources such as laboratories and chemical equipment.

the previous learning of your students.

whether your teaching groups will be mixed ability or will be streamed by ability.

the number of lessons you will need to cover the syllabus (the recommended time for an IGCSE course
is 130 hours of teaching time)

the school calendar ( holidays, examinations, etc.).

2.2 Long-term planning


A long-term plan will provide the overall structure of your course. It will include the order in which topics will
be taught, the approximate length of time to be spent on each and the factors listed in section 2.1 above.
It will need to take into account the number and nature of the groups following the course and if they should
all follow the same path through the course. There may, for example, be issues with the use of laboratory
space if two groups are studying a topic requiring a large amount of practical work at the same time. In this
case it would be better if the plan was organised so that groups could study such a topic at different times.
Topics should also, ideally, be arranged so that they fit into the schools sessions, so that a topic is not split
because of a school holiday or an examination session.
In a two year course the second year will probably have fewer weeks because of the timing of the
Cambridge examinations.
It is important to note that you do not need to teach the syllabus content in the order in which it is printed
in the syllabus. It is likely that you will want to order your teaching to suit your particular needs and
preferences. This may be done in a number of ways.

Starting with a course in practical techniques to generate enthusiasm.

Starting with topics which are conceptually easier, saving the more difficult topics for the second year of
the course.

Using the suggested pattern in the schemes of work provided on Teacher Support.

Following your own interests and enthusiasms to begin with.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 2: Planning the course

2.3 Medium-term planning


Medium-term planning is the most important of the three types. It defines, in some detail, what will be
taught and when. It also details how practical work and other activities are to be incorporated into the
course.
Medium-term plans are often called Schemes of Work and these schemes inform you and other Physics
teachers in your school what will happen and when.
Some examples of schemes of work can be found on Teacher Support http://teachers.cie.org.uk. A
password is needed to access the site and your Examination Officer will be able to provide you with one.
These schemes of work are useful resources but are not really suitable as an alternative to your own
medium-term planning because:

they take no account of the situation in your Centre

they are arranged in a way which may not be what you had designed in your long term plan

they have no statement of the amount of time required

they have many suggestions for suitable activities and web sites which you would not necessarily have
the time or the resources to follow.

However, they can still be useful.

They could be used as they stand as one way of moving through the course, although timings for each
section would have to be added.

They are certainly a good source of possible practical exercises and web addresses.

However:
Always check URLs before using them. Web addresses do change from time to time and you need to know
what you would be accessing in advance.
It is really better to develop your own scheme of work as this is more likely to be suitable for your Centre
and your learners.
An example of a medium-term plan is included in Appendix C.
A medium-term plan is best developed with contributions from all of the teachers who will be using it. If
they have had an input they will feel an ownership of the plan and will be more likely to adhere to it.
A medium-term plan, like a long-term plan, should not be set in stone. It should, if necessary, be amended
if it is found not to be working as planned. It should certainly be reviewed at the end of each year to assess
how well it has worked and to decide if any improvements could be incorporated.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 2: Planning the course

2.4 Short-term planning


Short-term planning involves planning for a single lesson or perhaps a small group of lessons. It involves not
only the content of the lesson but also the activities which will take place and the progress that is expected
of the learners during the lesson.
Short-term planning is something which is done by an individual teacher, taking into account their own
strengths and the needs of the learners they will be teaching. Teachers new to the subject may need
guidance but the plan should still be their own.
This process is covered in more detail in the next section.

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Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 3: Planning lessons

Section 3: Planning lessons


3.1 Lesson plans and templates
A lesson plan is written by the teacher and should include details of how the lesson is intended to proceed.
It should take account of:

what is to be taught (learning objectives)

what is to be achieved by the learners (lesson objectives)

what the learners already know (previous learning).

It should detail the learning activities which will take place and have approximate timings showing how long
each part of the lesson will last.
A lesson should ideally have three main parts:

a beginning which engages and motivates the learners

a middle which covers the main learning activities of the lesson

an end, in which learners can assess their understanding of what has gone before.

It is most convenient to have a printed template to use in lesson planning. You could design your own but
there are many available on the internet or in books. One example is included in Appendix D. A sample
lesson using the template is provided in Appendix E.

3.2 Constructing a lesson plan


1.

Learning objectives. This will be based on something written in your medium-term plan. It will state
which part of the syllabus the lesson is going to address.

2.

Lesson objectives. These may be the same as the learning objectives but more often will be only a
part of them. This is what you intend the learners to fully grasp by the end of the lesson. It should be a
realistic target and many learning objectives will take more than one lesson to be fully understood.

3.

Lesson beginning (starter). This should be a relatively brief part of the lesson and should switch the
learners on to Physics, rather than what they were doing previously. It may be a short question and
answer session, a video clip or a simple written task to assess what they know about the topic to be
covered. It could even be a rapid practical demonstration to introduce them to the topic to be covered in
the lesson. Give an estimated time, usually about five minutes.

4.

Lesson middle (the main activity). This may build on and extend previous understanding, explore and
solve practical problems, develop knowledge and skills, practise previously learned techniques or any of
many other alternatives. It is important not to include too many activities, but equally important not to
spend so much time on one activity that learners become de-motivated. Good lessons will involve the
learners in the activities as much as possible. Timings should be included for each separate activity.

5.

Lesson end (plenary). This part of the lesson brings it to an organised conclusion. Learners can
assess how well they understand the material covered during the lesson. This may involve a short
written exercise or a question and answer session. It may also be used to link to whatever is going to
happen in the next session. This should again take around five minutes at most.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

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Section 3: Planning lessons

6.

Resources. Your plan should also include a list of the resources (books, internet, practical equipment,
chemicals, etc.) which will be needed in each session of the lesson.

7.

Risk Assessment. If your lesson includes any practical activity, whether a demonstration or a class
practical, an assessment of the risks involved should be included with the lesson plan.

8.

Assessment of Learning. How will you check:

9.

what your learners know/understand before the lesson

how this has changed after the lesson.

Differentiation. How will you try to ensure that the lesson is accessible to all of the learners so that all
will benefit from the experience? This is especially important ...with mixed ability groups. There is more
on differentiation in the next section.

3.3 Reflection and evaluation


As soon as possible after the lesson you need to think about how well (or badly) it went. There are two
reasons for this; if you share your plan with other teachers in your Centre it will enable them to learn from
your experiences. It is a good idea to discuss with colleagues how well lessons went. This applies whether
they went well or whether there were problems.
It will also help next time you teach the same topic. If the timing was wrong or the activities did not fully
occupy the learners you may want to change some aspects of the lesson next time.
There is no need to re-plan a successful lesson every year, but it is always good to learn from experience
and to incorporate improvements next time.
In the template in the appendix there is a place to record your evaluation of the lesson.

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Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 4: Classroom practice

Section 4: Classroom practice


The aim of any teacher is to get their learners to gain knowledge and understanding and to develop as many
skills as possible in the time available.
The teaching should also differentiate between the different needs and abilities of the learners in the group.
It is not always possible to fulfil all of these, but it is good to try. Lessons should at least be interesting and
involve the learners as much as possible.

4.1 Practical lessons


Physics is a practical subject. The syllabus does not specify many particular experiments because Centres
will have different apparatus available. However, all sections should be enhanced by the use of practical
work, or practical simulations where experiments are not possible (for example in the radioactivity section).
A list of possible practicals linked to syllabus sections is provided in Appendix F.
Practical work is usually motivating to learners, whether it is a class practical or a teacher demonstration, but
it should always have a purpose other than entertainment. It may

develop the skills that the learners need

generate enthusiasm

illustrate facts or concepts which are being studied

provide a stimulus for further study.

It may, of course, accomplish more than one of these.

4.1.1 Class practicals


Ideally class practicals should be carried out in small groups (two or three learners). In this way students
learn to work co-operatively and can also, by discussion, develop their understanding of what is taking place.
Working in groups also means that less equipment is needed.
Candidates entering for Paper 5 will also need to practise on their own as this is what they will need to do in
the practical examination.
It is essential to try out a practical activity before asking a class to do it. In this way you can anticipate the
problems that they might discover. It also gives you a good idea of how long the activity might last; learners
will probably take longer than you.
It is important that the instructions you give are clear. Oral instructions are fine for a simple task but if there
are a number of steps involved, a written worksheet is a good idea. Such a sheet can be reused each time
the practical is attempted. Worksheets are also useful to teachers who are new to teaching your scheme.
It is important that learners know why they are carrying out the practical activity. They should be
encouraged to reflect on what they are doing so that they are not merely following a set of instructions
but seeing the purpose of the activity. Discussion with the teacher is very important in order that learners
understand the significance of the results, can draw a conclusion, suggest precautions required for reliability
and recognise the variables that should be controlled. There should be opportunities for learners to plan and
carry out their own investigations, and write their own methods, as well as following given instructions.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

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Section 4: Classroom practice

4.1.2 Demonstration experiments


There are occasions when an experiment demonstrated by the teacher in front of the class is necessary
or more appropriate, but this type of practical should never replace class practical work. A practical may be
demonstrated:

where complex or expensive apparatus is required

where the procedure is too dangerous for a class practical

where the teacher wishes to demonstrate a technique to be used by the class.

4.1.3 Risk assessment


It is essential that the risks involved in any practical carried out by a teacher or a learner are assessed. What
is safe for a teacher to do may not be safe in a class practical. What is safe for one group of learners may
not be safe for another.
A risk assessment involves not only the apparatus used, and what is to be done with it, but also who is
doing it and where.

4.2 Active learning


Not every topic in Physics can be taught by means of a memorable experiment, but these should be
included wherever possible as well-focused practical work can provide a good opportunity for active
learning.
A description or explanation by the teacher is easily forgotten by the learner, even if it was understood in the
first place. Videos and computer animations can help, but they are still passive. The learner is not involved
in discovering the information.
Research has shown that the more a learner is involved in the process of learning, the more they retain.
More active learning activities include teaching others, for example by preparing a presentation, practising
doing questions, calculations and practical techniques, and engaging in group discussion.

4.3 Differentiation
Differentiation is a way of trying to ensure that members of your group with differing abilities can all access
the material you are delivering. There are a number of ways of approaching this problem and, again, they can
be found in books and on the web. They fall into three main categories.

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Differentiation by outcome. In this method an open-ended task is set which can be accessed by all, e.g.
Find out how high a ball bounces. Learners will produce different results according to their ability, but
all of their outputs will be valid.

Differentiation by task. Learners are set slightly different tasks based on the same objective. This may
involve worksheets which pose questions on the same topic where differing amounts of understanding
are required.

Differentiation by support. All learners undertake the same task but those who are weaker are given
additional support; writing frames, where a template is provided for them to record their work, are one
way of doing this.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 5: Preparing learners for final assessment

Section 5: Preparing learners for final assessment


Your Physics course will end with your learners being assessed by an external examination. It is clearly a
good idea to ensure that they are prepared as well as possible for this. There are a number of things to bear
in mind when approaching this task.

5.1 Use of past papers, mark schemes and Principal Examiners


Reports
There are plenty of past papers on Teacher Support. These can be downloaded and used to give your
learners practice in answering the type of questions they will meet in the actual examination. There are also
mark schemes which will inform you of which answers were considered correct by the examiners. The
Principal Examiners report for each paper will tell you of common errors made by candidates who sat that
paper and the type of answers that showed very good understanding and skill.
Work on whole papers should, of course, be done towards the end of your course, but individual questions
can be used as tests at the end of individual topics. This can be useful not only when the topic is first
taught, but also when it is briefly revised at the end of the course.
Examination papers and questions can be set and marked by the teacher but it is also useful for learners to
mark each others papers as you go through the answers, or to allow learners to mark their own papers as
part of a class exercise as you discuss with them what the correct answers might be.
There are different things that need to be borne in mind in the different papers.

Papers 1 and 2
These papers consist of forty multiple choice questions. Each question has four possible responses: the
correct answer and three distractors. Some of these distractors are, intentionally, very similar to the correct
answer and it is easy to choose the wrong one especially if a candidate does not read all of the possible
responses and instead opts for the first one which seems about right.
The following are useful pieces of advice for those attempting multiple-choice questions.

Never leave an answer blank. No marks are lost for wrong answers.

Always read all of the responses before deciding on an answer (see above).

Look out for the word not as in which of the following is not...; candidates often get such questions
wrong through carelessness.

If you do not know the correct answer, dont just guess, cross out any which are obviously wrong first. It
is better to guess one of two than one of four.

Dont spend too long thinking about a difficult question; leave it and come back to it later.

Some questions may involve carrying out a calculation; candidates may find it helpful to write out the
relevant equation and working on the question paper.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

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Section 5: Preparing learners for final assessment

Papers 3 and 4
Both of these papers consist of a number of short answer questions together with a smaller number of
questions requiring longer answers. In both papers 3 and 4, you will find questions requiring calculations.
The following are useful pieces of advice for those attempting these papers.

If an answer is given more than one mark, more than one piece of information is needed.

In answers involving calculations, show your working.

The number of lines provided for an answer is a guide to the amount of information required.

Papers 5 and 6
To prepare for these papers, candidates need to have had plenty of experience of practical work during the
IGCSE course. Additionally candidates should practise using past papers in order to be familiar with the
amount of work required in the time allowed for the examination. Section 7 of the syllabus lists the different
experimental skills tested in papers 5 and 6. Information on the recording and presentation of data is given
in Section 8.

5.2 Command words


Section 8.4 in the syllabus gives a very useful list of command words used in examinations and their
meanings. These tell candidates about the type of answer that is required. For example, state implies
a concise answer with little or no supporting argument whereas suggest implies that there are several
acceptable answers and that the candidate is asked to select one.

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Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Section 6: Resources and support

Section 6: Resources and support


6.1 Finding and evaluating resources
Teacher Support is Cambridges online facility for Cambridge teachers. It can be found at
http://teachers.cie.org.uk. Teacher Support lists many suitable resources including endorsed text books. Text
books should be selected depending on the learners needs. It is a good idea to have a range of different text
books as a resource for teachers in addition to the one chosen as the class text book.
Teacher Support also has a large bank of past papers, mark schemes, Principal Examiners reports in
addition to subject specific discussion forums and community pages.
There is a huge amount of material available on the internet but this must be used with great care as much
is of relatively poor quality and some contains wrong Physics. A very reliable and good source for practical
work is to be found at www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics

6.2 Training
Teacher Support carries details about training events. Face-to-face training events are held in a variety of
countries around the world. Here you can meet other IGCSE Physics teachers and take part in training led by
a Cambridge trainer.
Online courses, spread over a few weeks and designed to help improve your teaching skills, are also offered
and short (usually 2 hours) on-line, interactive seminars focus on specific issues for example the most
recent examination.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

17

Appendices

Appendices
Appendix A: A suggested teaching order (1)
Appendix B: A suggested teaching order (2)
Appendix C: Sample medium-term plan
Appendix D: Sample lesson plan template
Appendix E: Sample plan for a 70 minute lesson on the law of reflection
Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

18

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Appendix A: A suggested teaching order (1)

Appendix A: A suggested teaching order (1)


The table shows a teaching order with the CIE Physics 0625 Syllabus sections alongside for easy reference.
The notes on each section briefly explain the reasoning behind the teaching order.
Note that section 1.1 is not taught as a separate topic but the knowledge and skills are taught within
practical work related to other topics.
Topic

Syllabus
Section

LIGHT

Notes

Start with something the


students already know about.
They have all looked in mirrors.
This builds confidence at the
beginning of the course.

Reflection of light

3.2.1

Refraction of light

3.2.2

Thin converging lens

3.2.3

Dispersion of light

3.2.4

ELECTRICITY

Tackle a difficult topic next it


then has plenty of time to sink in
before the final examinations.

Electric charge

4.2.1

Current

4.2.2

Electro-motive force

4.2.3

Potential difference

4.2.4

Circuit diagrams

4.3.1

Series and parallel circuits

4.3.2

Resistance

4.2.5

Electrical working

4.2.6

Dangers of electricity

4.5

Include an investigation of
length and resistance of a wire.
Diameter of wire measured with
a micrometer (part of 1.1)

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

19

Appendix A: A suggested teaching order (1)

Topic

Syllabus
Section

ENERGY

Another difficult concept that


needs plenty of discussion and
time to absorb. The concept of
energy will reappear all through
the course.

Energy

1.7.1

Energy resources

1.7.2

Work

1.7.3

Power

1.7.4

MECHANICS 1

This section contains the most


mathematics. Some students
find this daunting so it is covered
fairly early in the course to give
time for plenty of practice.

Density

1.4 & part


1.1

Mass and weight

1.3

Motion

1.2

Scalars and vectors

1.5.5

Pressure

1.8

ELECTROMAGNETISM

20

Include an investigation of the


simple pendulum. Short time
intervals to be measured (part of
1.1)

Some difficult concepts here but


students should by now have the
confidence to tackle it. However
there is still time for the concepts
to be absorbed.

Simple phenomena of magnetism

4.1

Electromagnetic induction

4.6.1

a.c. generator

4.6.2

Transformer

4.6.3

The magnetic effect of a current

4.6.4

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Notes

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20

Appendix A: A suggested teaching order (1)

Topic

Syllabus
Section

Force on a current-carrying conductor

4.6.5

d.c. motor

4.6.6

MECHANICS 2

Another more mathematical


section.

Effects of forces

1.5.1

Turning effect

1.5.2

Conditions for equilibrium

1.5.3

Centre of mass

1.5.4

Momentum

1.6

THERMAL PHYSICS

Well over half way into


the course now so a more
descriptive section that can be
fairly readily understood.

States of matter

2.1.1

Molecular model

2.1.2

Evaporation

2.1.3

Pressure changes

2.1.4

Thermal expansion of solids, liquids and


gases

2.2.1

Measurement of temperature

2.2.2

Thermal capacity

2.2.3

Melting and boiling

2.2.4

Conduction

2.3.1

Convection

2.3.2

Radiation

2.3.3

Consequences of energy transfer

2.3.4

WAVES

21

Another largely descriptive


section with a challenge to
understand diffraction.

General wave properties

3.1

Electromagnetic spectrum

3.3

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Notes

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21

Appendix A: A suggested teaching order (1)

Topic

Syllabus
Section

Sound

3.4

ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS

The final examinations approach.


Once the basics are understood
here there is not too much to
learn.

Atomic model

5.1.1

Nucleus

5.1.2

Detection of radioactivity

5.2.1

Characteristics of the three kinds of


emission

5.2.2

Radioactive decay

5.2.3

Half-life

5.2.4

Safety precautions

5.2.5

ELECTRONICS

22

A final descriptive section as the


examinations are close. This can
provide a break from revision to
maintain interest.

Action and use of circuit components

4.3.2

Digital electronics

4.3.3

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Notes

v0.1 Cambridge IGCSE Physics

22

Appendix B: A suggested teaching order (2)

Appendix B: A suggested teaching order (2)


The table shows a teaching order with the CIE Physics 0625 Syllabus sections alongside for easy reference.
The notes on each section briefly explain the reasoning behind the teaching order.
Note that section 1.1 is not taught as a separate topic but the knowledge and skills are taught within
practical work related to other topics.
Topic

Syllabus
Section

MECHANICS 1

This section contains the most


mathematics. Some students
find this daunting so it is covered
at the beginning of the course to
give time for plenty of practice.

Density

1.4 & part


1.1

Mass and weight

1.3

Motion

1.2

Scalars and vectors

1.5.5

Pressure

1.8

Effects of forces

1.5.1

Turning effect

1.5.2

Conditions for equilibrium

1.5.3

Centre of mass

1.5.4

Momentum

1.6

ELECTRICITY

23

Include an investigation of the


simple pendulum. Short time
intervals to be measured (part of
1.1)

Tackle another difficult topic


next it then has plenty of
time to sink in before the final
examinations.

Electric charge

4.2.1

Current

4.2.2

Electro-motive force

4.2.3

Cambridge IGCSE Physics v0.1

Notes

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

23

Appendix B: A suggested teaching order (2)

Topic

Syllabus
Section

Potential difference

4.2.4

Circuit diagrams

4.3.1

Series and parallel circuits

4.3.2

Resistance

4.2.5

Electrical working

4.2.6

Dangers of electricity

4.5

LIGHT

Reflection of light

3.2.1

Refraction of light

3.2.2

Thin converging lens

3.2.3

Dispersion of light

3.2.4
Another difficult concept that
needs plenty of discussion and
time to absorb. The concept of
energy will reappear all through
the course.

Energy

1.7.1

Work

1.7.3

Power

1.7.4

ELECTROMAGNETISM

Some difficult concepts here but


students should by now have the
confidence to tackle it. However
there is still time for the concepts
to be absorbed.

Simple phenomena of magnetism

4.1

Electromagnetic induction

4.6.1

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Include an investigation of
length and resistance of a wire.
Diameter of wire measured with
a micrometer (part of 1.1)

Next, something the students


already know about. They have
all looked in mirrors. This builds
confidence after the more
difficult beginning of the course.

ENERGY 1

24

Notes

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24

Appendix B: A suggested teaching order (2)

Topic

Syllabus
Section

a.c. generator

4.6.2

Transformer

4.6.3

The magnetic effect of a current

4.6.4

Force on a current-carrying conductor

4.6.5

d.c. motor

4.6.6

THERMAL PHYSICS

Well over half way into the


course but students can be
encouraged that all the most
difficult concepts have now been
covered.

States of matter

2.1.1

Molecular model

2.1.2

Evaporation

2.1.3

Pressure changes

2.1.4

Thermal expansion of solids, liquids and


gases

2.2.1

Measurement of temperature

2.2.2

Thermal capacity

2.2.3

Melting and boiling

2.2.4

Conduction

2.3.1

Convection

2.3.2

Radiation

2.3.3

Consequences of energy transfer

2.3.4

WAVES

25

Another largely descriptive


section with a challenge to
understand diffraction.

General wave properties

3.1

Electromagnetic spectrum

3.3

Sound

3.4

Cambridge IGCSE Physics v0.1

Notes

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

25

Appendix B: A suggested teaching order (2)

Topic

Syllabus
Section

ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS

The final examinations approach.


Once the basics are understood
here there is not too much to
learn.

Atomic model

5.1.1

Nucleus

5.1.2

Detection of radioactivity

5.2.1

Characteristics of the three kinds of


emission

5.2.2

Radioactive decay

5.2.3

Half-life

5.2.4

Safety precautions

5.2.5

ELECTRONICS

A descriptive section as the


examinations are close. This can
provide a break from revision to
maintain interest.

Action and use of circuit components

4.3.2

Digital electronics

4.3.3

ENERGY 2

Energy resources

26

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Notes

A final descriptive section that is


quite easy for students to absorb
before the examinations.
1.7.2

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26

Appendix C: Sample medium-term plan

Appendix C: Sample medium-term plan


Syllabus
Reference

Learning objective

Teaching
activities

Resources

Reflection of
light 3.2.1

CORE: Describe the formation


of an optical image by a
plane mirror, and give its
characteristics

Class practical to
find the position
of the image in
a plane mirror by
the method of no
parallax.

Optics pins, plane


mirror and holder,
cork mat or similar
(for pins to stick
in), plain A4 paper.

Class practical
to investigate
relationship
between angle
of incidence and
angle of reflection
using a plane
mirror.

Ray box, plane


mirror and holder,
plain A4 paper.

Class practicals
showing refraction
(e.g. pencil half in
water).

Pencils or wooden
rods, 250cm3
beakers, water.

SUPPLEMENT: Recall that


the image in a plane mirror is
virtual.
3.2.1

CORE: recall and use the law


angle of incidence = angle of
reflection
SUPPLEMENT: Perform simple
constructions, measurements
and calculations for reflection
by plane mirrors.

Refraction
of light
3.2.2

CORE: Describe an
experimental demonstration of
the refraction of light.
Use the terminology for the
angle of incidence i and angle
of refraction r and describe
the passage of light through
parallel-sided transparent
material.

Class practical
tracing the
passage of rays
through a parallelsided transparent
block.

Optics pins,
transparent block,
cork mat or similar
(for pins to stick
in), plain A4 paper.

SUPPLEMENT: Recall and use


the definition of refractive index
n in terms of speed. Recall and
use the equation
sini / sinr = n
3.2.2

CORE: Give the meaning of


critical angle.
Describe internal and total
internal reflection.
SUPPLEMENT: Recall and use
n = 1 / sinc.
Describe and explain the action
of optical fibres particularly in
medicine and communications
technology.

27

Cambridge IGCSE Physics v0.1

Class practicals
showing internal
and total internal
reflection.

Ray box, semicircular transparent


block, plain A4
paper.
Examples of
optical fibres,
e.g. table lamps,
childrens toys,
etc.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

27

Appendix C: Sample medium-term plan

Syllabus
Reference

Learning objective

Teaching
activities

Resources

Thin
converging
lens
3.2.3

CORE: Describe the action of a


thin converging lens on a beam
of light.

Class practicals
showing passage
of rays of light
through a thin
converging lens.

Cylindrical
converging lens,
ray box with three
slits, plain A4
paper.

Class exercise
in drawing ray
diagrams.

Graph or squared
paper.

Class practicals to
show formation
of enlarged
and diminished
images.

Illuminated object,
converging lens
with holder,
screen, metre rule.

Class practicals
or teacher
demonstration to
show dispersion.

60 glass prism,
ray box, screen.

Use the terms principal focus


and focal length.
Draw ray diagrams for the
formation of a real image by a
single lens.
SUPPLEMENT: Draw and use
ray diagrams for the formation
of a virtual image by a single
lens.
3.2.3

CORE: Describe the nature


of an image using the terms
enlarged/same size/diminished
and upright/inverted.
SUPPLEMENT: Use and
describe the use of a single
lens as a magnifying glass.
Show understanding of the
terms real image and virtual
image.

Dispersion
of light
3.2.4

CORE: Give a qualitative


account of the dispersion of
light as shown by the action on
light of a glass prism including
the seven colours of the
spectrum in their correct order.
SUPPLEMENT: recall that
light of a single frequency is
described as monochromatic.

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28

Appendix D: Sample lesson plan template

Appendix D: Sample lesson plan template


Lesson:

School:

Date:

Teacher name:

Class:

Number present:

Absent:

Learning objective(s)
that this lesson is
contributing to
Lesson objectives

Vocabulary,
terminology and
phrases
Previous learning

Plan
Planned
timings

Planned activities

Resources

Beginning

Middle

End

29

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29

Appendix D: Sample lesson plan template

Additional information
Differentiation how
do you plan to give
more support? How do
you plan to challenge
the more able learners?

Assessment how are


you planning to check
learners learning?

Health and safety check


ICT links

Reflection and evaluation


Reflection
Were the lesson
objectives realistic?
What did the students
learn today?
What was the learning
atmosphere like?
Did my planned
differentiation work well?
Did I stick to timings?
What changes did I make
from my plan and why?

Evaluation

Summary evaluation
What two things went really well (consider both teaching and learning)?
1:
2:
What two things would have improved the lesson (consider both teaching and learning)?
1:
2:
What have I learned from this lesson about the class or individuals that will inform my next
lesson?

30

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Appendix E: Sample plan for a 70 minute lesson on the law of reflection

Appendix E: Sample plan for a 70 minute lesson on the law of


reflection
Lesson:

School:

Date:

Teacher name:

Class:

Number present:

Absent:

Learning objective(s)
that this lesson is
contributing to

Recall and use the law angle of incidence = angle of reflection.

Lesson objectives

Investigate i = r practically. Understand the term normal.


Record readings in a table. Draw a conclusion, understanding the
concept of within the limits of experimental accuracy. Appreciate the
precautions taken to improve reliability.

Vocabulary,
terminology and
phrases

Angle of incidence, angle of reflection, normal, precaution,


experimental accuracy.

Previous learning

Experiment to find the position of the image in a plane mirror. Students


will have already been challenged about the difference between
recording actual readings and writing down expected readings.

Plan
Planned
timings

Planned activities

Resources

Beginning
5 mins

Reminder of previous experiment then quick


look at plane mirrors to see different parts of the
room according to the angle that the mirror is
held at.

Plane mirrors

10 mins

Describe experiment to be carried out.

Middle
35 mins

Students collect apparatus and carry out


experiment.

End
20 mins

Go round class asking each group to tell the


class their readings. Discuss as necessary if any
appear to have exact results. Highly unlikely
due to inherent inaccuracies. Discuss idea of
within the limits of experimental accuracy.
Discuss conclusion. Class writes conclusion.

Ray box, plane mirror and


holder, plain A4 paper (for
each pair of students).

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

31

Appendix E: Sample plan for a 70 minute lesson on the law of reflection

Additional information
Differentiation how
do you plan to give
more support? How do
you plan to challenge
the more able learners?

Assessment how are


you planning to check
learners learning?

Health and safety check


ICT links

Pre-prepared readings
table for some students.

Test understanding
of practical skills by
discussion.

Watch for broken or chipped mirrors.


Warn about hot lamp in ray box.

Test knowledge of
terminology and law of
reflection in subsequent
class test.
Reflection and evaluation
Reflection
Were the lesson
objectives realistic?
What did the students
learn today?
What was the learning
atmosphere like?
Did my planned
differentiation work well?
Did I stick to timings?
What changes did I make
from my plan and why?

Evaluation
Some needed help to construct the readings table. Some were too
careless locating the position of the rays and keeping the mirror in
position.
Experiment generally went well though.

Summary evaluation
What two things went really well (consider both teaching and learning)?
1: Conveying the idea of within the limits of experimental accuracy.
2: Sensible handling of apparatus.
What two things would have improved the lesson (consider both teaching and learning)?
1: Clearer description of how to mark the rays.
2: A short activity/video clip/quiz, related to reflection, to end the lesson.
What have I learned from this lesson about the class or individuals that will inform my next
lesson?
One group was very slow to actually start the experiment and had only three sets of readings when
the others had finished.

32

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities


Opportunities for Practical Activities
Syllabus reference

Practical Activity

1. General physics
1.1 Length and time
Core

Use and describe the use of rules and measuring


cylinders to calculate a length or a volume

Use and describe the use of clocks and devices for


measuring an interval of time
Supplement

Use and describe the use of a mechanical method


for the measurement of a small distance

Measure and describe how to measure a short


interval of time (including the period of a pendulum)

1.2 Speed, velocity and acceleration


Core

Define speed and calculate average speed from


total distance
total time
Plot and interpret a speed/time graph or a distancetime graph
Recognise from the shape of a speed-time graph
when a body is

at rest

moving with constant speed

moving with changing speed

Calculate the area under a speed-time graph to work


out the distance travelled for motion with constant
acceleration

Demonstrate understanding that acceleration is


related to changing speed

This section will be covered practically during


the course. Investigation of a pendulum
provides opportunity for an investigative
practical. The diameter of the pendulum bob
could be measured with a micrometer as
part of the investigation, covering the use of
a mechanical method for measurement of a
small distance.

Many opportunities to use apparatus such as


dynamics trolleys. Graph plotting skills can be
included.
Students aiming for the Extended Paper
can use (or see demonstrated) a free fall
apparatus to determine the acceleration of
free fall g.
An investigation of freely falling bodies
(including model parachutes) can be carried
out to illustrate the concept of terminal
velocity.

State that the acceleration of free fall for a body near


to the Earth is constant
Supplement

Distinguish between speed and velocity

Recognise linear motion for which the

acceleration is constant and calculate the


acceleration

Recognise motion for which the acceleration is not


constant

Describe qualitatively the motion of bodies falling


in a uniform gravitational field with and without air
resistance (including reference to terminal velocity)

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

33

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

1.3 Mass and weight


Core

Show familiarity with the idea of the mass of a body

State that weight is a gravitational force

Distinguish between mass and weight

Recall and use the equation W = mg

Students should become familiar with mass


and weight as they carry out a number of
experiments during the course.

Demonstrate understanding that weights (and hence


masses) may be compared using a balance
Supplement

Demonstrate an understanding that mass is a


property that resists change in motion

Describe, and use the concept of, weight as the


effect of a gravitational field on a mass

1.4 Density
Core

m
Recall and use the equation = V
Describe an experiment to determine the density of
a liquid and of a regularly shaped solid by the method
of displacement, and make the necessary calculation

Describe the determination of the density of


an irregularly shaped solid by the method of
displacement

Predict whether an object will float based on density


data

Opportunity here to use the displacement


method to find density in addition to mass
and volume determinations for regularly
shaped solids and for liquids.
The approximate density of a pupil can
be determined by knowing the mass and
calculating volume by regarding the body
as made up of a number of cylinders with a
sphere on top.
Note that specific experiments are part of the
syllabus here.

1.5 Forces
1.5.1 Effects of forces
Core

Recognise that a force may produce a change in size


and shape of a body

Plot and interpret extension-load graphs and


describe the associated experimental procedure

Describe the ways in which a force may change the


motion of a body

Find the resultant of two or more forces acting along


the same line

Recognise that if there is no resultant force on


a body it either remains at rest or continues at
constant speed in a straight line

Understand friction as the force between two


surfaces which impedes motion and results in heating

34

Recognise air resistance as a form of friction

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Opportunities for stretching spring type class


experiments. Note that a specific experiment
is part of the syllabus here. A standard
expendable steel spring can be used and
follow-up experiment with a homemade
copper spring (wind about 1m of 26swg bare
copper wire around a pencil to make the
spring) to show the effect when the elastic
limit is exceeded. Plenty of opportunities
here for practising graph skills. A collection
of elastic bands can be used to follow this
work with an investigation (effects of length,
thickness of elastic band on extension
produced by loads).
Opportunities for class experiments and
demonstrations of circular motion.

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

1.5 Forces (Continued)


1.5.1 Effects of forces
Supplement

State Hookes Law and recall and use the expression


F = k x, where k is the spring constant

Recognise the significance of the term limit of


proportionality for an extension-load graph

Recall and use the relation between force, mass and


acceleration (including the direction), F = ma

Describe qualitatively motion in a circular path due to


a perpendicular force
(F = mv 2/r is not required)

1.5.2 Turning effect


Core

Describe the moment of a force as a measure of its


turning effect and give everyday examples

Understand that increasing force or distance from


the pivot increases the moment of a force

Calculate moment using the product force


perpendicular distance from the pivot

Note that a specific experiment is part of the


syllabus here.
There is a variety of class experiments
that can be done illustrate the Principle of
Moments with good opportunities to practise
recording skills and drawing conclusions.

Apply the principle of moments to the balancing of a


beam about a pivot
Supplement

Apply the principle of moments to different


situations

1.5.3 Conditions for equilibrium


Core

Recognise that, when there is no resultant force and


no resultant turning effect, a system is in equilibrium
Supplement

Perform and describe an experiment (involving


vertical forces) to show that there is no net moment
on a body in equilibrium

1.5.4 Centre of mass


Core

Note that a particular type of experiment is


required here

Perform and describe an experiment to determine


the position of the centre of mass of a plane lamina
Describe qualitatively the effect of the position of
the centre of mass on the stability of simple objects

Note that a specific experiment is part of the


syllabus here.
The standard experiment expected is
ideal for class participation. There are
many opportunities for experiments and
demonstrations to illustrate how stability
depends on the position of centre of mass
and the size of the base of an object.

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35

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

1.5.5 Scalars and vectors


Supplement

Understand that vectors have a magnitude and


direction

Demonstrate an understanding of the difference


between scalars and vectors and give common
examples

Determine graphically the resultant of two vectors

1.6 Momentum

Understand the concepts of momentum and impulse

Recall and use the equation


momentum = mass velocity, p=mv

Recall and use the equation for impulse


Ft = mv mu

Apply the principle of the conservation of


momentum to solve simple problems in one
dimension

Simple experiments involving a row of coins


or Newtons cradle (for example) can be used
to show the idea. Momentum experiments
using dynamics trolleys can be used for
quantitative work.

1.7 Energy, work and power


1.7.1 Energy
Core

Identify changes in kinetic, gravitational potential,


chemical, elastic (strain), nuclear and internal energy
that have occurred as a result of an event or process

Recognise that energy is transferred during events


and processes, including examples of transfer by
forces (mechanical working), by electrical currents
(electrical working), by heating and by waves

Apply the principle of energy conservation to simple


examples
Supplement

36

Recall and use the expressions


kinetic energy = mv 2 and change in gravitational
potential energy = mgh

Apply the principle of conservation of energy to


examples involving multiple stages

Explain that in any event or process the energy tends


to become more spread out among the objects and
surroundings (dissipated)

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Toy cars on flexible tracks can be used to


show the conversion of gravitational potential
energy to kinetic energy.

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

1.7.2 Energy resources


Core

Describe how electricity or other useful forms of


energy may be obtained from:

chemical energy stored in fuel

water, including the energy stored in waves, in


tides, and in water behind hydroelectric dams

geothermal resources

nuclear fission

heat and light from the Sun (solar cells and


panels)

wind

Give advantages and disadvantages of each method


in terms of renewability, cost, reliability, scale and
environmental impact

Show a qualitative understanding of efficiency


Supplement

Understand that the Sun is the source of energy for


all our energy resources except geothermal, nuclear
and tidal

Show an understanding that energy is released by


nuclear fusion in the Sun

Recall and use the equation:


useful energy output
100%
efficiency =
energy input
efficiency =

useful power output


100%
power input

1.7.3 Work
Core

Demonstrate understanding that


work done = energy transferred

Opportunity for simple, quick class


experiments measuring forces required to
move objects over measured distances.

Relate (without calculation) work done to the


magnitude of a force and the distance moved in the
direction of the force
Supplement

Recall and use W = Fd = E

1.7.4 Power
Core

Relate (without calculation) power to work done and


time taken, using appropriate examples
Supplement

Opportunity for class experiments involving


students calculating personal power.

Recall and use the equation P = E / t in simple


systems

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

37

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

1.8 Pressure
Core

Recall and use the equation p = F / A

Relate pressure to force and area, using appropriate


examples

Describe the simple mercury barometer and its use


in measuring atmospheric pressure

Relate (without calculation) the pressure beneath


a liquid surface to depth and to density, using
appropriate examples

Opportunity for class experiment in which


students determine the pressure on the floor
due to their own weight.
Simple manometers can be used.
Opportunity for demonstration experiments to
show pressure in a liquid increases with depth
and pressure in a liquid acts in all directions.

Use and describe the use of a manometer


Supplement

Recall and use the equation p = hg

2. Thermal physics
2.1 Simple kinetic molecular model of matter
2.1.1 States of matter
Core

State the distinguishing properties of solids, liquids


and gases

2.1.2 Molecular model


Core

Describe qualitatively the molecular structure of


solids, liquids and gases

Interpret the temperature of a gas in terms of the


motion of its molecules

Describe qualitatively the pressure of a gas in terms


of the motion of its molecules

Show an understanding of the random motion of


particles in a suspension as evidence for the kinetic
molecular model of matter

Describe this motion (sometimes known as


Brownian motion) in terms of random molecular
bombardment
Supplement

38

Relate the properties of solids, liquids and gases to


the forces and distances between molecules and to
the motion of the molecules

Explain pressure in terms of the change of


momentum of the particles striking the walls
creating a force

Show an appreciation that massive particles may be


moved by light, fast-moving molecules

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Brownian Motion experiment (e.g. using


smoke cells viewed under a microscope).
Opportunity to use students themselves to
model the behaviour of atoms and molecules.

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

2.1.3 Evaporation
Core

Describe evaporation in terms of the escape of


more-energetic molecules from the surface of a
liquid

Opportunity for simple class experiments


showing evaporation and the cooling effect

Relate evaporation to the consequent cooling of the


liquid
Supplement

Demonstrate an understanding of how temperature,


surface area and draught over a surface influence
evaporation

Explain the cooling of a body in contact with an


evaporating liquid

2.1.4 Pressure changes


Core

Describe qualitatively, in terms of molecules, the


effect on the pressure of a gas of:
a change of temperature at constant volume

Opportunity for Boyles Law demonstration


experiment

a change of volume at constant temperature


Supplement

Recall and use the equation pV = constant for a fixed


mass of gas at constant temperature

2.2 Thermal properties and temperature


2.2.1 Thermal expansion of solids, liquids and gases
Core

Describe qualitatively the thermal expansion of


solids, liquids, and gases at constant pressure

Identify and explain some of the everyday


applications and consequences of thermal expansion
Supplement

Explain, in terms of the motion and arrangement of


molecules, the relative order of the magnitude of the
expansion of solids, liquids and gases

2.2.2 Measurement of temperature


Core

Appreciate how a physical property that varies with


temperature may be used for the measurement of
temperature, and state examples of such properties
Recognise the need for and identify fixed points

Opportunity for demonstration experiments to


show expansion of a metal rod and the force
of expansion (bar-breaker experiment).
Also the expansion of a liquid (water) using
a round-bottom flask and tube (model
thermometer) and the expansion of a gas (air)
using the fountain experiment.

Opportunity for heating and cooling curve


experiments giving graph plotting practice and
possible investigation activities.

Describe and explain the structure and action of


liquid-in-glass thermometers

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

39

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

2.2 Thermal properties and temperature


2.2.2 Measurement of temperature
Supplement

Demonstrate understanding of sensitivity, range and


linearity
Describe the structure of a thermocouple and show
understanding of its use as a thermometer for
measuring high temperatures and those that vary
rapidly

2.2.3 Thermal capacity (heat capacity)


Core

Relate a rise in the temperature of a body to an


increase in internal energy

Show an understanding of what is meant by the


thermal capacity of a body
Supplement

Recall and use the equation


change in energy=mc

Describe melting and boiling in terms of energy input


without a change in temperature
State the meaning of melting point and boiling point

Describe condensation and solidification in terms of


molecules
Supplement

40

Class experiment to determine specific heat


capacity (or, if necessary a demonstration
experiment).

Give a simple molecular account of an increase in


internal energy
Recall and use the equation thermal capacity = mc
Describe an experiment to measure the specific heat
capacity of a substance

2.2.4 Melting and boiling


Core

Note that a specific experiment is part of the


syllabus here.

Distinguish between boiling and evaporation


Use the terms latent heat of vaporisation and latent
heat of fusion and give a molecular interpretation of
latent heat
Define specific latent heat
Describe an experiment to measure specific latent
heats for steam and for ice
Recall and use the equation energy = ml

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Note that a specific experiment is part of the


syllabus here.
Class or demonstration experiments to
determine the specific latent heats for steam
and for ice.
Opportunity for class experiment to
investigate cooling curve for stearic acid
(melting point around 60 oC) as it soli difies.

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

2.3 Thermal processes


2.3.1 Conduction
Core

Describe experiments to demonstrate the properties


of good and bad conductors of heat
Supplement

Give a simple molecular account of heat transfer


in solids including lattice vibration and transfer by
electrons

2.3.2 Convection
Core

Recognise convection as an important method of


thermal transfer in fluids
Relate convection in fluids to density changes and
describe experiments to illustrate convection

2.3.3 Radiation
Core

Identify infra-red radiation as part of the


electromagnetic spectrum
Recognise that thermal energy transfer by radiation
does not require a medium

Note that specific experiments are part of the


syllabus here.
Class and demonstration experiments to
demonstrate the properties of good and bad
conductors of heat.

Note that specific experiments are part of the


syllabus here.
Class and demonstration experiments to
illustrate convection in liquids (water) and
gases (air).

Note that specific experiments are part of the


syllabus here.
Class and demonstration experiments to
demonstrate the properties of good and bad
absorbers and emitters of infra-red radiation.

Describe the effect of surface colour (black or


white) and texture (dull or shiny) on the emission,
absorption and reflection of radiation
Supplement

Describe experiments to show the properties of


good and bad emitters and good and bad absorbers
of infra-red radiation

Show understanding that the amount of radiation


emitted also depends on the surface temperature
and surface area of a body

2.3.4 Consequences of energy transfer


Core

Identify and explain some of the everyday


applications and consequences of conduction,
convection and radiation

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

41

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

3. Properties of waves, including light and sound


3.1 General wave properties
Core

Demonstrate understanding that waves transfer


energy without transmitting matter

Describe what is meant by wave motion as


illustrated by vibration in ropes and springs and by
experiments using water waves

Use the term wavefront

Give the meaning of speed, frequency, wavelength


and amplitude

Distinguish between transverse and longitudinal


waves and give suitable examples

Describe how waves can undergo:

reflection at a plane surface

refraction due to a change of speed

diffraction through a narrow gap

Opportunity for class and demonstration


experiments to illustrate wave motion using
Slinky springs, ropes, etc.
Note that a specific experiment is part of the
syllabus here.
A ripple tank can be used to show reflection,
refraction and diffraction of water waves.

Describe the use of water waves to demonstrate


reflection, refraction and diffraction
Supplement

Recall and use the equation v = f

Describe how wavelength and gap size affects


diffraction through a gap

Describe how wavelength affects diffraction at an


edge

3.2 Light
3.2.1 Reflection of light
Core

Describe the formation of an optical image by a


plane mirror, and give its characteristics

Recall and use the law


angle of incidence = angle of reflection
Supplement

42

Recall that the image in a plane mirror is virtual

Perform simple constructions, measurements and


calculations for reflection by plane mirrors

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Opportunity for class experiments using


optics pins and ray boxes to show the position
of an image in a plane mirror and the law of
reflection.

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

3.2.2 Refraction of light


Core

Describe an experimental demonstration of the


refraction of light

Use the terminology for the angle of incidencei and


angle of refraction r and describe the passage of
light through parallel-sided transparent material

Give the meaning of critical angle

Note that a specific experiment is part of the


syllabus here.
Opportunity for class experiments using
optics pins and ray boxes with rectangular
and semicircular Perspex blocks to show
refraction, critical angle and total internal
reflection.

Describe internal and total internal reflection


Supplement

Recall and use the definition of refractive index n in


terms of speed
sin i
Recall and use the equation
=n
sin r
1
Recall and use n =
sin c
Describe and explain the action of optical fibres
particularly in medicine and communications
technology

3.2.3 Thin converging lens


Core

Describe the action of a thin converging lens on a


beam of light

Use the terms principal focus and focal length

Draw ray diagrams for the formation of a real image


by a single lens

Opportunity for class experiments using


converging lenses.

Describe the nature of an image using the terms


enlarged/same size/diminished and upright/inverted
Supplement

Draw and use ray diagrams for the formation of a


virtual image by a single lens

Use and describe the use of a single lens as a


magnifying glass

Show understanding of the terms real image and


virtual image

3.2.4 Dispersion of light


Core

Give a qualitative account of the dispersion of light


as shown by the action on light of a glass prism
including the seven colours of the spectrum in their
correct order

Opportunity for class or demonstration


experiments to show dispersion of white light
using a glass or Perspex prism.

Supplement

Recall that light of a single frequency is described as


monochromatic

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

43

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

3.3 Electromagnetic spectrum


Core

Describe the main features of the electromagnetic


spectrum in order of wavelength

State that all e.m. waves travel with the same high
speed in a vacuum

Describe typical properties and uses of radiations


in all the different regions of the electromagnetic
spectrum including:

radio and television communications (radio


waves)

satellite television and telephones (microwaves)

electrical appliances, remote controllers for


televisions and intruder alarms (infra-red)

medicine and security (X-rays)

Demonstrate an awareness of safety issues


regarding the use of microwaves and X-rays
Supplement

State that the speed of electromagnetic waves in a


vacuum is 3.0 10 8 m / s and is approximately the
same in air

3.4 Sound
Core

Describe the production of sound by vibrating


sources

Describe the longitudinal nature of sound waves

State that the approximate range of audible


frequencies for a healthy human ear is 20 Hz to
20 000 Hz

Show an understanding of the term ultrasound

Show an understanding that a medium is needed to


transmit sound waves

Describe an experiment to determine the speed of


sound in air

Relate the loudness and pitch of sound waves to


amplitude and frequency

Describe how the reflection of sound may produce


an echo
Supplement

44

Describe compression and rarefaction

State typical values of the speed of sound in gases,


liquids and solids

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Opportunity for class experiments using a


variety of musical instruments, tuning forks,
etc. to describe the production of sound by
vibrating sources.
Note that a specific experiment is part of the
syllabus here.
A simple experiment to determine the speed
of sound in air involving timing the delay
between seeing a sound being produced
and hearing it a significant distance away or
a similar method using the echo from a large
building is appropriate here.

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

4. Electricity and magnetism


4.1 Simple phenomena of magnetism
Core

Describe the forces between magnets, and between


magnets and magnetic materials

Give an account of induced magnetism

Distinguish between magnetic and non-magnetic


materials

Describe methods of magnetisation, to include


stroking with a magnet, use of d.c. in a coil and
hammering in a magnetic field

Draw the pattern of magnetic field lines around a bar


magnet

Describe an experiment to identify the pattern of


magnetic field lines, including the direction

Distinguish between the magnetic properties of soft


iron and steel

Distinguish between the design and use of


permanent magnets and electromagnets

Note that a specific experiment is part of the


syllabus here.
Opportunity for class experiments using
magnets, iron filings and plotting compasses.
Opportunity for class experiments using
iron cores and lengths of wire to make and
investigate electromagnets.

4.2 Electrical quantities


4.2.1 Electric charge
Core

State that there are positive and negative charges

State that unlike charges attract and that like charges


repel

Describe simple experiments to show the production


and detection of electrostatic charges

State that charging a body involves the addition or


removal of electrons

Note that specific experiments are part of the


syllabus here.
Class and demonstration experiments to
show the production, detection and properties
of electrostatic charges using cellulose
acetate and polythene rods with dusters and
(if available) a Van der Graaf generator.

Distinguish between electrical conductors and


insulators and give typical examples
Supplement

State that charge is measured in coulombs

State that the direction of an electric field at a point


is the direction of the force on a positive charge at
that point

Describe an electric field as a region in which an


electric charge experiences a force

Describe simple field patterns, including the field


around a point charge, the field around a charged
conducting sphere and the field between two
parallel plates (not including end effects)

Give an account of charging by induction

Recall and use the simple electron model to


distinguish between conductors and insulators

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

45

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

4.2.2 Current
Core

State that current is related to the flow of charge

Use and describe the use of an ammeter, both


analogue and digital

Opportunity for class experiments using


simple circuits with an ammeter.

State that current in metals is due to a flow of


electrons
Supplement

Show understanding that a current is a rate of flow


of charge and recall and use the equation I = Q / t

Distinguish between the direction of flow of


electrons and conventional current

4.2.3 Electromotive force


Core

State that the e.m.f. of an electrical source of energy


is measured in volts
Supplement

Show understanding that e.m.f. is defined in terms


of energy supplied by a source in driving charge
round a complete circuit

4.2.4 Potential difference


Core

State that the potential difference across a circuit


component is measured in volts

Use and describe the use of a voltmeter, both


analogue and digital
Supplement

Recall that 1 V is equivalent to 1J / C

4.2.5 Resistance
Core

State that resistance = p.d. / current and understand


qualitatively how changes in p.d. or resistance affect
current

Recall and use the equation R = V / I

Describe an experiment to determine resistance


using a voltmeter and an ammeter

Relate (without calculation) the resistance of a wire


to its length and to its diameter
Supplement

46

Sketch and explain the current-voltage characteristic


of an ohmic resistor and a filament lamp

Recall and use quantitatively the proportionality


between resistance and length, and the inverse
proportionality between resistance and crosssectional area of a wire

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Note that a specific experiment is part of the


syllabus here.
Class experiment to determine resistance
using a voltmeter and an ammeter
Opportunity for class investigation style
experiments to relate the resistance of a wire
to its length and cross-sectional area.

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

4.2.6 Electrical working


Core

Understand that electric circuits transfer energy


from the battery or power source to the circuit
components then into the surroundings
Supplement

Recall and use the equations P = IV and E = IVt

4.3 Electric circuits


4.3.1 Circuit diagrams
Core

Draw and interpret circuit diagrams containing


sources, switches, resistors (fixed and variable),
heaters, thermistors, light-dependent resistors,
lamps, ammeters, voltmeters, galvanometers,
magnetising coils, transformers, bells, fuses and
relays
Supplement

Draw and interpret circuit diagrams containing


diodes

4.3.2 Series and parallel circuits


Core

Understand that the current at every point in a series


circuit is the same

Give the combined resistance of two or more


resistors in series

State that, for a parallel circuit, the current from the


source is larger than the current in each branch

State that the combined resistance of two resistors


in parallel is less than that of either resistor by itself

Opportunity for class experiments using


series and parallel circuits with ammeters,
voltmeters and other components (lamps,
variable resistors etc).

State the advantages of connecting lamps in parallel


in a lighting circuit
Supplement

Calculate the combined e.m.f. of several sources in


parallel

Recall and use the fact that the sum of the p.d.s
across the components in a series circuit is equal to
the total p.d. across the supply

Recall and use the fact that the current from the
source is the sum of the currents in the separate
branches of a parallel circuit

Calculate the effective resistance of two resistors in


parallel

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

47

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

4.3.3 Action and use of circuit components


Core

Describe the action of a variable potential divider


(potentiometer)

Describe the action of thermistors and lightdependent resistors and show understanding of their
use as input transducers

Opportunity for a variety of class experiments


using circuits with potential dividers,
thermistors, capacitors, relays, diodes, lightdependent resistors, transistors etc.

Describe the action of a relay and show


understanding of its use in switching circuits
Supplement

Describe the action of a diode and show


understanding of its use as a rectifier

Recognise and show understanding of circuits


operating as light-sensitive switches and
temperature-operated alarms (to include the use of
a relay)

4.4 Digital electronics


Supplement

Explain and use the terms analogue and digital in


terms of continuous variation and high/low states

Describe the action of NOT, AND, OR, NAND and


NOR gates

Recall and use the symbols for logic gates

Design and understand simple digital circuits


combining several logic gates

Use truth tables to describe the action of individual


gates and simple combinations of gates

4.5 Dangers of electricity


Core

48

State the hazards of:

damaged insulation

overheating of cables

damp conditions

State that a fuse protects a circuit

Explain the use of fuses and circuit breakers and


choose appropriate fuse ratings and circuit-breaker
settings

Explain the benefits of earthing metal cases

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Opportunity for a variety of class experiments


using logic gates.

Opportunity for class or demonstration


experiments to show the action of a fuse.

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

4.6 Electromagnetic effects


4.6.1 Electromagnetic induction
Core

Show understanding that a conductor moving


across a magnetic field or a changing magnetic field
linking with a conductor can induce an e.m.f. in the
conductor
Describe an experiment to demonstrate
electromagnetic induction

Note that a specific experiment is part of the


syllabus here.
Class or demonstration experiment using a
coil, sensitive meter and a magnet to show
that a changing magnetic field can induce an
e.m.f. in a circuit.

State the factors affecting the magnitude of an


induced e.m.f.
Supplement

Show understanding that the direction of an induced


e.m.f. opposes the change causing it

State and use the relative directions of force, field


and induced current

4.6.2 a.c. generator


Core

Distinguish between direct current (d.c.) and


alternating current (a.c.)
Supplement

Describe and explain a rotating-coil generator and


the use of slip rings

Sketch a graph of voltage output against time for a


simple a.c. generator

Relate the position of the generator coil to the peaks


and zeros of the voltage output

4.6.3 Transformer
Core

Describe the construction of a basic transformer


with a soft-iron core, as used for voltage
transformations

Recall and use the equation (Vp / Vs) = (Np / Ns)

Understand the terms step-up and step-down

Describe the use of the transformer in high-voltage


transmission of electricity

Opportunity for a demonstration experiment


using a demountable transformer kit (if
available).

Give the advantages of high-voltage transmission


Supplement

Describe the principle of operation of a transformer

Recall and use the equation Ip Vp = Is Vs


(for 100% efficiency)

Explain why power losses in cables are lower when


the voltage is high

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

49

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

4.6.4 The magnetic effect of a current


Core

Describe the pattern of the magnetic field (including


direction) due to currents in straight wires and in
solenoids

Describe applications of the magnetic effect of


current, including the action of a relay
Supplement

State the qualitative variation of the strength of the


magnetic field over salient parts of the pattern

State that the direction of a magnetic field line at a


point is the direction of the force on the N pole of a
magnet at that point

Describe the effect on the magnetic field of


changing the magnitude and direction of the current

4.6.5 Force on a current-carrying conductor


Core

Describe an experiment to show that a force acts


on a current-carrying conductor in a magnetic field,
including the effect of reversing:

the current

the direction of the field


Supplement

State and use the relative directions of force, field


and current

Describe an experiment to show the corresponding


force on beams of charged particles

4.6.6 d.c. motor


Core

State that a current-carrying coil in a magnetic field


experiences a turning effect and that the effect is
increased by:

increasing the number of turns on the coil

increasing the current

increasing the strength of the magnetic field


Supplement

50

Relate this turning effect to the action of an electric


motor including the action of a split-ring commutator

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Opportunity for class and demonstration


experiments to show the pattern of the
magnetic field due to the current in straight
wires and solenoids using iron filings and
plotting compasses.

Note that specific experiments are part of the


syllabus here.
The catapult experiment or similar to
show that a force acts on a current-carrying
conductor in a magnetic field.
Demonstration experiment to show the
force on beams of charged particles using a
Teltron tube.

Opportunity for class experiments where


students make electric motors using simple
d.c. motor kits.

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

5. Atomic physics
5.1 The nuclear atom
5.1.1 Atomic model
Core

Describe the structure of an atom in terms of a


positive nucleus and negative electrons
Supplement

Describe how the scattering of -particles by thin


metal foils provides evidence for the nuclear atom

5.1.2 Nucleus
Core

Describe the composition of the nucleus in terms of


protons and neutrons

State the charges of protons and neutrons

Use the term proton number Z

Use the term nucleon number A

Use the term nuclide and use the nuclide notation Z X

Use and explain the term isotope


Supplement

State the meaning of nuclear fission and nuclear


fusion

Balance equations involving nuclide notation

5.2 Radioactivity
5.2.1 Detection of radioactivity
Core

Demonstrate understanding of background radiation

Describe the detection of -particles, -particles and


-rays ( + are not included: -particles will be taken
to refer to )

5.2.2 Characteristics of the three kinds of emission


Core

Discuss the random nature of radioactive emission

Identify , and -emissions by recalling

their nature

their relative ionising effects

Opportunity for demonstration experiments


using a Geiger counter, radioactive sources
and absorbers (if available).

their relative penetrating abilities


(+ are not included, -particles will be taken to
refer to )
Supplement

Describe their deflection in electric fields and in


magnetic fields

Interpret their relative ionising effects

Give and explain examples of practical applications


of , and -emissions

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

51

Appendix F: Suggested practical activities

5.2.3 Radioactive decay


Core

State the meaning of radioactive decay

State that during - or -decay the nucleus changes


to that of a different element
Supplement

Use equations involving nuclide notation to represent


changes in the composition of the nucleus when
particles are emitted

5.2.4 Half-life
Core

Use the term half-life in simple calculations, which


might involve information in tables or decay curves
Supplement

Calculate half-life from data or decay curves from


which background radiation has not been subtracted

5.2.5 Safety precautions


Core

52

Recall the effects of ionising radiations on living


things

Describe how radioactive materials are handled,


used and stored in a safe way

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Opportunity for a class simulation experiment


using coins, dice or small cubes to produce a
graph showing half-life characteristics.

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