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March 12th 2020

Spotlight on Physics

To celebrate STEAM week, our new Head of Physics Miss Tsikkinis tells us all about the benefits of Physics here in Blackheath High School.

How long have you been teaching Physics at Blackheath High School?

Seven months

Can you tell us about your background?

After completing my Physics degree at the University of Bristol I obtained my PGCE and took on my first teaching position at a semi-boarding school in Bristol. I then decided to venture abroad and see more of the world so I taught in international schools in the Middle East, China, Spain and Germany where I was exposed to various examination boards and held positions such as KS3 Science Coordinator and Head of House.

I decided to move to London to be closer to my family and after two years of working at a GDST school have found a great opportunity at Blackheath High School. As Head of Physics I hope to increase the popularity of the department and encourage young women to pursue a career in this discipline of science.

What is covered in Physics? What are your students working on at the moment?

Students cover a range of topics that explain how nature works and study the fundamental laws that govern the universe. Covering a wide range of scales from the infinitesimally small such as particle physics and the fundamental particles that make up all matter around us, to the motion of macroscopic object such as balls and cars, to the large-scale laws that govern the cosmos. Students study the behaviour of electric circuits, magnets and electromagnetic radiation, which are central to the development of technological modernities.

Is it a popular choice of subject?

It is not the most popular. The main reasons for this is that they are not fully aware of the benefits a Physics A-Level offers and that they perceive the subject as hard, so they are fearful of failing at it. However, I am hopeful that with support and guidance, the students can be shown that it is a very accessible subject and that with persistence and a right attitude they can be very successful at it and open up endless opportunities for their future.

What are the benefits of studying this subject?

Physics is a subject which develops problem-solving and quantitative reasoning skills that are valuable in the workplace. Physics students demonstrate an ability to apply their knowledge to solve practical and complex problems which equips them with sought-after skills that will help them stand out to employers across the occupational spectrum.

Studying Physics offers a range of career opportunities such as Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computing, Marine Engineering, Medical Physics, Climatology, Aeronautical Engineering, Space and Remote Sensing, Water Management, Environmental Science, Forensic Science, Architecture, Geology and many, many more.

What are the benefits of studying Physics at Blackheath High School? What is unique about Physics here?

Small class sizes allow the students to engage more confidently in their learning. Students are supported in extending their independent learning skills and are encouraged to develop a curiosity of the world around them and how it works. Our Physics laboratories are equipped with excellent resources that allow the students to experience a hands-on approach to their learning and they are supported throughout their education through one-to-one tutoring, lunchtime booster sessions and extensive revision materials that prepare them for their examinations. The students are further supported by various computer based resources that aim to enhance their understanding and consolidate their learning.

Is there a particular aspect of the course that students tend to enjoy?

Students love the hands-on experience that practical investigations offer. Through these they learn to work together as a team and use their observations to understand and explain scientific concepts.


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