Physical Science

The subject of Physical Science focuses on investigating physical, chemical phenomena through scientific enquiry.  By applying scientific models, theories and laws it seeks to explain and predict events in our physical environment.  This subject also deals with society’s desire to understand how the physical environment works, how to benefit from it and how to care for it responsibly.  It seeks to stimulate the learners curiosity and their interest in the natural and physical world in which they live.


Practical Scientific Inquiry and Problem-solving Skills:  This will involve conducting investigations and interpreting data to draw conclusions, solving problems, communicating and presenting information and scientific arguments.

Constructing and Applying Scientific knowledge:  This will involve recalling and stating specified concepts, indicating and explaining relationships as well as applying knowledge to everyday concepts.

The Nature of Science and its relationship to Technology, Society and the Environment:  This will involve the learner’s ability to identify and critically evaluate knowledge on the quality of socio-economic environmental and human development

Themes to be covered in Grades 10–12:

Mechanics:  Motion in one dimension, Gravity & Mechanical Energy Force, Momentum & Impulse

Waves, Sound & Light:  Transverse pulses, Transverse waves, Geometrical optics, Longitudinal waves, Sound, Physics of music, Doppler effect, 2D and 3D wavefronts, Wave nature of matter

Electricity & Magnetism:  Magnetism, Electrostatics, Electric circuits, Electromagnetism, Electronics, Electromagnetic radiation

Matter & Materials:  Observing, describing, classifying and using materials, Atomic structure, The combining of atoms, Electronic properties of matter, Ideal gases and thermal properties, Optical phenomena and properties of materials, Organic molecules and macro molecules, Mechanical properties

Chemical Change:  Physical & Chemical change, Balanced chemical equations, Quantative aspects of chemical change, Energy and chemical change, Types of reactions, Rates and extent of reaction including Chemical equilibrium, Electro chemical reactions

Chemical Systems:  Global cycles:  Water cycle and Nitrogen cycle, The hydrosphere, Exploiting the earth’s crust:  mining, energy sources and their uses, The atmosphere, Chemical industry


  • Baseline Assessment:  This is used at the beginning of a learning cycle to establish what learners know and can do.
  • Diagnostic and Summative assessment:  Self assessment:  work is pre-assessed by the student prior to final assessment by the educator.   Peer assessment:  learners evaluate their own and other learners performance using a checklist or rubric.  Group assessment:  This involves looking for how learners co-operate in a group, assist one another, divide work and combine individual contributions into one composite product.
  • Summative assessment:  Observations based assessment: This is based on tasks that require students to interact with one another in order to find a solution.  Task based assessment: This aims to show whether or not learners can apply skills and knowledge they have learnt in unfamiliar contexts.  This determines how learners put theory into practice. The task is assessed by means of a rubric or task check list.
  • Formative assessment:  This monitors and supports the learning process and creates evidence of learning by means of tests and exams.  Evidence of learning is verified by a specific score.


Physical Science is essential for most job opportunities and is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for tertiary education in this modern, fast developing technological age.  Physical Science is essential for further studies in Medicine, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Agriculture, Chiropractics, pure sciences, all engineering fields, as well as Architecture.