Physics Curriculum at Dominican College Sion Hill

Physics aims to enhance students ability to think logically. It helps to promote problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Although useful for all careers, it is particularly useful for students considering a career in engineering or science based specialities.


Physics Facilities at Sion Hill

There is a fully equipped Physics laboratory with an Interactive Whiteboard, an interactive Student Response System (SRS), WiFi and all equipment necessary to carry out required experiments. The school is an affiliated member of the Institute of Physics ( which gives the school access to a large amount of extra Physics resources.


Science Lab


Co-curricular activities


Students are encouraged to take part in as many Physics Events as possible. Participation in Science competitions is encouraged. Attendance at relevant University Outreach events, such as TY Physics weeks, is promoted. In 6th Year, there is normally an organised tour of a Medical Physics or other relevant facility.


Junior Cycle Physics


At Junior Cycle, Physics is taught as part of the General Science Curriculum.

The new Junior Certificate Science course places an emphasis on inductive learning with a movement towards doing. Students will work towards building eight key skills which include: team work, literacy, communication, self-management, numeracy, creativity, managing information & thinking, and health whilst completing the course. In the course of their studies, students undertake a range of practical work, laboratory work and fieldwork.

The main physics related strands are

  •  The Nature of Science (The Scientific Method and Experimental Technique)
  • Earth and Space (Earth , Sun and Moon; The origin of the Universe; The water and Carbon cycles)
  •  The Physical world (Measurement; Forms of Energy; Forces; Electricity)


Transition Year Physics


All students in Transition year take a 10 week module in Physics. The Transition Year Module aims to instil in students an appreciation for physics and how it relates to themselves, society and the world around them and to make the study of physics an enjoyable and interesting experience for students. Every effort is made to promote students investigative and problem solving skills through the use of practical work and student centred learning activities. In the module, students learn to work effectively as a member of a group and communicate their methods and findings.

Topics covered include;

  • Stability in building design
  • Acceleration due to gravity and terminal velocity
  • The Bernoulli Effect and its importance in air travel
  • Surface Tension
  • Medical Physics
  • Astronomy and Space Science
  • Careers in Physics
  • Non-Newtonian fluids
  • Nuclear Physics and Radiocarbon Dating
  • The Quark structure of the Nucleus


Leaving Certificate Physics


The aims of the Leaving Certificate Physics syllabus are:

  • to give students an understanding of the fundamental principles of physics and their application to everyday life and technology
  • to develop an appreciation of physics as a human endeavour, thereby enriching the students’ experience of life
  • to provide a reasonably broad perspective of physics, thus developing an understanding of the physical environment and of how human beings interact with it
  • to provide a general education in physics for all students, whether or not they proceed to further studies in physics
  • to develop the ability to observe, to think logically, and to communicate effectively
  • to develop an understanding of the scientific method
  • to develop an appreciation of physics as a creative activity, using informed intuition and imagination to create an understanding of the beauty, simplicity and symmetry in nature.


The main sections covered in this curriculum are;

  • Mechanics
  • Temperature and Heat
  • Waves
  • Vibration and Sound
  • Light
  • Electricity
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Particle Physics

There is a strong emphasis on practical work with good experimental technique being key  to success in this subject.

The Physics Department

Ms Condren

Ms Tracey