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Subject Descriptors

The following introductions outline the curriculum subjects currently available at SES: 

Arabic

The value of learning Arabic is indisputable; not only does it offer a huge benefit to speakers in terms of their ability to flourish and do business in the Arab speaking world, but it also offers access and insight for students and families living in the UAE into aspects of local and regional culture which are going to remain distant to any mono-linguist.

All students take Key Stage 3 Arabic, which combines the content of the local Ministry of Education curriculum with modern foreign language teaching methods. Our Arabic curriculum is for non-native speakers. Students joining secondary with no foundation in Arabic should be able to benefit from the lessons and acquire functional conversational Arabic.

Lessons also assist in delivering aspects of the UAE Social Studies programme, enhancing students’ knowledge of the UAE, its history and traditions, and celebrating the country’s achievements. Cultural trips to local sites such as the impressive museums of Sharjah and the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi complement classroom study.

After Year 9 students who require Arabic for MoE high school graduation or university admission purposes (usually those destined for UAE or Middle Eastern colleges), continue to have Arabic lessons to prepare them for ministry exams in Years 10 to 12. 

Art

Imagination, experimentation and risk-taking are at the core of the art and design curriculum at Sharjah English School. As a thriving department with two full time staff, we have two large, well-lit, fully equipped specialist art rooms where all the pupils have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of media and techniques, including printing, textiles, relief, mixed media, three dimensional and sculptural forms as well as drawing and painting.

Taking inspiration from the natural and man-made world students learn to engage creatively with the world around them. Through a wide range of projects they learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures, and to understand the contexts in which these were made.

Students are encouraged to explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to help them to communicate ideas and meanings. They work with traditional and new media throughout the Key Stages, which helps them to develop their confidence, imagination and most importantly their creativity. They learn how to research and present their work, how to experiment with, and use, a wide variety of materials and how to practice and perfect their technical skills. Pupils develop an appreciation of art, craft and design, and its role in the creative and cultural industries that will enrich their lives.

Art is a compulsory component of the Key Stage 3 curriculum, and can be taken at GCSE and A Level. 

Biology

Biology provides a stepping stone to a wide range of university courses and careers, ranging from medicine, dentistry and veterinary science to conservation, food science and forensics. All of our courses follow the UK-based AQA examination board.

Biology is the study of the natural world in all its intricate detail and the interactions between its living and non-living components. We look into the past, studying evolution and how species have adapted to their surroundings and consider what the future may hold, looking at the human impact on the environment and at advances in medicine and genetics. Biology is also studied on a wide range of scales from molecular biology and the study of DNA through to animal behaviour and the fragile relationships between the organisms that inhabit the planet.

Biology investigates the hugely important question of how living organisms work. It is a challenging subject academically, but also presents moral challenges and questions existing ideas and behaviours. A biology student will need to be motivated, inquisitive, interested in the natural world and able to grasp high level concepts. They will also need to bring a wide range of skills in order to plan investigations, analyse and present data and communicate ideas and findings.

Biology is taught in modules as part of the Key Stage 3 science curriculum. At this stage, basic concepts are developed with an emphasis on skills and practical work. The topics that are studied include cells, body systems, disease and inheritance amongst others. In Year 9 the three sciences are taught separately by subject specialists and we follow a course that leads to the award of the Entry Level Certificate from the AQA exam board.

All students at Sharjah English School will take at least Double Award in Science at GCSE and be taught each of the three sciences by subject specialists. Studying Triple Science, which leads to three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, is an option. This is a popular choice, but we would expect students to heed the advice and guidance of their science teachers when deciding on this.

The A Level course aims to inspire students, nurture their passion for Biology and lay the foundations for further study and the workplace. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams.  

Business Studies

Every aspect of modern life is influenced by the activities of profit making organisations around us. From the bus journey to school in the morning, past the advertising boards propped up along the road whilst listening to Dubai 92 promoting the latest family brunch extravaganza. Given the impact that these companies have on our lives, however overtly or covertly, it is vital for young people to understand the fundamental workings of a business. Whether it be appreciating the pricing strategies being employed when a sales assistant is trying to part them with their cash, or perhaps the commission based method of payment that an employee might receive, understanding these issues will enable our students to make more informed decisions every day of their lives.

The impact of social media on Generation Z has been hugely significant, influencing their lifestyle choices, social relationships and their spending habits. Our students examine the development of promotional methods over time, how modern technology has enabled corporations to personalise the advertising we see and increase the effectiveness of their promotional methods in a way never seen before. Before studying Business, few of our students had ever considered the impact that James Bond wearing an Omega watch whilst sipping a Heineken and talking to his latest femme fatal on the Sony Experia Z5 mobile could have.

Couple these insights with an understanding of financial planning, methods of motivating employees using a range of adaptable leadership styles and a grounding in business law and you have what must be considered a highly valuable appreciation of the world around us.

Students are able to pursue Business Studies at both GCSE and A Level. 

Chemistry

Chemistry is, it can be argued, the central science. It overlaps with and is fundamental to biological, medicinal, physical and earth sciences; success in these fields is hard to imagine without understanding Chemistry and seeing how it underpins other disciplines. Its presence and impact in our everyday lives is equally profound and ubiquitous.

Chemistry is an exciting and stimulating path to pursue at all levels. The courses at SES from Year 9 through to Year 13 provide a logical sequence and re-visit and build upon previous learning year on year. Genuine curiosity and a passion for making sense of how the world works are key attributes. Our students are methodical, rigorous and prepared to test their ideas; they understand that disproving something can be the key to progress and success. They embrace resilience, creativity and imagination as much as they display logic, discipline and diligence.

If you choose to study Chemistry you are likely to have an interest in Science, but you do not necessarily become a career chemist. A study of Chemistry is essential in order to develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in careers such as medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, but is equally beneficial in law and engineering. It has always been a popular subject with universities because of its intellectual challenge and the diversity of skills it encourages. 

Throughout their time at SES, students will have the opportunity use sophisticated equipment and learn about analytical techniques such as infra-red spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance, as well as exploring more traditional areas of Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry. It is a rewarding and fascinating subject that requires good organisation skills, analytical reflection, problem-solving, and the ability to work both within a team and as an individual.

Chemistry is a compulsory subject taught within the Key Stage 3 science curriculum at SES. It can also be pursued as a separate subject at both GCSE and A Level. Traditionally it has been, and remains, one of the most popular SES subjects chosen at A Level. 

Computer Science  

Information Technology has evolved quickly and dramatically over the last few decades to a point where its application is prevalent in almost every aspect of our lives today, throughout work and recreation. This march of technical progress shows no signs of slowing; in fact, it is increasing - and fast!  As a result, the relevant IT based skills and understanding have become both an essential component of living and working in today’s (and tomorrow’s) society and a very marketable commodity in the workplace.  

Computer Science provides the knowledge and skills to understand and utilise the computers and networks that are the fundamental enablers of this digital revolution.  It also overtly develops problem solving, abstract thinking and addresses logic - all of which are fundamentally empowering skills for students.  Importantly, it also develops the ability to adapt and deal with change. Thus, the subject satisfies a dual requirement. Firstly, regardless of whether they choose to specialise later on in Computer Science, the subject provides an essential basis for all students to interact with IT effectively and safely in their lives and work.  Secondly, by providing a comprehensive technical education to those students that wish to continue their studies in this field, Computer Science ensures that these future IT professionals are well equipped to work effectively in this new and dynamic workplace, becoming themselves the drivers of progress, innovating to support our rapidly developing society.   

The Computer Science Department follows the English National Curriculum guidelines. We have committed industry-proven staff who are passionate about transmitting their knowledge to future generations. We have a state of the art IT infrastructure and resources to support our teaching and learning environments. We will develop students’ understanding of how computers actually work, both in terms of hardware and software. This includes the software development cycle and the necessary mathematics and logic needed to understand some of the new concepts like binary, hex and Boolean algebra. Students also begin to learn to program (or code) and develop their own software, using industry standard software development environments and programming languages like Java, VB and Python.   

At Key Stage 4 we offer the Edexcel GCSE in Computer Science, and at Key Stage 5 the AQA A Level in Computer Science. Both are highly regarded and technical qualifications in Computer Science and allow a seamless progression to a Computer Science related degree.  

In terms of future careers, students will be well prepared to pursue career paths that directly require technical IT skill e.g. software designers and developers (programmers) or technical support and network engineers.  But equally, should they choose other career paths, they will find they also have the necessary IT skills to support or enhance their work. 

Design and Technology

Design and Technology has evolved incredibly over the past decade. The historical perception of it being solely a practical subject has long gone. Students are now more innovative designers: skilled in graphics, consumer profiling, prototyping, etc. Today’s students are more visually articulate than their predecessors; we strive to harness their creativity and visual literacy. Whether it be James Dyson’s endless prototyping or Elon Musk’s drive for the most innovative production methods, the work of famous designers and entrepreneurs has become integral to our teaching content and students’ understanding of Design Technology and its importance in the world. 

The focus at Key Stage 3 Design Technology at Sharjah English School is to immerse the students in all aspects of design and to apply their responses to various different practical tasks both as individuals and as groups. We nurture the creativity of each pupil while also achieving a functioning product. Students acquire greater insight into how images and form shape our perceptions of the world. 

At Key Stage 4, where D and T is one of our most popular options, the pupils gain the experiences needed to think creatively and independently to solve a design problem. We incorporate theory and practical topics into every lesson, giving the pupils a well-rounded approach to their studies. Our well-resourced classrooms cater for the needs of the most enthusiastic student, whether it is in our beautifully lit Graphic Design Room or the modern workshop full of the latest technologies. 

Our Key Stage 5 pupils further build on their experiences at GCSE. Delving further into the world of famous designers, while also trying to show their individuality and unique take on designing innovative solutions, these students have taken to the subject so much over the past few years that we have had a constant flow of students selecting design based courses for their further education. This is a glowing testament to how much students enjoy the subject and the department in Sharjah English School. 

The school offers opportunities for students to display their work creatively. The department also promotes visits to exhibitions and galleries; opportunities exist also for collaborations and visits to the many local university departments with specialized programmes in related areas. 

Drama

Drama, is much more than just an academic subject at Sharjah English School. It provides students with the opportunity to experience life from different points of view. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”

One of the most important elements of Drama is allowing students of all ages and abilities to develop their confidence as well as performance skills. In being encouraged to explore their own feelings and to find meaning in a wide variety of subject matter and stimulus materials at all key stages, students learn to have a voice, explore their own beliefs and understand other perspectives. As part of the curriculum, students are regularly given the opportunity and the motivation to investigate and offer reasons about moral and ethical issues. Their investigative study of characters and themes require them to develop empathy, extend their understanding of different circumstances, rights and choices of others.

We wrestle with the most compelling issues of our time. Therefore, we foster curiosity, invention, bravery, and humour: we risk and learn from failure and vulnerability in order to build lifelong habits of innovation and revelation. This allows them to go onto further education as well-rounded individuals with a better understanding of the world around them.

Another key element of Drama is collaboration. Student groups are alternated regularly to ensure all students work together regardless of age, race, religion, background or gender, building their teamwork and cooperative skills and ability to problem-solve with others. Students are taught to respect and support each other as part of their success criteria.

We offer a variety of opportunities to delve into the world of Drama and Theatre through clubs, productions and trips which open up students’ minds even more to the world and the opportunities available to them.

Drama is studied from Key stage 3 and is available for study at GCSE and A Level. 

Economics

As budding economists, our students are encouraged to consider all aspects and viewpoints available when evaluating the decisions made by consumers, businesses and governments. By adopting an analytical, open-minded approach to the information they receive, students are able to balance the merits of a range of potential courses of action and make decisions founded upon empirical evidence and the past experience of others.

The opportunity to study the economy, politics and history form a philosophical perspective allows students to understand what was going through the minds of great leaders when making crucial decisions and determine for themselves whether they believe those decisions to be justified. Was Tony Blair right to ignore many of his economic advisors when implementing the UK’s first minimum wage? Was Bill Clinton right to be so ardently in support of free trade when he signed the NAFTA agreement? Would the UK have voted to leave the EU if there was symmetric information? Our students evaluate these key decisions and have the opportunity to determine their own opinions from an academic economist’s perspective.

Upon leaving the department and moving on to further study, our students will have developed their own economic position, and be able to justify their own viewpoints in an articulate manner. Whether they are influenced heavily by Marxism, Keynesianism or Neo-Classicalism, our students will understand where the features of their own beliefs were first aired, how they were developed and where they fit into modern society.  

Economics is available for study at GCSE and A Level. 

English / English Literature

Our desire to stimulate academic curiosity and inspire a love of our subject drives every element of teaching and learning within the English Department. Lessons are characterised by diverse and innovative activities that aim to nurture an atmosphere of active engagement and interest on behalf of the students and staff alike.

As a department, we believe that the study of literature and language is a powerful tool that allows us to appreciate and understand the full extent of human experience, emotion and intellect. Text and topic choices are both demanding and thought-provoking and are used to explore complex and challenging concepts.

Developing learners who are confident and impressive communicators is recognised as one of our fundamental goals and, as such, our programme of study is enriched with opportunities for students to cultivate their spoken and written expression within a creative and academic framework. At Key Stage Three, students work through thematic units allowing them see the connections between language and literature. Due to the size of the GCSE course, students at Sharjah English School begin their GCSE study in Year 9.

Language is the primary vehicle through which we interact with people and the world around us, making it crucial for students to become skilled in recognising and harnessing its power to influence others and convey meaning. We also understand the intimate link between language and cognition; limit someone’s language development and you constrain their capacity for complex and subtle thought. A student with sophisticated language skills is one whose creativity is only limited by their imagination.

English at Sharjah English School helps learners to become independent and academic inquirers. It fosters reflective and critical skills, ultimately equipping students with the ability to not only empathise with, and evaluate, the world around them, but to be able to shape it positively in the future.

At GCSE, students receive two separate qualifications (one in English Language and one in English Literature). At A Level, English Literature is a popular and rewarding choice. 

French

Let’s start with the following three figures. There are over 220 million French speakers worldwide. French is the second most widely learned language in the world, with almost 120 million students. It is also spoken on all five continents.

Learning a modern foreign language is a considerable benefit if one wishes to be competitive in an increasingly diverse cultural environment. Professionally, individuals can no longer operate in a monolingual world and having strong skills in two, if not several, languages has become an extremely valuable asset.

French does not only help when looking for employment abroad: it also provides a great advantage for studying in general. The acquisition of a second language invariably enables students to develop various mental abilities at all ages. By exploring the similarities and differences between other languages and French, learners express themselves with increasing confidence, independence and creativity. They develop enhanced cognitive skills whilst fostering their curiosity and understanding of other cultures. French potentially becomes the starting point of a life-long cultural and linguistic journey.

In our world, cultural diversity, mutual understanding and global citizenship have never been more relevant. The key to appreciating different countries and their people lies with the ability to communicate, thus making studying French an ideal choice when considering a successful future filled with not just rewarding professional prospects, but also enhanced personal cultural experiences.

All students at SES take French up to the end of Key Stage 3, after which the subject becomes optional for students wishing to pursue it at GCSE and A Level. 

Geography

Geography is taught in a modern, dynamic and forward-thinking way and we aim to combine the best of both classroom enquiry and fieldwork techniques to broaden knowledge. Geography offers an understanding of physical processes, a sense of global awareness and understanding of our environment. It also encourages the ability to develop creative thinking skills and to approach and solve problems. Team building is fostered through fieldwork and decision-making activities. The necessary discursive and practical skills are developed in tandem.

GCSE Geography is a subject that all students can relate to on a daily basis through their interactions with people and the environment. The diverse cultural backgrounds of our students provide experiences to enrich the learning environment during lessons. It is an important subject providing an understanding of concepts which underpin different career paths. It provides a good link to a range of other subjects and complements the study of Mathematics, Sciences, English, the other humanities subjects and Art.

Students learn transferable skills, which makes Geography graduates highly employable. As it is a writing based subject, it also develops statistical, cartographical and graphical skills. Geography at A level provides a perfect accompaniment for those students studying the Sciences, English, Maths or those wishing to have a diverse range of subjects. It is widely accepted that universities see this as one of the most versatile subjects providing students with a range of skills which are relevant in today’s job market. Students who study Geography can enjoy a range of career paths including planning, international development, environmental management, travel, conservation, oceanography or geomorphology or taking on the technical side of the subject as an engineer, or a Geographical Information Systems provider – a highly sought after skill. 

All students study the subject at Key Stage 3. Geography is a popular optional subject at GCSE and at A Level; A Level study typically involves an overseas field-work trip. 

History 

Edmund Burke (1729-97) said the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Therefore the study of History is crucial to one’s education in order to ensure that the present and future is shaped by those who have a sensitivity to the implications of actions taken and an understanding of how past events shape our present and future. 

The study of History helps students develop and acquire an understanding of different identities within society and an appreciation of aspects such as social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity. They are able to build on their understanding of the past through experiencing a broad and balanced course of study, including Weimar and Nazi Germany, Medicine through Time at GCSE, along with Communist Regimes in the Twentieth Century and Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors at A level.

The study of History helps students to improve as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with curious and enquiring minds. It allows students to develop the ability to ask relevant and significant questions about the past and to research them. 

In particular the courses at KS3, GCSE and A Level allow students to acquire an understanding of the nature of historical study, for example that History is concerned with judgements based on available evidence and that historical judgements are provisional. It also develops their use and understanding of historical terms, concepts and skills, enabling them to make links and draw comparisons within and/or across different periods and aspects of the past; and to organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in different ways, arguing a case and reaching substantiated judgements. 

The study of history sharpens logical, critical, and analytical thinking; providing young people with opportunities to develop a variety of skills that will contribute to their employability, whatever their chosen career. Additionally the transferable skills, abilities and attitudes to independent learning developed through the study of History furnish young people with the skills to make a positive impact on society in the future. 

Islamic Studies

For Muslim students Islamic Studies is compulsory in Key Stage 3, and a requirement in Years 10 to 12 for Muslim students aiming for admission to most local or Middle Eastern universities and colleges.

The department promotes a non-doctrinaire approach to studying one of the world’s great monotheistic religions, with its traditions of learning and scientific advancement, tolerance and peace.

Opportunities to celebrate important events in the Islamic calendar, whether it be Ramadan or Eid holidays, offer an platform for the department and its students, to enhance the knowledge and understanding of Islam by our non-Muslim children.

Mathematics

“To understand the Universe, you must first understand the language in which it’s written, the language of Mathematics.” Galileo Galilei.

At Sharjah English School we see Mathematics as an important subject to support all areas of learning.  We wish to promote independent thinking and problem solving, the ability to take a moment to reflect on the question posed and then find an elegant solution.

Mathematics is a subject that has always been valued highly by universities and employers and here at SES we encourage all students to reach their full potential in order to secure their future careers.  To this end we have developed a strong Post-16 programme offering A Levels in both Mathematics and Further Mathematics.  This has been built upon developing students’ ability to think from the day they enter the classroom.

Mathematics is not only a tool for our studies and everyday life; it is fascinating in its own right and should be studied for its beauty and interest.  Our aim is for our students to discover maths for themselves and not just be taught to remember how to solve a problem.  Something discovered will be remembered forever, not just until the exam has been taken.  We also believe that Mathematics should be inspiring so we have developed a Maths Leadership Programme where older students lead and inspire younger students in a variety of mathematical activities.

Ultimately Mathematics at SES is about challenge and intellectual curiosity and perhaps one day understanding the language of the Universe.

All students take Maths up to GCSE; it remains the most popular subject choice for students moving through to A Level. 

Music

SES is unique in the Northern Emirates in having music available as a curriculum subject right through to Year 13. We also have a wider instrumental and vocal teaching provision, with a greater proportion of our students receiving lessons, than any other school in our region.  Peripatetic instrumental teachers complement the work of the specialist music teachers. Tuition is currently available on alto sax, bass guitar, clarinet, classical guitar, drum kit, electrical guitar, flute, piano, tenor sax, trumpet, viola and violin, as well as in singing. As a centre for the Associated Board Royal Schools of Music, our students have opportunities to take grade exams regularly.

Throughout Years 7, 8 and 9 all students have timetabled music lessons.  The curriculum is based on the English National Curriculum and focuses on performing, composing and listening.  The basics of music theory are covered, but lessons are overwhelmingly practical and students can expect to be playing or singing in virtually every lesson. As well as deepening their appreciation of music in differing genres, students have opportunities for collaborative work and trying out performances in a secure and supportive environment. 

In addition to their whole class music lesson, they can develop their interests in music with individual instrumental or singing tuition. The examination courses are specifically designed to be equally accessible to students specializing in any genre of music - rock/pop, classical, jazz etc. Students who take GCSE or A Level Music as an option should normally be having tuition on either an instrument or singing. 

The music department runs a wide variety of extra-curricular groups, including: Advanced Singing Group, Guitar Group, Rock Group, Secondary Choir, Secondary Orchestra and Young Musician of the Gulf Ensemble. Regular concerts take place at school, along with performances at external venues such as local hotels. We send a party annually to the ‘Young Musicians of the Gulf’ Competition in Bahrain, where we have won ‘Best Vocal Ensemble’ and ‘Best Overall Ensemble’, and participate in other musical competitions. No major event at SES, whether a graduation ceremony, Winter Fair or International Picnic occurs without a musical presence and opportunity for showcasing the students’ musical talents. Typically our groups feature younger children performing and practicing with their older peers, thus ensuring that skills and traditions are perpetuated.

Our rock musicians are certainly not forgotten either, as we run an annual inter-house ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition which is hugely popular and has grown in quality year by year; the competition is judged by leading outside musicians. 

The department is housed in our Performing Arts Building which includes a state of the art auditorium as our prime location for concerts.  Music classrooms and rehearsal rooms are soundproofed.  The department is well resourced with instruments, both keyboards and orchestral. For students whose interests lie more in music technology, the school offers the option of learning about dynamic and condenser microphones, using the mixing desk to support drama and musical shows, and learning to support music lessons and extra-curricular music with software such as Sibelius 6 and Cubase 5.

The music department is central to the character of the school and has a profound impact on our students. 

Physical Education 

Many winning Team GB Olympians have credited their winning ways to their time as school PE students. At SES we believe all students have the ability to succeed in Physical Education. This belief is the foundation of a learning approach based on continuous effort from both students and coaching staff to ensure all students meet or exceed their potential. 

Students are provided with learning experiences designed to allow them to become successful learners, to overcome challenges, develop resilience and acquire a growth mind-set. They are provided with a range of opportunities to engage in carefully planned competitive sporting events and festivals, at both intra-school and inter-school level. 

Our Sports Field and facilities are the envy of other UAE schools, with a 26,000 sq. metre playing surface and viewing stand for more than 300 spectators. It has made SES a key venue for Sharjah and Dubai inter-school competitions; we also host international tours and local sports clubs, all of which give our students a rare and rich exposure to top-class competition on a frequent basis. 

The PE Department incorporates the SES house system into termly events, such as the swimming galas, aquathons and tournaments. Our annual Sports Day is a highlight of the school year for all students and staff. 

Health and wellbeing are part of the any modern lifestyle and an important contributor to the economy. Society is beginning to understand how important physical activity is to every human. Team SES provides all students with the opportunity to learn many of the skills they need to become elite performers in sports, and to acquire the knowledge and values needed for fostering a healthy and active lifestyle beyond school. 

Students are encouraged to work independently and as part of a team; PE offers vital opportunity for students to develop fundamental movement skills within individual activities such as gymnastics, swimming and athletics, but also provides many opportunities for developing leadership and taking ownership of their own sports and training. Students can study for the Sports Leaders’ UK Level One Award.   

Physical Education is compulsory at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, but from Year Year 9 students can also follow an academic PE track leading to GCSE and A Level qualifications. 

Team SES has been very successful within both Sharjah (EISSA) and Dubai (DASSA) Leagues, where we focus upon our core performance sports of boys’ football and cricket, girls’ netball and rounders, alongside mixed gender athletics and swimming. 

Representing SES is something which all students aspire to, and the proportion of students who earn that distinction is one of the highest of any school locally. 

Physics

Physics, the study of matter, energy and their interactions, plays a key role in the progress and development of humankind. Physics is an exciting intellectual adventure that inspires young people and expands the frontiers of our knowledge about Nature.

Students may already be familiar with some of the topics that they will study in GCSE Physics, including forces, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism. At A-level, they will look at these areas in more detail and find out how they are interconnected. They will also learn how to apply maths to real-world problems and explore new areas such as particle physics, cosmology and medical physics. Perhaps more importantly, students are encouraged to develop skills that can be transferred to just about any other area of work, from setting up a business to saving the planet. Physics doesn’t give us all the answers, but it teaches us how to ask the right questions.

Although only a lucky few get the chance to become an astronaut, studying physics can help land a job in space, as a cosmologist investigating the evolution of the universe, a planet-hunter searching for habitable planets around other stars or an astrophysicist who searches for dark matter and black holes. If you prefer something more hands-on, there are also lots of jobs in space engineering.

Whether as a surgeon or a clinical scientist, understanding physics is important if you want to work in modern medicine. Physics has revolutionised the diagnosis and treatment of illness. Surgery is now routinely carried out using lasers; cancer is treated using radiation, and new ways of using physics to see inside our bodies are being developed every year.

Architects and civil engineers design all sorts of buildings, from schools to skyscrapers, as well as other vital structures like bridges, dams and tunnels. A-level physics could be the first step towards a career in building a better world.

Making realistic visual effects for films and TV, or design computer games needs physics. People with a background in physics are needed more than ever to monitor climate change and find sustainable ways of generating electricity. More engineers are needed to work out how to save water, improve the world’s food supply, make travel more environmentally friendly and recycle waste on a large scale.

To know how to answer questions like how big the universe is, what everything is made of and whether time-travel is possible, all involve an understanding of physics. Although physicists have made huge progress in answering many questions, there is still plenty to find out.

At Sharjah English School, Physics is offered at GCSE and A Level.