The O-Level physics syllabus provides students with a coherent understanding of energy, matter, and their interrelationships. It focuses on investigating natural phenomena and then applying patterns, models (including mathematical ones), principles, theories and laws to explain the physical behaviour of the universe. The theories and concepts presented in this syllabus belong to a branch of physics commonly referred to as classical physics. Modern physics, developed to explain the quantum properties at the atomic and sub-atomic level, is built on knowledge of these classical theories and concepts. Students should think of physics in terms of scales. Whereas the classical theories such as Newton’s laws of motion apply to common physical systems that are larger than the size of atoms, a more comprehensive theory, quantum theory, is needed to describe systems at the atomic and sub-atomic scales. It is at these scales that physicists are currently making new discoveries and inventing new applications. It is envisaged that teaching and learning programmes based on this syllabus would feature a wide variety of learning experiences designed to promote acquisition of scientific expertise and understanding, and to develop values and attitudes relevant to science. Teachers are encouraged to use a combination of appropriate strategies to effectively engage and challenge their students. It is expected that students will apply investigative and problem-solving skills, effectively communicate the theoretical concepts covered in this course and appreciate the contribution physics makes to our understanding of the physical world.

These are not listed in order of priority. The aims are to: 

  1. provide, through well-designed studies of experimental and practical physics, a worthwhile educational experience for all students, whether or not they go on to study science beyond this level and, in particular, to enable them to acquire sufficient understanding and knowledge to 
    1. become confident citizens in a technological world, able to take or develop an informed interest in matters of scientific importance
    2. recognise the usefulness, and limitations, of scientific method and to appreciate its applicability in other disciplines and in everyday life
    3. be suitably prepared for studies beyond Ordinary Level in physics, in applied sciences or in science-related courses.
  2. develop abilities and skills that 
    1. are relevant to the study and practice of science
    2. are useful in everyday life
    3. encourage efficient and safe practice
    4. encourage effective communication.
  3. develop attitudes relevant to science such as 
    1. concern for accuracy and precision 
    2. objectivity 
    3. integrity 
    4. inquiry 
    5. initiative 
    6. inventiveness. 
  4. stimulate interest in and care for the local and global environment. 
  5. promote an awareness that 
    1. the study and practice of science are co-operative and cumulative activities, and are subject to social, economic, technological, ethical and cultural influences and limitations 
    2. the applications of science may be both beneficial and detrimental to the individual, the community and the environment 
    3. science transcends national boundaries and that the language of science, correctly and rigorously applied, is universal
    4. the use of information technology is important for communications, as an aid to experiments and as a tool for the interpretation of experimental and theoretical results.