Physics Student Community – South West

This is a teacher-nominated programme. Nominations for the academic year 2020-21 are now closed. If you wish to make a late nomination, please email

Target Audience: students from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset who stand out for their achievement in and/or enthusiasm for physics.

Format: five enrichment days led by EMS,  spread throughout the year.  Online teaching will be used for some if not all of the academic year 2020-21.  Participants will be kept updated.

Aim: to provide students, that might otherwise be isolated, with a community of like-minded peers to explore challenging and interesting physics.

How to get involved:  Teacher nominations for the 2020-21 programme are now closed.  Please email if you would like to make a late nomination.

Capacity: 64 (16 per year)

The PSC is a rolling programme for students from Years 8-11.  Students join us at the beginning of Year 8 and remain on the programme until Year 11.

Our aim is to bring together and inspire able physics students from across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, forming a community of learners who will work together, share ideas, attend masterclasses and receive mentoring; delivering a fascinating insight into the exciting field of physics!

Teachers frequently identify students within their settings who stand out from the crowd and who can find themselves working in isolation.  Our aim is to bring these students together, to enable them to work with peers who are similarly able and motivated, to provide stimuli which will deepen and broaden their appreciation of physics and its related fields and to demonstrate how physics relates to their lives.

It is our intention to support students throughout their secondary school career, regardless of whether or not they decide to apply for a place in our sixth form.

How it works

In ‘normal’ times, students joining the PSC-SW participate in a series of enrichment days with Exeter Mathematics School.  We are running this programme online only during the academic year 20-21 Please see below confirmed dates for the autumn term sessions for Years 10 and 11.  Sessions for Years 8 and 9 will commence in the second half of the Spring term.

During the enrichment days students will take part in masterclasses and workshops. They will be  introduced to Physics beyond the normal curriculum and will be encouraged to think about, debate and explore challenging concepts and ideas.

How to join

This programme is teacher nominated only; we cannot accept applications from students directly.  Nominations for the 20-21 academic year are now closed.  If you wish to make a late application, please email

If you are already part of the PSC, you will automatically be moved up into the next year group, year on year.

Year 10 and 11 Schedule

Sat 10th October 1000-1100 Fermi
Sat 7th November 1000-1100 Non-Euclidian
Sat 5th December 1000-1100 Quantum Mechanics

Students will be sent pre-session taster material before each workshop to stimulate thinking and encourage discussion on the day.  Further dates will be confirmed for the Spring term.

Physics GCSE Enhancement Course

Target Audience: students who are not yet working at the highest level (i.e. working at a 6/7, but capable of achieving an 8/9).

Format: 15 online lessons per year delivered by EMS teachers after school hours. The Year 11 group will begin in the autumn term with the programme concluding at February half-term.   The Year 10 programme will begin in the spring term.

Aim: to enable students to achieve better GCSE grades than initially predicted and to therefore have greater opportunities in Further and Higher education.

How to get involved: Nominations for the Year 10 2020-21 programme will open in the second half of autumn term. We currently have spaces in our Year 11 group – teachers, please click here to make Year 11 nominations.

Capacity: 32 (16 per year group).

During a series of workshops and group sessions, students will have the opportunity to develop a deeper and more connected understanding of GCSE content.

Supported by EMS staff, students will be provided with the stimuli to broaden their application of Physics and its related fields, whilst supporting their development; thereby encouraging them towards further study of Physics beyond GCSE.

How it works

Students will attend 15 online sessions in total during the autumn and spring (Year 11 cohort) and spring (Year 10 cohort) terms.

How to join

This programme is teacher nominated only; we cannot accept applications from students directly. Teachers are invited to nominate Year 10 students during the autumn term.  Year 11 nominations are still open.  Please click her to make a Year 11 nomination. 

This programme will commence in the Spring term 2021. Dates and times will be published here in due course.

All sessions run on-line on Tuesday afternoons from 1600-1700:

Autumn Term

22nd September 29th September 6th October
13th October 20th October 3rd November
10th November 17th November 24th November
1st December 8th December

Spring Term

12th January 19th January 26th January
2nd February 9th February

Ogden Trust KS4 Physics Challenge

Target Audience: Year 10 and 11 students in the Exeter & East-Devon area.

When: 2020-21 date TBC.  Watch this space!

Where: The Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS

Format: An afternoon with four rounds in a team-based inter-school competition.

Aim: to have fun, be challenged, enjoy Physics in a buzzy environment!

How to get involved: Physics teachers are emailed by EMS in the half term before the event takes place.

Capacity: 80 (20 teams)

Ogden Trust KS5 Physics Challenge

Target Audience: year 12 and 13 students in the Exeter & East-Devon area.

Date: 2020-21 date TBC – watch this space!

Format: An afternoon with four rounds in a team-based inter-school competition.

Aim: to have fun, be challenged, enjoy physics in a buzzy environment!

Capacity: 60 (15 teams)

Triangle mountains