About Fathoming Physics

Dr. Tammy Humphrey is a PhD qualified physics teacher with more than 15 years experience teaching HSC physics and Physics Olympiad preparation classes for gifted students. Tammy is co-director of the Australian Junior Science Olympiad and a sessional lecturer at the Australian Catholic University where she teaches physics pedagogy to preservice physics teachers. Prior to these roles she taught HSC physics at a local selective high school. She has presented workshops for HSC physics teachers at STANSW stage 6 conferences (in 2023 and 2021), co-written a number of the NSW DOE module guides for physics and has written module 6 resources for the HSC hub for physics

Fathoming Physics HSC physics and Physics Olympiad tuition

The goal of Fathoming Physics classes is for students to develop a genuine, robust, conceptual understanding of physics.

This is the approach most likely to produce the best academic outcome as well as the highest level of student enjoyment and motivation.

An expert teacher

All classes are taught by Tammy, a qualified teacher with a PhD in Physics with 15 years experience teaching gifted and profoundly gifted students.

Producing exceptional results

I support all of my students to achieve their personal best – whether their goal is moving from band 5 to band 6 in HSC physics, obtaining a mark in the high 90s to support their entry to med, or representing Australia in the International Physics Olympiad. 

Past students have achieved state ranks (2022, 2019), ATARs of 99.95 (2019-2022), and an HSC physics exam mark of 100 (2022). My students have been selected for the Australian Physics Olympiad Summer School (2011, 2016, and 2019-2024) and have represented Australia at the Asian and International Physics Olympiads (2011, 2016, 2019, 2022, 2023). In 2023, 8 of 9 students in my Advanced Olympiad class who sat the APhO exam received an invitation to attend the Physics Olmpiad Summer School in January 2024.

Where each student is known and cared for

Small group sizes ensure that I can spend time talking to each student during class to monitor their progress, answer students’ questions and provide individual feedback on their work.

Teaching all requirements of the syllabus

Fathoming Physics is unique in that both the theory and practical work required by the syllabus are fully integrated into lessons. School assessment marks for HSC Physics are weighted as 60% “Working Scientifically Skills” and 40% “Knowledge and Understanding”, so developing and refining students’ experimental skills plays a critical role in achieving outstanding results.

In the photo above students are recording a sound wave and using a data logger to visualise the wave and measure its period and frequency.

With effective and enjoyable lessons

The use of practice testing, spaced repetition and interleaving of content in weekly revision ensures that students consolidate and improve their understanding over time. The efficacy of these learning strategies is backed by many decades of research in cognitive science.

Problems based on real phenomena and hands-on experiences assist students to make sense of otherwise abstract concepts and ensure lessons are effective, memorable and enjoyable.

In the above video students measure the speed of a ping pong ball in a vacuum cannon using high speed video analysis and compare this to the value they have calculated using the physics in the first year 11 module and measurements of air pressure and the dimensions of the tube.


Specialising in meeting the needs of gifted students

Fathoming Physics is the only specialist provider of physics tuition in Sydney offering both HSC and Physics Olympiad tuition. For students who are mathematically gifted and enjoy physics, completing the Physics Olympiad preparation courses provides an opportunity to achieve at a national and international level in physics as well as the strongest possible conceptual foundation for later study of HSC physics. 

Overview of classes

Provides an overview of the structure of Fathoming Physics classes

Year 11 physics tuition

Year 11 physics provides a critical foundation for conceptual understanding in HSC physics. Students in year 9 or 10 with a very strong mathematical background who are enthusiastic about learning physics may also enrol in this class.

HSC physics tuition

HSC classes are designed around the goal of optimising students’ results in HSC physics. Classes focus on conceptual understanding of physics, working scientifically skills and perfecting students’ written answers to HSC-style extended response questions. Practice testing, interleaving and spaced repetition are utilised in every class to maximise students’ exam performance.


This is a new class for 2024. It is designed for students who have already completed year 11 physics in year 9 or 10, who would like to work towards the dual goals of achieving an HSC physics mark of 95+ as well as performing well in the Australian Physics Olympiad exam in August.

Advanced Physics Olympiad

This calculus based course is taught at the level of first year university physics and is designed to prepare students for the Physics Olympiad Summer School.


94B Baker St. Carlingford 2118






HSC physics and Physics Olympiad tutoring with Dr. Tammy Humphrey, a PhD qualified physics teacher with 15 years experience teaching gifted students. Classes include all practical work as well as all theoretical work required by the HSC physics syllabus.