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Early career: Jo Beswick

“The Early Career programme has been amazing…I went from a point of properly hating the subject and now just have no fear about teaching physics.”

Published: 26 March 2024

Jo Beswick is in her second year teaching science, with a specialism in biology. She teaches all science subjects up to GCSE at Great Marlow School and has now met her ECT requirements early. Jo has been on the Ogden early career programme and thinks that this support has helped her to excel in her ECT years. Jo tells us more about her teaching journey so far and the support she has received from The Ogden Trust.

My biology subject knowledge is obviously very strong, and my chemistry is good but my physics was shocking. When I was doing my teacher training year, I had to teach physics up to Year 8 and that felt manageable, but I didn’t enjoy it all – in fact, I hated it!  

I signed up for the Ogden Early Career programme for two reasons: firstly, for the subject knowledge and secondly for the confidence, and it has without doubt helped me with both. 

I take a lot of pride in my teaching, and I want it to be of a high enough standard that I give lessons that are really robust. It is all the little things, isn’t it? Making sure that the language you use is just right and that you are not introducing misconceptions.   

The Early Career programme has been amazing! I sing the praises of the Ogden Trust all the time! I went from a point of properly hating the subject and now just have no fear about teaching physics; I really enjoy it! I find it fascinating and interesting and that comes through when I am teaching.  

Mentoring 

My mentor made me feel like I was just scooped up – he was very accessible and open and available, and made it very easy for me to tap into the programme. He was so generous with his time and with his expert knowledge and he was really patient, which was fantastic for someone like me who struggled with some of the physics concepts.  

I was doing plenty of work in between my mentoring sessions, lots of practice GCSE questions, reading books, doing extra webinars – I did work really hard – but the inspiration from the programme made me want to do that.  

All of the training and mentoring I had from the early career programme was so specific to the classroom it was a massive build on subject knowledge but very much about application – I would come into the classroom and effectively my mentor had helped me to prepare for that lesson – explain it like this, ask these questions, try this practical. 

At the Ogden Early Career Festival, I was stunned by the enthusiasm of the Ogden team, the presenters, the mentors – everyone was just brilliant. I came away with resources, ideas and enthusiasm, including a big book of practicals [The Revised Resourceful Physics Teacher by Keith Gibbs] which is now one of my reference ‘bibles’.  

Classroom inspiration  

I have learned so many fantastic little practicals using everyday items and that is how I teach now. I have this big cupboard behind me in my classroom which is a homage to people I met during the Ogden early career programme. When I open the cupboard door the kids all go ‘wwwooohhhh’ because they know I am going to pull out some random stuff to demonstrate a point and I think that is one of the biggest things that I have got from the programme – how to bring the physics alive in the classroom in such brilliant ways. 

I can’t believe that the support from The Ogden Trust is free! Why are all the non-specialists not doing it! It has transformed how I teach physics and how I feel about teaching physics. 

A group of people male and female, at a circle table. At a conference, working together

2022 Early Career Festival.

Jo Beswick
Science Teacher
Great Marlow School
(March 2024) 


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