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School partnership: James Rickett (Science Technician)

Published: 14 August 2020

I have been working in schools since the 1990s. I have worked as a technician for the majority of that time but have spent several years teaching physics too. I returned to technician work having discovered that, for me, the joys of teaching were far fewer than the daily enjoyment of working in the prep room.

I have worked as a physics technician in private schools and in state schools; I have experience of working within a well-resourced department, but also in situations with very limited resources and physics A-level taught by a maths specialist. I currently work as physics technician in Durham school, one of the oldest schools in the country. Here there is plenty of support for physics teaching and the headmaster is one of the physics teachers in the school.

I am now bringing all these experiences to my Ogden role so I can better support the partnership schools who find themselves in a range of different circumstances. I want to help re-energise the excitement for physics by supporting the technicians to be able to offer exciting and enthralling learning opportunities to the pupils that are straightforward to prepare and deliver.

I have enjoyed finding out about the abundant knowledge that there is amongst the technician community and the different levels of skills people are bringing to their schools. It is surprising to hear of the stresses that some technicians are placed under, whether it comes to solo working or covering a massive workload, but the dedication of the staff I have talked to, with regards to providing the best possible support to the pupils in their schools, is very encouraging.

You can see in schools that the enthusiasm of staff for their subject is infectious. With fewer physics-specialist practitioners in the workplace it is becoming a cycle of missed opportunities; the spark of excitement for the subject is left unignited without the energy of the physics enthusiast. I hope I can help nurture and encourage an enthusiasm for physics by supporting the technicians who support the teachers.

James Ricketts
Technician lead, north
Physics Technician, Durham School
(February 2020)

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