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A festival of physics teaching

Early career teachers from the Ogden network gather for a summer conference of inspiring CPD, workshops and networking before they head (back) to the classroom.

Published: 26 August 2022

The Ogden Trust provides tailored support for teachers of physics during their early career from initial teacher training to fifth year of teaching post qualifying. This week, 40 teachers from the network came together for an Early Career Festival which provided a programme of CPD, workshops and fascinating lectures designed to inspire early career teachers.

The sessions offered insight, support and advice from experienced practitioners and mentors; they provided practical, easy to implement ideas, and equipped the teachers with techniques and resources for confidently delivering engaging physics lessons. The festival included a whistle stop tour of top teaching tips (50 things every physics teacher should know), discussion on real life physics contexts, and atomic and particle physics with Lego.

a group of adults seated in a conference room listening to a presentation

The second day took place at the National Space Centre (NSC) in Leicester and Professor Anu Ojha (NSC Discovery Director) provided a fascinating insight into the role of manned and unmanned space exploration, why it matters and how it continues to expand our knowledge of Earth and the universe. There was also an opportunity to get hands-on with some fabulous physics demos and a session to consider physics and storytelling which can be a powerful way to engage young learners who may not consider themselves to be scientists. The physics of climate change and seismology were also both on the agenda, as the teachers were given ideas and inspiration for bringing these topics into the classroom.

“Retention of excellent science teachers in the profession remains a concern across the education sector,” explains James de Winter, Associate Lecturer in Science Education at the University of Cambridge and Ogden lead for initial teacher education & early career teacher development. “The Early Career programme and events like this festival, provide some much-needed support and nurture for teachers as they begin their careers. As well as the networking with other early career teachers and the great physics covered throughout the day, the expert practitioners who delivered the sessions were able to chat to the teachers to help them feel supported and part of a valued community.”

three adults at a table looking at a physics demonstration

“It was genuinely the most useful two days of my teaching journey so far and I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity.”

“I had a fantastic couple of days and gained a lot from each of the sessions.”

“I was apprehensive about attending, as I have attended residentials with other organisations in the past and they were not worthwhile. I am glad that I decided to attend, as I have had such a great time learning and meeting so many different people and the mentors, who have given me so much enthusiasm to start the new year.”

three adults using lego to investigate particle physics

Teacher Network

Our Early Career programme is part of the Ogden Teacher Network which also provides opportunities in education research and leadership in physics teaching. Visit our Teacher Network pages on this website to find out more about the opportunities available.

 


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