Developing physics through partnerships
Applications are still open for new school partnerships. Submit your expression of interest by 2 February.
Published: 12 January 2023
“It’s been a real pleasure to watch the partnership develop across the school, it’s not only had an impact in terms of teaching and learning in science, but for the whole curriculum going forward.”
Kaye Haywood, Headteacher, Beacon Ace Academy
Bodmin Partnership (2020- )
The School Partnerships programme offers five years of funding, support, opportunities and teacher CPD to schools that are committed to working together to enhance physics teaching and learning. In 2022, we welcomed 32 new partnerships, bringing 290 new schools into the programme. The Trust is currently inviting applications for new school partnerships starting in September 2023. Expressions of interest need to be made by February 2.
Teacher CPD and raising students’ science capital and career aspirations are at the heart of the school partnerships programme; partnership funding for enrichment and extra-curricular activities adds another dimension to the teaching and learning of physics, encouraging learners to take physics further.
“We hope that the partnership programme helps to increase the number of students going on to take physics at GCSE, A-level and at university, as well as thinking about how physics can contribute to career aspirations,” explains Wendy Cox, Head of Education at the Trust.
“The additional support and opportunities available to physics teachers, technicians and primary teaching assistants in partnership schools can enhance their subject knowledge and career development, contributing to job satisfaction and teacher retention.”
The programme supports local clusters of schools and established collaborations, such as multi-academy trusts, as well as providing regional support through place-based partnerships.
The Cheltenham Partnership joined the Ogden network in September 2021. “I wanted to start a partnership primarily to support the development of science in primary school,” explains partnership co-ordinator Matthew Squire. “Science is a subject full of wonder and curiosity and too often pupils are finding themselves switched off from it before they reach secondary school where they consider it too hard.
“[Ogden partnership] funding has benefitted hundreds of pupils in this year alone which is going to continue to grow and develop as they move from primary into secondary school. I would encourage others to set up a partnership and experience the support offered by the Ogden Trust.”
“The Ogden partnership has allowed us to build a collaborative teaching community in which non-specialist primary teachers have gained a real confidence in the delivery of the physical sciences. The enrichment opportunities offered within our community have increased science capital; and science, in particular physics, has been made more relevant and more accessible to the students and their parents. Joining The Ogden Trust has raised the profile of physics and a lot more students are seeing science-related careers that they would like to pursue far earlier in their learning journey.”
Everton McClymont, Partnership Co-ordinator
Lewisham Partnership (2020- )
Five years of funding
A local cluster partnership can apply for up to £2,500 per academic year for the first three years and up to £1,000 in the fourth year for partnership activities to enhance the teaching and learning of physics. A further grant of up to £250 is available as partnerships move into their legacy phase. In the first year, partnership co-ordinators are awarded a time buy-out giving them half a day a week to build relationships across the cluster and establish the partnership.
An established collaboration partnership (ie a MAT) can apply for up to £2,000 per academic year for the first three years and £1,000 in the fourth year for activities to enhance the teaching and learning of physics. The partnership lead is eligible for up to two years of time buy-out to support the partnership.
Teachers at all partnership schools can also access CPD from Early Years Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 3. Science Talk is available to primary schools in their first partnership year – this CPD session provides ideas and activities to encourage the youngest learners to discover more about the world around them, developing their questioning skills and approach to problem-solving to facilitate meaningful learning experiences.
Phizzi CPD is a four-year programme for primary partnership schools. One of the key primary science (physical processes) topics is covered each year in a single training session, which includes a comprehensive teacher guide and resources for classroom investigations (worth about £400 each year).
KS3 Physics CPD is available to Year 1 partnerships and covers the topics of electricity, waves and forces – sessions include strategies for teaching these core physics topics to ensure progression and provide engaging and challenging classroom approaches. Each partnership school that attends this CPD will get resource boxes to take away, a book to support physics teaching and a set of ‘hooks’ to use for engaging practical demonstrations.
“My [Phizzi CPD] was some of the most enjoyable training that I’ve had in the last 20 years! The planning and new resources are a real bonus that will make preparing for the lessons, and teaching them well, much easier. It was very practical and engaging but ensured that subject knowledge was developed and secured too. There were lots of good ideas that I will use in the classroom.”
Teacher feedback from Phizzi CPD
Want to know more?
If you are interested in forming a new partnership, expressions of interest need to completed by 1 February 2023. If your Expression of Interest is approved following the review process, formative partnerships will be supported through an induction phase ready to begin at the start of the new academic year. You can find details of the full application process here.