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Early career teacher support

Published: 20 May 2021

“If you are thinking about applying, then think no more. Get the application written as it will provide you with a life changing experience.”

Applications are now open for the 2021-22 Early Career Teacher Support programmes. The programme offers free mentoring and support for early career physics teachers from initial teacher training through to their fifth year of teaching.

  • Teaching core physics scheme for secondary (or middle school) NQTs and RQTs teaching physics at any level.
  • Developing physics specialisms offers Individual mentoring for teachers of physics in their third, fourth and fifth year of teaching.

Find out more on our Teacher Support pages.

There are two strands within the programme to offer the support needed as teachers progress through their early teaching career. Teaching core physics provides secondary teachers in their first or second year of teaching physics at any stage with half termly coaching sessions in a local peer group. Each of these sessions focuses on a different area of physics, relevant teaching approaches and resources, and can be used to provide additional subject-specific support to the Early Career Framework provision. The local peer group enables teachers to build a support network and share ideas across schools.

For those teaching a significant physics timetable (usually including some triple science or A-level classes) in their third to fifth year of teaching, developing physics specialism provides bespoke individual mentoring. Teachers will agree goals with their mentor at the start of the year and will be supported as they work towards them. They will also get a funded place for a conference of their choice and receive three books relevant to their development.

“As an older trainee teacher entering the profession after a career in the engineering industry, the Early Career Support programme gave me access to fantastic advice and mentoring which helped me overcome many of my concerns about teaching – such as what teaching resources are required or available, and do I have to author all of my own lesson resources? My Ogden Trust mentor reassured me that my own opinion was ok!”
Sean Chesman, Early Career, 2020/21

All those who successfully apply for the early career support programme will be invited to a fully-funded two-day festival in August. The event will be subject to COVID guidelines and may be held online but will provide an opportunity to build networks, share practice and develop skills.

“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 early career teacher development. “We hope that these programmes will provide some much needed support and nurture for teachers as they begin their careers.”

Daniel Hobson completed his participation in the early career programme in 2020.

“As an early career physics teacher, you can often feel alone which is generally caused by the lack of physics teachers in your department. When I first started at my school, I was the only physics teacher, and this meant I had no one to bounce ideas off.

“The early career support I received from the Trust enabled me to meet fellow teachers and leading practitioners of physics. Having access to a physics mentor was greatly beneficial as it allowed me to evaluate my approach to certain topics but also to get advice on how to adapt lessons to suit all children. “The programme has allowed me to experience a couple of ‘magic’ moments already in the classroom. The first was the forces dance mat aimed at allowing students to think about resolving forces; the other was creating a new model for the alpha scattering experiment which involved a hula hoop, marble and a nerf gun!

“I’m looking forward to developing this early career network further and hoping to attend more events that are specifically related to physics. The Ogden Trust has provided me with a platform to develop but has also provided me with support in the tough moments. If you are thinking about applying, then think no more. Get the application written as it will provide you with a life changing experience.”

3 people at an Early Career Teacher Development support event
Daniel Hobson (pictured left) at the Early Career Teacher Development conference 2019

Application deadline for academic year 2021-22: 2 July 2021

It is expected that the majority of those applying will be able to take part but if programmes are oversubscribed, priority will be given to applications that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • applicant school’s free school meals % above national average (27%)
  • applicant school is Ofsted 3 or 4 rated
  • applicant teacher is lone physics specialist, or
  • applicant teacher is a non-physics specialist teaching post-16 physics and employed as a physics teacher.

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