Physics for the future

19 August 2018

This year, 52 Ogden Teach Physics interns completed placements at 43 schools around England, as the undergraduates seriously considered whether teaching might be a possible career for them. The response this year has been a resounding yes!

Now in its eighth year, the Teach Physics programme provides undergraduates with a 4–5-week placement in school science departments, allowing students to gain an intensive experience of teaching physics and of broader school life, as well as developing transferable skills for other careers.

“We were delighted with the programme this year,” says Amnah Khan, Programme Officer for the scheme. “We had a fantastic calibre of applicants and were able to place the undergraduates at schools that have a really strong physics department, meaning the interns could immerse themselves in teaching with a strong network of support and resources. Equally they could bring their enthusiasm and expertise into the school and offer an extra pair of hands for projects and extra-curricular activities than may normally not be possible.”

"As a result of this internship I am going to pursue a career in teaching and am looking to do a PGCE or teach first training course once I graduate in 2020."

The feedback from the interns has been overwhelmingly positive; the scheme has enabled the interns to embrace the opportunity and has given them useful ideas and information to take with them to their placements. The interns generally reported a sense of integration in their school communities and a feeling that they were making genuinely useful and worthwhile contributions both to the schools and to the students. Feedback for this year, shows that the programme gives a realistic insight into teaching; many of the interns believe they are now more likely to pursue a career in teaching.

"I can confidently say that teaching is a very rewarding career and that it is different every day!"

The year, several new schools have taken part in the programme as well as other long-established partners who have hosted interns for many years: feedback has been positive both on the scheme itself, and on the quality and contributions of the interns. 

“We value having interns come to work with us,” explains a teacher at one school. “They give us fresh insight and perspective on our teaching and add value to the department in terms of their up to date knowledge of subject material.” Another teacher agrees: “We always value the presence of Ogden interns at this time of year and [our intern this year] has been no exception. It is a fantastic opportunity for students of all year groups and abilities to engage with someone from 'the real word'. [Our intern] has been able to offer invaluable advice to our students regarding their subject, course and career options, they have also given excellent tuition to students and offered expert guidance in their studies. We have taken the careers lesson that [our intern] developed and incorporated into our Year 9 scheme of work.”

Teach Physics intern in action 2018

The Ogden interns were supported and mentored by experienced teachers; they observed and participated in school science lessons and extra-curricular activities. In addition, they planned and delivered their own lessons, and gave presentations on the varied careers possible with a physics degree, as well as their experiences of university life, during their placement. The interns were able to assist with all aspects of teaching, including the development of resources that can be used for science teaching and activities at the school.

"[Our intern] has had a positive impact on all the classes she has been in, either through delivering parts of lessons, working with targeted individuals/groups, having conversations with the students or just marking and preparing lesson resources. The time she has freed up from staff has more than outweighed the time needed for admin. She has been a real asset." 
"[Our intern] has worked to an exceptionally high standard throughout his time here. He has taught in all classes that we attached him to and has actively looked for opportunities to teach from the front wherever possible. His notable achievements are advertising and running a series of lunchtime lectures demonstrating what university physics is like (lectures included quantum mechanics and relativity) and these were really well attended by students from Y9,10, and 12. He also helped plan and deliver a series of lessons on the use of oscilloscopes and applying them to charging and discharging capacitors."


Teach Physics intern in action 2018

"Science staff have commented upon her preparation, planning, organisational skills and time management. She has impressed us with her politeness, professionalism, enthusiasm, reliability and her caring and engaging approach. She has made people smile and our pupils have enjoyed and benefitted from working with her."
"[Our intern’s] attitude was fantastic throughout the placement. He got fully involved in all of the classes he was assigned and went above and beyond in designing activities and producing resources. He was enthusiastic in lessons and was great at engaging the students and was very professional in the way he interacted with other members of staff."
A physics display created by a 2018 Teach Physics intern
A physics display created by a 2018 Teach Physics intern
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