Physics for the future

29 November 2019

In 2018, the Trust launched a new programme to support the development and retention of early career physics teachers. Now in its second year, the Trust is supporting seven Early Career Physics Teacher Fellows in 2019/20. They met earlier this month for a day of mentoring, support and inspiration.

The day was hosted by Dan Cottle at the University of Birmingham and the Ogden Early Career Teacher Fellows were joined by other newly qualified teachers (NQT) supported by the IOP Future Physics Leaders.

The day 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. There was also an opportunity to get hands-on with circuits and to explore the expansion of the universe. All of these sessions brought valuable insight to classroom physics; they offered practical, easy to implement ideas, and equipped the teachers with techniques and resources for confidently delivering engaging lessons.

“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. “We hope that the Early Career Teacher Fellow programme and events like this one, will provide some much needed support and nurture for teachers as they begin their careers. As well as 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."

The Ogden Early Career Teacher Development (ECTD) programme supports physics teachers who are between their second and fifth year of teaching post qualifying. The programme is designed to support these early career teachers in their subject knowledge and pedagogical development following their formal teacher training. The programme, which awards a grant to the school as a time buy out of a half day per week, involves regular mentoring, access to, and funding for, additional CPD, and set timetable release to develop subject knowledge and pedagogy.

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