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Physics Futures

Teachers in the Ogden Teacher Network come together to share practice and develop their skills.

Published: 8 March 2023

Last week, 40 teachers attended the Ogden Physics Future Conference – a free one-day conference for teachers in our teacher network. The day was held at the Institute of Physics in London, and included professional development workshops, guest speakers and networking opportunities. James de Winter, Ogden consultant and Secondary Physics PGCE course leader at the University of Cambridge, shared his insight and expertise on the six things you need to think about when you are teaching physics, sharing brilliant examples of real-life physics in action including the physics of birdsong. Dennis Sherwood, who studied undergraduate physics at the University of Cambridge before a career in academia and business, has now founded Silver Bullet Machine – an innovation consultancy. He enthused our attendees with ideas on the process of innovation and how to apply this in teaching physics.

Six people pictured seated and looking towards a large screen where a presentation is underway

Primary teachers at a Physics Futures presentation.

“Thank you so much for the Physics Futures conference on Thursday – it was really useful, and I’ve already implemented some of the content in my A-level lessons.”

Teachers enjoyed CPD sessions throughout the day, which included using secondary data for pattern seeking enquiries in primary science, and hands-on practical investigations from the Perimeter Institute which introduced some of the latest physics thinking. They also heard more about the Ogden Science Teacher Fellowship scheme which gives experienced teachers time away from the classroom to deliver a project that will develop their physics teaching leadership and support other teachers of physics.

“The conference was educational and fun. The speakers were very thought provoking and the physics CPD bits were brilliant.”

A talk from Jon Langsley-Gordon, previously an assistant head teacher and now managing director of Blackett Lab Family, explored how the concept of a physics identity is crucial in diversifying physics and striving for authentic inclusion, enabling all students to feel that science is for them. The day was concluded with a fascinating talk from Dr Jackie Bell from Imperial College London. A mathematician, particle physicist, and award-winning advocate for diversity in STEM, Jackie shared an inspirational insight into her career so far and her unique journey to becoming Britain’s next astronaut.

people sit in rows of chairs, chatting during a break in a conference presentation.

Delegates take time to discuss and reflect during the Physics Futures conference.

“The Physics Futures Conference has been a truly inspirational event,” says Charley Phillips, Head of Teacher Support. “It has been great to hear the experiences of our speakers and their journeys in physics, highlighting the importance of ensuring all students feel like physics is for them.”

As part of our legacy partnership programme, eight teachers joined us on a tour of the UCL observatory in Mill Hill the day before the conference. This was a fantastic opportunity to see working telescopes in action and to hear from UCL students about their current astrophysics research.


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