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Supporting early career teachers

Applications are now open for the Early Career Teacher Support programme: Teaching Core Physics and Developing Physics Specialism. Apply by 1 July.

Published: 6 May 2022

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

In the past year,  nearly 70 early career teachers have benefitted from our Early Career Teacher Support programmes, and applications are now open for the 2022-23.

The programme offers free physics mentoring and support for early career teachers from initial teacher training through to their fifth year of teaching.

  • Teaching core physics is for secondary (or middle school) early career teachers (in their first and second year of teaching) teaching physics at any level.
  • Developing physics specialism is 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.

“I have found the course extremely valuable in building up a bank of practical ways to deliver concepts. It’s been really helpful having a smaller group where we can ask questions and discuss our practice to get advice and support from one another. I’ve enjoyed gathering the perspective from our course leader and also from other schools in which people work.”
Early Career participant, 2021/22

All those who successfully apply for the early career support programme will be invited to a fully funded two-day festival later this year, where they can 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.”

Three adult males around a table with worksheets and a science exeriment

Daniel Hobson (pictured left) at the Early Career Teacher Development conference 2019

Application deadline for academic year 2022-23: 1 July 2022

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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