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Supporting teachers

Published: 17 January 2020

Do you have an inspiring physics education project that you would like to share with more people? Applications are now open to the Ogden Senior Teacher Fellowship programme for 2020/21, which offers funding to schools for a physics teacher’s timetable release and supports project costs so teachers can deliver initiatives that bring the wonder of physics to a wider audience.

Dr Caroline Neuberg, recent recipient of the Royal Astronomical Society’s Patrick Moore Medal in recognition of her achievement in teaching geophysics, used her Ogden fellowship to develop a network of seismometers in schools.

Lewis Matheson, was awarded a fellowship to develop his ideas for supporting classroom physics teaching: GCSE and A Level Physics Online.

“The support from the Ogden Trust while I was a Senior Teacher fellow allowed me the time to take a step back from teaching to consider the most effective way to teach students the underlying physics concepts. Knowing that I had the encouragement from other professionals and freedom to develop my project allowed me to plan and film hundreds of GCSE physics videos that thousands of pupils are now using.”

“Senior Teacher Fellowships are awarded to teachers who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to physics education and have worked with the Trust before. The Fellowship Programme is designed to help give teachers the capacity to deliver a physics project that is outside of their teaching commitments,” explains Programme Manager Paul Sapple. “Enabling teachers to pursue and progress their ideas will develop pedagogy and support extra-curricular activity, whilst also sharing their expertise beyond their school.”

“The projects should address the aims of the Trust, and should help inspire or empower young people to take physics further,” continues Paul. “They should help to build science capital and aim to reach some of the Trust’s priority audiences.”

“We would like the projects to be sustainable once the Fellowship has ended,” says Paul. “And we would like to be able to share the project idea, know-how and resources so that other teachers can consider implementing the idea in their school or local area.”

This year’s fellowships (19/20) include three secondary physics teachers who are delivering their own physics initiatives for schools and four primary teachers who are working on a new research and development collaboration between University College London and King’s College London – Primary science capital: a whole school teaching approach.

Clare Loizos, primary science specialist at Broadlea School in the Isle of Wight, is one of the Senior Teacher Fellows taking part in the science capital project:

“Since becoming a Senior Teacher Fellow in September 2019, I have been learning about Science Capital in our primary classrooms and given the opportunity to work with other STFs to share ideas and put this into practice in our classrooms. It has been fantastic to get dedicated time to do this; so far we have met up twice in London, to share ideas and pedagogy, as well as really getting the time to evaluate our own practice.

The thing that has really resonated with me is the reminder of why are we doing what we are doing – are we doing it for the books, ourselves, our school, to tick boxes? Or are we really doing our jobs to change society and the understanding, engagement and aspiration of every individually child we teach? It has reminded me that I don’t always consider the uniqueness of the individuals I teach, and has provided me with the inspiration to try to ‘tweak’ every lesson slightly to ensure I am focusing on the children ALWAYS.

It sounds simple – and it is! It has hugely changed my mindset already and I am seeing the impact in the classroom. I love being able to discuss this with other STFs, where we can laugh at failed efforts and try to work together to find ideas and solutions that will work for all primary aged scientists!”
Claire Loizos

Applicants must currently be, or have previously been, involved with an Ogden Trust programme and must be teaching in a state funded school in England. You can more information on eligibility and how to apply on our Teacher Support pages. Deadline for applications: Monday 16 March 2020.


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