“We started a new hub in Bedford. Physics Partners were instrumental in forming the group and starting us off with training at the Institute of Physics. Our first meeting looked at the challenges of encouraging girls into studying Physics at A-level and beyond. We will also focus on methods of teaching Physics at KS3 to share good practice and build the confidence and skills in all our Physics teachers, specialist and non-specialist, to deliver stimulating lessons. We are so grateful to Physics Partners for initiating this project and are very much looking forward to what the future brings.”
A benefit of our work is the fostering of partnership work between individual schools and groups of schools. Partnership working encourages exchange of ideas and improved ways of working.
The number of schools receiving our support is growing. Pupils in schools across the South-East and South-West of England, from Cornwall to Kent through Wiltshire and Hampshire, London and now the Isle of Wight, Midlands and Liverpool are receiving support.
Our aims are to build teachers’ confidence in carrying out experiments and demonstrations, and to enable them to provide the practical experience that is essential if pupils are to enjoy science.
Where we work
We operate on a hub-based system, with groups of schools supported by a hub leader. Read a list of our schools here. Currently we have ten hubs, in:
Cornwall and Devon: eight schools in Cornwall centred on Truro, with funding from the Ogden Trust. We are additionally providing support to schools in Devon.
Somerset: three schools with support from Wellington School.
The Isle of Wight: a relatively new hub of seven schools, with support from Ryde School.
Crawley: four schools supported by Worth School.
East Kent: a group of nine state primary schools supported by The King’s School Canterbury, with funding from the Department for Education; additionally two Academies with funding from the Roger de Haan Charitable Trust.
West Kent: seven state schools supported by Sevenoaks School and Tonbridge School.
London: ten schools centred on Buxton School with support from Dulwich College; and some 20 Harris Academies provided with support for the training of teachers, technicians and trainee teachers at Key Stages 3,4, and 5. London activities are funded by the Pipe Makers Livery Company
West Midlands: schools in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall, with funding from the Mercers’ Company and help from King Edward’s School.
Liverpool: three groups of schools in the Liverpool area: an East and Central cluster, St Francis Xavier’s cluster and West Derby cluster,
Much of our work Is at Key Stage 3, because this is the stage where enthusiasm for science is often gained or lost. We also support at Key Stages 4 and 5, and at Key Stage 2.
What schools say about our work
I have always dreaded physics practicals, but now I have a lot more confidence in setting up equipment. Other physics insets I have attended were just watch and do, but Physics Partners have the time to explain everything that I did not fully understand.
Senior Science Technician, Buxton School
“Physics remains vitally important to our industries, our infrastructure and our economic wellbeing. For all these reasons, and to allow children to explore their scientific curiosity, all pupils deserve the opportunity to experience expert, innovative physics teaching. Physics Partners helps to achieve this important aim by sending its team of expert trainers into schools to support physics teachers and technicians.The work of Physics Partners fills a real gap in educational provision: I have watched with great interest the expansion of its activities and the increasing recognition of its value. As its Patron I wish it continuing and increasing success.”
Cavendish Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge
“As a result of Physics Partners involvement, physics teaching at Harris Academy Chafford Hundred is much stronger, with more students choosing to take it at A Level. We have gained a variety of techniques which we can use in the classroom.”
Specialist Leader of Education – Science; Harris Academy Chafford Hundred
“I can fully recommend Physics Partners and the training they provide for all staff in a Science Department, from technicians, teaching support, inexperienced and experienced teachers through to physics specialists – there is something for everyone. They are unique in providing a fully bespoke, non-threatening and engaging series of workshops that are specially designed around the needs of your staff. The trainers are friendly, approachable, and have an enthusiasm for all things physics. They create an atmosphere that allows you to ask those questions that we are too embarrassed to ask – just like the pupils we teach.”
Director of Science, Herne Bay High School
Resources provided and shared have been instrumental in allowing teaching staff to improve the quality of teaching and learning in physics lessons at all key stages. Inexperienced staff have been given the confidence to teach physics in an engaging and challenging way
Federation Consultant for Science, Harris Federation