The Stimulating Physics Network works with Partner Schools to improve the quality of pupil experience and to reinvigorate a culture of physics in school. We aim to:
- raise the profile and perceived value of physics;
- support the professional development of physics teachers;
- develop pupils’ perceptions of physics as exciting, accessible, aspirational and relevant to their lives.
After being involved with the Stimulating Physics Network, non-specialist teachers of physics felt more confident in several aspects of their teaching:
- devising physics lessons that engage students;
- explaining the scientific principles behind experiments;
- answering unexpected and complicated questions in class.
Read more about the impact and evaluation of the Stimulating Physics Network in this report.
Stimulating Physics Schools
The following support is available to Stimulating Physics Network Partner Schools:
Teaching and Learning Coaches
The Teaching and Learning Coaches form a network of knowledgeable, experienced and enthusiastic specialists that work in partnership with selected schools to reinvigorate a culture of physics. In these schools there is support for teachers and some work directly with pupils. Developed as part of the Stimulating Physics pilot, Teaching and Learning Coaches will provide a bespoke programme of support based on the needs identified with the senior leadership team and the science department. This might consist of:
- In-school, intensive, tailored support for non-specialist teachers of physics based on the Supporting Physics Teaching (SPT) resources, to improve subject knowledge, pedagogy, confidence and enjoyment of the subject. A Stimulating Physics Network school may request a session, or a sequence of sessions, on a topic of their choice and arrange a time that fits in with their scheme of work (e.g. two sessions on forces a month before teachers are due to teach the topic to Year 8).
- Follow-up support for teachers in the classroom by planning and co-teaching lessons.
- Guidance on establishing triple-science GCSEs.
- Access to existing support, such as Science Learning Centre courses.
- Direct teaching of pupils through the Ever Wondered Why? Roadshow.
- Enrichment activities (e.g. Ashfield Music Festival and the Exoplanet Physics Project).
- Support to encourage girls to engage with physics, including managing groups in the class for maximum pupil engagement, using contexts that allow physics to be seen as a socially relevant and applied subject, and using role models in an appropriate and timely way.
- Advice about how to integrate careers guidance into the curriculum.
- Online support for teachers.
- Summer Schools for teachers.
Each year we run three residential Summer Schools at venues in Cambridge, Oxford and York. Each Summer School consists of four days of intensive hands-on workshops led by the Teaching and Learning Coaches. The programmes focus on developing subject knowledge and pedagogy, suitable for both first timers and returners. Find out more on the Summer Schools page.