Physics Partners is a dynamic educational charity providing hands-on training and support for non-specialist and newly qualified physics teachers in state secondary schools.
supporting teachers & improving physics teaching
Who we are
Physics Partners is a dynamic educational charity with a mission to improve physics teaching in state schools. We support newly qualified teachers, and teachers without a physics qualification, to give better and more exciting lessons, and to inspire pupils to consider taking physics at A-level. Physics underpins a vast range of careers – from engineering through medical research and on to IT-based industries and video games.
How we work
All of our support is free. We use teams of expert trainers, who visit schools to work with teachers and technicians. We help prepare lesson plans, and we train teachers and technicians to conduct practical experiments, using the school’s own equipment. Our support is backed up by mentoring using email and Skype; and we will soon have a free online library of more than 200 experiments, giving step by step instructions, together with notes for teachers, technicians and pupils. All experiments are being cross-referenced to AQA, EDEXCEL, OCR and WJEC.
Why we exist
Physics is essential to our understanding of the universe. It is also the gateway to many of today’s most exciting careers. All pupils with scientific aptitude should have the chance to develop their scientific skills and knowledge. The shortage of qualified physics teachers in the UK is a barrier to many pupils achieving their scientific ambitions. Thousands of lessons are given by teachers without a physics-based degree. We use our expertise to support these teachers to acquire the understanding and confidence to give engaging physics lessons, and to capture the imagination of their pupils for this vitally important subject.
In 2007, our founding trustees recognised the need to improve physics teaching. With help from the Ernest Cook Foundation, we set up pilot schemes to help a small number of schools. We quickly realised that we were meeting a real need. Our method of going into schools and training staff on their own equipment worked well, and has been independently validated. We are now giving support to more than 200 schools.
What Physics Partners Can Offer
Free in-school specialised Physics INSET/CPD, 4 – 6 times a year
Regular email and telephone mentoring provided
Specialist career physics teachers used as trainers and instructors, with enhanced DBS
Enable more regular use of practicals to raise pupil interest, with PowerPoint presentations to accompany each experiment/teaching point
Library of illustrated resources differentiated for pupils, teachers, and technicians
Meet exam board requirements
All resources are being referenced to the requirements of AQA, EDEXCEL, OCR and WJEC
We are proud to be supported by
Engineer and former Executive at National Grid ESO
Andrew Burton OBE
Former Air Vice-Marshal and Head of Royal Air Force Administration; Former Bursar and Clerk to the Governors at Sevenoaks School
Thomas Cookson MBE
Former Head of King Edward V1 School, Southampton; Sevenoaks School and Winchester College
Member of the Management Advisory Board and former Partner of TowerBrook Capital Partners
Independent investor and Non Executive Director. Former roles include Banking Partner at 3i Group, Livery Company Master and Governor of Sevenoaks School, Kent
MRC Lady Edith Wolfson Clinical Fellow, Rowling Scholar, and Neurology Registrar
Head of Science, Bedford Girls’ School
Assistant Headteacher, Hylands School, Chelmsford
Schools Adviser, Farrer & Co, Non executive director, Northwood Schools, Former Head, St Mary’s School, Ascot
Formative Education Specialist, Senior PGCE lecturer and runs an education consultancy focusing on impact. Diploma in leadership, master’s in professional development and doctorate in teaching and learning.
Programmes & Operations Director
Experienced charity-sector senior manager, formerly at Diabetes UK
Education Consultant and Trainer, Astin Consulting; Kent Science Adviser and former Head of Science, King’s School Canterbury
Dr Alan Barr
Professor of Particle Physics, Oxford University
Sir Richard Friend FRS
Cavendish Professor of Physics, Cambridge University
A founding trustee of Physics Partners and former CEO of the Independent Schools Council
Fellow in Science Education, University of York
Head of Education pre-19 at the Institute of Physics