About Us

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.

Our History

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

In-School Training

Free in-school specialised Physics INSET/CPD, 4 – 6 times a year

Mentoring

Regular email and telephone mentoring provided

Specialist Instruction

Specialist career physics teachers used as trainers and instructors, with enhanced DBS

Pupil practicals

Enable more regular use of practicals to raise pupil interest, with PowerPoint presentations to accompany each experiment/teaching point

Resource library

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

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Our Team

Trustees

Mary Breen

Trustee

Schools Adviser, Farrer & Co, Non executive director, Northwood Schools, Former Head, St Mary’s School, Ascot

Andrew Burton OBE

Trustee

Former Air Vice-Marshal and Head of Royal Air Force Administration; Former Bursar and Clerk to the Governors at Sevenoaks School

Thomas Cookson

Chairman

Former Head of King Edward V1 School, Southampton; Sevenoaks School and Winchester College

Nick England

Trustee

Former Head of Ryde School, Isle of Wight, and author of numerous physics textbooks

Winston Ginsberg

Trustee

Member of the Management Advisory Board and former Partner of TowerBrook Capital Partners

Sir Michael Jenkins OBE

Treasurer

Former Chair of the Education Committee, Sevenoaks School and former Chief Executive of LIFFE and Chairman of The London Clearing House

Tony Lyng

Trustee

Former Head of Brockhill Park College, Folkestone

Arpan Mehta

Trustee

MRC Lady Edith Wolfson Clinical Fellow, Rowling Scholar, and Neurology Registrar

Krysia Sosin

Trustee

Assistant Headteacher, Hylands School, Chelmsford

Derek Turner

Trustee

Former inspector for HMI, Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate

Staff

Bryan Berry

Chief Executive

Former Tomorrow’s Engineers Director, founding Principal at Heathrow UTC, Science Learning Centre South West Director. Member of the Institute of Physics

Sally Smith

Executive Assistant

Experienced charity-sector senior manager, formerly at Diabetes UK.

Advisers

Christina Astin

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

Jonathan Shephard

A founding trustee of Physics Partners and former CEO of the Independent Schools Council

Liz Swinbank

Fellow in Science Education, University of York

Charles Tracy

Head of Education pre-19 at the Institute of Physics