Winchester College Festival of Physics, Monday 17th July 2023

We are really looking forward to this year’s Winchester College Festival of Physics on Monday 17th July, from 9am to 3pm. It is aimed at anyone teaching KS3 and KS4 physics and aims to increase subject knowledge and improve pedagogy.

The key note speaker is David Bacon, Associate Director at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth. His talk is titled ‘The Missing Universe‘ in which he will introduce from scratch where we’ve got to in our understanding of the Universe.

Below you can find the workshop that will be running on the day, and below that you can book your place.

This course is subsidised by Physics Partners and Winchester College but we do ask for a small fee of £20 towards the cost of your place.  Refreshments and lunch are included.  This payment is non-refundable after 3rd July.


There will be 6 workshops running during the day and these will all be repeated at least once. When you book your place you will be asked to select 3 of the workshops that you would like to attend. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so you will also be asked to select a fourth option in case one of your first choice workshops is full.

1Using Video Analysis
(max. 5 people per session)
Steve HearnA video capture app will be used to make a video. The video analysis will allow physics ideas to be used in explaining and exploring the data. Mechanics and wave scenarios will be considered. You take away a license for the app!Steve Hearn has run physics subject knowledge training courses for 20 years working with ITT university departments and recently SCITTs. He now concentrates on novel coaching techniques to foster independent physics subject knowledge growth, in non-physics specialist mentees.
2Motor Effect Made EasyRichard GrimmerBuild a super-easy motor that’s guaranteed to work.  If you have found motor kits with yokes, magnadurs and DC power supplies fiddly, then this motor is for you.  It’s made from a disposable cup, a D cell, a neodymium magnet, two paper clips, some copper wire and an elastic band.  Best of all, you can take it away with you. 

We start with a kicking wire demo that pupils can make themselves, then follow on with the motor.  Finally, we will look at how to make homopolar motors to stretch the minds of more advanced students and sixth formers. 
Richard Grimmer has taught physics for over 20 years and worked as an IOP Physics Network Coordinator for 12 years. He has co-authored two KS3 Science textbooks and has contributed to an A Level textbook.
3Physics on a Shoe StringJo KentWe all know the situation, all the Physics equipment is old and broken, if it is even available to use at all. The technicians aren’t sure what everything is meant to be used for, but you’re trying to plan another lesson that isn’t yet another PowerPoint or textbook based. This session will look at some cheap and easy ways of sharing some of the principles of physics without having to buy a whole load of new kit. Hopefully the ideas will inspire you to think of some of your own. It’ll be aimed primarily at KS3 and KS4.Jo has been a physics teacher for nearly 40 years, mostly in the south of England. She has coached and mentored physics teachers with the Institute of Physics, Ogden Trust and STEM Learning, with her most recent role being the National Senior Physics Coach with STEM Learning. She is passionate about sharing her love for the subject and enjoys offering support to teachers of physics at all stages of their career. She is keen to ensure physics in schools is accessible to all and is a strong advocate for inclusion.  Alongside her physics work she runs a garden design business.
4Physics for all: The what, when and howJessica HamerThe Institute of Physics believe that physics is for everyone. But how does this translate to actual classroom practice? This workshop will share ideas and practical approaches that help ensure physics lessons are inclusive for all students.
Jessica is the Influencing and Engagement Manager for the South of England region at the Institute of Physics. She is a former teacher and teacher trainer and has worked on numerous projects that explore the barriers young people face when it comes to physics education. She has a particular interest in the role parents and carers have in the subject choices young people make. She is also currently doing research on inclusion in computing education at King’s College London, as part of the SCARI Computing project.
5Waving not drowning!Richard TuckerIn this workshop Richard Tucker, from UTC Portsmouth, will lead a discussion about best practice in teaching the topic of waves at KS3. We will discuss common misconceptions and the pedagogy associated with teaching the challenging topic of waves.Richard is a physics and engineering specialist who teaches at GCSE and A level at UTC Portsmouth.
After studying mechanical engineering at Nottingham University he began his career with Rolls-Royce aerospace before joining the British Army. During 15 years of service he led diverse teams on many challenging operations around the world.
Richard is passionate about finding new and innovative ways for students to engage with physics, especially in its application in new technology.
Beyond the classroom, Richard enjoys a range of sports on land and on the water, while deluding himself that he still could make it to the olympics in one of them.
6Teaching (with) energy!Jeremy DouglasA selection of practical ideas and conceptual nuggets for weaving in ideas of energy transfer and conservation of energy across the secondary syllabus.Jeremy Douglas has taught Physics at Winchester College since 2004 and was Head of Physics for 14 years. He has a particular interest in Physics CPD and has worked with Physics Partners as a trainer on a variety of events.

Keynote: ‘The Missing Universe’, David Bacon

David Bacon is Associate Director at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth.

In this talk I will introduce from scratch where we’ve got to in our understanding of the Universe. The behaviour of galaxies indicates that there are strange entities, dark matter and dark energy, which dominate the way that the cosmos is developing. Detailed measurements are also showing that our theories are creaking and may need changing, and I’ll describe some of the attempts to do so. I’ll discuss the prospects for better understanding with the exciting range of forthcoming world-class telescopes.

Checkout issues? Book here.