Winners of the Teachers of Physics Award 2012
Sir John Gleed School, Spalding
Keeley Arundel-McConachie creates an exciting learning environment through her inspiring science lessons and extra-curricular activities, encouraging students of all abilities to reach their full potential. As head of science she actively promotes continuing professional development for teaching staff and technicians, and has proved a supportive mentor and leader. A keen participant in the Institute of Physics teacher network, she has also been an enthusiastic trainer, was chosen as a space academy lead educator and is involved in supporting local primary schools.
St Joseph’s Academy, Kilmarnock
Colin Barbour is an exceptional and charismatic teacher of physics who has established his school as a centre of excellence for Advanced Higher Physics. He is willing to go the extra mile for students, running after school classes and an Advanced Higher Physics class that is open to students from all East Ayrshire schools. He is a leader at local authority level in the physics teaching community and played a key role in founding the Kilmarnock Engineering and Science Society, encouraging students to attend the society’s lectures and has built valuable links with industry.
Sutton Grammar School, Surrey
Jamie Costello is an inspiring and innovative physics teacher and as head of department he is an excellent mentor for his colleagues. Since he joined the school, numbers taking A-level physics have increased rapidly and nearly two-thirds of the sixth form now take physics. He encourages and enables students to pursue their own interests and has initiated projects such as a muon detector and a record-breaking high-altitude weather balloon. He helped to set up an astronomy club, an electronics club and a Physics Olympiad, and is regularly chosen as the leavers’ favourite teacher.
Hillside High School, Liverpool
Wendy Daly’s outstanding physics teaching has led to it becoming the most popular GCSE option in her school, and beyond that, increasing numbers wanting to take A-level physics. As well as building a very strong relationship with the local sixth-form college, she has developed a close link with the University of Liverpool, supporting its Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme through supervising students in their involvement with physics teaching and outreach. She makes time for numerous activities beyond the classroom to raise the aspirations of students and has worked hard to ensure that staff who are not physics specialists benefit from continuing professional development.
Wood Green Academy, Wednesbury
Baldev Singh Jandu is an inspirational role model to students and staff, always seeking ways to improve and update his knowledge and pedagogical skills. He introduced single-award GCSE physics to the school, aiming to improve uptake and increase interest from girls. This has succeeded, with physics becoming more popular at A-level and the proportion of girls taking the subject in Year 13 rising to a third. As a mentor to trainee and newly qualified teachers he has been a dedicated colleague for whom nothing is too much trouble. His efforts to raise the profile of physics and enrich students’ experience beyond the classroom have included organising a trip to CERN for Year 12 students, a planetarium day and physics demonstrations to parents.
The Derby High School, Bury
Paul Kerr is an outstanding teacher who has developed the talents and interest of pupils across a wide ability range, achieving outstanding results. Giving selflessly of his time, he has developed an enrichment programme that has offered 50 activities, including visits, workshops and lectures, in one academic year alone. He has played a key part in the Bury Ogden Science Partnership, an independent and state school partnership across five schools and a sixth-form college, and is seen as a source of advice and support to numerous other teachers and Ogden partnerships. As a trusted mentor for the Ogden Trust PhD Teaching Fellowships, he has greatly enhanced the confidence of teaching fellows in his school.
Altrincham Girls’ Grammar School, Cheshire
Melissa Lord is an exceptionally gifted teacher with boundless enthusiasm for physics who has had a profound effect on her students. She is constantly embracing new ideas or starting new projects, such as one on sustainability that drew in staff from many departments as well as local scientists and business people. Always making time for individual students, she is also an approachable manager who welcomes and incorporates others’ ideas. As well as annual trips to CERN, and to the Christie Hospital to explore opportunities in medical physics, she has organised numerous visits and encouraged sixth formers both to teach simple scientific principles in a local primary school and to take part in the Nuffield Bursary scheme to work alongside university researchers.
St Peter’s School, York
David Morris is an exceptional teacher of physics who has enabled his students to achieve outstanding results. He helps to promote high quality teaching at the school and beyond, running an evening course each term aimed at PGCE students and non-specialist teachers of physics from the local area. He has run teachers’ conferences and technicians’ days that are becoming an annual event, and sessions for local pupils as part of an independent–state school partnership. His outreach work includes public lectures, star gazing events and exhibitions. As well as taking students to the British Physics Olympiad, each year he organises the St Peter’s Physics Olympics for Year 8 pupils, attracting entries from schools across the north east.