Physics Enhancement Project
This is a pilot mentor-based project supporting students through the Subject Knowledge Enhancement route into teaching.
The IOP is working with the TDA on this project which is funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. This pilot project is no longer accepting applicants.
This is an exciting opportunity to radically influence the numbers of trainees going into Physics teaching. The project’s goals are to recruit and train to a high level those who show the potential to become good or excellent science teachers, but lack formal or recent qualifications in the subject.
The courses are suitable for both new graduates and career changers, and the current participants have both young marine biologists and experienced civil engineers among them!
The project consists of three parts:
- An initial intensive six-month course designed to strengthen subject knowledge, with a bursary of £225 a week provided.
- Any training course that leads to Qualified Teacher Status, for example a PGCE course or school based GTP teacher training.
- A follow up mentoring programme for the first two years of teaching after qualifying, to further build subject knowledge and skills, overseen by Institute staff, that will also link participants with specialist members of the Institute’s Teacher Network
Regional and National Collaboration
The IOP provides the follow-up mentoring programme for students registered on the Physics Enhancement Course (PEC) at the seven institutions listed below:
- Bath Spa University
- Bradford College
- University of Cumbria
- University of East London
- Keele University
- Loughborough University
- University of Sussex
The 6 month PEC also runs at a number of other Initial Teacher Education (ITE) institutions nationwide. Contact details for all of these can be found on the TDA website.
The Institute is working closely with the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), and the initiative forms part of the programme to enhance recruitment to priority subjects. It also enjoys the generous support of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation in the work of all three phases.
The pilot phase of the project began in January 2004 with roughly 30 participants overall enrolled on the six-month intensive courses, based at Keele University and also at St Martin’s College, Lancaster which leads a consortium of Edgehill College and Manchester Metropolitan University, and the first of the trainees are now well established in their posts in schools or colleges.
These were followed in January 2005 by a second pilot cohort, based at the same centres, who are now also employed in schools and colleges all over the country.
The success of the pilot courses has meant that 2006 saw an increase from two to four ITE centres and an increasing number of participants. PEC courses ran at Keele and Lancaster as above, and additionally London, and a combined area covering Bradford, Leeds, and Sheffield.
In 2007 additional courses began at Bath Spa, Sussex and Loughborough, bringing the total number of centres to seven. Participants from our 2007 cohort are now NQT+1 teachers, while our 2008 cohort are embarking upon their NQT year.
A sixth cohort started in January 2009 at a total of seven centres: these students are now beginning their NQT year.
A summary of the contact details of all seven courses may be found on the TDA website.
Extensive web-based materials to help the teaching of pupils aged 16-19 have been developed by the Institute of Physics, and are available here.
- National roll-out and general information
If you have any questions about the current scheme, contact the TDA by emailing: email@example.com
- Follow-up and mentoring programme
For further details on the mentoring programme, the specialist Teacher Network Co-ordinators and the proposed email and website based support please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peptalk magazine is a free bi-monthly publication distributed to all Physics Enhancement Project participants and tutors as well as various PGCE tutors, Teacher Network Coordinators and other interested parties.
Peptalk magazine - May 2010 (PDF, 580 KB)
It is designed to offer support and advice to all participants as well as foster a sense of community and highlight current teaching issues. It also serves asa platform to bring together ideas and opinions relevant to the Physics Enhancement Project, as well as placing the project in the context of physics teaching in general, with all of its challenges and issues.
If you would like to be added to the distribution list for Peptalk magazine, email email@example.com with your postal address, email address and contact phone number.
If you would like older electronic copies of the Peptalk magazine, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.