Supporting Physics Teaching

Materials created by the Institute of Physics to support those who teach physics to 11-16 year olds (both specialists and non-specialists) and their supporters

Supporting Physics Teaching

The Supporting Physics Teaching (SPT) materials are designed especially for teachers who are new to teaching physics and those wishing to develop their existing skills. They are grounded in wide-ranging evidence and enriched with the wisdom of practicing classroom teachers of physics.

We take a three pronged approach:

  1. Physics narrative: an account of the physics at the level it will be taught in the classroom
  2. Teaching & Learning issues: key teaching issues plus common mis-representations and confusions amongst pupils
  3. Teaching Approaches: resources, teaching tools and strategies which also address the teaching and learning issues

SPT topics at 11-14:

SPT currently covers the following topics at 14-16:

SPT for self-training

SPT can be used by individual teachers as a self-training resource. Log onto our teacher discussion forum Talkphysics and find the SPT: downloads and announcements group for support on using the resources and online discussions.


The IOP’s Teaching and Learning Coaches use SPT in their workshops and in-school training sessions. To find out more, visit

Evolution of SPT

The project started in 2002 with six groups of teachers of the sciences, each led by a university-based teacher educator. To find out more, visit Since then, former teacher and teacher trainer Ian Lawrence has curated the resources, organising, editing and updating them. They continue to develop.

For further details email:

Other IOP Websites

A community for teachers of physics and their supporters

A support network for teachers and pupils of physics in England