Supporting Physics Teaching

Materials created by the Institute of Physics to support those who teach physics to 5- to 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 5-11:

SPT topics at 11-14:

SPT topics at 14-16:

SPT for self-training

SPT can be used by individual teachers: find the materials at and get support at, where there is a forum dedicated to each topic



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. Since the initial publication, former teacher and teacher trainer Ian Lawrence has curated the resources, organising, editing and updating them. They continue to develop. The primary resources were developed  in partnership with PSTT in 2014-15.

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