Aims of the project
The aim is to support the teaching of Physics across Norfolk at all levels. Many schools, especially primaries of course, do not have Physics specialists as they are hard to recruit. Teachers teaching differently and feeling more confident in teaching Physics is the overall aim as well as increasing the opportunities for access to good Physics-related activities for both pupils and staff. It is hoped Primary pupils will do more investigative work in science and that Secondary pupils will be more likely to make an informed decision about whether to study Physics at A-level and beyond.
Background and goals
The Ogden Trust have worked with Norwich School before and accepted their application to advertise this particular post which began in September 2014.
The knowledge of the staff at Norwich School and the resources of the department's prep room, as well as the financial support from the Ogden Trust are critical for the success of the project. School facilities are used for Saturday enrichment classes for local pupils from other schools and for hosting PGCE students from the University wishing to observe A-level teaching. Teaching staff and a technician are used to suppport the activities. 50% of one teacher's time is dedicated to the project, as well as a few Saturday's a year from the Head of Department. Technician support is required on an ad-hoc basis. The Ogden Trust fund most of the activities which take place except for the time of the other members of the department and the technician.
There are many activities involved in this project. Some are easily evaluated quantitatively (for example, a whole-day CPD session to primary teachers), others suit a more qualitative approach as they are one-off events with an individual. Assessment is carried out as and when activities happen. The anticipated, but sadly immeasurable, overall outcomes are that more students will progress to Physics at A-level and beyond and that (and this is more measurable) teachers feel more confident to teach Physics.
Most activities are targeted directly at the state schools which have expressed an interest in the activities which run and the support offered and we have been involved indirectly with pupils from the age of five to adult through primary schools up to university teacher trainees. All genders have been involved in most activities with one particular careers evening which was aimed at girls (although boys were also welcome).
Frequency and duration
This project is on-going and comprises of both very short term parts and longer-duration activities. It will continue until at least the end of this academic year. The Ogden Trust review the situation annually, but the hope is many things become self-sustaining.