Don't be scared of Ionising Radiation
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
2w ago
When it comes to emotive topics in physics teaching, radioactivity is up there. We have experienced colleagues who would refuse to work with school radioactive sources, even though there you generally encounter more risk while boiling a kettle. But you need to register, store and handle them properly or you could land your school with a fine. Thomas and Robin talk radiation and encourage you to get over the administrative hurdle, talk to your RPS and get trained in the use of sources so you can teach radioactivity with sources. If your school doesn’t have an RPS and you don’t know where to sta ..read more
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That Einstein Fellow
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
1M ago
Thomas and Robin were bowled over to hear from the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow 2023-24. Thomas caught up with Michael Stewart to talk about the amazing opportunity he has had to be involved with Education policy at the highest levels in the USA. Michael reminded Thomas about an episode in 2021 (GCSE Long Answers and MyMarkingMachine.com) in which Mark Robinson talked about a structured way to address questions: PVsELS. Thomas has run with this and renamed it the “DVEL’S in the Detail” to help his students process their way through questions. Robin had already returned to work ..read more
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Chat(GPT)ting
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
2M ago
Everyone has been talking about it for a year or more so high time your finger-on-the-pulse physics teaching nuggets got to grips with ChatGPT (other AIs are available). To start though, we cantered through another week of physics teaching. Robin was finishing electricity with his year 10 groups, and wondering what others do with those odd bits of the specification that someone up the exam-board food chain (presumably) feels it’s ‘important’ for children to learn. For Robin, this was ‘mains safety’ in electricity which has minimal physics but lots of detail. How do you deal with this? Back whe ..read more
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Retention Done Well
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
3M ago
We talk to Doug Simon, who takes issue with the assertion that CPD is not C, P or D for Physics teachers. Having heard from Mark Whalley last episode about some of the gotchas that schools can fall victim to when trying to hang on to their (physics) teachers, we hear this week from Doug who reports some of the positive things they do to support their science teachers and keep them teaching. First up, though, Thomas and Robin talked electricity as that is what they both had been doing this week. Thomas had demonstrated a bit of uncertainty that GCSE students can get their heads around: the mete ..read more
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Retention - Full Interview
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
3M ago
We thought that Mark Whalley had a lot of interesting things to say on retention and couldn’t fit them in to the main podcast. Here is the full interview as promised. We mention the previous episodes on force and weight, here are a few: 6. What happens when your jelly won’t hold your weight? Is it time to lose some mass? TAG, Mass and Weight Force or False (Forces @ Primary School) Teaching Forces to 11 Year olds Join in! Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact for ..read more
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Retention
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
4M ago
After a break that was longer than we had planned due to bike accidents and ridiculous workloads, we are back and raring to go. Although physics teachers raring to go is the problem we discuss this week* with Friend of the Podcast, Senior Lecturer and physics teacher retention guru, Mark Whalley. Thomas drops the bombshell that he is taking an extended sabbatical from teaching**. Before he fell off his bike (again) and broke three ribs (again) we had planned to speak to Mark about this and it was a pleasure to finally catch up. Mark has run projects for the IOP around retention (see the link b ..read more
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Ways to talk about... Energy
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
9M ago
In the last episode, Robin and Thomas were delighted to welcome Charles Tracy to talk about teaching energy at KS3. Charles generously agreed to come back for the next episode: energy at KS4 Charles lays out the rationale for talking energy using the correct terms: using adverbial forms really helps to enshrine the principal that energy is not a tangible ‘thing’ rather a quantity that we observe is conserved before and after a separate process has occurred. Energy is stored kinetically, gravitationally, chemically and so forth (nuclear-ly is still problematic though). At KS4 the trick is to fo ..read more
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Ways to Teach... Energy to 11 Year Olds
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
9M ago
There’s no two ways about it, the story we used to have on energy was bad. Inconsistency, incoherence, subjectivity: words to send a shiver down the spines of any scientist. Something had to change. The response from IOP was the ‘stores’ and ‘pathways’ model. This was championed by our podcast guest this evening. Thomas and Robin are honoured to welcome Charles Tracy (@charlesmtracy) of the IOP about how to introduce Energy to 11 year olds. Charles did so much to champion the new model of energy, tirelessly convincing educators, exam boards and textbook manufacturers that the new way was consi ..read more
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Revising for Exams
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
11M ago
It’s that time of year: as we prepare to bid farewell to our exam groups, how do we teach students to prepare effectively for GCSEs or A-levels? Thomas and Robin talk through how they help students revise for exams. Both agreed that past papers form the core of their revision strategies and there are various sources for these, not least the relevant exam board, but also some excellent sites that have grown up in support of past paper practice. There’s an overarching theme: the students need to be taught to revise and shown what good revision looks like. Robin’s method is confusingly summarised ..read more
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UCAS and Preparing for Uni
The Physics Teaching Podcast
by Thomas W-P and Robin Griffiths
1y ago
We need physicists and so A-level teachers know how important it is to give the next generation of aspiring physicists and engineers the best chance of getting into uni. Thomas and Robin are thrilled to welcome Will Pope (@PopeDoes) to talk about all things UCAS. What is our role as teachers, what is the right way to write the reference and how does the reference get used down the line? Will’s Head of 6th Form, Sarah, kindly talked us through the reference do’s and don’ts. Key take-aways: Relentlessly positive. Don’t put in anything developmental: it’s not a report. Talk specifics. Highlight ..read more
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