My Physics Lessons

This category contains 11 posts

Particles and Scale. Two key ideas in teaching science.

Here are two short excerpts from my first book Teach Now! Science, The Joy of Teaching Science the 2014 Routledge series edited by Geoff Barton. Particles Across the entirety of a school life, students will develop an ever more sophisticated idea about the structure of matter and how materials are made up of particles – … Continue reading

Teaching Year 8. So complicated; and yet so simple.

  It’s over 10 years since I’ve taught a KS3 class in a comprehensive school.  Gosh! I’m using some skills I haven’t needed in a while and, in the last few weeks, I’ve been getting my match-fitness back, dusting off the rust and oiling those wheels. My Year 8 class is a mid-range ability group … Continue reading

Planning for Co-construction with Year 9

Background For the last four years I’ve been trying to develop the process of co-construction as an approach to teaching. After initial explorations in RE, I applied the approach to teaching my IGCSE Physics class over the last two years.  At the same time, my colleague Mark has been trying out the system with some … Continue reading

My Exam Results Postmortem

My Exam Results Postmortem. Don’t you just love exam results days? I always have….all the anticipation, the nerves, the agonising wait and then, finally….the big reveal.  Jubilation and despair and everything in between….wrapping up years of endeavour in one big moment. It’s an emotional field day. When that email arrives from the Exams Officer carrying … Continue reading

iGCSE Physics Co-construction #1

Imagine my delight when, just before term started, Arjun sent me this: a 20 page Revision Guide for the Waves unit we completed last year. Along with Kishen and Karam, Arjun was part of my co-construction team at the end of Year 10. The background to this process is described here.  (Arjun is also the … Continue reading

Hawking: “We are all different…but we all share the human spirit”

As a Physics teacher, it has been a fabulous year for major events to bring the subject closer to students: the Higgs boson discovery at the LHC, the Venus Sun transit, the Mars Curiosity landing.  Each of these events gives us cause to contemplate our existence on our lonely planet.   This was all captured … Continue reading

THE Number 1 Bit of Classroom Kit: Mini-whiteboards

At KEGS we have made it possible for every teacher to have a set of mini-whiteboards or ‘show-me boards’ in every classroom, as featured in a recent newsletter.  A full set with pens and wipers costs £60 – a bargain. We are now trying to introduce dry-wipe pens as compulsory school equipment. So, why are … Continue reading

Setting Cover? No need: Email exchange with Year 10 student

Co-Construction in Action with Year 10 Physics This is the email exchange I had with a Y10 student earlier this week: (for some context take a look at this post and linked pdf to see what the co-construction process entails. Arjun is one of the team co-teaching the Waves unit this term. They had recently … Continue reading

Co-Constructing Learning

Please click this link for the full pdf: Co-construction: Learning in the hands of learners This issue of the KEGS Learning Lessons series describes how students have been involved in planning and delivering the IGCSE Physics course  and the Year 7 RE course. It is at an early stage of development but is already proving … Continue reading

Youtube Excel Tutorials at GCSE

Last term my Y10s were studying forces and motion.  Something I’ve had success with in the past is using Excel to construct models for stopping distance.  This gives students an opportunity to combine learning some good IT skills, generic modelling skills and to deepen their understanding of the key physics concepts – such as reaction … Continue reading

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