This INSET builds subject knowledge, confidence and pedagogy for those teaching KS3 and KS4 Physics without a Physics specialism.

Non- specialist teachers in Science at Key stage 3 &4

Science teachers with non-physics specialisms often teach Physics to GCSE. This situation is only going to get worse, with around 400 schools in England operating without a specialist. Just 22 per cent of the necessary physics teachers were recruited last year, according to Department for Education data. Under the current Ofsted framework, the responsibility for supporting non-specialists falls on the shoulders of the Head of Science as part of the deep dive process in science.

This INSET focusses on giving the teachers the skills necessary to do this with confidence and supports them in fulfilling the needs of students of all abilities. This course can be adapted to focus on a particular specification or age group.

This Physics INSET includes:

  • approaches to explaining challenging topics in a way which brings physics to life
  • supporting students in mathematical problem solving
  • dealing with conceptual challenges
  • using language to avoid misunderstandings
  • developing exam techniques for physical science problems
  • supporting SEND students with practical and theoretical work

The INSET is a highly practical session, consisting of discussions of how to introduce the more difficult concepts and how to develop resources which will guide students to a deep understanding of the material. There is a focus on providing students and teachers with clear methods for approaching different topics and how practical work can help student understanding. If facilities are available, then some of the more challenging demonstrations and practical work can be explored, with a focus on using lab time to support effective learning.

Teaching revision strategies and examination technique are covered, including how to give effective feedback to help students improve. There is a particular focus on how to teach explanations in a way which allows students to access the top marks in more extended questions.

Physics Topics covered:

  • energy, including how to use the language of energy stores successfully
  • electric circuits, potential difference and current and common misconceptions
  • thermal physics including changes of state and gas laws
  • radioactive decay, hazards and half-life
  • mechanics including momentum
  • waves, including optics and lenses
  • electromagnetism, induction and transformers

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