The Physics Factory has been an amazing experience for the pupils of Bartley Green School.
The lack of a physics specialist in the department meant that we had to ensure that our Triple Science pupils received the best that an outside agency could provide. The Physics Factory has certainly lived up to its promise.
Our pupils have been visiting the Physics Factory every Thursday since September 2011 and every visit has been a real eye opener – Physics had suddenly become exciting!
The key to its success is the relaxed atmosphere in which the teaching takes place. There is time to explain difficult concepts and try new ideas. Pupils have the opportunity to take part in exciting practicals which have been the key to understanding challenging concepts in this subject area.
There are 20 pupils in the group, all at different academic levels. The Physics Factory has helped to stretch the most able and help those who need that extra help. Pupils feel comfortable with making mistakes and most importantly they learn from these mistakes.
As well as the practical element, pupils regularly complete mini tests at the end of each unit. This helps us to track pupil progress. The majority of the pupils have scored A/A* grades on the multiple choice tests, with no student scoring lower than a B grade.
The breakdown of the group is 17 boys and only 4 girls. A survey was completed at the start of the course and upon analysis not many pupils were very interested in Physics. However, this has dramatically changed with more than half the group wanting to study Physics at ‘A’ Level and some students have been inspired to want to study the subject further at university. In fact, two of our students recently met the Director of The Ogden Trust with a view to securing sponsorship to study Physics at university. Yet again the Physics Factory has raised the aspirations of my pupils!
It is obvious that the pupils have benefitted academically but there have been other improvements too. Attendance and punctuality have shown a marked improvement with pupils eager not to miss out on another exciting learning experience.
Finally, the Physics Factory would not be the success that it is without the inspirational teaching of Phil Jones. His relaxed and fun approach to Physics has been a joy to watch. As a teacher of Chemistry I have learnt a lot about how exciting Physics can be. Most importantly the ideas have been disseminated into my own department.
Thank you Phil!