5 reasons to try… Subject Knowledge for Physics Teaching

The Ogden Trust

If your science department is lacking in specialist knowledge, The Ogden Trust may have just the thing…

30 Second Briefing

Subject Knowledge for Physics Teaching is a FREE blended learning CPD programme from The Ogden Trust that will upskill biology, chemistry and non-specialist teachers of physics at KS3/4.

1. The tools to teach physics

Teaching physics out of specialism can be a daunting prospect. School Workforce Census data published in 2023 revealed that more than one in five physics classes were being taught by a teacher without a relevant degree.

Subject Knowledge for Physics Teaching (SKPT) provides teachers with the knowledge, tools and confidence they need to bring physics lessons to life. It is easily accessible, grounded in research and provides teaching ideas that can be taken straight into the classroom.

Each module builds a teacher’s subject knowledge and pedagogy, helping them develop a range of classroom approaches and explore the required practicals.

2. Challenge and address misconceptions

Science education research shows that misconceptions around physics concepts are common, and can be both deep-rooted and resistant to change.

The teacher’s role in pre-empting and intervening in problems caused by student misconceptions is a core part of good science teaching, but can be particularly challenging for teachers teaching out of specialism.

A key feature of our SKPT programme is the time given to exploring misconceptions so that they can be diagnosed and refuted, with expert practitioners modelling how to translate this effectively into classroom practice.

3. Maths in physics

Students can frequently struggle with the maths in physics. This can present non-specialist teachers with significant challenges to overcome if they’re to inspire their classes, with non-specialist teachers of physics often possessing less experience and confidence in manipulating equations, using graphs and working with large and small numbers.

In each SKPT module we therefore explore mathematical problem solving, and share effective ways of approaching calculations and the real-world significance of numbers and units.

4. Build your professional portfolio

Confident and engaging delivery of physics in the classroom can help inspire and enable young learners to better understand how the world works and how they can contribute to it.

There are six SKPT modules available in total – covering electricity, energy, forces, waves, matter and space, and atomic physics – to help teachers develop the breadth and depth of their physics knowledge, secure the pedagogical approaches needed to teach the topics effectively and build their professional portfolio.

“There are six SKPT modules available in total to help teachers develop the breadth and depth of their physics knowledge.”

5. Learn at your leisure

Teachers will join a supportive learning network led by experienced physics practitioners.

Each module requires 20 hours of learning over eight weeks, and is introduced via a face-to-face CPD day before concluding with a half-day in-person session.

Two webinars and supported online study complete the programme, with teachers also able to take part in activities, quizzes and professional reflections at times that suit them.

As one participant comments, “Without question, I would recommend SKPT. It’s a very important offer, and the benefits are wide-ranging. I’m definitely better equipped to be in a classroom teaching physics.”

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Key points
  • Teachers who have taken part have told us that the SKPT delivery has been “exceptional” and the content “incredibly useful”
  • Sessions are FREE, and schools will receive a £200 subsidy upon completion of a module. Teachers can also earn an Institute of Physics Subject Knowledge Award
  • A three-module (forces, energy and electricity) residential programme is available from Easter 2024; trusts and school science departments can also book bespoke sessions
  • Book the modules you need to build your professional portfolio and find your physics classroom confidence. Secure your place now by visiting

The Ogden Trust

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