What We Do
We provide bespoke support for teachers of physics – at no cost to schools.
Our network includes:
Our dedicated partnering schools are committed to tackle the inequities that prevent student engagement in all subjects across the whole school.
2017 – 2019
Our Gender Balance programme supports schools to increase the number of girls choosing to study physics post-16.
Previous work indicates that to address the gender imbalance in physics take up, we need to look beyond the science department to the different experiences that girls and boys are subject to during their time in education and how that impacts on their subject choices. From 2014-2016, a team of Project Officers worked with 20 Partner Schools to identify and address issues around gender and subject choice.
Working with students directly to build confidence and resilience.
Working with teachers of physics to enhance student’s experience of physics in the classroom.
Working with senior leaders, pupils and teachers across all subjects on equality and whole school culture.
Recent pilot projects investigated what changes schools can make to address inequality throughout the school, with good results. The Drayson pilot schools saw the proportion of girls in their physics classes increase from 10% to 27% over three years (the national average has been hovering in the low twenties for the last twenty years).
Building on the activities trialed in the pilot project, we are supporting schools to make similar changes that can contribute to an uptake of girls studying physics, with the Stimulating Physics Network.
Research shows that students can get different feedback or treated differently dependent on their gender in the science classroom. Boys tend to dominate teacher time and girls hang back from practical work.
Science Ambassador Scheme
What is the gender balance of your extracurricular science club? There are activities that are more inclusive, like the science ambassador scheme. We can help train your students to develop science outreach workshops for your primary feeder schools, with benefits to both the confidence of your students and for the relationships with those schools. Find out more.
Whole-School Equality Programme
Our Project Officer can offer support and advice on a whole school programme to raise awareness of gender stereotyping, and how unconscious bias can govern our thinking and behaviour. This can include auditing current practice and progression in your school, staff training and ideas to stimulate discussion between teachers and students.
Girls into Physics Resources
The IOP has published a number of reports exploring the factors affecting girls’ subject choice, as well as producing a range of resources and guidance for teachers. These are available to download from the IOP website, or from Teaching and Learning Coaches:
Improving Gender Balance Conference
Around 50 teachers and Project Officers shared their results and experiences at the 2016 IGB conference. Access the conference materials, and take a look at this crowd-sourced resource from the event – teachers’ messages to their former and future selves on improving gender balance in schools.