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If it moves, it's Physics

If it moves, it’s Physics

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One of the simplest definitions of my particular sphere of science is: ‘if it moves, it’s Physics’. Fitting then that our year 10 topic is the Physics of Forces and Motion. It’s a topic that lends itself to practical activities as it is inherently a practical topic. So far this term we have, amongst other things: Thrown eggs out of the window (with a parachute to demonstrate air resistance)Speeded up a trolley car using ramps […]

The joy of Year 7 science

The joy of Year 7 science

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Oh the joy of Year 7 science! I’ve been teaching Year 7 science for eight years now (most of the time all of it, sometimes, as this year, the Chemistry and Physics components).  I love it for loads of reasons, but here’s three: Year 7 Display Poster Firstly, it’s not a subject. It’s not a body of knowledge that needs to be poured into empty minds. It’s not a list of things to remember or […]

Will we find signs of intelligent life?

Will we find signs of intelligent life?

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Mars is a planet entirely inhabited by robots seeking to answer the question, will we find signs of intelligent life? The latest arrival is NASA’s Perseverance robot which landed this month (and if you haven’t seen the footage of the amazing parachute and drone helicopter landing, you need to see it. Visit NASAs YouTube channel). The robot’s job is to perform experiments on the Martian surface looking for evidence of life, or past life, on […]

This simple circuit

This simple circuit

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This simple circuit has a rgb LED capable of lighting up red, green and blue. Each of those colours is controlled by those controls (variable restores called potentiometers) at the bottom. So by turning on just one we can have red, green or blue light. By turning on blue and green we can have the secondary colour of cyan. By turning on blue and red we get magenta and with just green and red we […]

How do you teach a practical subject online?

How do you teach a practical subject online?

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How do you teach a practical subject online? I’m not sure, but I can tell you what we’ve been doing anyway. As some of you know, before I entered teaching I gave lectures, talks and training on creative thinking to businesses, especially scientific and technical or engineering companies. One of the highlights was flying out to Evian near Lake Geneva to keynote for pharmaceutical company Bayer for their global science research teams. So having to […]

totally remarkable

Totally Remarkable

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It’s totally Remarkable . . . we’ve gone totally paperless! Our A Level Physics crew love getting their hands on the latest technology (see our 3D printer story here), but whatever the new thing is, has to be a useful tool and above all, an elegant solution to a problem. No gimmicks for us. The Remarkable is a new kind of writing and drawing tool. It’s a tablet, but unlike iPads and various other time-wasting […]

New textbook written by our own Head of Physics

New textbook written by our own Head of Physics

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It’s not every school that can boast that one of their teachers wrote ‘the book’ that a class will be studying from. But this year, Fyling Hall can do just that. A new specialist revision book has been written by our very own Head of Physics, Mr Instone, and is published by Hodder Education and available globally.  The new book, called Exam Insights for GCSE Physics has a new approach to revision of a subject. Its content […]

Danger and Safety in the Lab

Danger and Safety in the Lab

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I remember my own first Physics and Chemistry lessons, aged 11, very clearly indeed. I loved that it was a whole new world of doing things, in a very particular way. With strange new equipment and beakers of weird dangerous liquids that changed colour, fizzed or burst into flames. The main emotion I felt when I first became a teacher of Year 7 science was the weight of responsibility and honour to recreate that initial […]

Pupils are keen to "take things apart"

How does it all work?

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How does it all work? Let’s find out… A curriculum is a list of topics that must be covered in a course. Every teacher would agree that there’s always something on that list that we perhaps wouldn’t include if we were to design it ourselves, but I find it more interesting to look at those topics that are not on the list but I really think should be. For me in Physics, the missing topic […]

Physics: the magic and the myths

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Physics is a subject full of magic and myths. As Fyling Hall’s Head of Physics, let me explain. When I meet someone for the first time, out there in the world beyond school and they ask what I do, I say ‘I’m a teacher’ and they say, ‘oh, that’s interesting, what do you teach?’ and I say, ‘kids’ and they give me a funny look so I say, ‘I teach creativity… through the medium of […]