Teaching practical science: physics NE706

Develop engaging ways to teach physics and progress learning through practical work.


Go beyond ‘recipe following’ and use practical work in physics to support explanation of theory.

This course allows you to explore the relationship between theoretical concepts and practical work.  You’ll develop and share creative ways of teaching practical physics with approaches that are applicable to a range of curricula, for example GCSE required practicals and other practical syllabuses for 14-16 year old students.

Who is it for?

The course has been designed as CPD for teachers of physics to 14-16 year olds. Early career teachers, non-specialist teachers and returning teachers will particularly benefit. The course will also provide a range of approaches and opportunity for reflection for more experienced educators.

What topics are covered?

This course covers:
  • Using problem solving skills and questioning during practicals as opportunities for formative assessment.
  • The learning value of context for practical work and how to embed this into the explanations and learning.
  • Using practical work to build resilience.
  • Examples of practical work with radiation
  • Four practical lessons or demonstrations linked to waves that you can carry out with your students.
  • Potential pitfalls when exploring current-voltage characteristics of some components

How will you learn?

This online, self-paced course can be completed flexibly. Participants can join and start this course at any time after the advertised date.
This course is not facilitated. You can learn independently or with colleagues to directly address your individual needs.

How long is this course?

This course takes around 9 hours to complete and you do not need to be online at any specific time. You can take the course at your own pace.


By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • improve your confidence in delivering and evaluating teaching for practical skills in physics for 14-16 year olds
  • define effective learning outcomes for practical work in physics
  • reflect on the effectiveness of practical activities on every students’ learning
  • design progression and assessment approaches within practical work
  • collaborate with colleagues to share and critique ideas for teaching practical science

Scheduled courses

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