Author on TES: Physics scholar, Nteach

Sian Evans
05th July 2016
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Nick Golsby, TES Author Nteach, aims to make teachers' lives easier while enhancing pupil learning. Find out how he makes physics more accessible and his perspective on secondary science teaching now he has become a university lecturer

Tell us about your professional background.

After graduating with a BEng in mechanical engineering, I completed my teacher training specialising in physics. With an awareness of the lack of physics teachers, and the lack of Stem graduates, I have a real interest in increasing engagement with Stem subjects.

Currently, I work as a university lecturer in engineering. Although I don’t teach as much at school, I continue to be involved with secondary science through the university’s outreach programme and working with GCSE exam boards.

Why did you join TES?

I have experienced the workload and stress that comes with creating quality resources to teach 20 hours or more a week. I want to help teachers by providing them with high quality resources, which may help to get more students interested in science, and physics in particular. 

Physics is often seen as a challenging subject to teach. How do you make sure your resources are accessible to learners of all abilities?

I spend a lot of time breaking down the language, making sure the terms I use are clear and trying to relate content back to everyday life. Of course, science isn’t a world away from what we do every day; however we need to contextualise the content for students. That is as important as teaching the equations and explaining how they influence the physics.

I make my resources accessible by using a clear, consistent format throughout all my lessons. I find a colour-coding system works effectively too; orange for a question you have to answer, purple for something more challenging etc. Simple formats help students quickly access the content and make it clear what they should be doing during the lesson, as well as highlighting the key information they should take away.

Now you have become a university lecturer, has it made you change the way you teach science at secondary school? 

It has emphasised to me how important it is that the fundamentals are taught clearly at school, and that pupils are also given the opportunity to apply their knowledge. Quite often at university, we find that students have fantastic grades but can’t apply their knowledge to new problems. In an ideal world, there would be more time to explore topics in greater detail. However, I understand the pressures on achieving good exam grades and these pressures do not disappear at university.

What are your top tips for anyone wanting to publish their resources?

Be confident that your resources are going to benefit teachers and their pupils. When you think a resource is ready, take a step back from it and put yourself in your customer’s shoes: would you be happy if you had paid money for this resource?

Get as much feedback as possible, from colleagues and on TES from users’ reviews. Remember to act on the feedback you are given!

What’s next for your shop?

I’m currently working on the new AQA GCSE specification for physics and intend on having a set of resources, which supports the entire specification, completed for September. I am also starting to look at other exam boards for GCSE physics as well as new specifications for GCSE chemistry and biology. As always, I will carry on making resources which are as clear, accessible and exciting as possible to hopefully inspire future Stem graduates.

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