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Beginning Physics Teachers Support

Support for New Physics Teachers: In-Services and a Mentor Scheme

Click here for Material prepared for the 2009 - 2018 In-Services

The Vicphysics Teachers' Network is keen to assist physics teachers whether they are:

  • a) First Year Outs,
  • b) Teachers returning to Physics teaching after many years’ absence, or
  • c) Teachers who have been asked by their school to take physics.

The in-service program is a full day in-service during the Term 1 school holidays. The event is free and travel coverage is available for country participants.

In 2018 It was held on Friday, 13th April at Kew High School.  The 2019 event will be held during the Term 1 holidays on a date to be determined. To register for the 2019 event please enter your details below. Please include your reasons for applying to assist us with designing the program.



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Microsoft Word

In-Service for Beginning Physics Teachers

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The program for the In-Service.

The Mentor Scheme. Several retired physics teachers have offered their services to support new teachers. The Network gives them a stipend to meet with the teacher once during Terms 2, 3 and 4 and to be available for phone and email contact. Teachers wishing to participate in this scheme should send an expression of interest containing their contact details and a statement of why they want to be involved in the scheme. The expression of interest should be accompanied by a letter of support from the Science Coordinator of the School Principal. The documents should be either posted to the Vicphysics mentor Scheme, PO Box 290, Flnders Lane, VIC 8009 or emailed to VicPhys with subject “Booking: Mentor Scheme”. Schools are welcome to fund additional support from the mentor.

Material prepared for the 2009 - 2018 In-Services




Microsoft Word

Practical activities over the decades

33.3 kB

A table of displaying how the types and descriptions of practical activities in Physics have changed over the last three decades.

Microsoft Powerpoint

Resources and Practical Activities

223 kB

A PowerPoint presentation on i) the different styles of practical activities with examples, as well as discussion of the factors to be considered in planning summary report on practical activities and the practical investigations and ii) the types of physics resources that are available to physics teachers in a range of formats from text to websites.

Microsoft Powerpoint

Types and examples of Practical Activities

223 kB

The PowerPoint from the presentation on Practical Activities.

Microsoft Word

Practical Actvities Categories Worksheet

36.9 kB

A worksheet to categorise and evaluate the types of practical activities that your students experience.

Microsoft Word

Table of criteria for the Prcatical Investigation

53.8 kB

The criteria for the Practical Investigation from VCAA Physics Assessment Booklet have been arranged in a table format for ease of use. Each row contains related comments on a particular aspect e.g. 'Understanding' from each of the score ranges, e.g. 'Demonstrates an advanced understanding of the investigation' through to 'Demonstrates a limited understanding of ...'. The full text has been broken up, covering the categories of 'understanding', 'hypothesis', 'procedures', 'safety', 'improvements', 'data', 'records', 'presentation', 'estimates', 'analysis', 'communication', 'explanations', each with a separate row. The table has been updated with a column indicating whether each category can be assessed by the student's plan, their logbook or the poster.

Microsoft Powerpoint

Exam and Revision Advice

1.1 MB

The PowerPoint presentation has examples of exam questions that students have found difficult with suggestions of strategies to overcome these as well as worked solutions using the strategies. Advice is also provided on revising during the semester and before the exam as well as specific exam strategies.

Microsoft Word

Responses to Discussion Questions

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The program for the in-service included a discussion on question such as 'What was your biggest surprise in first teaching physics?' 'What have you enjoyed most in your teaching?', etc. These same questions were used in the 1987 Beginning Physics Teachers In-Service. These are their responses.

Microsoft Word

Powerful Learning Demonstrations for Beginning Teachers

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Presented by Colin Hopkins from Trafalgar High School and Rob Braidwood from Balwyn High School.

Microsoft Word

Sample Course for Units 1 and 2

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A sample course for Units 1 and 2 has been prepared. It includes a possible time allocation for Areas of Study and indeed, for individual dot points, as well as possible activities. The sample course takes the approach of selecting Detailed Studies that relate to the context “Solutions for Climate Change” and finding links to the core Areas of Study.

Microsoft Word

Units 3 and 4 Course Planning

86.5 kB

A week by week teaching program for Year 12 with dates for 2014 and with the content to be covered in each week as well as practical activities. There are different versions depending on which Detailed Study is chosen and in which topic the EPI is done.

Microsoft Word

Teaching Electricity

65.5 kB

The document outlines one person's idea of how to introduce the concepts of electricity in Year 11 physics.

Microsoft Word

Resources on 'Forces on Passengers' from VELS site

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This document describes the extensive range of information on students’ misconceptions in science available on the VELS website. A summary of one example is included that of ‘Forces on passengers’.

Microsoft Word

Conceptual Understanding Procedures for Physics

40.4 kB

Conceptual Understanding Procedures (CUPs) for Physics are an initiative of Monash University. They are a set of teaching procedures designed to aid the development of understanding of concepts that students find difficult. Check their website below.

Also check here for other files on course planning and here for exam solutions and exam reports by the Chief Assessor.

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