Earth and Space


CPD for 11-14 14-16 16-19

In this collection, you will find short videos to support the teaching ofTeach secondary awards 5 stars physics across the age groups, created by our teacher coaches as part of our IOP DOMAINS CPD Programme. They are designed to provide a solid foundation on which to base your teaching and address some of the many inclusivity challenges in teaching, for example, accessibility, familiar contexts, addressing misconceptions, consistency throughout diagrams and careful language. 

Forces and Motion

Forces CPD videos

CPD for 11-14 14-16 16-19

Forces enable us to explain why things happen. On this page, you will find videos to support the teaching of forces across the age groups.

Meet the presenters

(Left to right) Daisy Fox, Kath Myers, Mark Whalley & Sue Woolhouse.


Everyday forces

Sue explores the types of forces on objects you may find at home.

Force arrows

Daisy looks at how to construct force diagrams and use arrows to represent forces.

Balanced forces

Kath explores balanced forces and common misconceptions about moving objects.


Newton 3

Daisy unpicks a typical exam question about the forces on a rocket and explores how students often confuse interaction force pairs.

Newton 2 (and vectors)

Kath examines how unbalanced forces affect motion and how vector addition allow us to find the resultant force and acceleration.

Newton 1

Sue explores what a resultant force of zero means and uses curly cardboard arrows to model a sky diver reaching terminal velocity.


Advanced force diagrams and vectors

Mark and Daisy explore 3 forces in equilibrium and compare practical and theory for a mass on an inclined plane.

Electric Current
Electricity and Magnetism

Electricity CPD videos

CPD for 11-14 14-16 16-19

Electrical circuits are essential in everyday life, but students often find them challenging. In these videos, we look at ways to make links between the microscopic charged particles and macroscopic observations, provide tips to trouble-shoot circuits and look at how to introduce the relationship between voltage, current and resistance.

Meet the presenters

(Left to right, IOP Coaches) Alan Denton, Carole Kenrick, Dan Cottle, Eleanor Wylie, Jessica Rowson, John Parsons, Mark Whalley, Niloufar Wijetunge, Terri Ghoneim.


Charge and Static

Carole explains why it’s helpful to teach about charge and static before we teach simple circuits, and she demonstrates the use of visual representations for developing students’ understanding.

Using models to explain simple circuits

In this video Dan, Niloufar and Carole demonstrate a range of teaching models that can be used to help students understand simple circuits, and consider the benefits and limitations of each.

Exploring circuits practically 

Eleanor and Jessica discuss the importance of practical work in circuit pedagogy and suggest some tips for purposeful practicals.


Storytelling: the people behind the physics 

Carole shares fascinating stories about the people behind the physics we teach, demonstrating some historical experiments, and she highlights the importance of considering representation when we chose which physicists we teach students about.


Factors that affect resistance 

Jessica looks at the factors that affect the resistance of a wire and discusses some practical setups for investigations in the classroom.

Circuit equipment and I-V graphs 

Terri and John take you through the key issues in investigating I-V characteristics for resistors, filament lamps and diodes.

Electricity Equations 

In this series of three combined mini-videos, Mark looks at some of the electricity equations and how they're related (0:00-16:49), a framework for challenging questions (16:50-24:18) and goes through some worked solutions (24:19-39:16).


Potential dividers 

Alan shows a way of teaching potential dividers using mini-whiteboards that can help students to answer challenging qualitative questions.

Internal resistance and EMF

Alan looks at how we can calculate experimental values for EMF and Internal Resistances, and how students can understand the equation.

Electromagnetic Wave
Light, Sound and Waves

Waves CPD videos

CPD for 11-14 14-16 16-19

Essential in our everyday life, waves are used in many forms of communication. Wave phenomena such as rainbows and interference patterns inspire awe and wonder. This series of videos provides useful ideas and practical tips for teachers. We also address some common misconceptions that often surface and how best to deal with them.

Meet the presenters

(Left to right, IOP Coaches) David Farley, Devinder Gill, Mark Calvesbert, Mark Edwards, Vicki Parry.


Introduction to waves

In this video, Devinder provides a sequence of demonstrations to introduce waves to your students.


The ripple tank

Mark and Vicki discuss how we can obtain experimental data to calculate the speed of water waves using the ripple tank.


Interference and superposition

After an introduction to superposition, David and Mark highlight several lab demonstrations to bring the subject to life.

Energy and Thermal Physics

Energy CPD videos

CPD for 11-14 14-16 16-19

When teaching this topic, it is important to avoid your students conflating the energy analysis with an explanation of what’s going on. Energy is about doing calculations; it is a useful tool for predicting what can happen but shouldn't be used to explain phenomena.

Meet the presenters

(Left to right, IOP Coaches) Alessio Bernardelli, David Richardson, Jess Hamer, Joanna Kent & Trevor Plant.


Energy stores

Jo and Trevor discuss the idea of energy stores and how they can be used when teaching about energy.

Choosing start and end points

Jo and Trevor demonstrate how choosing different start and end points leads to different descriptions of energy shifting, and highlights some of the issues to consider in the choice.


Building energy calculations from the ground up 

Rachel discusses why an energy account is important and shares approaches to help build confidence with calculations.


Introducing energy calculations 

Alessio introduces the main energy calculations. He uses graphs to make links between gravitational potential and kinetic energy equations.

Thermal store 

David focuses on the thermal store and shows effective ways to carry out practicals to calculate the specific heat capacity of different substances, as well as the latent heat of fusion and vaporisation.

Energy calculations in action 

David and Alessio explore the energy stores involved in running and introduce practicals to estimate energy in action.


Introduction to kinetic theory and the gas laws 

Jess covers some key terminology in kinetic theories, discusses Brownian motion and explains why kinetic theory is important in understanding the gas laws.

The gas laws

Joe takes a peek at the fundamental model of gas laws: particles as a model of gases and their behaviour.

Ideal gas law

Joe introduces the Zeroth law and the ideal gas equation, constructed from our independent gas laws.

The kinetic theory equation

Joe combines the macroscopic with our core model to derive an expression for kinetic energy of a molecule in a gas and takes a look at PV graphs.

Ionising Radiation
Properties of Matter | Quantum and Nuclear

Matter and nuclear CPD videos

CPD for 11-14 14-16 16-19

In matter and nuclear physics, we explain macroscopic behaviours using descriptions of microscopic models. This presents challenges to student thinking; as teachers we have to work carefully to use the appropriate language to help students to build their understanding. These videos highlight this, student misconceptions and other suggestions for teachers.

Meet the presenters

(Left to right, IOP Coaches) Ben Dickens, Nicky Thomas, Peter Tiktin, Sue Woolhouse.


States and models

Peter and Helen explore models to explain the states of matter, addressing common misconceptions and language for the microscopic and macroscopic.

Radioactive decay 1: α, β, γ 

Ben and Sue discuss the difference between irradiation and contamination, show how to model α, β, γ decay and demonstrate the spontaneous and random nature of decay.

Radioactive decay 2: half-life 

In part 2 of the radioactive decay videos, Ben showcases a wide range of kit to model and measure half-life; he discusses how to help your students interpret decay graphs, and he describes uses of isotopes.


Nuclear particle physics 

Nuclear particle physics is an exciting, new topic for your advanced students. Gary and Nicky present an array of effective teaching approaches for this topic, including: the standard model; the scale and structure of the nucleus; quarks; the strong force; antimatter and mesons.

Earth and Space

Space CPD videos

CPD for 11-14 14-16 16-19

Many children love learning about space. It is a topic filled with awe and wonder. Yet even now the subject is rife with misconceptions. This series of videos provides useful ideas, practical tips for teachers and addresses some of these common misconceptions.

Meet the presenters

(Left to right, IOP Coaches) Ant Cliffe, Laura Dootson, Mark Omerod, Sasa Harper.


The scale of space

Mark discusses how space was used to define our common units of time before Sasa explores the vast distances between the planets and stars.


Cosmological redshift

Redshift is a significant piece of evidence for the big bang. Dave and Laura discuss the absorption lines from stars and how they appear to give us evidence of expanding space.


Understanding stellar radiation

Ant and Steve explore the two main relationships that astronomers use to extract information out of starlight: Wien's law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

Limit Less Campaign

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