October 2020

Aiding Self-Selection for IB Physics

This began as part of a course called the Middle Leadership Development Project. For my project I chose to focus on aligning and improving the relationship between physics and maths at our school. My school had two physics teachers. In the following year the other one would move onto her next school while I remained. For the first time it was down to me to decide who would progress to IB Physics and who would be denied.

Not entirely true. The teachers never had the final say. That was someone in senior management. This person would take our advice but balance them against the wishes of the students, pressure from parents, class sizes and the IB Diploma requirements.

This left a tension within the science department. The cohort needed to be split between biology and physics. Chemistry was available but timetabling and staff restrictions meant that everyone has to take one of these two.

My solution to this process was a maths aptitude test (available here). From my perspective it was a success. I will talk more about the issues and how I set about addressing them before delving into why I think it worked.

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