Girls in Physics

This week, Stephen Nolan describes recent research in the physics department concerning pupils’ Sixth Form choices.

Physicists love data.  They like measuring things and coming up with new explanations and theories.  So it should come as no surprise when that they look at teaching in the same way.  Earlier this month, year 11 students were surveyed about their experiences of physics at GCSE and their plans for Sixth Form.  The results of the survey made for interesting reading but two conclusions stood out.

Firstly, the teaching in the department was highly rated, along with practical work and the support students received outside of lesson time.

Secondly, it shone new light on why fewer female students choose physics than their male counterparts.  Happily, students gave similar reasons for not choosing physics, regardless of gender.  However, a much larger proportion of girls had written off physics by year 9, echoing broader trends reported by the Institute of Physics.  Although physics at The Perse has a better gender balance than the national average, the department are continuing to promote opportunities for girls in the subject.

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