About the author
Dr Eliza McIntosh is Teacher of Physics and Head of Oxbridge Admissions (Sciences) at The Perse Upper School. She completed a Perse Research Award in the 2013/14 academic year.
The research investigates whether extension work and methods usually aimed at a small proportion of high ability students can be used to motivate mixed ability classes studying A2 Physics. Six lessons were spent on extension activities, using material from the Senior Physics Challenge (SPC), a four day academically selected residential summer school held annually at the University of Cambridge Physics department. The students’ response to the extension sessions was assessed by questionnaires at the start and end of the programme, interviews with students from across the ability range and observations of the classes. While the approach of exams was a key factor in changes in the working practice of students during the study, the extension sessions did play a role in motivating the study group. There were no appreciable negative effects of the extension sessions on students from across the ability range and the most able students in particular were stimulated by their interest in and the challenge of the extension sessions.
Read Eliza’s research in full here.