A-level Physics entrants on the rise

A-level Physics entrants on the rise

It was good to read the IOP article – A-level Physics entrants are on the rise. However, there remains a big issue with girls not pursuing the subject beyond GCSE, which is a shame. The national average classroom has too few girls, just 1 in 5 students are female. Girls are so capable at physics, equal and if not better than their male peers. So why are they so put off.

I wonder if it’s a lack of female physics teachers or whether there is something more profound, known as unconscious bias, where perhaps unwittingly, we are through our behaviours deterring girls from pursuing this great subject.

Another view might be more pragmatic. Many girls prefer what they perceive to be more human and social subjects, they want to be with people, work in teams, change the world for the better, and so they choose other subjects. Shame, because physics can help to meet all of these needs.

The IOP is doing tremendous work to try and address this. I am fortunate to be part of the Stimulating Physics Project from September 2017. As a School Physics Coach, I will be working closely with teachers in schools in the Sheffield area.

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