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Education and outreach

Winners of the 2019 Teachers of Physics Awards

Returning for its 33rd year, our Teachers of Physics awards celebrate the achievements of teachers in raising the profile of physics and science in schools across the UK.


Georgios Aronis

Georgios Aronis, University Technical College, Reading

Georgios is a passionate physics teacher and always goes the extra mile in supporting his pupils to strive for success. Determined to inspire future physics teachers, Georgios is an encouraging and motivating mentor. He has been involved with supporting several new physics teachers, including his PGCE students, in the school’s annual physics practical enrichment week. Georgios’ personality allows him to form great relationships with students, which has helped contribute to the increase in numbers of both GCSE and A-level physics each year. This has led to fantastic outcomes for students, with many going onto physics degrees and high-level STEM apprenticeships.

Rachel Donoghue

Rachael Donoghue, Caistor Grammar School, Caistor

Rachael sets the highest expectations for her students and achieves excellence. Rachael’s enthusiastic leadership of her department has led to physics being one of the most popular A-level courses within the school. She is brimming with ideas about how to deliver her subject and wants to see all of her learners thrive. Rachael’s presence, determination and enthusiasm for her discipline have a significant influence on all who are privileged to be in her classroom.  Working closely with other departments, Rachael ensures that physics is core to every student’s experience in the school.

Simon Hewitt

Simon Hewitt, Judd School, Tonbridge

Simon is an experienced leader of a fantastic team of teachers and technicians at The Judd School Physics Department. Such is the popularity of the subject at A-Level, that numbers are outstanding, far exceeding the average uptake and include a large cohort of female students from other local schools. The team are fully committed to delivering thought-provoking and stretching lessons; introducing concepts way beyond the expectations of the curriculum. Simon leads the department, encouraging bold, exciting demonstrations and experiments, often building new equipment for enriching the subject. He and his department support students to perform exceptionally well, both in their exams, but also in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities which students run for other students, inviting experts and ex-students into the school to give inspirational lectures. Simon has himself been working with the IOP for 15 years and is delighted to be accepting the award on behalf of his entire department; it is wonderful to see their hard work and experience celebrated with this achievement.

Nancy Hunter

Nancy Hunter, Anderson High School, Lerwick

Nancy is an experienced and outstanding teacher who has maintained a passion for physics and learning throughout her teaching career. She is highly regarded by pupils, teachers and parents and is renowned for putting students at the heart of her teaching. Within the classroom, Nancy creates a rich educational environment and strives to remove any barriers to learning. In her department she is a huge support to all teachers and technicians and is keen to take on any challenges. Nancy has excelled in producing high-quality resources for Scottish National and Higher Physics courses. These are used daily by physics teachers within Anderson High School, Shetland schools and many schools nationally.

Andrew Seal

Andrew Seal, Beechen Cliff School, Bath

Andrew is an enthusiastic head of science and his strong leadership has seen science regarded across the school for its quality. The high demand from external applicants for A-level physics is a testament to his impact. The energy and commitment of both Andrew and the team have led to the school being used as a hub to develop the interest and aptitude of physics teachers across the region. Determined to inspire future physicists, Andrew has worked widely with the Ogden Trust to facilitate a range of events that aim to improve physics education, including a trip to CERN. Passion for utilising research and developing quality teaching is at the heart of his work – and that of his team.

Nick Sewell

Nick Sewell, Ysgol Friars, Bangor

Nick creates a fun and enriching classroom. His busy lab, filled with contraptions which he has built, inspires his pupils to take a hands-on approach to practical work. He takes an innovative and caring approach to teaching, utilising his boundless practical creativity and his free time to help his pupils outside of lessons. Keen to support his colleagues, he often uses his time to advise teachers of physics with another specialism and participates in professional learning communities. In particular, Nick has presented many innovative activities he developed to complement the Welsh physics curriculum at several IOP meetings. Beyond the classroom, Nick strives to expand students’ horizons through organising and assessing the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Karen Young

Dr Karen Young, Loreto College, Foxrock

Karen has led her subject from strength to strength, encouraging her pupils to achieve excellence. She inspires confidence within her students through independent learning and has successfully established and maintained a mentoring programme within the school. Her teaching style, both creative and approachable, ensures that her lessons are motivating and inclusive. This has led to exceptionally high achievement in her classes, including the award of the prestigious Naughton Scholarship to two of her students. Karen is highly regarded by her fellow teachers for her collegial approach to work within her department, often providing leadership during curriculum changes. Through leading many science education initiatives and organising outreach programmes, she has become a truly inspiring role model to all.


Find out more about our Teachers of Physics Awards.