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Thursday, 31 December 2009
Philip Britton, Headmaster of Bolton School Boys' Division, has
been awarded an MBE in the New Year's honours list for services to
A delighted Mr Britton commented: "I have always believed that
physics can be made exciting and engaging for children through the
enthusiasm that their teachers have for the subject. For my
involvement in the future of physics to be acknowledged
publicly was a great but very pleasant surprise."
Philip read physics at Oxford, gaining a first class
honours degree. He joined Leeds Grammar School in 1991 as a physics
teacher from his Cambridge teacher training course, where he was
awarded the Charles Fox prize for the best PGCE performance in the
year. In 1993 he became Head of Physics at Leeds, continuing in
that role until 2002, when he became Deputy Head (Academic).
At various times during the last 15 years Mr Britton has been a
member, secretary then Chair of the Institute of Physics (IoP)
Education Group, a member of the IoP Education Board (and before
that the Education and Public Affairs Board), on the editorial
board of Physics Education and Physics Review, as well as Education
representative, Vice Chair and then Chair of the IoP Yorkshire
Branch. He has published a variety of articles in physics and
science teaching journals.
From 1997 to 2001 he was involved in the IoP Advancing Physics
project, seconded for two days a week from teaching at Leeds. This
involved working as part of a small team developing new teaching
resources and being very much involved in INSET for physics
teachers starting the new course. From 2001 to 2006 he directed the
'Supporting Physics Project' which produced training resources to
make non specialist teachers of physics feel confident and
competent teaching the subject.
He has presented on topics of physics education at a number of
conferences around the UK and abroad as far afield as Japan,
Norway, Denmark and Spain.
He was awarded an IoP Teachers Award in 2000 and in 2007 the IoP
Bragg medal for his important contributions to physics education
including establishing one of the first physics teacher
He is a Chartered Physicist, Chartered Scientist and Chartered
Science Teacher and was made a Fellow of the Institute of Physics
More recently he has enjoyed getting involved in physics in the
North West especially the thriving and developing Bolton School
Ogden Trust partnership, leading a recent professional development
course for non specialist physics teachers last October. The
partnership has the same aims that all his work in physics has had
- to enthuse children about physics through engaging classroom
teaching, developing new and interesting teaching styles and
encouraging, supporting and training both specialist and non
specialist teachers to be confident enough to bring the
subject to life for the next generation.
One of Philip's main quotes throughout the year has been
"Physics is fun - but so is football." Mr Britton said "Fun
is very important, but more than just entertainment the relevance,
rigour and importance of the subject is what will bring it to life
for the next generation."
It would seem that his view has been not only heard but
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