Literacy for Physics

We are delighted to be joined once more by Friend of the Podcast and Physics Teacher Support Polymath Carole Kenrick (@HelpfulScience) to talk about writing in Physics. Carole has put a lot of thought in to writing and breaks down in to three different reasons for writing: writing for learning, writing for remembering and writing for communication (e.g. to answer questions).

Carole is kind enough to talk us through how she teaches writing for learning and reminds us that there are other skills that can’t be ignored, such as oracy (e.g. think pair share); we need other aspects of literacy in place for good writing. Carole uses a lot of different tools with her students such as reflective writing or explaining mistakes.

When writing for remembering Carole likes to use SQ4R (SQRRRR – Survey, Question, Read, Record, Recite, Review). She has worked hard to get across the concept adding diagrams to illustrate key points and she does a lot of modelling of notes taking using a visualiser. In lockdown she has tried showing a video and then pausing it and asking what the key points are.

We then talk about Writing for Communication, We hear from Will Pope (MrPopeDoesPhysics ~ @PopeDoes), who has shared his approach to extended writing on TES. Like Carole he takes time to teach this formally.

Do you teach literacy for physics in such an explicit way? What works for you? Contact us and contribute using all the ways below.


Join in!

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: .  You can also message us via our website contact form at, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember), you could even email us an autio file if you are feeling really keen.


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