Former postman from Aberystwyth wins Welsh physics teacher award

18 November 2013

Physics teacher Stephen Jones picked up an Institute of Physics (IOP) Teacher Award on Friday evening, 15 November, at a ceremony in London.

Mr Jones attended the IOP Awards Ceremony to receive his award from Dr Frances Saunders, President of IOP.

The event, organised to celebrate the success of scientists, teachers and leaders of high-tech businesses, was held at The Lancaster Hotel.

Mr Jones of Penglais School in Aberystwyth has been recognised as an exceptional teacher who has developed the talents and interests of pupils across a wide ability range, achieving outstanding results.

His award citation reads, “He has worked tirelessly to develop the introduction of the BTEC Applied Science course, and has introduced the Crest awards scheme for special needs pupils, which has helped enormously with motivation and given pupils a great sense of achievement.”

The citation also highlights the strong links Mr Jones has built with Aberystwyth University which have given his students a chance to develop their investigation skills in the undergraduate laboratories.

As Matthew Brown, Headteacher at Penglais School, explains, it took a courageous career change for Mr Jones to fulfil his classroom calling.

“Steve Jones is an asset to Penglais School. He is also an excellent role model for those people considering changing careers to become a teacher.

“After 14 years working as a postman, Steve took the brave step of enrolling as a full time student at Aberystwyth University to study physics.”

Employed by the school in September 2006, he became Head of Physics in 2008 and is attracting more than 30 students each year to study A-level Physics.

As one former pupil, who is now studying engineering at Cambridge University, writes, “During the two years that Mr Jones taught me physics he was a fantastic teacher.  

“Mr Jones was an inspiration both within the classroom and outside, where he ran extra-curricular activities, such as involvement in Engineering Education Scheme Wales, which was a key part in my decision to study engineering.”