Bolton School Boys’ Division teacher David Teasdale has been named as one of the four finalists in the running for the Royal Society of Biology’s School Biology Teacher of the Year Award 2016.
The award aims to recognise the best and most inspiring biology teachers in secondary education in the UK, who not only provide outstanding teaching, but support high-quality extra-curricular activities and influence the teaching and learning of biology beyond their own institutions.
Daid said: “It is a reflection both of the hard work that I have put in and the support I have received from the School and the Biology department. My head of department, Marc Tillotson, has been particularly influential in encouraging and supporting me.
“Bolton School is an amazing environment to work in. We have great students; they are all so interested in the subject that it makes my job a pleasure. The colleagues at my school are fantastic to work with. They are so knowledgeable and generous with their time. I learn so much from working with them.”
As well as teaching in the Boys’ Division, David is an Old Boy of the school. He was encouraged to read biology at Durham University by biology teacher Dr Morgan, and his inspiration to go into teaching also comes from his mother and the “hilarious and incredibly engaging lessons” at A-level from Classics teacher Dr Reeson.
For the final stage of the competition, the judging team will meet the four shortlisted teachers at their schools and each of the finalists will submit a case study detailing how they have enhanced their students’ learning.
Since his arrival at Bolton School, he has set up the New Biology Society club and the exotic animal care club. The New Biology Society meets to discuss the latest issues within biology, and sessions are often themed around questions such as ‘Should we bring back the woolly mammoth?’ or ‘Are you smarter than slime mould?’ The club is currently involved in a joint international venture with a school in Holland, conducting experiments to try to understand the behaviour of slime mould with the goal of using stop-motion video to film the mould growing into the shape of a specific word.
Talking about these ventures, he says: “Science should be a hands-on subject. At its core the joy of it comes from discovering new things through experimentation. Enrichment activities play a crucial role in allowing students to pursue and explore their interests. Having the collection of animals also allows us to carry out outreach work, for example a local SEN school visits the department regularly to handle and learn about the animals.”
The School Biology Teacher of the Year Award winner will be announced later in the year.