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Rob Walker from High Tunstall College of Science, Hartlepool, has won the Secondary School Biology Teacher of the Year Award 2016. The Royal Society of Biology award seeks to identify and recognise the very best and most inspiring biology teachers in 11-18 education in the UK.

Mr Walker 3On receiving his award Mr Walker said: “I am delighted and honoured to have won this award.

“When teaching biology my principle aim is to inspire and enthuse students so that they develop a desire to study the subject further with the prospect of following a science career in the future.

“Winning the School Biology Teacher of the Year Award is not only a celebration of my own work but also that of my colleagues and students that I work with on a daily basis.”

Mr Walker, who has been teaching for 18 years, received his award at a ceremony at the Royal Institution on 7th July 2016.

Rob will receive £500 for himself and £500 of free Oxford University Press resources for his school. He will also receive prizes for his classroom from UK 3B Scientific Ltd and a year’s membership of the Royal Society of Biology.

Chair of the judging panel, Beverley Goodger CBiol MRSB said:
“Inspiration is at the heart of Rob’s biology teaching. He is inclusive and positive, raising the aspirations of all his pupils to be the best they can be. He captivates them within the subject, sharing his passion for biology and acting as a role model. Rob’s students see him as someone who believes in them and he believes every child can achieve. He makes his pupils aware of what is possible if they work for it, motivating them to produce GCSE biology results that exceed their predicted grades.”

“Rob has boundless enthusiasm and energy for biology teaching, as well as caring for every one of his students and knowing each of them well.”

His pupils said: “If I go into a biology test, I know that I won’t fail it”, “Every lesson you know that you have learned something” and “We really understand biology inside out.”

Dr Mark Downs CSci FRSB, chief executive of the Royal Society of Biology, said:
“Excellent teachers have a profound and positive effect on their students’ learning; widening their knowledge and skills base, increasing their self-confidence and raising their aspirations. The entrants for this year’s award are teaching outstanding and innovative lessons which inspire and enthuse their students. Many congratulations to Rob on his well-deserved award.”

The three other shortlisted teachers were: Thandiwe Banda, Teddington School; Lynne Chambers, Greenacre School For Girls; and David Fox Teasdale, Bolton School Boys’ Division.

Earlier this year, each of the shortlisted candidates received a visit from the judging panel. A case study from the winning teacher will be available online soon.

Record number of awards won in UK Biology Competitions

This year a record 43,700 students entered the UK Biology Competitions (a Special Interest Group of the RSB). Over 100 award winners who took part in the Biology Challenge, British Biology Olympiad and the new Intermediate Biology Olympiad were also at the Royal Institution on Thursday to receive Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.