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Charles Gill from Alcester Grammar School, Alcester, has won this year’s RSB School Biology Teacher of the Year Award.

The award aims to recognise the UK’s best secondary education teachers and the role they have in educating and inspiring the next generation of biologists.

Charles, who has been teaching for sixteen years, received the award in recognition of his enthusiasm and dedication, excellent teaching and learning, and his extensive work beyond the classroom.

Charles Gill

Charles Gill, this year's winner

He has established multiple student-run societies at his school, including MedSoc, SciSoc, and EcoSoc, which bring in visiting speakers as well help students to support each other in gaining work experience.

In 2020, he launched a teaching YouTube channel where he has produced over 140 videos that have been viewed by students and teachers.

Outside of his school, Charles has worked with Warwick Institute of Education to run specialist training in biology for non-specialist science teachers.

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Charles on site with his students

He also leads an Easter ‘bootcamp’ A level biology sessions for students as part of Warwick University’s widening participation work, and he has published articles for students in Biological Sciences Review, and for teachers in School Science Review.

Charles said of winning the award, “I am more than delighted and exceptionally grateful. While no Biology teacher comes into the classroom for wealth or reward, it is amazing to have my work recognised in this way.

“With our knowledge of the natural world being more important than ever, I look forward to continuing to work with more great biologists on even more exciting projects.

“I'd like to sincerely thank my colleagues as well as all the inspiring students I've worked with over the years, including those who supported me in this competition.”

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Charles in the classroom

Charles receives a prize of £500 from Oxford University Press (OUP) and his school will receive £500 of resources from OUP. He also receives as part of the award one year’s free membership of the Royal Society of Biology.

Dr Mark Winterbottom FRSB, chair of the award’s judging panel, commended Charles as someone “with the passion and commitment which everyone would desire in a biology teacher."

“Charles’ approach is to build students’ agency in and ownership of, biology, and their learning of biology.

“There is a real sense that he is educating biologists rather than simply teaching biology, and in so doing, he has had, and continues to have, a long-lasting impact.

“Biology is part of Charles’ identity, and that identity is threaded through his department, his school, and beyond.”

The two other finalists of this year’s award, Kathy Freeston from East Leake Academy, Loughborough, and Jon Hale from Beaulieu Convent School, St Helier, will receive one year’s free subscription to the Journal of Biological Education.