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The three teachers selected as finalists are Kathy Freeston from East Leake Academy, Loughborough; Charles Gill from Alcester Grammar School, Alcester; and Jon Hale from Beaulieu Convent School, St Helier.

The award recognises outstanding and inspirational teaching of biology at secondary school.

SBTOY22 shortlist

The shortlisted teachers, from left to right: Kathy Freeston, Charles Gill, and Jon Hale

Kathy Freeston, a biology teacher at East Leake Academy, has been teaching for 20 years. Freeston was nominated for her enthusiasm for biology and motivation to get students excited about the natural world.

She is also part of the team behind ChatBiology, an online platform which supports the teaching of biology and sharing of resources.

Freeston said on being shortlisted: “Being part of the biological community is extremely important to me. I take pride in developing a love of the natural world and life sciences in my students and am happy to offer the benefit of my experience to help colleagues.”

Charles Gill, a teacher of biology and head of careers at Alcester Grammar School, has been teaching for 16 years.

Gill was nominated for his wide range of teaching styles as well as training he has provided for colleagues. He had also started a YouTube channel to keep lessons engaging and dynamic for students throughout the pandemic – which continues to be a valuable extension resource.

Gill said on being shortlisted: “I am delighted to have made it to the final and look forward to meeting the RSB judges.

“I hope to show them why I believe biology is the most exciting, important subject.”

Jon Hale, head of biology at Beaulieu Convent School, has been teaching for 15 years. Hale has been nominated for developing informal learning tools and collaborations to enhance student learning.

His work has supported the creation of online courses and been a benefit to teachers across Europe.

Hale said on being shortlisted: “I am truly honoured to be shortlisted and to have the opportunity to showcase the biology teaching and learning in our little corner in what is an amazing community of biology teachers across the UK.”

The three shortlisted teachers will now each submit a case study, explaining the methods they sue to enhance their students’ learning. The Award’s judging panel will also visit each teacher.

The winner will be announced in August 2022 and will receive £500 for themselves and £500 of school resources, both provided by Oxford University Press.