Glasgow teacher scoops UK’s ‘Biology Teacher of the Year’

Paul Downie / Biology Teacher of the year
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A Hyndland Secondary School teacher has been named School Biology Teacher of the Year.

It is the first time the award has gone to a teacher at a school in Scotland.

Paul Downie said the prestigious award by the Royal Society of Biology was a “great honour”.

He beat off competition from schools and teachers from across the UK.

Paul makes his lessons and teaching relevant to his students’ lives, and sets out how they can use their skills practically and vocationally, according to RSB. 

He has created and hosts The Higher Biology Podcast and is the coordinator for West OS, an online school of recorded video lessons.

Paul said: “It’s a great honour to accept this award following an incredibly challenging couple of years, and I am grateful to the Royal Society of Biology for the opportunity it has presented to reflect on my own practice.

“I am very fortunate to work with and learn from, many excellent colleagues who I believe are equally deserving of such recognition.

‘Important’

“Biology will be central to many of the global challenges our young people will face, and it has never been so important for us to enthuse and inspire the next generation of biologists.”

Paul will receive a prize of £500 from Oxford University Press (OUP) and his school will receive £500 of resources from OUP. 

He also receives one year’s free membership of the Royal Society of Biology.

Hyndland Secondary School
Hyndland Secondary School

Chair of the award’s judging panel, Dr Mark Winterbottom FRSB, said, “Paul’s engagement with, and skill in exploring and building on children’s prior understanding was exceptional.

“His purpose is not merely to ‘get across’ biological knowledge. 

“He recognises that his teaching can empower students to make intelligent decisions throughout their lives, not least in relation to their health and to sustainability, and he has provided a number of opportunities for students to recognise the career opportunities available within biology.

‘It’s a great honour to accept this award following an incredibly challenging couple of years, and I am grateful to the Royal Society of Biology for the opportunity it has presented to reflect on my own practice’

Paul Downie

“Paul is very clear that his achievements reflect the hard work and team-effort of his whole department. 

“He is an outstanding and committed teacher who represents the very best of biology teaching in this country.”

The runners-up were Amber Barnard from Ark St Alban’s Academy, Birmingham, and Matthew King from Westcliff High School for Girls, Essex.


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