Biology teacher Thandiwe earns recognition for her engaging classroom methods

A teacher is one of three on a shortlist for the Royal Society of Biology’s (RSB) School Biology Teacher of the Year Award.

The award recognises the UK’s leading secondary school biology teachers who are at the forefront of paving the way in teaching excellence, acknowledging their vital role in educating and inspiring the next generation of biologists.

Thandiwe Banda, lead practitioner of A-level biology and head of STEAM at Cheam High School in Chatsworth Road, Sutton, joins Dr Ali Bune, from Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School, Hatfield (Hertfordshire) and Christina Little, from The Mosslands School, Wirral (Merseyside) on the list.

Thandiwe focuses her efforts on building relationships with her students, showcasing her passion for biology and inspiring them through practical, creative and theoretical assignments.

She uses storytelling and replicating famous experiments to challenge and enrich her students’ education, as well as getting them to participate in spelling bees, BioArtAttack competitions, MiSAC microbiology competitions and Biology Olympiad.

For Thandiwe, providing insights into current research and career links to what her lessons cover is also paramount.

She said: “I am honoured to have been shortlisted and humbled that I was even considered. Connecting with students is about finding the key drivers to their personal success and how you, as their teacher and role model, can make biology, learning in general, and their journey at school a memorable one.

“My students make me a better teacher every day and make my role so rewarding.”

 The three teachers will now each submit a case study explaining the methods they employ to enhance their students’ learning. The award’s judging panel will also visit each teacher and observe them teaching a lesson.

The winner will be announced on July 24 and will receive £500 for themselves and £500 of school resources, both of which are provided by Oxford University Press.

Pictured top: Thandiwe Banda (centre) and fellow candidates for the prize Dr Ali Bune (left) and Christina Little (Picture: RSB)


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