Why I became a GCSE / IGCSE biology teacher

23 May, 2018

When I was at school I hated biology lessons! Our teacher spent most lessons talking about things I didn’t understand, and we copied diagrams of experiments from the textbook instead of doing them for ourselves.

Then our biology teacher retired and a new teacher came to work at our school. She asked us to design experiments of our own and work out what the results were telling us. She gave us problems to solve and had us debating the ethics of the latest advances in genetics and biotechnology. Best of all, she made us think about how the things we were learning affected everything from our own health to the future of mankind.

The science of life, it turned out, is an amazing subject with so much to stimulate young people’s minds. Life is more complicated than anything humans have ever built – the DNA molecule alone can potentially store more information than anything on the planet! There may be more than ten million species of living things on Earth and humans have so far discovered less than ten percent of them.

GCSE IGCSE biology class

I was soon enjoying studying biology so much that I ended up becoming a GCSE / IGCSE biology teacher myself! I wanted to inspire future biologists through my own teaching and I am fortunate to work with colleagues who share my passion for making the subject as lively and thought-provoking as I found it at school.

Students often come to us with low expectations of this science subject. Like me, they have had poor experiences of GCSE / IGCSE biology syllabus teaching or they do not see the importance of learning about living things. Our mission as biology teachers is to challenge these misgivings by delivering lessons that are engaging and relevant to our students and have them leaving the classroom eager to find out more.

The GCSE / IGCSE biology syllabus we follow contains topics from all different branches of biology – physiology, agriculture, microbiology, stem cell research and ecology, to name but a few. From the smallest cell to the largest ecosystem, we cover it all!

Our GCSE / IGCSE biology students also find that studying biology opens up a wealth of exciting career opportunities. The world needs biologists like never before to solve many of the biggest global challenges of the immediate future. Some of the biggest international growth sectors of the 21st century – healthcare, conservation, forensic science and pharmaceuticals – are all crying out for biology graduates. Biologists are even in demand in less scientific sectors such as economics, business and journalism because the subject provides so many of the transferable skills that are sought after in the workplace.

No wonder I became a biology teacher!


Dr Joseph Knight
Head of Biology, Sherborne International

Biology is studied on the following courses at Sherborne International:

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