Jane has been teaching biology at The Grange School in Hartford for over ten years. Her teaching career started in 2002 and she has had experience in both the state sector and independent sector in Yorkshire and Cheshire. She has previously held the roles of head of biology and head of science.
How is biology promoted outside the classroom?
The department has a long history of running some amazing foreign expeditions, working alongside research scientists to collect ecological data. We’ve monitored big cat populations in the Mexican jungle, helped with turtle conservation on the Caribbean coast and visited the famous Galápagos Islands, following in Darwin’s footsteps. We even rediscovered a reptile that was thought to be extinct in the wild. We’ve found these big adventures are amazing for developing ‘soft skills’ in our young people, such as resilience and teamwork.
How do you support more able and talented students?
We run a branch of ‘Café Scientifique’ in school for our older students, where we have an informal, thought-provoking talk delivered by a member of staff or a student followed by a casual but in-depth discussion over a cup of tea and biscuits. Recently, we had a fantastic talk about homeopathy from the head of chemistry, which led to a discussion of medical ethics and stretched our maths skills.
What are your favourite aspects of your job?
There’s no such thing as a boring day in teaching! Every day is different. Even if you find yourself teaching the same lesson to two classes, students ask different insightful questions, which will lead you off on different tangents to explore. I love how inquisitive and keen to learn our students are and how they love a good challenge!