About Our Teachers
Who they are and why they got involved...
"I live in a classroom in North Somerset and occasionally get to see my wife and two children. My teaching career started in 2001 and I teach Maths and Statistics to students aged 11 to 18, having taken a joint honours degree in Music and Maths. This led me to want to find connections between Maths and other subjects, and sometimes even everyday life! I particularly enjoy finding ways to use probability to surprise students with unexpected answers. Hobbies of mine include Tae-Kwon-Do, playing drums, magic tricks and balloon modelling. The material on GCSEPod is a great way to engage students by using modern technology for revision. There are those out there that say Maths is dull and while this can be true, there are a wide variety of ways to make it fun, interesting and relevant; you just need to find someone that can do that for you!" Dave Gale – Maths
"I graduated from Oxford University in 1983 and have been teaching Chemistry ever since. I am now Head of Department in a grammar school. Over the years I have been involved with a range of Chemistry ICT projects and some in-service teacher training. After all this time, I am now back "at school" studying for a Master's degree. Although most examinations need answers written on paper, I am convinced that there are many ways of learning the skills and information to prepare for this. Until GCSEPod came along, those that enjoy learning by listening had been a bit neglected. I was happy to help prepare some of the items." Mike Ryan – Chemistry
"I am now in my fifth year of teaching. I am a trained Religious Studies secondary school teacher but have also taught Humanities, History and Geography. I am passionate about teaching and have always had an avid interest in writing and was the Films Editor for the most popular newspaper at the University of York. Having lived in China for two years and after travelling throughout the Buddhist countries in Southeast Asia extensively, I consider myself to have gathered a sound knowledge of Buddhism. I chose to become involved in writing for GCSEPod because it combines both my writing skills and my passion for Religious Studies and Buddhism." Jonathan Beaufort-Jones – RS
"I am a former Head of English and have been a teacher for ten years working in both the state and independent sectors. I have taught GCSE English and English Literature for all this time as well as AS/A Level and the International Baccalaureate. I am an examiner with OCR and the IB and currently doing teaching supply cover in order to spend more time with my young family. I chose to become involved with GCSEPod so that I could pass on my experience of teaching and marking to a wider audience and I also felt that this was an innovative way to help young people develop their skills and knowledge before the crucial time of their examinations." Nicola Greener – English
"I have taught History and Sociology for the past four years. My specialist areas of study are Yugoslavia, the United States and the Soviet Union. I wanted to be involved in GCSEPod as I am interested in using ICT as a means of engaging students and raising achievement by addressing a range of different learning styles. As an auditory learner myself, I felt this was an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of an innovative and progressive development in learning. Viva la revolution!" Cathal Doyle – History
"I have been teaching Religious Studies and other subjects for around thirty years, both in this country and overseas. I have taught at KS3 and GCSE KS4 and have been Head of Department. For a number of years I have also been a GCSE examiner in Religious Studies. I decided to write for GCSEPod because I think it is a great way for students to do their revision in a way that is relevant to them." Tim Bridgeman – RS
"I am a History teacher and e-learning staff tutor at a school in South Yorkshire. I have experience of teaching many different courses to students from age 11 to 18 across the main exam boards. I'm a regular presenter at the Schools History Project conference and love trying out new ways of integrating technology into my classroom environment!" Doug Belshaw – History
"I am in my 6th year of teaching, having graduated from Newcastle University with a Human Geography degree and then my teaching qualification. I have taught in middle schools and am now teaching in a secondary school in Newcastle, enjoying teaching GCSE to a variety of abilities." Sharon Richardson – Geography
"My teaching career spans twenty years of successfully steering students through GCSE English, both Language and Literature. I also teach Key Stage 3 and take great pleasure in my Key Stage 5 Literature work. Currently, I co-ordinate all aspects of the English GCSE examination for my department. My interest in writing for GCSEPod was sparked by the fact that it is a new student-centred approach to learning which is flexible enough to be fitted into any teenager's hectic lifestyle and definitely 'on trend.'" Kym Parnell – English
"I qualified as a History teacher in 2003, and have been teaching at a thriving comprehensive in Wiltshire ever since. Each summer, I work for Edexcel as an assistant examiner on the SHP GCSE paper. I find it difficult to shut up about History and jumped at the chance to get involved with the GCSEPod project. As an auditory learner, I used to read my revision notes onto cassettes and listen to them on my Walkman, so I can definitely see the benefits of delivering educational content via new high-tech methods!" Sally Thorne - History
"I have been a teacher for four years and I work in a Church of England School in Shaw, Oldham. I love my job and the subject that I teach because it is so relevant to today's society. I like the fact that it gives students a chance to express their own opinions, which quite often they are unable to do in other subjects. I chose to become involved with GCSEPod because I felt my knowledge of the examination system would be beneficial to students. I am a team leader for Edexcel and mark three other papers over the summer and so I have a great depth of knowledge which helped me to write the information. " Samantha Read – RS
"I've been working in Education for 10 years now. After studying Maths at Edinburgh University, I spent 6 years developing educational software for teaching Maths and Science in secondary schools. I then decided to make the leap and become a Maths teacher myself. I've loved the last four years spent in the classroom, teaching pupils of all ages and abilities. I have a particular interest in the Algebra and Number strands of GCSE Maths. I leapt at the opportunity to get involved with GCSEPod, as it combined two of my biggest interests - Maths and technology. Students learn in so many ways, and are seldom found too far away from their mp3 players, so GCSE podcasts are the perfect solution!" Fiona Henry – Maths
"I am a History teacher in Essex. I have experience of teaching a variety of examination specifications and I’m a regular presenter at the Schools History Project conference. I am known for using a wide variety of techniques to help my students learn and this is one of the reasons why I became involved in the project." Nick Dennis – History
"I am an experienced teacher of English Language and Literature, currently teaching across the age range in an 11-18 comprehensive school. I think these guides are a valuable addition to the support available for students." Pauline Hills - English
"I have been head of Maths for 7 years at a mixed comprehensive school. I teach from year 7 all the way to A level, and enjoy teaching Number and Algebra. I love being in the classroom with students of all abilities and thrive on the challenge of making Maths accessible. There are many ways to learn and gather knowledge and then apply it. My job is to tap into as many students as possible with their varied ways of learning. I jumped at the opportunity to write for GCSEPod as it made me think very hard about the way I could explain Maths through a podcast. I hope I have made it more accessible to many." Mark Cheesman – Maths
"I have been teaching Science for 8 years to both KS3 and GCSE students, but also work part-time as a writer of resources for Science education. I came straight to teaching from my degree in biochemistry, so my specialist areas are Biology and Chemistry, especially at the molecular level. I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to engage and motivate my students and am excited to be involved in new and innovative ways to help students to learn such as GCSEPod." Gemma Young – Biology
"I am currently an English teacher in a large Secondary school in Wales. I teach the whole range of ages and abilities, but particularly enjoy the challenges of teaching GCSE. I have taught English in many different countries but finally decided to stay put in the UK in order to focus on working with young people in British schools. I decided to get involved in this project because I think that learning on-the-go will be an effective and far more realistic approach to revision!" Nicola Worgan – English
"I am now into my fourth year of teaching Maths to the full range of abilities across Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. I understand the difficulty of gaining and keeping the interest of students, which is why I think GCSEPod is such a great tool for learning. Short bursts of useful information, letting the learner decide for themselves how much or how little they can handle at any one time. This gives students the opportunity to manage their own learning and to identify and rectify gaps in their subject knowledge. It is great to get learners involved in the Maths they are using, which is why topics such as percentages, ratio, probability and averages can be so much fun to teach. Showing how these topics are used in everyday life really sparks their interest and distances Maths from its false reputation as a boring and useless subject." Aaron Firth – Maths
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