As we continue to showcase the outstanding teachers at BISP, we sat down with Head of Science, Gavin Terry.  Mr. Terry joined BISP in 2018 and teaches  iGCSE/IB Biology and KS3 Science.

In addition to his role as Head of Science Mr. Terry has been part of the IB’s Biology Examiner team for 7 years, including a senior role as Team Leader where he has guided and assisted other IB Examiners through the marking process. We took the time to get to learn about Mr. Terry’s passion for Biology and how his role as Head of Science and a IB Biology Examiner add value to the BISP learning community. 

Firstly could you explain to us about the papers you mark?

This year I have 100 Biology coursework assignments to mark. These are 12 page write-ups where students have had to come up with a research question to investigate an aspect of the Biology course. An example would be: “To what extent does the fluoride concentration in toothpaste inhibit the growth of bacteria?”

What have you learnt from the process?

My teaching, and the subsequent experience my students get as a result, has really benefited from being an IB Examiner. I have a much deeper understanding of, and alignment with, the views of the Principal IB Examiner. I know exactly what content and format they focus and prioritise, and the depth, detail and language they are specifically looking for. 

How does this help support your current students in their Internal Assessments (IAs)?

I am able to ensure that they have developed suitable research questions that are focused and specific, and that this focus is maintained throughout the entirety of their write up.

I am able to ensure that aspects such as control variables, method, risk assessment, data presentation, statistical analysis, and limitations and improvements are covered in enough depth and detail to reach the very highest marks that are available.  As this is worth 20% of their final grade in Biology, this extra support is invaluable in ensuring our students go on to obtain excellent grades in Year 13.