Environmental and Biomedical Sciences

Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics




Environmental and Biomedical Sciences

Barry started life as a Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer, gaining an HNC in Microbiology plus Fellowship of the Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences, which involved passing the same modules in Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Physiology etc as nurses and doctors. Later degrees in Environmental Science reinforced and updated his knowledge of Human Biology, Toxicology etc, as well as learning about Pollution, Ecology, Ecotoxicology, Biogeochemsitry etc - and then continually reinforced these skills through many Continuing Professional Development courses. This enables Barry to help degree-level and professional students learning subjects as diverse as Human Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Nursing, Midwifery, Radiotherapy, Environmental Sciences, Medical Microbiology, Public Health, Pollution and so on.

If there has been a constant theme throughout Barry’s varied career it has been that all have had Biology at their core, whether Human, Micro, Eco, Environmental or indeed Teaching. It was his favourite subject when at school, so he naturally followed it into his first Microbiological career. Later his Environmental research fields were bioremediation of pollution and management of the large bioreactor known more commonly as a landfill! When he started teaching at Weston College he was module leader in Pollution on the Environmental Health degree, but also taught Microbiology on the same degree, then began to teach Biology A-level to Weston’s Access to Further Education students. He enjoyed this so much that Biology is his specialism at A-level. He teaches both General and Human Biology at A level, and the (rarer) Environmental Studies. He also teaches Biology at GCSE level. He cut his teeth teaching the AQA versions, but can now teach the OCR and EdExcel versions as well.




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Barry gained his top grade Maths O level a year early, and also did well at A level, one year winning the school Maths prize. Nevertheless he is also good at connecting with less able students, and has a knack for making Maths less scary and more accessible and memorable. Science is heavily dependent on Maths and especially Statistics, which he has used throughout his career. Maths content has changed little since the 1970s, so he found it straightforward to relearn and then teach GCSE level Maths and Statistics. He also helps older students with Maths, e.g. Coaching applicants for work or college/university entrance exams in Maths and Logic. In fact he enjoys Maths so much he is currently relearning the A level, although is not ready to teach this yet.


Barry has a good O level and also studied Chemistry at A level. As a junior medical scientist he spent time in each of Haematology, Histopathology, Serology and Chemistry before he specialised in Microbiology. One of the advantages of his second career - spent learning, practising and teaching Environmental science - was that the good environmental scientist must learn and apply ALL sciences to be effective. So although at heart a Biologist, Barry had to master both inorganic (e.g. Heavy metals) and organic chemistry (e.g. Pesticides) to be an effective consultant. It was therefore relatively easy to relearn and then teach GCSE level Chemistry.



Barry passed O and A level Physics himself, albeit some time ago! Since then, being a dyed-in-the-wool scientist, he has kept a keen informed-amateur eye on the subject, being especially fascinated by the very large (Cosmology) and the very small (Quantum Physics). When he began tutoring at GCSE level it quickly became clear that most students these days do Combined Science, so during his first year as a private tutor Barry revisited his old O level notes and then relearned the GCSE, and has been teaching GCSE level Physics since then.