Biology

I would like to welcome you to the Biology Department. We are a large and friendly department of teachers who enjoy their subject, but especially love teaching it! As Head of Department it is supposed to be my job to "run the show", but I certainly could not do it if I did not have such a fantastic team.
Mrs Claerwen Patterson

Heads of Science
Dr Puech - Head of Physics
Mrs Patterson - Head of Biology
Mrs Austin - Head of Chemistry

Mrs Claerwen Patterson - Head of Biology
email: claerwen.patterson@stcatherines.info
Mrs Patterson joined the school in 2008 from Hazelwood School and became Head of Department in 2010. She has degrees in Biological Sciences & Theology from Oxford University and heads up ‘Explore’, the Christian Union at St Catherine’s. She enjoys all aspects of Biology with particular interests in Entomology, Physiology and Genetics. Outside school she enjoys walking her Cocker Spaniel (Reuben), gardening, singing and dabbling in Art.


Mrs Gemma Clapham
email: gemma.clapham@stcatherines.info
Joined the Biology department in September 2014, having previously taught for 9 years at an independent girls' school in London. She has a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Reading and completed her PGCE in 2004. Having previously had Senior Management responsibilities, she is thoroughly enjoying being back in the classroom and teaching biology. She has particular interests in Zoology, Physiology and Ecology. Outside school she spends most of her time running around after her two children and, when she has the chance, enjoys cooking and spending holidays in France and on the West Coast of Scotland.


Mr Rico Canales-Navarrete
email: rico.canales-navarrete@stcatherines.info
Mr Canales-Navarrete joined the school at the end of 2017. Previously at Merchant Taylors’ School, he has been teaching for over 15 years in the UK. Rico hails from Canada and has degrees in Biology and Education from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He has developed a particular interest in Genetics. Outside school, Rico enjoys travelling with his family and running after Scout, his French Bulldog.


Mr Thomas Featherstone
email: thomas.featherstone@stcatherines.info
Mr Thomas Featherstone joined the school at the start of 2019, on his completion of the TeachFirst Leadership Development Programme (PGCE - University of Manchester).  Thomas was born and raised in Liverpool and studied Natural Sciences at University College London (UCL).  Thomas has a particular interest in human physiology, especially how this relates to athletic performance.  Outside school, Thomas is both a ranked Brazilian Jujitsu competitor and an amateur boxer.


Mr James Hyder
email: james.hyder@stcatherines.info 
Mr Hyder joined the Biology department September 2021, having previously taught at King Edward VI School, Southampton. He has a degree in Zoology from Durham University and has particular interests in Animal Anatomy, Physiology and Behaviour as well as Ecology and Conservation. When not teaching James spends his time playing or watching sport as well as appreciating the wildlife around us by roaming the countryside with his Cocker Spaniel Tammie. 


Mrs Parvinder Dhandjal
email: parvinder.dhanjal@stcatherines.info
Parvin joined the School in November 2017 having previously had a career as a Biology Technician at Tormead School, as well as running her own business (Cranleigh Post Office) with her husband for 22 Years. She enjoys doing gym, knitting, sewing, travelling, charity work and walking her dog, Rupert.