After completing a degree in Animal and Plant Biology at Sheffield University in 1996, Rachel went on to a PGCE at Homerton College, Cambridge University. Rachel then taught in primary schools in Cambridge for fourteen years, ten of which as a deputy head teacher. During this time, she was a leading teacher for Gifted and Talented pupils for the Cambridgeshire LA, and led science, mathematics and PSHCE in schools.
A move to Vietnam gave Rachel experience of teaching in an international school 2012-13, before returning to the UK to work in Higher Education at Leeds Trinity University as an Associate Principal Lecturer. As well as teaching Primary Science, she worked on Professional Studies programmes, acted as welfare tutor, and co-led a student engagement project supported by the HEA.
Rachel joined the School of Education at Durham University in 2015, in the position of Teaching Fellow, specialising in Primary Science Education. Through her interest in student engagement in HE feedback systems, Rachel co-led a university-funded 'Enhancing the Student Learning Experience' project in 2016-17. She became Programme Director for PGCE Primary Education in September 2017, and is a Fellow of the HEA.
Chapter in book
- Simpson, R. (2017). Writing in biological Science. In Inviting Writing. Bushnell, A. & Waugh, D. SAGE. 66-79.
- Sequera, J., Bruce, M., Gill, A. & Simpson, R. (2020). Development of online activities to support PGCE students’ academic writing. Practice and Evidence of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 14(1): 18-36.
- Simpson, R. (2017). Exploring the wonders of the botanical world. Education in Science 267: 20-22.
Is supervised by
- 2017: Developing primary science subject leaders (£3000.00 from )