Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Joan Duncan 1916-2012: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Joan Duncan 1916-2012: News

Article excerpt

Joan Duncan was a naturalist and inspirational biology teacher, as well as a protector of the Yorkshire countryside. In and out of school, she encouraged children to explore and respect the natural world.

Joan Bartle was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, but moved to Addingham, near Ilkley in West Yorkshire, in 1918 when her father was appointed to teach English at Ilkley Grammar School. Joan, however, had to attend Prince Henry's Grammar in Otley because Ilkley did not then admit girls.

She went on to study botany and zoology at the University of Leeds, and qualified as a teacher in 1938. Her first job was in Hull, where she took on fire-watching duties during the Second World War. Her school was evacuated to a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Mrs Duncan later returned to Ilkley to care for her mother. She worked at Oaklands, an independent school that closed in the 1960s, and Ilkley Grammar. She enjoyed helping young people to understand the subject she was so passionate about and tried to make her lessons as practical as possible, bringing in specimens for pupils to see. …

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