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

Biology Department Staff
  • Mrs Claerwen Patterson - Head of Biology 
    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 keeps busy by spending time with her 3 children, and enjoys dabbling in Geology and Art, singing, baking cakes and jewellery making.
  • Mrs Rebecca Devine 
    Has a degree in Pharmacy from The University of Bath. She paused her Pharmacy career to relocate to Belgium and raise her family. On returning to Cranleigh she trained as a teacher at The University of Buckingham. She has a particular interest in Human Biology and its application to Medicine. Outside of school Beccie enjoys the sun and cuisine of Southern France and spending time with her family at home.

  • Mr Thomas Featherstone
    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 amateur boxer.
  • Mrs Gemma Clapham
    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 small children and, when she has the chance, enjoys cooking and spending holidays in France and on the West Coast of Scotland.
  • Rico Canales-Navarrete

    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. 



  • Parvinder Dhandjal
    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.