Hartlepool teacher in line for top award after YouTube videos viewed more than 4 million times worldwide

A talented teacher at a Hartlepool college has been nationally recognised for his outstanding contribution to the education sector – around the world.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 11:11 am
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 12:14 pm
Chemistry Teacher James Donkin. Picture by FRANK REID

James Donkin not only helps his own A-level students at Hartlepool Sixth Form College understand the complexities of chemistry in an innovative way but also has 19,800 subscribers around the world through his YouTube channel, MaChemGuy.

Mr Donkin, who has worked at the college for 12 years, has been shortlisted for the Teacher of the Year award in the prestigious Times Educational Supplement FE Awards – which recognise the outstanding individuals and institutions in the further education sector.

Mark Hughes, head of Hartlepool Sixth Form, said: “We are immensely proud of James and his inspiring teaching methods. Being shortlisted for a prestigious national award is well deserved and recognises the outstanding impact he has on his students at Hartlepool Sixth Form and chemistry students from all over the world.

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“He continually pushes the boundaries to improve student outcomes and his passion not only inspires successful results, but chemistry-related career focused destinations.”

Mr Donkin’s passion for chemistry, and his pioneering approach to teaching and learning, led him to creating videos in 2013 as a resource for his A-level chemistry students to support their learning.

Starting with basic screencasts stored on the sixth form’s intranet site and addressing topics that students typically found difficult, things quickly evolved and his YouTube channel ‘MaChemGuy’ was born.

To date, he has uploaded over 600 videos and MaChemGuy is a YouTube sensation with 19.8k subscribers, over 4.3 million views in 129 countries.

He has received over 43,185 likes and thousands of positive comments from all around the world.

The award winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening in March at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Hartlepool Sixth Form merged with Sunderland College in 2017 and is part of Education Partnership North East, one of the largest college groups nationally.

The college group also includes Northumberland College, following its merger with Sunderland College last year.