Yorkshire schools win big in UK celebration of teaching

Inspirational teachers and schools from across Yorkshire have been recognised for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of children.

The Yorkshire Post exclusively reported northern education leaders have urged the Government to expand the pioneering opportunity areas education scheme, which has raised standards in three areas of Yorkshire. Photo credit: JPIMedia
The Yorkshire Post exclusively reported northern education leaders have urged the Government to expand the pioneering opportunity areas education scheme, which has raised standards in three areas of Yorkshire. Photo credit: JPIMedia

Across the region a total of nine awards, were picked up by teachers and/or schools in the 2020 Pearson National Teaching Awards.

The Yorkshire Silver Award winners, named alongside 67 other national winners, were announced yesterday, and have shortlisted to win one of 14 Gold Awards later in the year - which will be broadcast on the BBC.

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In North Yorkshire Individual teacher award winners included Rob Williams, who has been the headteacher from Malton School in North Yorkshire for 14 years. He was honoured with a Sliver Award in the headteacher of the year in a secondary school category.

Pictured, Rob Williams, who has been the headteacher from Malton School in North Yorkshire, for 14 years. Photo credit: Malton School

He was recoginsed by the judges for implementing the pillars “support, inspire and thrive” into the day-to-day running of the school and developing a "front foot" approach alongside inspirational leadership.

The North-Yorkshire based principal was also credited for creating a learning environment which caters for students’ individual needs through a broad balance curriculum and a programme of personal development activities in which they can thrive.

He told The Yorkshire Post: "This recognition is testament to the achievement of the whole staff team at Malton, and to the excellent culture and ethos of the positive learning environment that we have established over a long period of time with our rural community.

"Most recently this translated into an outstanding provision of remote learning from day one of the lockdown in March, maximising the benefits of our 1-to-1 iPad scheme."

Jacqueline Bream, Huntington School, York, North Yorkshire. Picture credit: Joao Villar

He added: "I want to thank all my colleagues and also Pearson for championing this awards process for educational professionals: giving a real boost to all who are working in the front line with young people to deliver the best possible education for their future and for the country as a whole.”

Meanwhile Jacqueline Bream, from Huntington School, York, was awarded a Silver Award in the teacher of the year in a secondary school.

The History, English and Media teacher was recognised for being an "example of excellent teaching at the school" by judges and for inspiring countless colleagues to be better. Her integrity, tolerance, kindness, professionalism and an unrelenting belief in her pupils was also highlighted.

"It’s a huge shock," Ms Bream, 48, said: "I am incredibly proud and humbled by this award. I just rock up every day and teach the lessons day-in day-out and really I would like to accept the award in recognition of teachers like me up and down the country who are doing the same thing."

Pictured, Peter Simons, left, teaching at Thornhill Junior and Infant School, Dewsbury. Mr Simons was recognised in the teacher of the year in a primary school category. Photo credit: Thornhill Junior and Infant School.

Ms Bream, who has been teaching for 23 years at secondary level, including her previous history post at Whitcliffe Mount School, Cleckheaton, added: "It’s very challenging times at the moment for teachers and it’s given me a real lift but I don’t real any different to any other teacher. I think I am the most ordinary teacher in the world."

In West Yorkshire David Horn, the chief executive at Beckfoot Trust, Bradford, was honoured in the award for lifetime achievement. Judges noted his role as headteacher at Beckfoot School for 23 years before building Beckfoot Trust, a multi-academy trust with four secondary, four primary and two special schools in Bradford.

The judges also highlighted his commitment to effective leadership at all levels which led to the development of the innovative Bradford Partnership that David chaired, through which secondary schools worked collaboratively and transparently to develop models of improvement based on school to school support through out the city.

John Winkley, Beckfoot Trust Chair of Directors said: "David came to Beckfoot School 23 years ago as a new headteacher. Over two decades he led the school to achieving outstanding status with Ofsted and developed the Beckfoot Trust into a group of ten schools working together to provide remarkable education for our children.

Pictured Martyn Oliver (left), the Outwood chief executive and Lee Wilson (right) the Outwood Primary chief executive. Photo credit: Outwood Academy Trust

"Alongside leading schools through some of the most exciting and turbulent times, David has been a tireless champion for the children of the Bradford district, and the need for really great comprehensive education.

"I am proud to have worked with such an inspirational leader. On behalf of our Trust community I congratulate him on receiving this Pearson National Lifetime Achievement Award, so fitting for a life dedicated to serving others in our Bradford communities."

Finishing off the individual teaching awards across Yorkshire - the teacher of the year in a primary school category saw three honoured from West Yorkshire - with Shamshad Azad from Horton Park Primary School, Bradford. And in Dewbury, Rebecca Price from Diamond Wood Community Academy was recognised alongside Peter Simons from Thornhill Junior and Infant School

Ms Price said: "I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Diamond Wood for all their support and encouragement. Each and every one of them inspire me everyday and have allowed me to become the Teacher that I am."

Michael Rowland Headteacher at Thornhill Junior and Infant School added: “At Thornhill Junior and Infant School our children get taught a music curriculum that enriches their lives beyond measure, and this is thanks to our dedicated music teacher Peter Simons who continuously stives for greater opportunities for our children.

"Extraordinarily whatever barriers are put in Peter’s way, he always overcomes them, and what’s more, does so with good humour, intelligence, and compassion.

"His ongoing successes mean our children can now learn to play ten different musical instruments, as well as participate in a range of clubs, activities, and events."

And staying in West Yorkshire - three schools were honoured in the annual awards.

The Outwood Grange Academies Trust, Wakefield, which currently operates more than 30 schools in the North of England was recognised in the impact through partnership category for its work within the primary sector.

The Outwood Primary team have worked collaboratively across ten academies to develop the Outwood Primary Diploma, accessed by all children within the schools and achieved through the completion of six annual challenges.

Lee Wilson, Primary Chief Executive at Outwood, said: "We are absolutely delighted to receive a Silver Award in The Award for Impact through Partnership. At Outwood, we believe in putting children first, raising standards and transforming lives and we believe that this award recognises our work towards that vision.

"It also really reflects the brilliant dedication of all our hard working staff that are tireless in their efforts to ensure our children are supported, both academically and emotionally, to become good citizens that can contribute to their local communities once they leave us."

Meanwhile the senior management team, at New College Pontefract, scooping a Sliver Award in the FE team of the year category for leading the college through an unprecedented period of change, over the last five years where it gained academy status, setting up a multi-academy trust and establishing two new sixth form colleges in Bradford and Doncaster respectively.

This growth resulted in the number of students receiving outstanding post-16 provision in the region increasing from roughly 2000 to 4000 students since 2015.

"We are delighted to receive the Silver Award from the NTA," said Richard Fletcher, CEO of the new Collaborative Learning Trust, the college’s trust. "It reflects not just the hard work and long-term planning of the senior team, but the dedication of all the staff at New College. It is their continued commitment which provides our young people with an exceptional post-16 education, making New College Pontefract consistently one of the country’s best performing sixth form colleges in the country."

And in the category for making a difference – primary school of the year, Diamond Wood Community Academy, Dewsbury was recognised for its marked success with disadvantaged pupils, who leave school achieving better results than the national average for all pupils.

Their progress is outstanding, often scoring far above national averages, despite 98 per cent of children having English as an additional language.

Reflecting on the awards Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "My warmest congratulations go to all this year’s silver award winners. They should be proud to receive this recognition of their commitment to the profession, and the outstanding education and guidance they provide for their students.

"Teachers and school staff up and down the country consistently go above and beyond for their students, and this is especially true over the past few months. It is down to their hard work that schools have been able to open their gates to all pupils again for the start of the new term, and I cannot say thank you enough for everything they have done."

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: "Over the past year, we have, all of us, come to appreciate and respect the value of teachers. They have so often been taken for granted. Not any more. Parents know now what it takes to teach, and teach well, and how much commitment, dedication and enthusiasm and knowledge and understanding, yes – and patience.

"Children know it too, if they didn’t before. So many missed their teachers as well as their friends. We all honour them today. Let’s now praise them, wish them well and above all, thank them."

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, added: "Congratulations to all of our Silver Award winners for their commitment, dedication and passion for their work. Despite the incredible challenges they have faced over the past few months, school staff have risen to the occasion time and again.

"It is so important to recognise and celebrate teachers, teaching assistants and lecturers for the impact they have on our young people every year, and that is why Pearson is delighted to support these Awards."

The full list of Yorkshire winners

​*The Award for FE Team of the Year*

- The Senior Management Team, New College Pontefract, West Yorkshire

*The Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School*

- Rob Williams, Malton School, Malton, North Yorkshire

*The Award for Impact through Partnership*

- The Outwood Grange Academies Trust, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

*The Award for Lifetime Achievement, Supported by the Department of Education*

- David Horn, Beckfoot Trust, Bradford, West Yorkshire

*The Award for Making a Difference – Primary School of the Year, Supported by Future First*

- Diamond Wood Community Academy, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

*The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School, supported by Randstad*

- Shamshad Azad, Horton Park Primary School, Bradford, West Yorkshire

- Rebecca Price, Diamond Wood Community Academy, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

- Peter Simons, Thornhill Junior and Infant School, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

*The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School*

- Jacqueline Bream, Huntington School, York, North Yorkshire

A full list of the 2020 Pearson National Teaching Awards, Silver Awards, can be found here. _____________________________

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James Mitchinson