The Pearson Teaching Awards UK Ceremony 2016

Back in June, Claire Appleton from Gray’s Farm Primary Academy in Orpington, Kent was announced as a Silver Teaching Award Winner in the category, The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School. You can read the blog post here.  

Feeling very proud that a teacher in Kent won a national award, we got in touch with the Pearson Teaching Awards to find out more. We were then kindly invited to the Pearson Teaching Awards Ceremony which took place on Sunday evening.

On the night, I had the pleasure of being seated next to Jerry Nightingale who won the Gold Plato Award for FE Lecturer of the Year in 2015 and he inadvertently became my guide for the evening.

The multi-talented actor and writer, Hugh Dennis was the host and well-known personalities presented the awards. Each famous presenter spoke of the teachers who inspired them but the real stars of the evening were all the teachers and school staff.

Short films about the Gold Plato Award winners were shown where students, parents, and staff had the opportunity to speak about the difference they’ve made and continue to make at their schools. It was moving to see their passion and dedication to their students. 

We saw a teacher who manages to make her students actually like Maths, her numerous school clubs are always full because wherever she goes, the children follow her. We watched how a Special Needs teacher gave one of his students his confidence and life back through music, after experiencing bullying at his last school. 

It was exciting to hear about the school team who encouraged students to take an interest in STEM and their students made space history by being the first in the UK to talk to Tim Peake live in space. It was lovely to hear from the TA whose positivity reaches all the students around her. Here is the full list of the 2016 Gold Plato Winners but it wasn’t just a night for the winners, it was a night to celebrate educators everywhere. This is your legacy as an educator, you change lives, and you make the world a better place one student at a time. 

Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education, spoke about the importance of teachers and shared excerpts from her school report which revealed her chattiness as a student. The evening was closed with music from Hugh Maynard, an actor and singer, and most importantly, a former student of the Principal who won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Hugh’s reunion with his former teacher and his performance of "(Something Inside) So Strong" was the perfect way to end the ceremony. 

The whole evening was filmed and will be shown on BBC2 on Sunday, 30 October at 6pm as Britain's Classroom Heroes. Please tell your friends and family to watch it because it is a testament to amazing teachers everywhere.

It would be wonderful to see a Kent teacher up there on the stage accepting a Gold Plato award as well as receive more Silver Awards like Claire Appleton, but we need your help. You need to get involved and Thank a Teacher, a TA, a Headteacher, a School Team, a New Teacher and they may be nominated for an award. Please take the time to thank and recognise someone who you think has really made a difference. 

Thank you teachers, you are all truly inspiring!

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