Term Times is delighted to announce the winners of our 2018 Education Awards
View 2017's Winners
We received an impressive number of nominations, making this year’s contest a tough one to judge, but it highlights the exceptional work so many individuals do in primary schools to help students succeed.
Term Times’ judging partners, Hamerton Zoo Park, spent a considerable amount of time deliberating over the entries but after receiving some compelling nominations, the eventual winners were chosen. Winners of this year’s four categories – Teacher of the Year, Teaching Assistant of the Year, PTA and Office Team of the Year – each receive a trophy and £100 in shopping vouchers. Read on to find out about the winning nominees.
Teacher of the Year
Miss Tara Banks, Park Lane Primary School in Peterborough
"We are truly delighted that Tara’s passion and enthusiasm for teaching has been recognised," exclaims Mr Litten, the headteacher of Park Lane Primary School. "She is one in a million and is richly deserving of the accolade Teacher of the Year! She gives so much of herself both to the school and to the children that she teaches – this award recognises her superhuman efforts. We are all very proud of her at Park Lane."
It isn’t just the headteacher who sings Miss Banks' praises, she received several nominations for Teacher of the Year from parents and pupils. She is described as having "a really positive attitude, being an upbeat happy teacher, whose attitude rubs off on the children…Miss Banks is amazing."
Another parent profusely thanks her for the work she’s done with her son: "She is an outstanding teacher who fully deserves this kind of recognition. She is kind, compassionate and enthusiastic every single day and is a wonderful role model for the next generation. The children all love her dearly and desperately want her to move up with them to year one in September. Miss Banks is a credit to the school and continually goes above and beyond. She has tirelessly worked to provide strong home-school relationships by organising regular activities and sessions involving parents and carers. We cannot thank her enough."
Despite all the wonderful nominations, Miss Banks remains modest about her achievements: "It is so lovely to have been nominated for this award and I was very overwhelmed to find out that I had won! I love my job and I try my best to make every learning opportunity fun and exciting for the children.
"I have been very lucky as I have had another amazing, funny and hardworking class this year. The parents have been so supportive and together, we have celebrated their children's successes throughout the year. I believe this is so important as it results in children feeling valued and inspired to learn more."
Teaching Assistant of the Year
Mrs Ellie Hall, Holme CE Primary School near Peterborough
"We are delighted that Ellie has won this award - it is so richly deserved," says the Deputy Headteacher of Holme Primary School, Mrs Kelly Thomas. She is an integral and much-loved part of our team. Ellie is an excellent Foundation Stage Practitioner. She works closely with the teacher, Mrs Banner, and is extremely knowledgeable about the Early Years Curriculum. She is adept at working alongside children to accelerate their learning and is fantastic at observations and ongoing assessments. Beyond the classroom, she’s a 'go-to TA' for children; she has an incredibly warm but firm approach with children and has worked alongside children and their class teachers to support their learning and behavioural programmes with excellent effect. She is also a 'go-to TA' for adults, including the Senior Leadership team as her expertise and her calm and intelligent approach are very well sought after. Ellie has an excellent relationship with parents and can always be relied upon to meet with parents to discuss a whole range of issues always conducting herself with kindness and professionalism."
Mrs Hall received several nominations for her efforts, revealing a clear appreciation for her talents of working with children who need extra help. Among the nominations were these kind words: "She makes our son feel special and is very understanding of his needs"; "She helped my struggling daughter gain confidence in her educational abilities"; and "Mrs Hall is an amazing Teaching Assistant she is an inspiration to the school and the children she teaches and deserves this award 100%. She runs lots of groups to help children progress and uses her own money to buy little prizes, like erasers, to encourage them when they try hard."
PTA of the Year
Fenstanton and Hilton Primary School
A school’s PTA plays a pivotal role in funding school developments and curriculum-enhancing activities for students. Members of a school’s PTA are unsung heroes; volunteers who dedicate time to growing new ideas and relentless fundraising for the benefit of the school and its students – each year raising thousands of pounds. This year’s award goes to the PTA at Fenstanton and Hilton Primary School, in Fenstanton. This is awarded for their tireless effort to provide iPads in the school among other achievements over the years. "Some parents of the PTA have been members for over ten years and in that time, they have raised thousands of pounds for play equipment, books, computers and lots of fun activities for the children at school," says one parent.
Mrs Clare Worth, Headteacher at Fenstanton and Hilton School, equally praises the dedication of the team. "We have an outstanding PTA at Fenstanton and Hilton School; this reward is truly deserved. The team are an innovative and committed bunch who have contributed to our school in so many ways, not just the much-needed additional funding. Well done team, I am proud to have such a lovely bunch working with us."
Office Team of the Year
Mrs Lynn Clarke, Lionel Walden School in Doddington
"Mrs Clarke is the school administrator. She is a figurehead of Lionel Walden Primary School. She has spent many years at the school and because of her expertise, everything runs like clockwork. She is always there and ready to give you an answer or to solve a problem. She knows every child and parent that attends the school and is the first point of call for all.
"She is extremely efficient and always greets you with a smile. She is very reliable and is the school’s oracle. Rarely do administration staff receive the recognition they deserve but Mrs Clarke is a pillar at Lionel Walden. We can thank her for her efforts with seasonal token gifts but she deserves much higher recognition, which is why we have put her forward for the Best Office Team," explains one parent.
Hamerton Zoo Park, in Cambridgeshire, provides a sanctuary for rare and unusual animals from around the world and gives visitors an insight into conservation. It’s a great day out for the whole family but also offers educational experiences for school groups in its Explorers Cabin. These sessions including handling of some small animals such as snakes, Giant Land Snails and Pygmy hedgehogs.
We’d like to extend our warm thanks to Hamerton Zoo Park for partnering with Term Times magazine to judge this year’s Education Awards.