Education awards

2014 award winners

The 2014 awards were presented in 14 categories.

Outstanding new teacher of the year

Sponsored by ALM Training Services
This award will recognise a newly qualified teacher who has shown enthusiasm and drive in their first year of teaching.

Winner: Andrew Johnson, English teacher from Ockendon Academy, a great role model and has trained other prospective form tutors who sets high and consistent standards for behaviour and learning both in and out of the classroom which has resulted in his lessons being graded as outstanding in his NQT year. Finalist: Becki Whitwell.

Aspiring leader

Sponsored by Palmers Solicitors
An individual who has shown commitment and drive to lead - a future education leader

Winner: Christian Berry, vice principal, The Ockendon Academy. His success is reflected in his promotion to vice principal. One of his greatest contributions to the school was putting together a successful bid for Studio School status which involved working with the highest officials at the Department for Education. Finalists: Cathrine Smth, Lynne Billinghurst, Ian Boyd.

Creative learning

Sponsored by High House Production Park
An individual or team that has developed a vibrant and progressive culture that encourages and supports creativity in learning.

Winner: St Clere’s School Art Department where work has started on developing pupils' “learning muscles” and creativity is at the heart of the “muscles”. Each classroom is adorned with a piece of art work encouraging pupils to be resilient, reflective, resourceful and create good “relationships” with others. The co-operative values are embedded into the 4 Rs and the art department has led whole school training on this. The art department has worked with science and technology to develop a co-operative day where creativity is embedded into practice and shown how creativity and art is essential to science and technology. Finalists: Rosie Ward, The Ockendon Academy Summer School team, Ms McKenna, Mrs Hart, Mr Porter.

Education support

An individual that supports children, young people, staff and the life of their education establishment and the wider community – they may be a classroom or learning assistant, youth worker, administrator or have another support role.

Winner: Gareth Marsh, youth worker/peripatetic music teacher, working in Thurrock schools and the Youth Service, Gareth’s work with groups on making music as a means of self-expression and our aspiring youth in the borough who want to record their music or gain confidence on an instrument, is second-to-none. He is friendly, flexible and believes in the potential of the youth of Thurrock and his warmth and positivity radiates from him in whatever situation and with whomever he works. Finalists: Matt Rumble, Shehla Ahmed.

Excellence in literacy and numeracy

An individual or team that brings an innovative approach to literacy and numeracy, has shared their understanding and has involved children, parents and carers.

Winner: Hannah Lebeze, teaching assistant, Thameside Primary School, a truly dedicated, hard-working, caring and inspirational teacher who is delivering real results working with children with a broad range of abilities. Finalists: Shehla Ahmed, Maureen Wakeling.

Enterprise and employability

An individual or team that has developed enterprise and employability across the curriculum, and brings it to life by engaging with local business.

Winner: Micarla Walker and Annick Janganant, personal coaches, The Ockendon Studio School. Recognising that work placements can offer a whole range of benefits to sixth form students, Micarla and Annick have worked tirelessly to secure a whole range of opportunities for the students, ensuring that each student receives the greatest benefit from the experience. Finalists: Denise Fielding, Chris Birtles.

Innovation in learning and technologies

Sponsored by LG Networks
An individual or team that is innovative in using technology, and gets the most from information and communication technology to support effective teaching and learning.

Winner: Lee Greenwood, Head of PE, William Edwards. Lee has played a leading role in the ‘innovative use of technology in the classroom’ as part of William Edwards’ pedagogy. He led a whole school classroom re-design project, involving pupils and staff in developing the classrooms for learners, so they now have writable walls, easy move furniture, multiple layouts, no teacher desk, and the Apple TV technology. Finalists: Dan Scotcher, Michelle Sparks.

Governing body of the year

A team of volunteer governors that has helped to drive up education standards at their school.

Winner: Aveley Primary School where the governing body has undergone a complete transformation, with Ofsted recognising this and commenting in June 2014, “The governing body has rapidly improved since the last inspection. Governors are much more rigorous in how they hold the school to account, with current governors having a significant impact on school improvement”. Finalists: Treetops, Horndon-on-the-Hill Cof E Primary.

Teacher of the year in primary education

A teacher in primary education who has continually gone above the day-to-day requirements of their role to benefit their students.

Winner: Laura Spencer, Year 6 teacher and currently Deputy Headteacher, Bonnygate Primary School. Along with all of her recent achievements, colleagues have said how much admiration they have for Laura and aspire to be like her. Staff were overjoyed by her appointment as deputy head as they have so much admiration and respect for her. Although only officially in post since September, she has already shown how hard working and committed she is. Finalists: Sharon Walker, Gemma Aylen.

Teacher of the year in secondary education

A teacher in secondary education who has continually gone above the day-to-day requirements of their role to benefit their students.

Winner: Craig Cornelius, maths teacher, William Edwards. Craig’s incredible achievements in GCSE maths this year are the highest ever gained by any teacher in the history of the school in any subject, working with pupils day and night from their entry to the school in year 7 until they left in year 11. Finalists: Amardeep Dewal, Andrew Cornwell, Shamilla Guilt, Damien Loneragan.

Teacher of the year in a special school

A teacher in a special school who has continually gone above the day-to-day requirements of their role to benefit their students.

Winner: Claire O’Connor, Treetops School. Claire’s achievements with the Beat the Street scheme highlights her dedication and determination to make sure that all children, no matter their physical challenges, should have the opportunity to participate. Finalists: Angela Davies, Karis Bortone.

Head teacher of the year in primary education

A head teacher in primary education, including special schools, who has continually gone above the day-to-day requirements of their role to benefit their students.

Winner: Christina Pumfrey, Thameside Primary School. Christina has taken the school to new heights since she took over the leadership of the school. She has provided amazing support to children, parents and staff and promoted school values to an outstanding level. Christina has become a very important part of the community - even running an after-school club in gardening. She welcomes new ideas from parents and pupils and staff to create an environment that everyone enjoys being a part of. Finalists: Karen Phillips, Vivienne Northall, Anthony Peltier.

Head teacher of the year in secondary education

Sponsored by HW Wilson limited
A head teacher in secondary education, including special schools, who has continually gone above the day-to-day requirements of their role to benefit their students.

Joint winners: Sophina Asong, Gable Hall, and Paul Smith, Treetops. The judges found it impossible to separate them. Sophina has been described as a force of nature whose unique style and frequently stated high ambitions has won her admirers across Thurrock. That she lives in Thurrock and knows the community is an added bonus. Paul has been described in the 2014 Ofsted report as an inspirational head who has achieved three outstanding Ofsted judgements. Ofsted has changed the framework several times during his tenure has head and each change has been successfully negotiated and conquered. Both winners have made a huge difference to the lives of children and families in their schools.

Outstanding contribution to education in Thurrock

An individual who has shown exceptional commitment in the field of education in Thurrock.

Winner: Lynda Pritchard who retired last year as Head Teacher of the Warren Primary School and Hearing Impaired Unit. She has worked tirelessly during her time in Thurrock to bring about education changes; working particularly closely with other schools in the Chafford Hundred area to ensure close transition to secondary education and has represented the views of all primary head as Chair of the Thurrock Primary Heads Association. Finalists: Barbara King, The Ockendon School, Karen Philips, Arthur Bugler School.

Awards night highlights

Watch highlights of the first Thurrock Education Awards awards night, below: