The Jurys Inn for teaching awards

Overall Sussex Teacher of the Year Awards 2019 champions celebrate with supporters at Jurys Inn, Brighton.

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The Sussex Teacher of the Year Awards was a glittering affair honouring the county’s top teachers, support staff and volunteers.

On Thursday, (June 27) exceptional educators descended on the Jurys Inn Waterfront Hotel in Brighton for a prestigious awards dinner, co-hosted by the boss of a leading children’s educational charity and a Sony Award-winning radio broadcaster.

More than 50 awards were presented to individuals and teams across the region working within the primary, secondary, and further education sectors. Forty awards went to those named best in their respective districts with just 12 receiving the accolade of overall champion.

BBC Sussex radio presenter Allison Ferns.

Countywide winners included Lesley Dyer from Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School in Horsham, recipient of the Sussex Head Teacher of the Year Award.

Her leadership of the community special school, which has an emphasis on the performing arts, has guided the school to an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating for its last three inspections.

Emma Gale from Coldean Primary in Brighton won the Sussex Primary School Teacher of the Year Award. She was praised for improving teaching methods and pupils’ progress at the school and beyond thanks to her work with the Sussex Maths Hub and the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.

Click here to download best practice brochure.

Janina Stromfield from Sackville School in East Grinstead clinched the Sussex Science Teacher of the Year Award. The judges commended her creative approach to lessons – incorporating her passions for travel, fitness and even guinea pigs – as well as her support sessions outside of school hours, which are so popular that even students who don’t need extra coaching choose to attend.

Other champions included Pam Knapp from Bexhill High Academy in Rother who scooped Sussex Secondary School Teacher of the Year; Mandy Allwright from West Park CofE Primary in Worthing who took the Sussex School Business Manager of the Year title; and the Student Support Services Team at Beacon Academy in Crowborough, East Sussex, who were named Wellbeing Champions of the Year.

The event was organised by the children’s educational charity Inspire Schools and its chief executive Simon Dolby shared hosting duties with Allison Ferns, presenter of The Afternoon Show on BBC radio Sussex.

Overall Sussex FE Vocational Teacher of the Year Graham Rhodes of Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (right) receives his trophy from Mark Storey of Brighton & Hove Council.

Special guest speakers included Mark Storey, head of education standards and achievement at Brighton and Hove Council, and double Olympian Jack Green, winner of World and European medals in the 400 metres and 400-metre hurdles.

Now in its second year, the awards event attracted 340 nominations from the county’s pupils, parents, and school staff. Winners were selected by a panel featuring representatives from Orbit housing, 3D Recruit, Kreston Reeves, The Education People, and Imperial College London.

The dual aim of the awards is to celebrate excellence in teaching and share best practice. To this end a document detailing the judges’ reasons for each award win has been sent to all Sussex schools.

“It’s so important to raise awareness of the outstanding work going on in schools every day,” said Mr Dolby. “And it’s not just teachers; all members of staff make a difference. Each one contributes to an environment where young people and their families feel supported, valued, and included.

“Teachers are putting in a staggering amount of extra hours not only to deliver inspiring lessons, educational experiences and opportunities, but also to support pupils’ social and emotional wellbeing.

Double Olympian Jack Green presents the Overall Sussex Head Teacher of the Year Award won by Lesley Dyer and collected by Helen Crooks and Victoria Nicolaou of Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School.

“Despite increasing pressures and financial burdens, school communities are working miracles in helping pupils of every background and ability to flourish in terms of confidence, skills and aspirations.

“I’d like to congratulate all of our award winners who are so deserving of every ounce of praise we can offer.”

The awards were supported by the East and West Sussex County councils, Independent Music Productions, Hornby, British Airways i360, and Sussex Newspapers.

Organisations interested in getting involved with the 2020 awards should contact Mr Dolby at sdolby@InspireSchools.org.uk or by calling 0844 264 0292.

Inspire Schools provides a range of services for schools including the walk to school scheme Green Footsteps and home-reading initiative Buster’s Book Club. To find out more, visit www.InspireSchools.org.uk.

To view photographs of the event, visit our Event Gallery here.

To download the best practice booklet, click here.

The Overall Winners 2019

Sussex Trainee Teacher of the Year

Sadie Wahnon from New Horizons School in St Leonards-on-Sea, Hastings

Sussex Wellbeing Champions of the Year

Student Support Services Team from Beacon Academy in Crowborough, East Sussex

Sussex Teaching Assistant of the Year

Nathan Grinham from New Horizons School in St Leonards-on-Sea, Hastings

Sussex School Business Manager of the Year

Mandy Allwright from West Park CofE Primary School in Worthing

Sussex Science Teacher of the Year

Janina Stromfield from Sackville School in East Grinstead, Mid Sussex

Sussex Sports Teacher of the Year

Emily Churchill from Davison CE High School for Girls in Worthing

Sussex Literacy Champion of the Year

Paul Harrison from Lyminster Primary School in Arun

Sussex Team of the Year

Sandown Whole School Team, Sandown Primary School in Hastings

Sussex FE Vocational Teacher of the Year

Graham Rhodes from Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

Sussex Primary School Teacher of the Year

Emma Gale from Coldean Primary School in Brighton

Sussex Secondary School Teacher of the Year

Pam Knapp from Bexhill High Academy in Rother

Sussex Head Teacher of the Year

Lesley Dyer from Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School in Horsham

The District Winners 2019

ADUR & WORTHING: Adur Wellbeing Team of the Year: Pastoral Team (Shoreham Academy); Worthing Wellbeing Team of the Year: SENCO Team (Chesswood Junior School); Business Manager of the Year: Mandy Allwright (West Park CofE Primary School); Sports Teacher of the Year: Emily Churchill (Davison CE High School for Girls); Volunteer of the Year: John Thompson (Davison CE High School for Girls). ARUN & CHICHESTER: Literacy Champion of the Year: Paul Harrison (Lyminster Primary School); Office Team of the Year: Office Team (Aldingbourne Primary School); Teaching Assistant of the Year: Ashley Pledger (Sidlesham Primary School). BRIGHTON, HOVE & MID SUSSEX: Maths Teacher of the Year: Emma Gale (Coldean Primary School); Teaching Assistant of the Year: Suzanne Morley (King’s School, Hove); Primary School Teacher of the Year: Beckie Burtenshaw (Warden Park Primary Academy); Science Teacher of the Year: Janina Stromfield (Sackville School); FE Vocational Teacher of the Year: Graham Rhodes (Greater Brighton Metropolitan College). CRAWLEY: Deputy Head Teacher of the Year: Catherine Lewis (Broadfield Primary Academy); Secondary School Teacher of the Year: Emma Lowries (Holy Trinity School); Wellbeing Champion of the Year: Hannah Joyner (Thomas Bennett Community College). EASTBOURNE: Whole School Team of the Year: South Downs Community Special School; Principal of the Year: Victoria Stevens (The Eastbourne Academy); Personal Assistant of the Year: Melanie Hopkins (The Eastbourne Academy); Primary School Teacher of the Year: Emily Teager (St John’s Meads CofE Primary School); HASTINGS: Science Teacher of the Year AND Hastings Teacher of the Year: Sharon Byrne (Sandown Primary); Whole School Team of the Year: Sandown Primary School; Senior Leadership Team of the Year: Anita Auer and Carly Welch (The Baird Primary Academy); Trainee Teacher of the Year: Sadie Wahnon (New Horizons School); Teaching Assistant of the Year: Nathan Grinham (New Horizons School). HORSHAM: Early Years/Reception Team of the Year: EYFS/Reception Team (St Mary’s CofE Primary School); Head Teacher of the Year: Lesley Dyer (Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School); Primary School Teacher of the Year: Gillian Edson (Arunside School); Music Teacher of the Year: Rose Crosby (formerly of The Forest School). LEWES: Support Staff of the Year: Sarah Miller (King’s Academy Ringmer); Literacy Champion of the Year: Angelina DaNobrega (King’s Academy Ringmer); Secondary School Teacher of the Year: Florence Symes (The Priory Secondary School); Teaching Assistant of the Year: Linda Polley (The Priory Secondary School). WEALDEN: Wellbeing Team of the Year: Student Support Team (Beacon Academy); Newly Qualified Teacher of the Year: Aya Rowe (Beacon Academy); Science Teacher of the Year: Rebecca Thomas (Willingdon Community School). ROTHER: Primary School Teacher of the Year: Linda Hovenden (Sedlescombe CofE Primary School); Secondary School Teacher of the Year: Pam Knapp (Bexhill High Academy).

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