When the English team at West Lakes Academy in Egremont was awarded the gold award for 'Outstanding School Team of the Year' at the 2015 Pearson Teaching Awards recently, it was revealed that six members of the team receiving the honour were in fact graduates of the University of Cumbria.
Five of the group, including the head of English, Melissa Relph, completed their PGCE qualification at the university, and the team’s teaching assistant also studied there for her first degree.
Melissa commented, "Five of the team studied for their PGCE at the University of Cumbria. We obviously loved our PGCE study in our local area and in local schools. We felt the training gave us the grounding for us to become the teachers we are today and we are pleased we chose to study in our local area.“
Academy Principal, Vanessa Ray nominated the team for the award. In her nomination Mrs. Ray wrote: “The English team at West Lakes Academy care deeply about each and every student that studies English. Our students are their priority and are at the heart of everything they do. The staff have a passion for instilling, within all of the academy’s learners, a thirst for knowledge and have a real drive to create independent thinkers and exemplary communicators. They make each and every student believe they can achieve, and they do! They never leave any student behind and are constantly working to enable each student to flourish and achieve their potential and overcome any barriers they may have.”
Mrs. Ray added, “I am absolutely thrilled for the team, they have had a fantastic year and truly deserve this award. We are all incredibly proud of them.”
The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching, founded in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, they recognise the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach. The team’s is one of just eleven gold awards handed out from thousands of initial nominations from across the UK.