Tavistock teacher Crispin Chambers named secondary teacher of the year
A Devon teacher who is a pioneer in Japanese teaching was among those handed awards for their work in the nation’s classrooms.
Crispin Chambers of Tavistock College, Tavistock, won the award for secondary school teacher of the year at this year’s Pearson Teaching Awards – which have been dubbed the teaching profession’s version of the Oscars.
Mr Chambers is said to be a pioneer for Japanese teaching, described by the Japan Foundation as a “trailblazer” for the language, with many of his pupils taking part in exchanges, gap years, or working in the country.
He has also helped other schools set up Japanese departments and trained other teachers.
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In total, nine individuals and one school team were given accolades.
This year’s outstanding new teacher of the year was Sean Hardeley of Holy Cross Roman Catholic High School, Chorley, Lancashire.
He recently led a project to send a balloon into space with a school teddy bear and camera attached to record images of the earth and its weather systems, while his lessons on the cardiovascular system feature a real lamb’s heart and ox heart.
Anoria Simmons, a maths specialist who has been teaching since 1977, the last 20 years in London schools, won primary school teacher of the year.
Mrs Simmons, of Devonshire Hill Primary School, Tottenham, north London, runs maths workshops for parents, Saturday classes for pupils and helped establish a charity for young people in the wake of the riots two years ago.
Cogan Nursery School in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, won the award for outstanding team of the year.
The school, which caters to three and four-year-olds, uses cameras and tablets to help youngsters to learn to read, write, talk and count and asks parents and grandparents to come in and record readings of children’s favourite books.
Other awards included primary and secondary headteachers of the year, teaching assistant of the year, further education lecturer of the year, a technology accolade and the Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Celebrities including double Olympic gold medallist and world champion runner Mo Farah, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Esther Rantzen and Sir Terry Wogan were among those handing out awards at the ceremony, which was held at the Theatre Royal in central London.
Farah presented an award alongside his former school sports teacher Alan Watkinson, who persuaded him at a young age to focus on athletics.
Actress Emma Thompson, who is president of the awards, said: “I owe so much of what I’ve done to my fantastic teachers at school and at university.
“It is very exciting to join in celebrating what is probably the most important profession of all.”
The awards, originally founded by Lord Puttnam 15 years ago, are open to every school in the UK and reward excellent teachers, headteachers, teaching assistants and schools.