The second annual Daily Echo School Awards have once again highlighted the incredible work going on in schools across our area.
We received hundreds of nominations from grateful parents, colleagues and friends of those who are making a difference to children’s lives.
Our judges had a hard time whittling the entries down to three finalists in each category.
But we think you’ll agree that each category has more than one possible winner.
School Business Services and Two Counties Cleaning Services Limited have stepped forward as partners for the awards.
And there are a number of other sponsors including Blue Sky Financial Planning, Goadsby and the Bournemouth and Poole College.
Friday, March 17 will see all the nominees and their supporters gather at Bournemouth’s Talbot Heath School for the glittering awards evening.
They will enjoy a three-course gala dinner before the winners are announced.
Nursery/Primary Teacher of the Year (sponsored by Lime Tree Communications)
Sarah Webb, Rushcombe First School
Sarah is a Year 1 teacher at Rushcombe First School, Corfe Mullen. She was nominated by various parents. “Mrs Webb is a kind, caring, dedicated, fun and inspirational teacher. She makes everything enjoyable for the children she teaches. She manages to get he best out of every child and has a real desire to bring a love of learning to her entire class each year.”
“Mrs Webb is an inspiring teacher. She has nurtured my very shy boy to become more confident and embrace new challenges. “She has that rare ability to work out a child’s personality and what methods of learning work best to help engage them to succeed.”
Daniel Breeze, Muscliff Primary School
Daniel is a teacher at Muscliff Primary school. He was nominated by pupils’ parents, Claire Hoskins and Sam Taverner. “Mr Breeze ensures children have a happy school life. My daughter struggles to go to school due to anxiety but he has been a rock, not just to the pupils, but to us as parents too. In Chloe’s words ‘Mr Breeze is a lovely, kind teacher who makes a hard day easier’. He is hard working, committed and dedicated.”
“Daniel goes that extra mile in making each child an individual. He sees my daughter for the clever, bright girl she is and her dyslexia as a learning style not an obstacle.”
Alistair Hall, St Mark’s Church of England Primary School
Alistair is a Year 2 teacher at St Mark’s Church of England primary school in Bournemouth. He was nominated by Lydia Harris. “My daughter asked me to nominate Mr Hall. Her enthusiasm to do this is testament to the passion, care and inspiration that she sees from him every day. She was not very confident when she started but Mr Hall turned that around immediately.
“He has a great relationship with all the children. He makes sure they are supported in any way they require. He keeps parents up to date with progress too, and spends a lot of time doing so. This helps me support my daughter.”
Middle School Teacher of the Year (sponsored by Best Training)
Alsion Shivas, Lockyer’s Middle School
Alison is a teacher at Lockyer’s Middle School and was nominated by a parent. She said: “Last year Mrs Shivas was seriously injured in a road traffic accident and during her time away from school her absence was keenly felt.
“Mrs Shivas is a force of nature who teaches valuable life skills with humour, direction and a smile on her face.
“My son has always been a quiet character at school and yet in the last four years his confidence and self esteem has developed through finding a teacher who encourages him. “Food tech and textiles lessons allow pupils to shine.”
Sam Clark, Canford Heath Junior School
Sam is a Year 4 teacher at Canford Heath and was nominated by a parent who said: “She cares about each child as an individual despite having a class of 30 to look after.
“As a mother, knowing that a teacher takes the time to get to know your child well and value them as an individual is one of the most important things.
“Mrs Clark is a very caring lady and really encourages children to value and respect one another. “Mrs Clark is giving my son the very best and I’m so incredibly thankful.”
Anna Ward, Haymoor Junior School
Anna is a teacher at Haymoor and was nominated by parents. They said: “All the parents feel she understands the specific needs and quirks of their children.
“She motivates her students easily with her enthusiastic teaching and finds the right balance between fun and knuckling down. We are privileged that Mrs Ward is part of our daughter’s journey. Mrs Ward is loved and appreciated by the children and parents and we are so lucky to have her in our school.
“She has been supportive and caring and has that unique talent of really ‘getting’ a child.”
Secondary School Teacher of the Year (sponsored by School Business Services)
Robert Hilton, Glenmoor & Winton Academies
Robert has been a RS teacher at Glenmoor & Winton Academies since 2014. He was nominated by colleague Deborah Hawkins.
“Robert embarked on a mission to make religious studies more relevant and exciting. Schemes of learning were rewritten and modern resources began to appear. The subject is a now favourite amongst students. He brought a rigour and spark to their lessons which resulted in stunning results and a revived passion for the subject - 100 per cent of those who studied GCSE Ethics with Rob achieved A*/A in 2016.
“He has also taken on the SMSC co-ordinator role and Humanities lead practitioner and has worked with Teach First Trainees. Rob is highly valued and respected.”
Kirsty Gammack, Corfe Hills School
Kirsty is a Psychology and Sociology teacher at Corfe Hills School and was nominated by numerous students.
“Miss Gammack always takes time to go through work in detail to ensure everyone knows what they are learning. She’s a bubbly character, a fantastic teacher and passionate - she carries on teaching after school hours. She organises events and works hard. She helps each individual - going above and beyond. She is a brilliant mentor.”
“She teaches with a passion that comes from the heart. She’ll never give up on her students, she’s always smiling, and will listen to any concerns. She isn’t just my teacher she’s my role model.”
David Elliott, Carter Community School
David is an English teacher at Carter Community School. “David began as an examination invigilator and was later offered a position as teaching assistant before being promoted to Cover Supervisor. He then qualified as an English and media studies teacher and has achieved great things - in 2016 his students achieved the best ever GCSE grades.
“He manages behaviour excellently, inspiring and motivating students, both in and out of lessons. Ofsted inspectors were very impressed. He was promoted last year to Educational Technologies Leader.
“David gives up his time to help others with revision sessions, events and extra curricular activities. He’s caring, patient, compassionate and understanding.”
PE Teacher of the Year (sponsored by South Coast Windows)
Martin Cook, Victoria Education Centre
Martin is a senior physical activity assistant at Victoria Education Centre, for children with special needs. He was nominated by colleagues who said: “He is respected and loved by staff and students alike for his unerring sense of fun and his passion to see that every child is included in whatever is going on.
“He has fostered relationships with outside agencies to enhance and expand the experiences of the students.
“He is the fun behind our hectic and mad sports day. The students all love him, as do the staff, and we are all wondering what he’ll manage to organise next.”
Mario Massimino, Ringwood School
Mario works at Ringwood School and was nominated by a student. She said: “He helped me to achieve my GCSEs by being there for me through thick and thin.
“I have struggled with my mental health and he was - and still is - there to be a shoulder to lean on.
“He has supported me and always believed in me and is the main reason I decided to continue with my education.
“He enabled me to believe in myself and goes above and beyond to support students. He’s amazing and deserves to win.”
Andy Elliott, St Edward’s School
Andy works at St Edward’s in Poole and has been nominated by a parent after he helped her son, who has ASD and dyslexia, to take the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award. She said: “I would like to thank you for all you do.
“He loved planning for the expedition and the expedition itself. For a child who is on the Autistic Spectrum and will have difficulties gaining employment, I hope that being able to add Bronze DoE to his CV will help him to find employment.
“Parents are all too keen to complain and rarely praise teachers but I would like to thank you.”
STEM Teacher of the Year (sponsored by Bournemouth and Poole College)
Hannah Devonshire, Carter Community School
Hannah is a teacher at Carter Community School in Poole and received several nominations.
Colleagues said: “Hannah uses creativity within her classroom to engage students and has built strong relationships with her pupils. “Hannah has also been at the heart of organising events which introduce students at Carter to careers within STEM subjects.
“Hannah deserves to be recognised for the incredible effort she invests into the students. She inspires the students and her colleagues to be the best that they can be.
“Hannah has developed into an exceptional classroom teacher. She is a dedicated professional.
John Skinner, The Grange
John is a maths teacher at The Grange and was nominated by a student. She said: “I began Year 11 hating maths, unlikely to pass and I was expected to get a D at the highest. “I moved into Mr Skinner’s class and everything changed. “Due to his help I am expected to get a B.
“He connects with every student and ensures that no one leaves his lessons feeling confused or overwhelmed. He is consistently happy and this motivates me. The impact that Mr Skinner has had on me, both in my maths ability and my confidence is huge. Nothing is too much trouble for him. “I, like many others, believe that he deserves this award.”
Louise Corner, Twynham School
Louise was nominated by one of her students at Twynham School. He said: “Mrs Corner always offers her expertise outside of the classroom, whether this is before or after school or at her weekly lunchtime intervention sessions.
“We are taught new topics all the time, to the highest standard.
“Throughout the lesson Mrs Corner will be running around the classroom helping everyone to make sure we are equipped for the GCSEs. She is a truly fantastic maths teacher who deserves to be rewarded for her commendable teaching and attitude.
“Our class, 11A1, cannot thank her enough for all her efforts that help us to improve day in, day out.”
Newcomer of the Year (sponsored by Westover Jeep)
Sinead Symons, Talbot Heath School
Miss Symons is a teacher at Talbot Heath School. She joined in 2016 as an NQT, as a teacher of classics and Latin. She was nominated by head teacher Angharad Holloway.
“Owing to the sudden sick leave of her Head of Department, Sinead found herself taking on the role, running all aspects of the department in her first year of teaching.
“Her passion for the subject and her outstanding teaching, meant that she came through the year with flying colours.
“She is young, trendy, highly professional and knowledgeable and has proven that she is incredibly resilient and resourceful. Pupils love her lessons.”
Denise Castle, Bournemouth Girls Grammar School
Denise joined Bournemouth Girls Grammar School as a PE Technician.
She was nominated by Lorne Castle. “Following a successful sporting career as a professional boxer and Muaythai fighter, Denise has transitioned into a fantastic role model. She’s used her skills and experience to establish Dorset’s only school based Sport England Boxing Club, which the girls do out of curriculum time to gain Sport England and ABA certification.
“Denise provides essential support to staff and goes out of her way to assist. She’ll stay until the job is done. “She has a great working relationship with pupils and is a real inspiration.”
Natalie May Steel, Bishop of Winchester School
Natalie joined Bishop of Winchester School as a Teach First Graduate. She was nominated by Mrs Deborah Steel.
“I nominate Natalie in admiration of the commitment and professional manner in which she has approached her teacher training. Natalie was training at 21 but has displayed a level of maturity beyond her years and never loses sight of her goals to provide outstanding teaching, which was recently acknowledged by Ofsted.
“Her passion for English and aspirations for the students has encouraged them to want to do well. The hard work she puts in and her cheerful, positive attitude have earned Natalie the respect of everyone.”
Supporting Staff Member of the Year (sponsored by Baggette & Company)
Kerry Cutler, St Luke’s Primary School
Kerry works at St Luke’s Primary School and was nominated by several parents. They said: “I have always thought her vital role is not acknowledged as it should be. “Miss Cutler is a real star and our gratitude is immense.
“Miss Cutler gave support to our daughter - a young carer - providing a caring, safe, nurturing and supportive environment. “Miss Cutler is one in a million. Her kindness, sympathetic and friendly approach has made a significant difference to numerous families.
“If Kerry doesn’t know the answer, she makes it her mission to find out.”
Sue Westbrook, Cuddles Day Nursery
Sue works at Cuddles Day Nursery and was nominated by the parent of Imogen a little girl with cerebral palsy.
She said: “Imogen felt safe with Sue and from their first encounter opened up and then never stopped talking to her. Because of Sue’s praise and encouragement, Imogen’s confidence soared and she was not a shy little girl any more.
“Sue involved her with the other children and for the first time she has developed friendships. She is a very popular little girl, especially with the boys, because Sue has let Imogen’s personality shine and others have seen a funny caring little girl rather than a girl who can’t walk and wears glasses. Sue has done such a wonderful job.”
Barbara Johnson, Poulner Junior School
Barbara works at Poulner Junior School as a family liaison worker. She was nominated by a colleague who said: “Barbara has developed such great relationships with the families she works with that attendance of children from some of the most challenged families rose rapidly and home school barriers began to dissolve before our eyes.
“Barbara has introduced many highly successful initiatives such as twice weekly advice/guidance drop-in sessions for parents and wake and shake for all pupils (before school exercise).
“Barbara has a talent for spotting people who need support and coming to their aid, whether it be pupils, parents or staff.”
Art/Creative Team Member of the Year (sponsored by Bournemouth Costal BID)
Russell Scagell, The Bourne Academy
Russell Scagell is a music teacher at The Bourne Academy. He was nominated by pupil Natasha Taylor. “Mr Scagell is a very funny, hard working teacher.
“He has helped me build my confidence through music - and it is because of him that I am picking music as one of my subjects and I want to have a career in music.
“He has the best tutor group - he makes everyone laugh and is so helpful. “I strongly believe he can go far.
“He is my favourite teacher.”
Holly Hamilton, Bishop Aldhelm’s CoE VA Primary School
Holly is a full time teacher at Bishop Aldhelm’s CoE VA Primary School. She was nominated by Chair of Governors Heidi Moxam.
“Holly joined two years ago as a SCITT student, teaching Year 4. She is an accomplished singer and has embraced the music and art portfolio since she started.
“She has built up a school choir from scratch, enabling the pupils to broaden their horizons by involving them in local concerts and the Royal Albert Hall. It gives the pupils a real sense of achievement. She has a passion for her art and this is demonstrated to the children who have the upmost respect for her. Holly is a conscientious young women who goes that extra mile.”
Tim Holbrook-Jones, Ferndown Upper School
Tim is a Year 9 teacher, Director of Creative and Expressive and Head of Art at Ferndown Upper School. He was nominated by Cindy Lalani.
“Tim is loved by all students and staff alike. “He encourages, supports and inspires them to create stunning pieces of artwork.
“He takes the raw undeveloped talent of our Year 9 students and enables them to learn and understand how to unlock their creativity. He’s been praised by inspectors for providing an exceptionally high quality Foundation Degree Art course, with many students achieving a Distinction each year. He has also introduced an annual showcase for members of the public to view student’s wonderful work. An amazing and inspirational teacher.”
Teaching Assistant of the Year (sponsored by Goadsby)
Nicky Belbin, Somerford Primary School
Nicky works at Somerford Primary School and has been nominated by a parent. He said: “Nicky is one of those simply brilliant people of the world.
“Our son suffers from ADHD and Autism. He can be an incredibly difficult child to manage and to teach, yet Nicky always greets him every day with a warm smile.
“She does an amazing job with him and we feel privileged as parents to have had her help our son every day at this critical stage of his development. “She has taken so much time and care to learn his peculiar ways and his triggers. She is incredibly dedicated to her job.”
Monica Moroney, Queen Elizabeth’s School
Monica works at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Wimborne and was nominated by a former student. She said: “Monica is the best inspiration that any student with additional needs could have. “Year 13 was a tough year for me as there were so many big decisions to make but Monica was always there to give me advice or make me laugh, even when I didn’t feel like smiling.
“She is positive and optimistic, happy and welcoming. Most of all she is just totally amazing because I don’t think she realises how her attitude and work ethic make other people’s lives so much brighter.”
Suzanne Rattue, Avonwood Primary
Suzanne works at Avonwood Primary and she was nominated by the family of a little boy with severe epilepsy. They said: “We met teaching assistant Mrs Rattue in the first few weeks.
“She supports him in all aspects of his education and time at school every day. “One day he had a fall while playing and hurt himself - she sat and looked after him until we were able to arrive.
“The school has been fantastic and given us peace of mind that he is in the right place. “Mrs Rattue has gone above and beyond in her care and we are immensely grateful.”
Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Blue Sky Financial Planning)
Suzanne Stoddard, Bournemouth Collegiate School
Suzanne is a mathematics teacher and Head of Department at Bournemouth Collegiate School. She was nominated by assistant head, Stephen Pumphrey.
“She has demonstrated a life long record of achievement to the teaching of mathematics and has been an inspiration Head of Department. She works tirelessly for her students and is never satisfied with anything that is second best.
“Outstanding exam results over the years have been testament to her commitment to excellence and she achieves one of the highest VA scores at the school.
“Suzanne leads her department by example and her colleagues hold her in the highest regard. She is highly knowledgeable, organised and supportive of staff and students.”
Gavin Darwin, Glenmoor & Winton Academies
Gavin previously taught at Poole High School and was nominated by ex student Alyson Hammond. Gavin now teachers at Glenmoor & Winton Academies.
“Mr Darwin helped me access university, which in turn led my life on a different, better path. I was post 16, but lost in the system without familiar support and with a family as a young mother. I approached him for advice with my UCAS application and he offered great support. Twenty years on, he continues to be an influential teacher to my three daughters, whom completed their educated at the school. “He has also dedicated time to the Duke of Edinburgh awards program in the local community.”
Linda Blake, Longspee Academy
Linda is a teaching assistant at Longspee Academy. She was nominated by colleague Cheryl Turner. “Linda has been teaching for 30 years - this is a massive achievement as we work with children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
“She is the longest serving member of staff and in the ten years I’ve worked with her she has never had a bad word to say, or ever anything but professional and helpful advice - she always goes above and beyond.
“Her calm, caring, supportive approach has been valued by hundreds of children and staff, past and present. Linda is inspirational in the way she builds positive and trusting lifelong relationships.”
Leadership Award (sponsored by Shorefield Holidays Ltd)
Laura Bennett, Bearwood Primary School
Laura is the head of Bearwood Primary School and was nominated by a parent. She said: “She is fantastic. She is not just a head teacher - you can go to her for anything. “I was made homeless with my two kids and Mrs Bennett was there for us through it all.
“The school is run to a high standard. The children love her and are not afraid to go and speak with her. “She always goes the extra mile and gets involved with all the activities.
“Mrs Bennett works so hard every single day and I think she should receive this award for being so hard working and caring.”
Darryl Walsh, Sylvan Infant School
Darryl is head at Sylvan Infant School. He was nominated by parents and colleagues. They said: “Mr Walsh is approachable, knowledgeable and is caring and considerate.
“He comes up with new ideas and Sylvan is constantly evolving. Recently we went through a difficult situation and Mr Walsh was caring and supportive.
“It is clear that he loves his job and his school. We feel Mr Walsh is the best head teacher in Dorset and should be commended for his passion and focus. “He always puts the children first and is easy to talk to, down to earth and happy to help where possible.”
Jane Clarke, Henbury View First School
Jane is the head of Henbury View First School and was nominated by a parent. She said: “Mrs Clarke always goes over and above to ensure all children in her school are cared for and feel valued.
“She ensures that she knows everything about each child so is able to engage with them on a personal level, not just educational.
“As well as being the head teacher, Mrs Clarke ensures she is active in every child’s learning. We could not ask for a better person with such a genuine love for teaching. We feel so lucky to have her”