A FERNDOWN Upper School teacher has been honoured as one of 102 Pearson National Teaching Silver Award winners across the country.

Toby Osborne was honoured with a Silver Award in The Award for Digital Innovator of the Year for his "outstanding" commitment to changing the lives of the children he works with every day.

His work includes fernDOWNLOAD, an extra—curricular program to drive engagement in digital and physical engineering, which won national and regional awards in coding and robotics, and has driven up girls’ participation in computer science tenfold.

Remarkable creations are Toby's forte, as during the pandemic he created software to write over 40,000 STEM subject questions for online learning platform, Carousel Learning, in his own time, helping teachers and thousands more students across the UK.

Senior Vice President of Schools at Pearson UK, Sharon Hague said: "After a year like no other we want to take today to say thank you to all the incredible school staff who have kept children and young people learning despite unprecedented challenges.

"We hope the celebrations show how much you are appreciated, and that your hard work has not gone unnoticed nor unrecognised.

Toby has also previously been cited as an example of excellent practice by an All-Party Parliamentary Group.

He has secured £200,000 in funds for his computing department over the past few years, providing incredible computing resources and two custom laboratories which now form the base for the county’s National Centre of Computing Education’s (NCCE) satellite hub for computing teacher CPD and support.

Toby has been shortlisted to win one of just 15 Gold Awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC.

The Silver Award winners are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for 'Thank a Teacher Day', a national campaign to honour and recognise school staff for their incredible work. .