We are thrilled to announce the winners of the Let Teachers SHINE competition 2019. We received a huge number of applications this year and we were very impressed by the quality of innovative ideas that were submitted.
We’re delighted to announce the 21 winning teachers from across the country. Each teacher has been awarded up to £15,000 to pilot a new idea to help disadvantaged children succeed in English, maths or science.
Alba Fejzo and Tiago Carvalho, Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form, London
Alba and Tiago aim to develop a range of classroom strategies that address the persistent gap in maths achievement between disadvantaged children and their wealthier peers. They will achieve this by creating a reflective model of continuing professional development for teachers that operates in teach-plan-evaluate cycles. Teachers will continually evaluate different approaches to teaching maths in the classroom and reflect on their effectiveness. Alba and Tiago will create professional development materials to share with other maths teachers recommending effective approaches, host a conference to share ideas and build partnerships with schools to spread best practice.
Craig Sivyer, Wyvern College, Eastleigh
Craig has found that many secondary schools allocate the role of delivering the curriculum in the first few years of secondary school to inexperienced and often non-specialist teachers. This can widen the attainment gap between less advantaged children and their peers. Craig will develop ‘ScienceSurgery’, an online platform that will offer students and teachers an exciting and engaging range of quizzes, support videos and resources for key stage 3. The platform will allow teachers to monitor students’ progress and offer personalised interventions at the right stage.
Debi Bailey, Newcastle East mixed multi Academy Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne
Many disadvantaged children at Debi’s school can start school with a history of exclusions and attendance issues. Debi will build on the welfare support system that they have at the school to pilot a Vulnerable Learner Lead. This extra capacity will enable the school to work with parents at an earlier stage to understand a child’s needs and make sure the best package of holistic support has been identified.
Jessica Barnecutt, Oaklands, London
The new statistics A Level maths specifications require students to manipulate and explore big data sets, however Jessica has found that many teachers don’t have the knowledge and skills to support students in this area. Jessica will create a professional development course for teachers, enabling them to build the expertise and confidence to support disadvantaged students to excel at big data.
Laura Breslin, Bowling Park Primary School, Bradford
Laura has found that many of the girls attending her school cannot see their potential and believe that they cannot achieve. Laura’s project, ‘Stronger Me’, aims to tackle this by providing after school sessions led by learning mentors. The workshops will be focused on developing positive relationships, staying safe, increasing self-esteem, and building resilience and confidence. By developing these skills in her students, Laura will enable them to unlock their potential.
Lucy Flanagan, Victoria Lane Academy, Durham
Lucy has found that many of her pupils at primary school find more traditional methods of teaching science uninspiring. When speaking to other teachers, she has also found that new approaches to teaching science explored in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses are not easy to implement in schools. This is often due to a lack of time and resources or confidence amongst staff. Lucy wants to adapt the successful Ogden Trust primary CPD in physics to create CPD resources and tools across other science subjects. She aims to build confidence amongst teachers and to help children to be prepared for secondary school by having access to engaging, memorable and meaningful learning experiences.
Maria Chambers, St Georges Primary School, Wirral
Most struggling learners in maths at Maria’s primary school often have a difficulty with working memory. This leaves them unable to progress at the same rate as other pupils. To address this, Maria will develop a ‘passport’ system to deliver the curriculum and build on key skills in accessible steps. She will also create a range of games and activities to help children to retain what they have learnt. Maria’s toolkit will allow teachers to easily track and assess the progression of pupils along their learning journey.
Nick Harris, Tapton School Academy Trust, Sheffield
Nick is passionate about bringing science teaching to life through scientific research. Knowing that antimicrobial resistance is arguably one of this generation’s greatest challenges, Nick’s ‘Science Futures’ project will turn primary school students into research scientists to discover the next generation of antibiotics. Students will carry out investigations and present their findings at events such as the IRIS Summer Conference. By stretching the aspirations of disadvantaged children, Nick aims to inspire a love of science amongst his pupils from primary through to secondary school.
Nicola Alexander, Academy School Hampstead, London
Nicola believes in the power of EdTech to engage students across a variety of different subjects. However, she feels that there is no technology on the market capturing pen and paper problem solving. This would help teachers to understand how individual students solve problems and provide personalised coaching in the classroom. Nicola has invented Podium, an EdTech innovation that gives teachers an insight into ‘workings out’, allows teachers and parents to track pupil progress, helps teachers to build lessons around common mistakes, and turns pupils into problem solvers.
Olivia Richards, St Paul’s C of E Primary School, Addlestone
Knowing that children growing up in deprived communities are much less likely to achieve Age Related Expectations in literacy and are three times more likely to suffer from mental health problems, Olivia has created a programme to integrate the development of literacy skills and wellbeing. Whilst reading carefully chosen stories, teachers can ask children questions about interpretation skills and vocabulary, and also ask about a character’s wellbeing. Children learn key literacy skills and are also able to apply what they have learnt about the character’s emotions to their own experiences.
Richard Branch, Lampton School, London
Richard has found that many published science textbooks fail to offer the range of questions needed to fully assess student progress in the first years of secondary school. He’s also found that in the sciences, where teachers often find themselves outside their specialism, they struggle to create high quality questions. Richard aims to create an EdTech platform breaking down GCSE Physics into accessible multiple-choice question sets and video tutorials demonstrating how to solve problems. Teachers will be able to mark completed work on the platform and track progress in real time.
Roy Clutterbuck, Invicta Primary School, London
Many children from disadvantaged backgrounds at Roy’s primary school suffer from maths anxiety and find it difficult to engage in maths lessons. With a love for games, Roy has invented ‘Lightning Maths’, a range of fun and engaging puzzles to develop number fluency, problem-solving skills, confidence and a love for maths among his students. Roy will also develop teacher-led networks enabling schools to compete with each other in Lightning Maths competitions.
William Emeny, Wyvern College, Eastleigh
William will establish a ‘Science of Learning Education Lab’ to develop best practice on how to apply the latest academic research into memory and learning techniques in the classroom. He will launch a website offering teachers free video courses, accessible summaries about the latest cognitive science research, and he will build online communities of teachers to allow them to share their experiences.
Elisabeth Protopapa, Leeds Sixth Form, Leeds
Elisabeth has found that many of the cross-curriculum GCSE revision sessions she holds at her sixth form are attended only by the most confident students. She finds it hard to engage less naturally able children and difficult to encourage them to reflect on their exam answers due to low confidence. Elisabeth will develop a ‘flipped learning’ approach, giving students the opportunity to play the role of the examiner. This new approach will develop critical thinking skills, build confidence, and help all students to understand the impact of revision.
Sarah Lamarr, Capital City Academy, London
For students to reach the top band in the English Literature GCSE mark scheme, they must demonstrate that they are not simply readers; but also critics. Sarah questioned how her school could develop the critical skills of her students when exploring a text. To address this Sarah will support students to create their own podcasts where they discuss the GCSE English Literature set texts. This cost effective project will help students to develop confidence in forming critical opinions in an engaging way.
Joey Lee, Ladysmith Infant and Nursery School, Exeter
Joey finds that many of the young children at her school present with challenging behaviours in the classroom linked to poor working memory. Evidence has shown that regular game playing improves memory, but Joey has found that the games are usually computer-based, don’t encourage social interaction and increase screen time. Joey will create a library of board and card games for children and their parents to help develop stronger working memory and social skills. She will set up clubs and invite parents to use the games at home to support their child’s learning.
Andrew Lawrence, Emmanuel College, Gateshead
The extended summer break can present a major challenge for low income families. As term ends, increased costs of food and the extra childcare burden contribute to greater financial pressure on parents. In addition to food insecurity, young people are at greater risk of falling behind academically. Andrew’s project, the Head Start Summer School, is a new charity which aims to tackle holiday hunger by offering breakfast and lunch and will give students a head start to their crucial GCSE year through a week of intensive small group tuition.
Angharad Pass, Tranmere Park Primary School, Leeds
Angharad has recognised that many disadvantaged children in primary school aren’t aware of the range of careers available to them in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They also aren’t aware of the knowledge of science that needs to be developed to access these careers. To address this, Angharad will develop resources and lesson plans for teachers to help them bring practical, real-life medical science into the classroom. The new resources and lesson plans will have a focus on the wide range of STEM focused careers, helping children to explore new possibilities at an earlier stage.
Ashleigh Cannon, Cherry Garden School, London
Ashleigh and her colleagues have spent the last three years creating an interactive assessment tool to make sure that learning is focused on the individual needs of children with Special Educational Needs. This EdTech innovation offers a visual representation of the progress of children with complex needs, and will provide teachers and parents with a better insight into the progress of each child. Ashleigh will be trialling the tool with some local mainstream primary schools and test its impact on the assessment of need for children with complex needs and, just as importantly, the planning of appropriate next steps.
Two of our winning teachers are being supported to develop their ideas further as the basis to apply for Let Teachers SHINE next year:
Jon Kay, Hartlepool College of Further Education, Durham – Building engagement, progress and achievement in post-16 GCSE maths through modelling and feedback.
Lynn Provoost, Derby High School, Bury – Developing a love of science in secondary school through co-creation with science colleagues.
Keep a look out on our website for further information about Let Teachers SHINE 2020.