Bilsthorpe Flying High Academy Teacher wins Silver in Pearson National Teaching Awards
Fliss Prior is now through to the final for gold in televised London ceremony
A Bilsthorpe Flying High Academy Teacher was in for a big surprise when she was asked to get her class ready for what she thought was an impromptu school assembly.
But Teacher Fliss Prior was soon to see some special guests seated on the school stage, including her family members, and colleagues from The Flying High Partnership’s central team of which the Bilsthorpe school is a member.
Also waiting in the wings was Lindsay Nadin, (Director of Primary) of Pearson Teaching Awards, who was there to announce that Fliss had been awarded the Silver Award for her contribution to the teaching profession. Lindsay said, "Pearson are thrilled to sponsor the teaching awards which recognise outstanding and excellent teaching. It is a fantastic achievement to get the Silver Award and now Fliss is in with the chance of winning the Gold Award at a televised ceremony in London in October.” Lindsay says it takes a special person to achieve Silver. "They really have to demonstrate a fantastic commitment to teaching and go above and beyond the job, both in what they do for their own school, and often with a wider group of schools and learners. It is really the dedication, innovation and inspiration they bring to children, and how they inspire others to do the same great teaching they do themselves.”
Anne Ingle is Head Teacher of Bilsthorpe Flying High Academy and said the award was well deserved, "We are incredibly proud of Fliss, she really is one in a million; putting children at the heart of everything she does. Every second counts in a child’s education and Fliss utilises every moment to ensure the children are able to achieve their very best. She has an infectious love of learning herself and loves to read and develop new pedagogy which she happily shares with the team.
"We are excited for her as she is now put forward for Gold Award for teacher of the year in a primary school. Fliss will be going for afternoon tea at the house of commons 11th July and then will travel to London on 20th October to see if she is the Gold Winner. Whatever happens though, she is a Gold winner for us at Bilsthorpe Flying High Academy, and for the Flying High Partnership!”
Fliss says that she is not an emotional person, but that the assembly had brought tears to her eyes. "I had no idea this was going to happen! The only thing that was strange is that Anne asked me not to come in the costume I had prepared to teach one of my classes. Even when someone came in and said we had assembly, it wasn't completely unusual, but then when I saw my husband and mum there, it dawned on me that something was going on!
"I think I was overwhelmed with what was happening and the things the staff and children stood up to say about me. The children are ten and eleven years old and their words were clearly their own, and heartfelt, and when some of them started to cry saying their words, I got emotional. I certainly never thought of doing my job for any sort of recognition, I just do what many teachers up and down the country do, -that’s go into school each day and do their best!”
Fliss said she was going to take the opportunity to introduce her family to her class. "I am always talking about them, it’s a great opportunity for them to meet each other. I have always included the children in my life, and I think you get what you see with me. I am always honest with the children, and I try to be the real me all of the time.”
‘You are the funniest, silliest, kindest teacher in the world.’
Pupils shared with the assembled audience their thoughts about their teacher. Lacey-May Anderson, (age 11) said, "You are the funniest, silliest, kindest teacher in the world. You are amazing and you totally deserve this award”. Fellow pupil Kai Tuck (age 11) agreed, "You have worked your hardest to help us prepare for so much more than SATS, you’ve prepared us for becoming young adults too. You are an inspiration, the best in the universe. You deserve this so much.”
Speaking of the teaching awards, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said, "To be shortlisted for this award from thousands of nominations across the UK is a fantastic achievement and a testament to all of the winners’ commitment to the profession. I’m delighted that we are supporting the Pearson Teaching Awards to recognise the life-changing effect inspirational teachers have on the lives of young people.
"Teachers deserve our thanks every day, but as today is dedicated to them, I want to take the opportunity to give my personal thanks to each and every one of the 450,000 teachers up and down the country who are inspiring the next generation day in, day out.
"Meeting teachers and their pupils is the best part of my job and it’s been a pleasure to have visited over 100 schools since joining the Department. I’m constantly in awe of the dedication and enthusiasm I see both in and out of the classroom.”
Teaching assistant at Bilsthorpe Flying High Academy, Katherine Benger helped make the day sweeter by making Fliss a beautiful cake depicting her recent swim in a Triathlon for Rainbows Children’s Hospice.