Teach Portsmouth Awards 2021

The people's choice award

Winner: Ashley Howard

Head teacher at Highbury Primary School

Ashley Howard received the most nominations out of everyone put forward for the people's choice award. His efforts to support the Highbury community went above and beyond - even stepping in as a lollipop man when his colleague was feeling unwell.

Watch Ashley receive the trophy for the people's choice award in a surprise playground ceremony at his school in front of colleagues and pupils. Parents and carers also told us why he deserved to win the award.

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Meet the other nominees

The people's choice award gave residents the chance to recognise a local teacher, support team or leader who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the pandemic.

We're delighted to share the inspirational nominees and the reasons why they were nominated.

Click on the names of the nominees below to read about their fantastic achievements over the past year.

Emily Brown - Court Lane Infant Academy

"Emily has been nominated for the people's choice award. She has been described as being:

  • Very supportive
  • Always happy and smiley
  • Always has time to talk and give feedback
  • Approachable
  • Makes learning fun
  • Happy and positive"
Rebecca Curtis - Court Lane Infant Academy

"For going above and beyond to support our child, fully understanding and comforting them when needed, and making this tough and scary year more fun. For allowing parents to know that their child is safe, cared for and happy.

Thank you for reassuring us that our child is safe, cared for and happy. You have gone above and beyond to help our child."

Sarah Evans - Court Lane Infant Academy

"Sarah was an amazing teacher pre-lockdown, but when lockdown started we felt so lucky. From regular story readings and phone calls, to being so amazingly positive and supportive through the struggles of home schooling, Sarah was just amazing and went the extra mile."

Jade Houghton - Court Lane Infant Academy

"Jade deserves this award because she is a fantastic teacher. She stayed at school looking after children during the first wave. She is so caring, loving and has an energy that children really engage with!"

Stephanie Knight - Court Lane Junior Academy

"My child has come on in leaps and bounds in the time they have spent with Miss Knight and I am so incredibly thankful that she is so attentive and such a fantastic teacher."

Jackie Collins - Devonshire Infant School

"Since the start of the pandemic, parents were not allowed to bring their child into the school. Ms Collins personally greeted every child. She knows every name, deals with every query, every forgotten packed lunch and every tearful child. This daily undertaking is appreciated. Thank you for caring so much, Ms Collins."

Lucy Chaplen - Highbury Primary School

"Lucy always goes above and beyond to help families and gives continuous support."

Susan Taylor - Highbury Primary School

"During these uncertain times, Mrs Taylor has shown what a true professional she really is, showing compassion to her class in making them feel safe and valued. She goes above and beyond by teaching in such a way that the children have fun and can almost forget what strange times we are in. She has a heart of gold and has an amazing way of teaching."

Analiese Campbell - Langstone Junior Academy

"Langstone Junior Academy is always excellent at supporting their pupils but they have worked especially hard during the pandemic. Mrs Campbell works tirelessly to support pupils and parents alike and has consistently been available.  She sends out regular and carefully thought out wellbeing exercises, resources and advice."

Mary Rose Academy

"I'd like to nominate Mary Rose Academy for the excellent support they have given during our lockdowns."

Jane Dutton - Mary Rose Academy

"Jane has established excellent communication with us over the last 18 months during COVID-19. Our child always comes home happy and satisfied after the school day."

Justine Rothwell - Mary Rose Academy

"Justine was a massive support of our family."

Wendy Fowler - Milton Park Primary School

"Not only has Wendy led and supported the whole school, she has engaged and collaborated with the local community. The boards around the school which have shown their support for keyworkers has brought joy to that very community. She always has a smile on her face and is very thoughtful of others."

Joe Mersey - Miltoncross Academy

"Joe is always one step ahead when it comes to the needs of young people and their parents. He is proactive and solution-focused even before a parent approaches him for support for their young person. He is aware of the situation and will have some ideas of how to address the issues."

Jack Jones - Newbridge Junior School

"Mr Jones has been a fantastic support since my child has been at Newbridge Junior School, especially through the pandemic. He does whatever he can to go above and beyond. Thank you so very much."

Joanna Teare - Newbridge Junior School

"Joanna helped us so much in the first lockdown, she went above and beyond."

Anna Webb - Newbridge Junior School

"Anna kept calm throughout the whole pandemic, right from day one. She had just become headteacher of Penhale Infant School and along with Newbridge, had to lead from the front across both schools, which she did with a smile on her face everyday. She showed courage, resilience and appreciation to others around her throughout."

Claire Filson - Penhale Infant School & Nursery

"Mrs Filson has been kind, gentle, organised and adaptable during the COVID-19 outbreak. She has helped make the children feel safe and that the processes they go through feel normal. Nothing is too much trouble for her and her teaching assistants."

Helen MacDonald - Penhale Infant School & Nursery

"For making the transition into school - during a pandemic - as easy and as fun as it could be. For handling the needs of my child, doing everything to make them safe and reassure us both. She has been brilliant."

Karen O'Neil - Saint Edmund's Catholic School

"Karen has been a nurturing presence to not only students during this difficult time, but also her colleagues. All of this married with a level of detail and care that goes above and beyond - that is why Karen deserves the people's choice award."

Louise Morrow - St George's Beneficial C of E Primary School

"Louise always puts the kids first no matter what and always has a smile on her face."

Amber Field - St Paul's Catholic Primary School

"Amber has really done an amazing job in keeping a smile on her students' faces."

Jayne Joseph - St Paul's Catholic Primary School

"Jayne has been very patient, supportive and kind helping my child to adapt to school."

Pauline Stanfield - St Paul's Catholic Primary School

"My child would like to nominate Pauline because of her commitment to students at the school. She puts everything into helping the children. My child loves her."

Lucy West - St Paul's Catholic Primary School

"Mrs West is an absolute star, my child has built a great relationship with her."

Zoe Killick - St Paul's Catholic Primary School

"Mrs Killick went above and beyond during the first lockdown and has ensured each child is looked after. She has done everything she can to ensure each child is safe. She is doing an amazing job during this time."

Kate Baylis - St Paul's Catholic Primary School

"Mrs Baylis has been very supportive with helping with my child."

Andrew Olive - St Swithun's Catholic Primary School

"Mr Olive was at the school gates every morning to meet my child while I rushed back to work. He reassured them and made them feel secure, he welcomed them each day by name and invited them to learn while the world around them was feeling different."

Marc Light - The Harbour School

"Marc goes above and beyond to make the children laugh and spent the first lockdown delivering meals to the kids entitled to free school meals. They're a loveable teacher loved by everyone."

Grace Kemp - Trafalgar School

"As a newly qualified teacher, Grace has gone above and beyond. She fosters a classroom environment that allows children to be themselves and have a safe space to confide in her. She makes the effort to connect with each pupil, to open communication between herself and parents and to ensure that every pupil receives the support they need and deserve."

Grant Morris - Trafalgar School

"For visiting at home and keeping in touch with children throughout lockdown when school was closed."

Carina Jacobs - Wimborne Primary School

"For showing exeptional leadership. Mrs Jacobs and her team have been amazing since the word go. Such a tough job to keep on top of the changes in such dynamic times."

"Schools and colleges have done an amazing job supporting vulnerable families as well as making sure everyone remains connected in a safe and secure way. This has made a huge difference to local residents home-schooling children during each lockdown. It was only right that we opened the awards up by introducing a new category they could nominate in.

"When looking at the collection of entries online, it's clear that teachers who have featured in the line-up have left a lasting impression on the local community."

Councillor Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council

"The News is really proud to be supporting the Teach Portsmouth Awards Live as sponsor of the people's choice award. As editor, I work with many people in the local community, including teachers, who have gone to great lengths to support those most at need during the pandemic.

The people of Portsmouth have spoken and have told us who they feel deserves this brand new award. Well done to you all!"

Mark Waldron, editor of The News
Teach Portsmouth, Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices, Portsmouth, PO1 2EA
   023 9268 8088 (9.30am - 2.30pm)
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