The first ever Examiner Schools Awards featured a very special and emotional award.
Yesterday’s event at Kirklees College revealed the winners of the competition and showed just how great some of our schools are ... both in and out of the classroom.
But the award that touched everyone’s hearts was for a teacher from Spring Grove Junior, Infant and Nursery School who died very suddenly.
Samaira Akram was a newly qualified teacher with three young children who left a career in IT to go into the classrooom because she wanted to make a real difference to young lives.
She died very suddenly in February this year and was nominated for Inspirational Teacher of the Year by Spring Grove headteacher Shazia Azhar.
She said: Each child was inspired to learn by Samaira’s enthusiastic delivery and she did achieve her dream of making a difference to the lives of children. She had so much to give but in the short time she was with us she left her mark and we will never forget her.”
The judges gave a Special Recognition Award which Samaira’s family went on stage to accept to tumultuous applause.
Shazia said: “The family feel so very proud of Samaira and it is a great comfort to them that she has been recognised for her achievements.”
Kirklees Mayor Clr Jim Dodds was the guest of honour.
He said: “It has been an absolutely first class event and it’s so good to recognise all the good work that goes on in schools throughout Kirklees.”
The overall sponsor was teacher recruitment agency Vision for Education and branch manager Claire Darling said: “It’s been an honour to judge this year’s Examiner Schools Awards and with so many amazing entries it’s also been a difficult task. The event was a wonderful celebration of all the great work that goes on in our local schools.”
The other sponsors were educational consultancy Pivot Care and Kirklees College.
The presentations were attended by around 180 pupils, staff and teachers representing the 30 schools which had made it through to the shortlist.
Here is the full list of winners and there will be a special supplement on the awards in the Examiner on Thursday, July 14.
Finalists and winners were:
School Communication Award
Honley High School
Winner Hipperholme Grammar School
Healthy Living Award
Lindley CE Infant School
Slaithwaite CofE School
Winner Boothroyd Primary
Active Community Award
St Thomas CE (VC) Primary School
Honley High Fairtrade Forum
Winner: Hepworth J&I School
For long term activity in the community
Winner: All Saints Catholic College
Unity Publishing, Brighouse High School
Lindley Junior School Athletics Team
Winner: Lindley Junior School Choir
Trainee Teacher of the Year
Emma Gannon, Ethos College
Roise Whitham, Westborough High School
Rabia Ahmad, Whitcliffe Mount School
Harriet Baker, Shelley College
Dan Quirk, Shelley College
Winner: Alex Nightingale, Whitcliffe Mount School
School Support Staff of the Year
Valerie Hollingworth, Shepley First School
Yvonne AInley, Almondbury Community School
Julie Polzin, Greenhead College
Janet Pearson, Whitcliffe Mount School
Winner: Sue Laybourn, Lydgate School
Inspirational Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Vision for Education
Shaun Haywood, Brockholes C of E School
Lisa Lockwood, Almondbury Community School
Winner: Catherine Ketteringham, Almondbury Community School
Special recognition Award (posthumous)
Winner: Samaira Akram
Head Teacher of the Year
Jacqueline Green, Brian Jackson College
Gill Robinson, Castle Hill School
Winner: Claire Lyles, Norristhorpe J&I School
Nursery School of the Year
Award presented by Mayor Jim Dodds
Flatts Nursery School and Day Care
Little Acorns Nursery
Oakwood House Nursery & Forest School
Winner: Portland House Nursery
Primary School of the Year, sponsored by Pivot Care
Award presented by Andrew Kitterick, Michael Smith & Lucy Smith of Pivot Care
Warwick Road Primary School
Mount Pleasant Primary School
Winner: Boothroyd Primary
Secondary School of the Year, sponsored by Kirklees College
Award presented by Claire Darling, Huddersfield Branch Manager, Vision for Education
Almondbury Community School
Honley High School
Winner: Shelley College