A TEACHER dubbed MC Protractor by his pupils is the top teacher in the north of England.
Jonny Heeley found himself promoted to head of maths at Rawthorpe High within an hour of arriving.
His rapping style along with his unique teaching methods won him the top award for secondary schools at yesterday’s Teaching Awards 2007.
The awards were in 11 categories.
Away from Jonny’s win in the Secondary School Teacher category, three teachers from Almondbury High School and Language College and another from a pupil referral unit were runners-up.
Keith Hilton earned a distinction in the Lifetime Achievement section while commendations went to Beverley Bitting in the outstanding new teacher category and Christina Knight in the Secondary School Teacher category.
Steve Giblin from the ETHOS pupil referral unit in Rawthorpe for youngsters unable to attend mainstream schools was given a distinction in the Special Needs Teacher class.
Jonny will now go forward to the televised UK ceremony in London this October.
He arrived at Rawthorpe High in September 2002 as deputy head of maths.
But within an hour the 38-year-old was promoted to head after the former head never turned up at the school again.
Jonny has since turned the school’s maths around with the GCSE pass rate in maths rising from 10% to 48% in three years.
This week the Examiner revealed that 65% of pupils had achieved at least a level five in their key stage three exams – the best results in the school’s history.
Jonny’s success is down to making maths not only relevant to the youngsters, but also fun. He is famous for his Maths Rap, so much so the youngsters call him MC Protractor, and admits to being a Leeds United fan.
Now pupils can be seen rushing to get to his lessons.
According to the Teaching Awards judges: “He delivers his lessons at a cracking pace. The eagerness with which children compete to answer his questions or work out equations on the white board is a joy to watch.
“He has the knack of turning everything around to having a mathematical slant, especially the football results, and convinces his students that no matter their mathematical ability they can and will do better.
“He strives always to make maths accessible and enjoyable. His after-school maths club is packed.’’
The judges added: “He knows exactly which students are working at, below or above their expected levels and students in turn know what they have to do to improve. The school’s rapid journey out of Special Measures in the past two years owes much to his commitment and drive.
He has taken on three new members of staff, only one of them a maths specialist, and moulded them into an effective team, famed for their Maths Raps on training days.
“Jonny shows a genuine interest in his students and involves himself in every aspect of school life from sports day to fund-raising. He is admired and adored in equal measure. As one colleague said: “In 33 years of teaching I have never seen anything like him!”
Jonny used to teach at Bruntcliffe High in Morley. He is married to Jenny and the couple have two daughters, five-year-old Rose and five-month-old Poppy.
He said: “We have set up a maths assessment system so pupils know how well they are doing, how to get to the next level and compete with one another.
“I have a passion for maths and will throw little quizzes into the lessons to make sure the students are staying focused.’’
All the award winners earned a Plato, a Teaching Awards symbol of excellence in education.
Runners-up received a distinction or commendation along with an engraved glass award.
Graham Holley, chief executive of the Training And Development Agency for Schools, said: “The Teaching Awards embrace the wealth of knowledge, experience and dedication that exists in the school workforce.
“These hard-working professionals make the most significant contribution to pupil attainment, take responsibility for continually developing their own expertise and encourage expertise in others.’’