Top accolade for creative Kelly
A ‘charismatic’ NASUWT member’s unique approach to teaching has landed her a top award.
Kelly Steeples, 25, has been named Outstanding New Teacher of the Year at the Teaching Awards 2010. Kelly, a Year 6 teacher at Southdale CE Junior School in Ossett in West Yorkshire scooped the accolade ahead of hundreds of other nominations for her dedication and creative style of teaching.
She has transformed her classroom into the film set of Avatar with the children’s faces painted blue and herself cast as Princess Steeplesmeera, encouraged children to take ownership of their learning by viewing themselves as scientists and introduced tai-chi to help students relax and unwind from the pressure of exams.
A semi-professional dancer, Kelly believes a creative approach helps to enthuse and bring the best out of her pupils.
“I absolutely love teaching and it is a massive part of my life,” she explained. “I spend a lot of time and energy finding creative and inspirational ideas I can use in the classroom and I believe that if the children are enjoying my lessons then they will be more motivated to learn.”
Judges stated that her lessons gave them ‘goosebumps’ and she was presented with her award by Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood at a glittering televised awards ceremony in London.
After scooping her award, for which she was nominated by a teaching assistant colleague, Kelly returned to school to be greeted by a deluge of congratulations from pupils, parents and colleagues.
Although she has been teaching for just three years, Kelly is already assistant head of her school and hopes to progress further into leadership and management.
“I won the regional heat of the Teaching Awards earlier this year, which was amazing, and it was quite emotional to realise that other people felt I was doing a good job, so for that journey to continue was unbelievable. Everyone has been so supportive,” she said.
Standard school year
The Local Government Association (LGA) and the NASUWT have reached agreement on maintained school term and holiday dates for the school years 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 in England.
A number of principles have been established by the Union and the LGA in drawing up the calendar:
start the school year on a September date as near as possible to 1 September;
equalise teaching and learning blocks (roughly 2x7 and 4x6 weeks);
establish a two-week spring break in early April irrespective of the incidence of the Easter bank holiday. (Where the break does not coincide with the bank holiday, the date should be nationally agreed and as consistent as possible across all local authorities (LAs));
maintain a summer holiday of at least six weeks, except in those LAs that historically have had less than six but more than five weeks;
identify and agree annually designated periods of holiday, including the summer holiday, where headteachers are recommended not to arrange teacher days.
The NASUWT is pressing for the uniform adoption of the agreed dates across the country, as the standard school year is coming under increasing pressure.
Where some local authorities have already moved to publish dates for one year or more, the Union has been negotiating with the LGA nationally in order to ensure that the principles of protecting the summer break, ensuring terms of a sensible length are achieved and that teachers’ holidays are not broken up with ill-thought out scheduling of non-pupil days are followed.
The NASUWT is seeking to agree further dates with the LGA and members will be informed when this process has been completed.
The agreed dates are can be viewed at www.nasuwt.org.uk/MaintainedSchools
Tributes paid to activist
The immense contribution made to the NASUWT by a long-serving activist has been remembered following his death.
Sirion Leggate represented members in the Dorset and Wiltshire area for over a quarter of a century, serving on the NASUWT’s National Executive and Salaries Committee and supporting members locally.
Mervyn Frampton, his predecessor on National Executive, paid tribute to his commitment and dedication to the Union and the needs of teachers, saying: “Sirion was loyal and hard-working on Executive and served the membership with distinction.”
Pay increases in residential establishments
Pay and allowances for teachers working in residential establishments in England have been increased.
With effect from 1 September 2010, there is an increase of 2.3% on all scale points for the main, upper and leadership group pay scales and the values of all teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments. Teachers on M1 to M3 in inner London should receive slightly more than 2.3%.
Specific allowances have also been increased by 2.3% but the Sleeping-In Duty Allowance (SIDA) has been frozen until further notice.
For further details go online www.nasuwt.org.uk/ResidentialPayScales.