Finally we have the winners of our ‘Awesome Teacher’ competition and last Friday I had the pleasure of presenting the prizes of a Kindle HD and gift vouchers to winning children and teachers at St. Mary Redcliffe Primary School in Windmill Hill and Hillcrest Primary School in Totterdown.
Kip McGrath Bristol Central opened in October 2015 and was the first of the internationally renowned Kip McGrath brand to open in Bristol, and provides after school tuition for children aged 6-16 in English and maths.
To celebrate the opening of the new centre, Jay Grocott, the Centre Director of Kip McGrath Bristol North (which also opened this year) and I decided to run a competition to find the best explanation from local school children as to why their teacher is awesome. We thought this would be a fun and inspiring way to get to know the local schools and acknowledge the great work that Bristol teachers do.
The competition was open to anyone from Bristol or South Gloucestershire between the ages of 6-16 with an Amazon Kindle Fire HD as a prize for the best primary, secondary and overall explanation, in no more than 14 words, of why their teacher is awesome. I know from my experience of owning and running the BLC language school for over 10 years that there are loads of really great teachers out there, and both Jay and I were impressed by many thoughtful and funny entries and the reasons why children think their teachers are awesome.
The entries were judged by a panel of judges made up of owners of Kip McGrath Centres across the South West. The best primary entry was won by Sam Hennessy, aged 7, of St. Mary Redcliffe Primary for his nomination for Miss Cameron. Sam’s winning entry reads, “I think my teacher is awesome because she works hard to make lessons fun. I hated school before, now I love it”. The best secondary school entry came Josh Donavon for his entry for Mr. Deplechin: “he inspires me to be the best of my ability. I respect him!” The overall winner of the competition came from Betty Johnson, aged 6 of Hillcrest Primary school for Mr. McIntryre. Her entry reads, “I think my teacher is awesome because he tells us we are awesome!”
Making the final decision was difficult as there were so many great entries which expressed the importance to children of having teachers who are caring, inspirational, patient, positive, fun, engaging and motivating. The judges felt that both South Bristol winning entries encapsulated the importance of teacher support and positive motivation for students.
This means that Mr. McIntryre, Year 1 teacher at Hillcrest Primary School, wins the coveted ‘Kip McGrath Awesome Teacher Award 2016’ and Miss Cameron and Mr. Deplechin runners up. All the teachers received an award certificate as well as some bubbly and M&S vouchers.
I was invited to present two of the prizes at celebration assemblies at St. Mary Redcliffe and Hillcrest Primary schools on 18th March 2016. I was given a very warm welcome at both schools and I loved having the opportunity to join the assemblies and meet the children and staff. Unfortunately Miss Cameron was not there to receive her award on the day, but judging by the cheers from the students at Hillcrest Primary School, Mr. McIntyre was a very popular winner! On receiving the award Mr. McIntyre said, “I’d like to thank Betty for her nomination. She’s a fantastic student and it’s nice to be able to make a difference.”
Well done to Betty and Sam for their winning entries and thank you to everyone that entered the competition. We are already looking forward to next year’s Awesome Teacher Awards.
Centre Director, KMEC Bristol Central