We are delighted to announce that the winner of our Global Educator of the Year Award for 2016 is Elly Lengthorn from Nunnery Wood High School! Elly will receive £500 prize money, and her school will receive two free places, worth an additional £1000, on Think Global’s top-rated online global learning course for teachers.
Through this award, Think Global celebrates individuals who have gone above and beyond in raising young people’s awareness of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in doing so, encouraged them to become good global citizens of the future. We are very grateful to our panel of judges for their valuable input:
Alison Bellwood – The World’s Largest Lesson
Rich Boden – Department for International Development
Sarah Maile – Sandbach High School (2015 winner)
Dominic Regester – British Council
Gareth Thyer-Jones – Talented Teacher Jobs
Tom Franklin – Think Global
In particular, we would like to thank our partners Talented Teacher Jobs for supporting this project and their continuing support for Think Global.
Elly is a geography and science teacher and the Eco-Schools, Global Learning Programme (GLP) and charities co-ordinator at Nunnery Wood. She was nominated by Paul Field from BEACONS Development Education Centre (DEC) who wrote “I continue to be amazed by her energy, commitment and absolute passion for global learning and promotion of SDGs well beyond “normal office hours”. She is an inspiration to all that meet her and, not only is everything she does produced to the highest-quality, but done with good humour, a smile and an infectiously positive outlook that makes things happen”.
Alongside running workshops for all new teachers to the school and for trainee teachers at Worcester University on integrating sustainability and other SDGs into their teaching practice, in her role as a Global Learning Programme Expert Centre Coordinator she has led the training of 16 Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 teachers, and delivered workshops to Year 6 pupils at a local primary school on the SDGs and sustainable technologies. She is a key member of BEACON DEC’s Executive Committee, where she has led thinking on the delivery of SDG-related education at school level. Elly’s notable achievements in the last 12 months include:
- Hosting a national Eco-Conference which subsequently led to the development of the Worcestershire Eco-Schools Conference.
- Coordinating the “Young People on the Global Stage” project at the school, in co-operation with Tide~ Global Learning. An SDG-themed workshop was delivered to 170 young people aged 13-18, focusing on the topics of hunger, poverty and sustainability. The output was subsequently shared with schools across the Midlands, Spain, Kenya and The Gambia. Elly is now working with colleagues internationally to produce materials supporting project and lesson plans for these SDGs.
- Producing SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural) resources for the whole school (1350 students) to support the release of the new SDGs in September 2015. These included an SDG poster competition where students visually represented the goal they felt most passionate about, and creating the “Towards a Sustainable Future” programme, featuring SDG-specific lessons on climate change, renewable energy, innovation, infrastructure, responsible consumerism, good health and sustainable cities and communities.
- Leading a workshop at this year’s Geographical Association conference in April, sharing practical ways to get students engaged in critical literacy through the SDGs.
- Forging links with schools internationally to bring the world into her own school. This includes a British Council Connecting Classrooms link to a South African school for AIDS orphaned and vulnerable children, supporting a school in Nairobi with its application to become an Eco-school, and a partnership with a school in Germany, with whom the school is now jointly working on a sustainable gardens initiative, creating garden spaces from re-cycled materials.
Panel judge Alison Bellwood commented “Elly’s work has spread way beyond the boundaries of her school across her local area and overseas. Her ambition to weave a thread of sustainable development learning and the SDGs right throughout the curriculum is an incredibly powerful way of making them part of everyday life. To be able to do this throughout secondary education helps to make sure that young people take this forward into their lives as global citizens.”
On winning the award, Elly said ““It is so very encouraging to have my work on Global Learning and development education recognised! Thank you! TIDE~ learning, BEACONS DEC and the Global Learning Programme have all been a huge inspiration and support in my activities. I believe passionately that education is the most powerful tool in addressing the sustainable development goals for a better world. Our work starts at school, extends to the local community and beyond with the graduation of more globally aware citizens.”
You can follow Elly, her school, and her projects on Twitter: @ELengthorn @NunneryWood #ypogsTM #YPOGS @glp_e
Special Commendation: Viv Hutchinson and Tom Codd, Marcham CE Primary School
Viv Hutchinson (Head Teacher) and Tom Codd (Year 4/5 teacher) from Marcham CE Primary School are awarded a Special Commendation. The school is an Expert Centre for the GLP, providing dynamic and effective CPD sessions for other schools in the area.
In nominating the pair, Louise Robinson from RISC said “Tom and Viv are a rare combination of a head and junior member of staff working closely together to support colleagues in developing and embedding global learning. They complement each other perfectly: Tom is full of innovative ideas to share with schools, his own colleagues and pupils. He cares deeply about what he does, with enthusiasm bubbling through in the training he leads. Viv is a 100% committed advocate for global learning, engaging others and taking them with her as she digs deep into questions about poverty, rights and sustainable development. She has a nurturing quality, drawing the best out of Tom, while his exciting ideas keep their collaborative planning (often after school on Fridays!) on track.
At one GLP twilight they introduced the Sustainable Development goals to participants. This was the same week as Primary SATs, so it was testimony to Viv and Tom running such highly valued sessions to see so many head teachers there. Tom and his Marcham colleagues had tested out ‘The World’s Largest Lesson’ resources with their pupils. Their initial idea was taken from ‘Introducing the Global Goals’ and discussing ‘What are the world’s biggest problems today?’ Viv and Tom added flare and creativity: they made a carousel of bags filled with different objects, which the pupils/teachers visited in turn, guessing (without looking) what was in the bag, which global goal it represented and what issues related to it. One bag held Viv’s dancing shoes and Tom’s school shoes to represent gender equality – the pupils had loved this, while the twilight teachers appreciated having tangible ideas to engage their own pupils in exploring the SDGs as part of deepening thebir understanding of global issues.”
Panel judge Dominic Regester commented “This is a brilliant double nomination. It is really clear that Viv and Tom are having a huge impact in their school and on the schools around them”.
Think Global would like to congratulate all those who were nominated, for their outstanding work as global educators – in the UK, and abroad! The five finalists for the award are:
Shortlisted: Susan Bush, Torriano Junior School
Susan Bush, Global Lead at Torriano Junior School, an Expert Centre for the GLP. She was nominated by Lisa Taner at HEC Global Learning who said “Susan has led the design of the school’s global curriculum for a number of years which has included a huge emphasis on teaching children about poverty and development, the MDGs and the new SDGs in a thoroughly cross curricular and integrated way.
…Through her leadership and creativity, she has enabled many cohorts of children past, present and future to learn about global inequalities – never in a tokenistic way – creating a truly global curriculum that measures the impact of learners’ views and attitudes about global issues. In addition, she has worked with the staff team to ensure that there is a strong legacy to this work and that other teachers, including those new to the school, are effectively paired with confident teachers in this area to ensure that global learning is integral to the school in the future.
…Susan is a very passionate yet unassuming teacher and I’ve been so impressed with her work over the last few years. Torriano’s leadership team also need recognition for their vision in initiating and continuing to support this vital work, even in the face of curriculum and policy change and challenge, because they know that creating global citizens is as important as creating good readers and writers.”
Shortlisted: Bren Hellier, Practical Action
Bren Hellier, Education Officer at Practical Action. In her role, Bren has produced materials for primary and secondary pupils that support both the science and design and technology curriculum. She has also created a number engaging STEM challenges which give pupils an insight into the lives of children around the world and demonstrate how science and technology can be used to lift people out of poverty. As well as producing materials that focus on SDG 7 – affordable and clean energy – included in the World’s Largest Lesson pack, Bren’s current design challenge, “Design for a better world”, encourages pupils to explore the SDGs, and then design a new technology that could help us realise them.
Jo Cox from Redmoor Academy, who nominated Bren for the award, said “Having worked with Bren on a couple of occasions her passion for her work is inspiring and she clearly understands what teachers and pupils want from a resource. Teachers who use her material will like me tell you they are both creative and clear, taking pupils on a journey starting with engaging their interest in a global problem then really making them feel that through their own actions now and in the future they could be part of the solution. Her resources have inspired a significant number of my students to take an interest in humanitarian engineering. She is generous, committed and full of vitality and a genuine pleasure to work with – a truly inspirational global teacher!”
Shortlisted: Alison Hooper, Egerton Primary School
Alison Hooper, Head Teacher at Egerton Primary School, which is about to become an Expert Centre for the GLP once again. Nominated by Heather Swainston from Cheshire DEC, Alison has been involved in setting up links between 33 different schools in Cheshire East and Kenya, and led a number of visits for teachers. She has developed and sustained a partnership with link school Egerton Primary School in Njoro, Kenya, establishing a foundation to enhance the quality of educational experiences of the children and the wider communities of both schools. Most recently, Alison visited Kenya in February to share teacher training on the SDGs with 15 partner schools. For Alison, global learning is “a golden thread delivered across formal and informal learning spaces. It involves a range of stakeholders, supports the development of wider values and skills, is relevant, responsive, purposeful, fun and can lead to action!”
The below acrostic poem was written by Alison’s pupils:
Alison Hooper – an inspiring Global Educator!!
Global teaching – she makes sure we understand what’s going on in the world
Leadership – she sets a good example to the whole school
Opportunity – she helps us to have the best time we can and she inspires people
Balanced time set – within work, Mrs Hooper always makes time to visit the children
Annual events – Mrs Hooper always agrees to take part in charitable events and promote active citizenship
Level headed – she takes any ideas into consideration
Enthusiasm – Mrs Hooper is always up to any task
Decisions –all of her decisions are firm but fair, she’s kind and friendly
Understanding – she understands children;’s personality and troubles
Cultural Studies-our partnership school in Kenya – over 10 years old now
Adapts to situations – whatever the day, whenever he time, she’ll be ready
Trust – if something is bothering a child, they know they can tell Mrs Hooper
Open minded – to her everyone is equal and every thought is used in some way
Shortlisted: Rosie Hughes-White, Everest Community Academy
Rosie Hughes-White, geography teacher and PSHE coordinator at Everest Community Academy, an Expert Centre for the GLP. She was nominated by Head Teacher Nick Price, who commented “Her intention has been to encourage students to become Global Citizens and to recognise the potential for their ideas and contributions towards a sustainable future”.
Rosie has inspired students at the school through her teaching of geography topics such as development and globalisation, and using a variety of approaches such as speed-dating and P4C to facilitate evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals and learning about the SDGs. She has also ignited interest through student empowerment, guiding a group of Year 9 Lead Learners to plan 6 sessions which they delivered to their peers as part of a rotation of the tutor groups. Each Lead Learner partnership chose two Goals to research and ‘teach’ through different activities such as using photographs as a stimulus, an interactive quiz and a decision making continuum.
Rosie has extended learning about the SDGs to a transition programme for Year 5 and 6 pupils, organising a “Learning Enquiry Challenge” to allow them to use critical thinking and higher order questioning skills to explore the goals.
Shortlisted: Linda Ruas, Greenwich Community College
Linda Ruas, ESOL and CELTA teacher at Greenwich Community College. Linda writes for and coordinates the New Internationalist’s Easier English Wiki page which covers the SDG themes. As well as preparing and trialling Ready Lessons, Linda simplifies complex articles for ESOL and literacy learners so that they can understand important global justice topics such as gender, democracy, whistle-blowing, fracking, fundamentalism and climate change, and therefore broaden their understanding of the world. Linda also plays a key role in training new ESOL teachers to embed authentic, controversial issues into their teaching, and supporting teachers on the initial training course to use the Wiki materials in a sensitive way.
Tamas Laczko, Linda’s colleague who nominated her for the award, said “she passionately believes in global justice and wants to raise the awareness of learners and engage them in topics such as the world refugee crisis, new feminism and sustainability”. Learners at the college respond well and become very engaged in the topics, with for example several classes, including groups with severe difficulties and disabilities, participating in a climate change protest Linda organised in November around the climate talks in Paris. Activities included making protest banners, with students expressing in their own words what they wanted to change. Tamas commented “through Linda’s Easier English Wiki and her training and support, we can all engage learners actively with the Sustainable Development Goals. Our learners become more engaged in society and global issues, truly developing as global citizens”.