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Global Educator of the Year Award: Meet the finalists

We are delighted to be celebrating the Global Educator of the Year finalists work and announcing the winner at a special event on Friday 14th July. Running for the third year, the award recognises educators who have gone above and beyond in raising people’s awareness of one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), deepening understanding of these issues and encouraging people to take action. Meet the four finalists here:

Nathan Atkinson, Global Educator of the Year award finalist

Nathan Atkinson

Nathan Atkinson, Richmond Hill Primary School, Leeds

Primary School Headteacher Nathan Atkinson has been tackling the SDGs in his own community through the inspiring fuel for school project. In response to children attending school hungry, Nathan started to provide all 630 children in his school with a free breakfast by using surplus bread from a bakery. Following a successful awareness day working with The Real Junk Food Project in 2015, Fuel for School has now been adopted by almost 60 schools across Yorkshire. Nathan has recently set up a link with a school in Malawi to enable children from schools in the UK to connect with their peers in Malawi so that they can work together on the SDGs.

 In 2016, Nathan was named one of the top 50 teachers in the world by Global Teacher Prize. He has presented to the All Party Parliamentary Group on School Food, and worked with celebrity chefs and campaigners Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to highlight holiday hunger and food waste.@fuelforschool @fredfuelfox.

Lottie OBrien

Lottie O’Brien

Lottie O’Brien, Head of Social Science, The Commonweal School in Swindon and GLP Expert Centre Co-ordinator.

 Lottie O’Brien has revamped the curriculum so that a global perspective is threaded into teaching, built around the school’s Core Values and using the SDGs. Lottie has also inspired staff to engage with the student newspaper, ‘The Day’, which encourages students to think critically about the world around them.

In September last year Lottie set up the Malala Club in response to students’ concerns about Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5 and 10. The club helps students raise awareness of and campaign for the SDGs. Students also hold a weekly meeting used for topical ‘drop-in’ debates. Cristina Bennett, GLP Expert Centre Co-ordinator says: “Lottie has championed and embedded so many aspects of global learning within and beyond the classroom. She has a zest for inspiring colleagues and students at Commonweal School to become active global citizens.”

Jane Yates, Global Educator of the Year award finalist

Jane Yates

Jane Yates, subject leader in English and Lead Practitioner for Global Learning at Armathwaite Primary School in Carlisle, Cumbria

Jane has led a huge variety of projects related to global learning and the SDGs, having a significant impact both in her own school and beyond through their 23 partner schools.  She has twice led her school through achieving the Fairtrade award, encouraging all Fairtrade activities to be pupil led. She also recently took pupils to visit the Kasinthula sugar producers in Malawi as part of a visit to their school link via British Council Connecting Classrooms. The activities Jane led related to the refugee crisis including a ‘suitcase’ of novels and picture books of refugee stories was recognised as “inspiring” in the school’s latest OFSTED report.

Helen Hepworth, Headteacher at Armathwaite says: “Jane works tirelessly to develop awareness of the 17 SDGs and has made a significant impact. It is Jane’s positive drive and engaging approach that takes people with her.”

Dr Andrew Christie

Dr Andrew Christie

Dr Andrew Christie, Key Stage Two teacher and Geography Coordinator at Whitehill Junior School, Hitchin

As a GLP expert centre, Andrew leads Whitehill’s GLP network of 14 partner schools.

He has introduced a variety of projects linked to the SDGs, including a Dragons’ Den style competition, a Global Maths Project and monthly Young Explorer quizzes which engage students in global issues and the SDGs, focusing on critical thinking. Find out more in this film

Andrew led Whitehill’s school’s Primary Geography Quality Mark (PGQM) application which gained them a silver award. He also recently project led a hub of GLP expert centres which organised a global learning conference for schools in Hertfordshire, supported by a range of organisations including the British Council, Oxfam and Unicef.

Whitehill’s Headteacher Steve Mills says: “Everything Andrew does is shaped by his broad interests in both Geography and STEM subjects, his can-do approach and his sense of creativity and fun.  Our pupils engage with this and are enthused by his enthusiasm!”

The Global Learning Programme (GLP) is a funded programme of support that is helping teachers in Primary, Secondary and Special schools to deliver effective teaching and learning about development and global issues at Key Stages 2 and 3. Think Global is a member of the consortium delivering the Global Learning Programme in England (GLP-E) on behalf of the Department for International Development.

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