Sue Jay, Head of Creative Arts at the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee school in Horsham, was surprised and delighted to be awarded a prestigious Silver Pearson Teaching Award on Friday 16 June.
The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, created to recognize the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they teach. Friday 16 June was “Thank a Teacher Day” and the awards were presented nationwide to coincide with the day.
Sue is one of just 56 winners from schools and colleges across England, Ireland and Wales. All silver award winners are invited to the Pearson Teaching Awards to be held in central London in October. At the awards, Sue will discover if she has also gone on to win one of just 11 Gold Plato Awards, which are considered the UK’s “Oscars for Teachers.”
A special assembly was staged as a surprise for Sue, although she admitted: “I did get a little suspicious about what was going on when my husband turned up at school for assembly!”
Sue has been a teacher for 40 years and in her role as Head of Creative Arts at QEII she has taught, and directed, hundreds of young people with severe learning difficulties, leading them to success in national events, such as the Rock Challenge dance competition and the Shakespeare Schools Festival. This has included being invited to perform adaptations of Shakespeare in London, at the Lyric Theatre, and a dance performance at the O2.
QEII’s headteacher, Lesley Dyer, said: “Sue is a truly amazing teacher and the impact she has on our students, through her creative arts work, is life changing. I am thrilled that she is a silver award winner and wish her every success in the finals in October.”
The assembly was attended by the whole school and also former students of Sue’s, as well as Horsham MP Jonathan Quinn and representatives from West Sussex County Council. Sue was delighted to have received the Teaching Award: “Recognition of my work at QEII means so much, and it was overwhelming on Friday to be supported by so many students, parents and staff, both past and present”
Picture: Sue Jay (holding her award) with past and present QEII students