Top award for inspiring teaching assistant

James Havbro 2 SUS-150107-101956001
James Havbro 2 SUS-150107-101956001

An inspiring teaching assistant who runs an outdoor learning space at Blacklands School has received one of the top teaching awards in the country.

James Havbro, of Ark Blacklands Primary Academy, has become a Silver Award Winner in the Teaching Assistant of the Year category of the Pearson Teaching Awards.

The awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching and recognize the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach. James is one of only 60 award winners in the whole country.

James Bacon, from the school, said: “We are incredibly proud of Mr Havbro for winning such a prestigious award. He will be attending the House of Commons in recognition of his hard work.”

James, who runs an outdoor learning centre at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy, was nominated by the school for his outstanding contribution to children’s engagement and learning, including work with children who have challenging behaviour or are at risk of exclusion.

James has also voluntarily worked weekends and during the summer holidays to build a greenhouse at Ark Blacklands. The greenhouse, which was recently completed, will soon be supplying the school’s kitchen with fresh produce grown by the children.

The first James knew of the award was when he was asked to come outside to the school field to be met with Deputy Mayor Cllr Judy Rogers, local councillors, head teacher Lorraine Clarke; chair of governors, Elaine Parish and all the school children.

The award means that James is now in the running for a Gold Pearson Award – often called ‘The Oscars of Teaching’ – and will be invited to a celebratory tea at the House of Commons alongside some of the country’s top teachers.

James received the award this month on Thank a Teacher Day, during which children across the country are encouraged to recognise the work of teachers.

He said he was “thrilled and amazed” to receive the award.

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