The education charity, The PTI, has commended the English Department for the Bernice McCabe Award at a ceremony on Tuesday 15th March at Mercers’ Hall in London. Bernice McCabe OBE, who passed away in February 2019, was the founding Co-Director of the PTI and believed in the transformative power of inspiring subject teaching.
The Award celebrates excellence in subject leadership in schools, recognising departments that put quality subject teaching at the heart of the classroom. A £5,000 prize and trophy is awarded annually to an exceptional department which demonstrates the ethos and values of The PTI through their work within and beyond the curriculum.
The English department has been commended for its vision to develop lessons that ensured layers of depth and challenge embedded throughout Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. Primary and secondary school leaders worked collaboratively to ensure a smoother transition period between KS2 and KS3. Teachers are able to observe students' ability in primary school, moderate student work ahead of the Autumn term, enabling secondary teachers to see the high expectations children are held to, and match their lessons accordingly. As a result, children have been able to bridge knowledge gaps, develop their skills, and be more confident moving into secondary school.
Amandip Kandola, Lead Practitioner, English Department, said: “Thank you very much for commending the English Department for the Bernice McCabe Award. It was wonderful being nominated and gave me an opportunity to reflect on the excellent cross-phase partnerships that have been built over the past few years in our school community.”
Carolyn Roberts, Co-Director, The PTI, said: "The PTI is delighted to announce the English Department at Little Ilford School as commended for the respected Bernice McCabe Award. Schools up and down the country have tirelessly supported their students during the pandemic in making sure they have received the highest standard of subject teaching from beginning to end. Through the legacy of Bernice McCabe and her Award, we can shine a light on teachers and departments who continually go above and beyond for their students."
Professor Steve Munby CBE, Chair of the judges, said: "Year upon year, the standard of leadership in schools continues to impress, having really been put to the test with the pandemic last year. Every Department Head nominated for this Award has been going the extra mile to inspire and widen students' subject knowledge both within and outside the classroom, and the impact on pupils' engagement is magnificent. It's rewarding and uplifting to be chairing the Bernice McCabe Award panel, and every school deserves to be spotlighted for their achievements."
The trophy awarded to the winner was designed by award-winning designer, Sophie Conran, and will be passed onto future winners annually. The prize money is used to advance the values of The PTI within the winner’s school, fund travel to visit other schools and disseminate the work which has been recognised by the Award.
The judging panel consisted of Professor Steve Munby CBE (Chair of the Teaching Awards Trust), Carolyn Roberts (PTI Co-Director), Rod Mackinnon (Bernice’s husband, former Headteacher, and Education Consultant), Professor Dame Alison Peacock (CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching) and Professor Helen Cooper (Former Head of the English Faculty at the University of Cambridge).