The Teaching Awards were founded by Lord Puttnam CBE to focus on inspired education professionals who make the positive achievements of pupils possible. This year there were a record number of nominations nationwide - over 24,000 - with 4,000 nominees in London and the South East. Of these 4,000, 30 were endorsed by judges and then two finalists were chosen, so to be one of the final two is a very significant achievement indeed!
What makes the award all the more special for Miss Walker is that she was nominated by the pupils themselves, who clearly recognise the great benefits of having a teacher with such enthusiasm and talent. Exceptional teachers make all the difference; whether they inspire a love of a particular subject or encourage youngsters to develop in confidence and gain their full potential, the influence of a great teacher can last a lifetime.
It has come as no surprise to her colleagues that Miss Walker should be nominated for and receive such a special award. Her contribution to St. Helen's is outstanding and very worthy of such recognition.
As most parents will know, Miss Walker is our P.E. and Geography Co-ordinator. In these roles, she oversees the teaching of these two subjects throughout the school, arranges our busy sports fixtures list, liaises with other schools and local Borough staff and organises Geography field trips.
Miss Walker is also a valued member of the school's Senior Management Team and is our Director of Co-Curriculum. The number and variety of clubs and activities on offer at St. Helen's is huge; juggling the staffing of these clubs and their timetable to ensure that every year group has a variety of opportunities is a time-consuming and difficult job. Luckily for the school and our pupils, Miss Walker's determination to make sure every pupil has opportunities to discover and extend their talents is second to none. Miss Walker also organises and assists with our very popular and successful subject weeks and is responsible for our School Travel Plan and the safety and well-being initiatives we run at St. Helen's, including road safety and Bikeability.
Miss Walker accompanies children on residential trips and organises and runs our annual Summer School at Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre. She is genuinely loved by the children; whether at school or away, her ability to connect with her pupils is one of her great strengths and the pastoral care she provides children is of the highest quality. She is also popular with her colleagues; her teaching prowess, her commitment to pupils' development and happiness, her ability to juggle her enormous workload, her willingness to help out whenever and wherever needed and her boundless energy are much appreciated by the staff.
We hope that you will join us in congratulating Miss Walker on this tremendous achievement and the recognition it rightly brings to her many talents and her enormous hard work.