Teacher of the Year prizes awarded in Belfast

Published Wednesday, 20 June 2012
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A young Belfast woman has won 'Teacher of the Year in a Primary School in Northern Ireland' in the 2012 Pearson Teaching Awards.

Teacher of the Year prizes awarded in Belfast
Ms Fiona Kettle, the award winning P2 teacher from St. Ita's Primary School. (© UTV)

Fiona Kettle, from St Ita's Primary School in the south of the city, was shortlisted from a record number of nominations.

The awards celebrate the valuable contribution made by teachers, teaching assistants and head teachers and are open to every school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Speaking to UTV on Wednesday from her 'under the sea' styled classroom, Ms Kettle said: "It's a joy to come in and teach these children every day and to have their parents nominate me. I'm totally touched and overwhelmed.

"It's important to make these children realise how wonderful they are."

Although she said that classroom decorations are a "colossal amount of work," she admitted that she enjoyed the creative process as much as the children.

"It's good fun when you can come in and work in a mermaid's cave every day."

And her P2 pupils agree.

One child Grace said that she was "really happy" that Ms Kettle won the award adding that her teacher always gave them "wonderful things to do."

Classmate Conor told UTV also that Ms Kettle always gives them fun things to do.

The judges, who awarded the much respected teacher the top prize for the region, have described her as a "creative, vibrant and dedicated teacher with a dynamic and innovative teaching style, who shares her zest for learning with her pupils, inspiring each child to reach their maximum potential and always going 'that extra mile' to make a difference."

"She is 100% aware of the needs of each and every child and adapts her teaching strategies appropriately."

Will Wyatt, Chair of the Teaching Awards Trust added: "No one ever forgets a good teacher. They provide guidance to help their pupils reach their potential, set them on the right path or steer them from going down the wrong one.

"If you ask a current or former pupil to name their favourite teacher, almost all will have fond memories to share and it is this which the Pearson Teaching Awards champions.

"Congratulations to Fiona and all the finalists."

Meanwhile, Patricia Bennett, who works at St Gerard's Educational Resource Centre in Belfast, has been awarded for dedicating the last 36 years to the education sector.

Ms Bennett, who has worked mainly as a teacher of Art, has received the prestigious Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Ireland.

She will join Ms Kettle and all the other winning teachers at a glittering ceremony in the autumn.

© UTV News
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