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Inspirational teacher at The Totteridge Academy wins National Award

The Totteridge Academy is celebrating after one of its teachers was crowned Inspirational Teacher of the Year at United Learning’s national Best in Everyone Awards.

The awards recognise the impressive achievements of United Learning’s students and staff across the country. They include awards for academic excellence, extracurricular achievements and service to school communities. As well as showcasing the talents of the Group’s students and staff, they also recognise some of the Group’s most dedicated, hard-working and inspirational individuals.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s awards ceremony took place virtually rather than as part of a live event. Each winner was announced via a special video on Twitter, personalised to include a message of congratulations from their school’s Head Teacher or the member of staff who nominated them. Schools across the country, as well as family members and friends, were then able to share these moving and engaging videos, and join together in celebrating the winners from home.

To take home Inspirational Teacher of the Year, Maths teacher Sammy Kempner saw off strong competition from a field of excellent candidates from across United Learning. It was Sammy’s colleagues in The Totteridge Academy Maths department – which was itself awarded Maths Department of the Year at the 2019 TES Awards – who nominated him for the award as a result of his exceptional work ethic and the extraordinary success of his GCSE students.

Sammy has established an impressive classroom culture where students are engaged, mutually supportive of one another and able to thrive in their learning. In 2019, Sammy’s individual class’ Progress 8 score was 2.21 which means that, on average, his students achieved 2.21 grades higher than other similar students nationally.

Speaking of his win, Sammy said:

“It is an honour to receive this award. I would like to thank The Totteridge Academy, and particularly the Maths department, for teaching me so much in the three years I have been there. Any successes I have had are thanks largely to them. I only hope I continue to improve, so I can contribute to making our school community an ever more inclusive and inspirational place to be.”

Commenting on Sammy’s success, Chris Fairbairn, Principal of The Totteridge Academy, said:

“Congratulations to Sammy on this well-deserved award. Each year, Sammy maintains an exceptional record of exam results for his GCSE students and, in one visit to his classroom, it is clear to see that his students not only thrive but also thoroughly enjoy their learning. Throughout school closure, Sammy has continued to support and inspire his students, ensuring that they have everything they need to make strong progress with the Maths curriculum. It is fantastic that all of Sammy’s hard work and commitment is being recognised nationally with this award.”


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