The Totteridge Academy is celebrating after one of its staff members picked up an award at United Learning’s national Best in Everyone Awards.
James McEvoy Stevenson – an NQT (newly qualified teacher) at the Barnet academy – was recognised for his contributions at a spectacular black tie gala held at the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield on Friday 28 June.
The Best in Everyone Awards celebrate the impressive achievements of pupils and staff at United Learning schools across the country. They include awards for academic excellence, extracurricular achievements and for service to school communities. As well as showcasing the talents of the Group’s pupils and staff, they also recognise some of United Learning’s most dedicated, hard-working and inspirational individuals.
James won ‘Secondary NQT of the Year’ for his work to ensure music and performing arts remain a successful feature of the curriculum at The Totteridge Academy, despite a declining focus on these subjects nationally. In fewer than two years since joining the school as a trainee music teacher, James has become a gifted and dedicated practitioner. He has played an instrumental role in broadening the music curriculum and establishing greater performance opportunities for students – both in their classes and more widely – such as the school’s first Winter Concert last year.
Most recently, this has included leading on students’ performance of Bizet’s world-famous opera ‘Carmen!’ at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Olympic Park last week. The Totteridge Academy students joined over 1,000 of their peers from United Learning schools nationally for the unique show, which was developed in partnership with the Royal Opera House, Voices Foundation and the English Pocket Opera Company. The project was just one way in which the academy is opening up the doors to different music genres and performance opportunities to its students as part of an ‘Education with Character’.
Congratulating James, Chris Fairbairn, Principal of The Totteridge Academy, said:
“James has been a brilliant addition to our team at The Totteridge Academy, impressing us all with his enthusiasm, dedication and creative approach. In just two years, he has played a key role in establishing our music curriculum, providing a broad range of opportunities for students to grow as performers in lessons and beyond. I know everyone at the academy will agree this recognition is fully deserved.”
Award winner, James McEvoy Stevenson, said:
‘It’s an honour to be collecting this prestigious award. I’m privileged to work with such fantastic young people every day. It’s so rewarding to see them realising their passion and enthusiam for music. I would like to say a huge “thank you” to the people who supported me at The Totteridge Academy and United Learning; their guidance and encouragement have made it all possible.’