Let Teachers SHINE: 10 initiatives awarded share of £140,000

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

Ten teachers have been awarded a share of £140,000 to help fund a range of educational initiatives aimed at helping disadvantaged children.

The 10 were named as the winners of this year’s Let Teachers SHINE competition. Run by education charity SHINE, the initiative supports teachers to make their ideas a reality.

Winners receive grants of up to £25,000 to pilot projects designed to help disadvantaged children in the North to flourish at school.

As well as funding, SHINE offers winning teachers free access to a broad range of development workshops and coaching opportunities – helping teachers to get the best out of their ideas.

This year’s winning programmes will support children of all ages, from the early years to post-16 education. This year’s winners related to primary education include:

Rachel Ward: Ready Let’s Read: Rachel Ward, from Moston Fields Primary School in Manchester, hopes to tackle poor literacy levels in school starters with her Ready Let’s Read project. Rachel is a specialist in a teaching programme known as Reading Recovery, which targets key stage 1 children. Ready Let’s Read is a pre-Reading Recovery intervention, taking the success of the Reading Recovery research, philosophy and practice and creating something to support the most vulnerable children and families in early years. The Ready Let’s Read project aims to accelerate literacy learning through a series of daily 20-minute sessions with small groups of children.

Victoria Wilson: Learning Links: Victoria Wilson, from St Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Billingham, Teesside, has created a set of inspiring home-learning activities for children in the early years. Her Learning Links packs are engaging, easy to use, and do not require access to technology, meaning they are accessible to all.

Sam Slingsby: Numeracy Bridger: Sam Slingsby, from the pupil referral unit Educational Diversity in Blackpool, is working on a project aimed at improving the numeracy skills of the town’s most vulnerable children who are currently below the average for their age. Numeracy Bridger practitioners will work with children on a one-on-one basis, developing their basic maths skills.

Anthony Wilkinson and Brooke Nolan: JigCom: Anthony Wilkinson and Brooke Nolan, from Parklands Primary School in Leeds, are developing an interactive classroom resource aimed at developing pupils’ language and communication by using jigsaws in a new and innovative way. The teachers plan to design and create an extensive range of jigsaws that will focus on enriching pupil’s vocabulary, ensuring that they can begin to learn to read and write with the necessary knowledge and understanding of language.

Amy How: One tool – All of the facts: Amy How, a teacher trainer based in West Yorkshire, uses the innovative rekenrek – a Dutch counting frame – to transform number sense among young children. Through her project, teachers in five Yorkshire primary schools, will be trained in how best to utilise the highly visual and versatile resource.

Helen Rafferty, interim chief executive of SHINE, said: “This year’s awards were held during some of the most challenging times teachers have ever faced, making the quality of the applications all the more impressive.

“Each of the teachers who took part in the competition demonstrated their innovation and commitment to really make a difference to the futures of children from low-income families. We look forward to working with the winners to help them develop their ideas and help hundreds of children to succeed at school.”


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