Across the country, teachers are doing innovative and exciting things to help students learn. The trouble is, teachers have a habit of being too modest to shout about the fantastic ideas they are implementing and as a result those ideas are never shared for the benefit of others
This is something education charity the Shine Trust aims to change. It is providing up to £150,000 in funding to ensure great teaching ideas do not remain hidden away.
“Teachers are on the frontline of education and often have the best ideas for bringing about change, we are proud to support teachers in bringing those ideas to life,” says Paul Carbury, chief executive of the Shine Trust. Teachers can access the funding through the charity’s Let Teachers Shine programme. Now in its fourth year, teachers are able to submit applications for funding of up to £15,000 for an idea or initiative that will raise attainment in numeracy, literacy or science among disadvantaged students.
Those that receive funding will be partnered with a mentor from one of the charity’s sponsors and embark on a year-long project to implement and scale up their project. Winners of the 2014 competition include Josh Wedderkopp of Stogumber Primary School in Somerset, whose interactive, GPS-located stories in and around the village of Stogumber improved the written and oral literacy levels of children within the rural community.
Another initiative funded was submitted by Holly Fitzgibbon, at Littletown Primary School in Yorkshire. She came up with the novel idea of having her pupils wear their science key words on lab coats. This not only helped develop students' vocabulary, but raised both the attainment and confidence levels of her class.
“We’re able to award grants to support some truly innovative and creative initiatives that the teachers of this country are employing to help disadvantaged pupils,” says Carbury. “We're very much looking forward to seeing the brilliant new projects in this year's submissions and helping grow and develop them in the future.”
This year’s programme opened for entries on Friday 27 February and applications can be submitted right up to midnight on the 27 April (so yes, you are able to utilise the brief respite of the Easter holidays to get involved). It’s free to enter and the application process is incredibly easy to navigate.
So no excuses: there are enough workload problems in teaching at the moment without the best ideas being hidden away. If you have a great idea, help out your profession by sharing it.
You never know, one day you may be a YouTube sensation like teacher Colin Hegarty, who was propelled to the dizzy heights of internet stardom when he was awarded funding for his flipped maths classroom project in the competition's inaugural year.
To apply for this year's round of funding, visit the applications page of Let Teachers Shine