Bouquet of the week

16th January 1998 at 00:00
Anna McAlister is one among thousands of unsung heroes of the classroom, who teaches her heart out every day and whose dedication to the job deserves a big thank you. Anna, a Year 1 teacher and language co-ordinator at Sladefield Infants School in Birmingham, receives the first bouquet of the week from "Friday", the new magazine at The TES - in association with Marks amp; Spencer. Her infectious enthusiasm, attention to detail and willingness to tackle any problem are just the sort of qualities that make all the difference to a school and its children.

Sheena Brechin, head of Sladefield, describes her as a "highly-skilled teacher" who understands how children learn, loves the job and who is absolutely crucial in the development team of staff who lead the school and plan its future. "She doesn't just spark enthusiasm in the children; she also has the ability to inspire other staff, which is absolutely wonderful."

Over the past four years Anna has introduced a new literacy programme throughout the school which has had a dramatic effect on results in reading and writing. "We've gone from being an inner-city school that's below the national average to one that's above," says Mrs Brechin. "Of course, it's not just Anna - it's been achieved by all the staff - but she has led by determination and drive."

At "Friday" we know there are thousands of Anna McAlisters and thousands of schools like Sladefield making a positive difference. Please let us have their names for the next bouquet of the week.

Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of the magazine, which this week has more innovative people to follow and ideas to pursue. William Atkinson would never say that it's easy turning a school around, and his day is full of highs and lows.

Andrew Brown, winner of the Salters' Prize for chemistry, spreads enthusiasm for science by taking his sixth-formers to help with classes at a local junior school. On the fascination front, we've got a feature on magnetism and The Big Picture on a dust mite.

And if, by any chance, you've felt angry this week, turn to Mind amp; Body, where we'll help you to cope with emotions at work and stay healthy. Get your copy of "Friday" every week with The TES - and enjoy your weekend.

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