'Mrs Emmett effect' hits the awards jackpot

17th June 2011 at 01:00
Scotland's Teacher of the Year says accolade is better than a lottery win

This time, Christine Emmett really is the winner. Rumours swept through Scotland last year that the South Lanarkshire teacher had won a pound;113 million Euro Millions jackpot - in reality, she had never played the lottery.

But the P5-6 teacher at St Elizabeth's Primary in Hamilton is Scotland's Teacher of the Year, collecting her trophy in Glasgow this week.

She was accompanied by P6s with vivid tales of the Mrs Emmett effect. Brendan Fraser cracked fractions with a few jelly beans as props - the incentive of eating them helped. Mrs Emmett is available at lunchtimes for individual help; in a single session, Jade McCann found division soon became clear.

"She's been doing Curriculum for Excellence all her life," said head Liz Bradshaw. Mrs Emmett observes that, as CfE implementation rumbles on, methods honed in her 27-year career have not changed, although they have "more credence now".

Mrs Emmett, 51, was absorbed in fair trade and green issues long before they were everyday concerns - she rates St Elizabeth's recently-awarded fourth Green Flag as a career highlight.

Awards judges commented on the bonds she had built with parents, who ran many school activities. "She brings everybody with her - the children, the parent body and the local community all get involved," Mrs Bradshaw said. A cake-shop owner helped children learn about weights and measurements; a car salesman opened up his order book and brought maths to life.

Mrs Bradshaw revealed the secret of her colleague's remarkable vitality: "She goes swimming every morning at 6 o'clock." Mrs Emmett's explanation is different: "I just love what I do. I love my school, my children, my headteacher, South Lanarkshire - my mum and dad, too."

She credits all of the above with her award, which, she says, is "more fulfilling than a lottery win".

henry.hepburn@tes.co.uk

THE WINNERS AT THE DAILY RECORDSMARTER SCOTLAND SCOTTISH EDUCATION AWARDS

- Lifetime Achievement - Brigid Duthie, Perth Grammar

- Headteacher of the Year - Linsey Hay, Alexandra Parade Primary, Glasgow

- Probationer of the Year - Richie McColm, Perth Grammar

- Partnership for Learning - Cathkin Community Nursery, South Lanarkshire.

- Aiming High - Alexandra Parade Primary, Glasgow

- Educational Supporter of the Year - Jane Edwards, Strathdevon Primary, Clackmannanshire

- Enterprise and Employability Across Learning (Secondary) - Wallace Hall Academy, Dumfries and Galloway

- Enterprise and Employability Across Learning (Primary) - Caskieberran Primary, Glenrothes, Fife

- Sustainable Schools - Garrowhill Primary, Glasgow

- Active Nation - Lanark Primary and Nursery, South Lanarkshire

- Global Citizenship - Mearns Primary, East Renfrewshire

- Health and Wellbeing - Alexandra Parade Primary, Glasgow

- Learning Through Technology - Hollybrook School, Glasgow

- Literacy Across Learning - Bishopbriggs Academy, East Dunbartonshire

- Numeracy Across Learning - Keills Primary, Islay, Argyll and Bute

- Entrepreneurial Learning - Bushes Primary, Paisley, Renfrewshire.

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