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Top tips on putting together a winning entry for the 2016 TES Schools Awards

It’s easy to recognise examples of great teaching practice, but getting this down on paper and accurately conveying the hard work of individuals and teams is much more difficult. Nominations for the 2016 TES Schools Awards have opened, so here is some advice on how to put together a winning entry.

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The 2016 TES Schools Awards celebrate achievements during the past academic year (2014-2015), but submissions based on projects or initiatives that started earlier are acceptable, providing the core achievements took place during 2014-15.

Submissions have a 500-word limit, so make sure you read the criteria carefully and address the key points set out for the relevant category. 

Keep referring back to the criteria, making sure you explain exactly how your initiative or approach has taken teaching and learning to another level. What makes it unique and innovative?

Include relevant facts and figures, especially for those categories requesting examples and case studies. Think carefully about these and select those that best illustrate your expertise or initiative.

In addition to the 500-word submission, you can include up to three sets of additional supporting materials to strengthen your case. The judges are keen to see clear evidence of exactly what you’ve achieved.

Supporting material can include:

  • Testimonials from members of staff, pupils and outside organisations.
  • Sections from evaluations or Ofsted inspection reports.
  • Documents containing statistics or supporting research.
  • Photographs, press cuttings and promotional material – but make sure the text in any photocopies is legible.

Each of the three supporting documents must not exceed two sides of A4 – any information submitted beyond this will not be considered as part of the submission.

You can enter as many categories as you like and submit more than one entry per category, but only where projects or initiatives are distinct and unrelated. Otherwise, combine the best elements of each to make a stronger single entry.

If all else fails, you can read about the initiatives and teaching that won other schools an award. But, whatever you do, avoid composing your entry in verse!

The TES website is open for entries until midnight on Sunday 6 March 2016.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel in London on Friday 24 June 2016.

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