Go to the local bookshops around Middlesbrough in the next 12 months and you may get a surprise. For among the work of well-known authors stocked on the shelves will be stories by students at a local school: stories about living with special educational needs and disability in the school system.
This will be the fruition of an idea that Rachel Wilkinson, who teaches at Nunthorpe Academy in Cleveland, had to boost the literacy levels of those students with SEND while also giving other students – and their teachers – an insight into their school experience. She applied for funding to make it happen from the SHINE Trust UK, and it has just been announced that she has received £10,000 to make it happen.
She is one of nine winners in this year’s Let Teachers Shine competition, which offers teachers across the country the chance to win a grant of up to £15,000 for their innovative idea to raise the achievement of disadvantaged children in maths, English or science.
Other successful applications include video tutorials in grammar, science project resources for hospital schools, and interventions aimed at increasing student resilience in maths.
“These 10 finalists will make a huge impact on the lives of schoolchildren throughout the UK,” said Clare Gilhooly, chief executive of SHINE. “The Let Teachers Shine competition continues to unearth a host of amazing teachers and their truly inspiring ideas, to help level the playing field for every child in school, no matter their circumstances. We look forward to working closely with all 10 winners.”
Previous finalists who have received funding include Colin Hegarty, the maths teacher responsible for the maths tutorial website HegartyMaths, and Bruno Reddy, the teacher behind Timestables Rockstars.
This year’s winners will roll out their projects over the next 12 months and Tes will be following their progress with interest.