Welwyn Hatfield Times announces school award winners

HUMBLED nominees waited with excitement to see if their name would be pulled out of the envelope to be the first winners of the Welwyn Hatfield Times’ School Awards.

The categories were Primary Teacher of the Year, Secondary Teacher of the Year, Sporting Achiever, Innovation/Project of the Year and School of the Year.

First to be announced as a winner was Codicote Primary School’s headteacher Liz Pollard, who took home the title of Primary Teacher of the Year.

Having been at the school for seven years, since moving from Park Street Primary School as deputy head, Liz told the WHT she was “delighted”.

“I was surprised and absolutely delighted. I’m very lucky to work with a fantastic team of staff and our kids are fantastic here too.”

Mrs Pollard, a teacher of 25 years, went on to praise the school’s working relationship with the village and parents as to reasons why she may have been awarded.

Janet Ruffhead is head of geography at Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School and she took home the Secondary Teacher of the Year award.

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The teacher of 25 years said she was “dazed” by winning, adding: “Sometimes at a school you don’t get recognised as you should do, so it was lovely. I do a lot for the school but that’s because I love to.

“I do whatever it takes to help the children do their best, I’m quite happy to give extra time and support to help get the best results.”

Arguably the title of School of the Year was the cherry on the cake.

And it was an honour given to Welwyn St Mary’s School, whose headteacher Mary Westley said she was “thrilled” with the award and thanked all those who made it possible and those who nominated them.

“It is a real honour and a tribute to the amazing hard work put in by everyone in our school community.

“At the award ceremony we were told we won because of our very high academic results and because of our outstanding range of clubs and activities for our children both at lunchtimes and after school.

“We are also lucky enough to have an exceptional PTFA, who raise huge amounts of money to support our school and very proactive governors who really make things happen.”

Oaklands College hosted the evening on Thursday, which also saw the Sporting Achiever award go to Shayna Godin, while the Innovation/Project of the Year was the Project Equator by Applecroft School.

Zoe Hancock, principal of WGC’s The Campus-based institution, said it was a “real honour” to host the event and be part of something “that brought together such a wonderful display of talented, hardworking individuals”.

She said: “I was overwhelmed by the number of nominations received for each category, it is a true reflection of the extremely high standard of our local education and I would like to congratulate all of the nominees and winners from the evening.

“I would also encourage any school that prides themselves on recognising and rewarding personal achievements seriously to be part of the series for next year.”