Our next spotlight of a Golden Apple Award finalist is on Head of English and Maths, Kerryann Wilson, shortlisted for the Best Teacher Award. Let’s go into detail on what she brings to the UTC and why we think she’s the best.
Best Teacher Finalist – Kerryann Wilson, the Energy Coast UTC
Kerryann Wilson is Director of Learning for both English and Maths at the Energy Coast UTC where she is undoubtedly one of the most dedicated and inspirational teachers a student or colleague could ever have the pleasure of working with. She has been teaching for 7 years and been with the Energy Coast UTC for 3. She loves being able to teach English in a contextualised way to students so that they understand the real impact and necessity that the subject has when moving into a career within the engineering field.
Kerryann’s results speak for themselves – with over 80% of her students gaining a grade 4 or above in English. Her teaching has been rated as outstanding by everyone who observes her at work. She makes English exciting and interactive, to the point that students clamour to be in her classes.
Beyond teaching classes, she is also a dedicated tutor to her students. Not only does she run a range revision and intervention groups for students, she also supports them with their personal issues, inspiring them to achieve higher than they ever thought possible.
Having wanted to be a teacher since she was in school herself, being inspired by her own teachers to focus on English and, in her own words, “igniting the metaphorical fire within”. Following this path, she went to Lancaster University, doing a combined major in English Language and English Literature, before coming home to the University of Cumbria to complete her Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
Having been born and raised in Whitehaven, she is passionate about raising the aspirations of her students so they can achieve to their full potential and use those skills to empower the local community. Her favourite part of this is arranging extra curricula activities so students can understand the texts they are studying on a different level and experience the power of “English” outside the classroom. These activities have included trips and workshops with several local partners, including at Theatre by the Lake, Maryport Matters and The Wordsworth Trust.
“My favourite part of teaching is the students and being able to empower them with the skills that they need for the future. When some students arrive in Year 10 they lack the confidence to be able to tackle difficult or hard hitting issues that we study within English independently. Being able to guide, support and watch our students develop into resilient, independent and confident communicators of language really does fill me with joy. When students finally reach their epiphany moment on their learning journey and the jigsaw slots into place nothing really can compare. The students are what make my job so rewarding.”
Kerryann Wilson – Finalist in Golden Apples Best Teaching Professional Award
“Miss Wilson is amazing. Before I came to the UTC I couldn’t do English – now I love it – and that love will never leave me”
Year 11 student
“Miss Wilson is like the best teacher in the world combined with the scariest. She makes us love English but we also know that if we didn’t work hard in her lessons things would not be good – in fact – I don’t want to think about that. We work hard for her and for ourselves because she believes in us – and because she believes in us we start to believe in ourselves.”
Year 12 student
“Kerryann is a remarkable teacher. Her room reflects her teaching style – orderly, exciting, colourful, encyclopaedic, and charismatic. Her lunchtimes are never her own, as she invites students 5 days a week to come and benefit from extra sessions on areas of their choice. Her marking is responded to by every student and they report back that they value her style of feedback as it makes improvements seem attainable. 100% of her tutor group said that belonging to this group, chosen to boost their English GCSE skills, was very motivational to them in their pursuit of securing an outstanding grade in their English GCSE. Her English mock exam walkthrough conferences, of which she single-handedly led 2 two-and-a-half hour sessions to 120 year 11 students, became for the students the stuff of legends, such was the positive impact reported by them. In short, she is a quietly outstanding teacher day in, day out – every single day of the year – and deserves the highest accolades.”
Ian Russell – Vice Principal
“Kerryann is quite simply the best teacher I have ever had the great fortune to work with. She is inspirational. She inspires students and colleagues alike and the UTC – and indeed West Cumbria – would be a much worse place without her amazing teaching.”
Cherry Tingle – Principal