Penarth School Wins Not One, But Three Prestigious National Teaching Awards

Penarth’s Westbourne School has been recognised from thousands of nominees to win a Silver Award for Early Years Team of the Year 2024 in the Pearson National Teaching Awards. The prestigious national awards are run by The Teaching Awards Trust to celebrate the impact of educators across the UK.

In addition to Early Years Team of the Year 2024, the trailblazing school has also won bronze awards for:

Innovator of the Year 2024 for Mr Stuart Ayres, Digital Director at Westbourne, and Headteacher of the Year 2024 for Miss Joanne Chinnock.

These wins highlight the remarkable impact the teaching and leadership at Westbourne has on young lives, and on nurturing its students to achieve their very best both academically and personally.

Westbourne’s Early Years Team, covering Little Westbourne Nursery and Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 at Westbourne Prep School in Penarth, is now in the running for the coveted Gold Award, which will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony later in the year.

National Thank a Teacher Day

The announcement comes as Westbourne celebrates National Thank a Teacher Day today with a fun-filled tea party and summer fete for parents, teachers and students, joining celebrities and schools across the UK paying tribute to all those who work in education.

National Thank a Teacher Day and the Pearson National Teaching Awards are run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity established over 25 years ago to celebrate the transformative impact of education, shining a spotlight on the pivotal roles teachers, support staff, colleges, schools and early years educators play in inspiring young people, every single day.

Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards

Trust, said: “The work and devotion of all of those who play a role in educating young people is phenomenal. Not only do they play a vital role in shaping minds inside the classroom, often they continue to encourage, support, motivate and inspire beyond. That’s why it is important for us to take a moment on this National Thank a Teacher Day to recognise their efforts. I am also thrilled to be able to congratulate this year’s Silver Award winners and recognise the amazing contributions and commitment they have shown is shaping the lives of the next generation – thank you!”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of School Assessment & Qualifications at Pearson UK, said: “We’re delighted to recognise this year’s Silver Award winners on their outstanding achievements. The contributions they make and the impact they have on young people’s lives every day is truly exceptional.”

Head of Westbourne School and Winner of Headteacher of the Year 2024 Bronze, Miss Joanne Chinnock, said:

“To be recognised in not one, but three categories in the most prestigious education awards in the UK is absolutely fantastic – we are so, so thrilled. Our Early Years team epitomises the nurturing, caring approach for which Westbourne has long been known, with every single staff member playing a pivotal role in preparing each child for a successful onward journey to primary school. Our children are happy, healthy, vivacious young learners with a palpable curiosity for the world around them, and it is our wonderful team that brings that out in them day in, day out.

“Alongside this, Westbourne’s reputation for cutting-edge learning, powered by innovation and the latest in education technology, continues to flourish. Our technology-forward approach benefits our Penarth students directly, enabling virtual link-ups with our academic sister schools across the globe and preparing them for a future in which digital proficiency is paramount.”

A 2024 winner herself, Miss Chinnock has been applauded for the strength of her leadership, which has ensured that Westbourne in 2024 is sector-leading, including a leading-edge STEM curriculum, energising outdoor learning opportunities, and a dynamic extra-curricular programme.

Early Years Team of the Year 2024

Little Westbourne Nursery benefits from an outstanding team dedicated to guiding and inspiring children to reach their fullest potential, rated Excellent by CIW.

The nursery is proud to provide so much more than a standard nursery experience – offering a family-orientated, caring, warm, “home-from-home” experience and an exhilarating learning journey for our children that supports their transition to primary school, with weekly transition sessions in Reception.

Heavily personalised and with a child-to-staff ratio of 4:1 in the toddler group, every child at Little Westbourne is allocated a bespoke learning plan catering to their developmental needs, including building confidence in reading & writing.

Innovator of the Year 2024

Led by Mr Stuart Ayres, Digital Director, Westbourne School’s journey over recent years exemplifies a blend of sustained excellence and visionary growth. Technology integration has been a key driver. An

innovative use of technology, including AI-assisted learning and virtual reality, has transformed the learning experience for students, giving them the tools to research deeper and think more broadly.

A pioneering global classroom model fosters a unique international learning community, linking students and teachers from across the globe. Sharing knowledge and ideas via real-time virtual workshops and seminars, lessons are taught by the very best subject specialists no matter where in the world they are based.

  •  EdTech is used to share resources, time and expertise between teachers and students across the entire world.
  •  One of the first schools in Wales to adopt AI technology, Westbourne students are enthralled by the power of technology, developing skills beyond their years.
  •  Google Classroom allows teachers to share all of their materials with students, giving feedback through direct annotation; Forms give automated feedback; and Century provides AI-assisted feedback to give students 3 ‘frequencies’ of assessment feedback.
  •  Classes are equipped with primary and secondary displays, the secondary ones are equipped with thoughtfully positioned cameras to allow absent students to experience the classroom naturally.
  •  Robotics are used at each key stage to aid computational thinking: Sphero at KS1 and 2, Sphero Bolt at KS3 and Fable for KS4 and 5.
  •  3D Printing Labs develop advanced STEM skills, and through 3D modelling students make characters for games, 3D models of geographical features for Geography and mechanical parts for Physics.