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Basingstoke lecturer celebrated for supporting and empowering her students

A lecturer at Basingstoke College of Technology (@bcot) has been celebrated for empowering her pupils, many of whom are refugees and asylum seekers, to be the very best version of themselves.

Maria Thorne, Lecturer and Course Director of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) has been named as one of the Pearson National Teaching Silver Award winners.

She was selected from thousands of nominations from across the country and will now be shortlisted for the gold award, which will be announced in November.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration that honours the outstanding achievements of educators across the UK and recognises the transformative impact of education, shining a spotlight on the pivotal roles of teachers, support staff, colleges, schools and early years educators.

Maria’s award is announced on Thank a Teacher Day.

As well as teaching ESOL where she has a 94% pass rate, Maria also delivers Functional Skills courses at BCoT. Over the years, her students have been empowered by not just vocabulary and grammar, but by a deep sense of belonging and unwavering support.

Maria tailors her curriculum to each student’s unique needs and aspirations, allowing individual growth and empowerment. For example, when asylum seekers faced displacement, Maria has ensured exams were adjusted; she has also organised clothing drives and provided water bottles for students.

Anthony Bravo, Principal of Basingstoke College of Technology, said:

“Maria’s connection with her students is extraordinary. She genuinely cares about each one, getting to know them and their backgrounds to support them comprehensively. This well-deserved Pearson Silver Award for FE Lecturer of the Year is a fitting recognition presented on Thank a Teacher Day. We are really proud of Maria’s achievements and I would like to congratulate her on being such an outstanding lecturer.”

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