Twenty-four year old Oliver McIntyre from Hillcrest Shifnal School in Shropshire has been shortlisted in Pearson’s National Teaching Awards – the Oscars of the teaching profession – in the category Outstanding New Teacher of the Year, supported by the Department of Education. Mr McIntyre – who caught the eye of the judges sifting through thousands of nominations – has been teaching history and geography at this independent school for boys and girls aged 5-19 with Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs for just 7 months.
Set up to recognise and celebrate excellence in education across the country, the awards - the UK’s most prestigious celebration of transformational teaching - are run by the Teaching Awards Trust and supported by Pearson and the BBC. Their purpose is to identify and honour exceptional teaching within a society that values and celebrates the great work achieved by teachers and leaders in education, culminating in a glittering awards ceremony televised by the BBC.
The category Outstanding New Teacher of the Year is for those teachers in their first, second or third year of teaching who have brought new ideas and enthusiasm to their school and an openness to learn from those more experienced in order to improve their skills. An inspiring new teacher can have an immeasurably positive impact on their pupils’ academic, social and emotional development. All great teaching qualities can be gained through experience, but outstanding new teachers have a natural ability and enthusiasm that shines through.
Oliver delivers a varied and engaging humanities curriculum covering tough topics and excels in engaging the school’s students - helping them to transition smoothly to secondary school or into a job.
Commenting on his own education and teaching career, Oliver said, “Whilst I was growing up I often struggled in school with my behaviour on account of my ADHD, ADD and other issues. While in education I was supported by fantastic teachers and Teaching Assistants who inspired me to be like them. Whilst studying for my PGCE I realised that I most enjoyed working with students who struggled in lessons due to SEMH issues and learning difficulties and had similar behaviours to mine when I was a younger. I felt that I was able to make more tangible progress with these students than some of the other teachers. After successfully completing my PGCE I wanted to work in an environment that primarily focused on students who had SEMH and learning difficulties as I felt that this is where my skills and experiences could be best used to support them in making the best possible progress in a way that they can be proud of themselves.
“The main aspect of the job that I enjoy is helping the students achieve something. I find that they often have low confidence in their own abilities and believe that they will be unable to understand or accomplish tasks. My favourite part is when they realise that they’ve got the answer right when they thought they were going to get it wrong and then celebrating and praising their success. Witnessing their visible and tangible progress here is so fulfilling. I would strongly recommend other trainee teachers to seriously consider taking up a role like mine.”
Oliver was nominated by his line manager Benjamin Cooper, Head of Academy Faculty, who said, “Ollie has everything you want in a setting like ours; fantastic relationships with students, an engaging and unique teaching style and importantly he’s someone who realises the importance of working as part of a team.
“I nominated Ollie for his work with his tutor group - he’s really got them on side and it’s taken a lot of work to get there. It’s clear that Ollie really cares about them. Ollie has an amazing teaching style - he leads discussions on his subjects and almost lectures - the students love it! I had to cover one of his lessons a while back and tried to mimic his style and failed miserably. Ollie is also a real team player, apt at getting laughs in team meetings, is open when he is struggling - which is something I’m really trying to promote - and has an openness that allows others to feel they can do the same. These things, along with knowing how hard Ollie struggled at school due to his own SEND, and the progress he’s made since September - he’s come on massively - made him a clear choice for the award.”
The Winners will be announced in June. “We’re really excited for Oliver!”, said Ben, “He truly deserves recognition for his great work helping our students overcome their hurdles and realise their aspirations.”