Wyndham winners: TES “English Team of the Year”

Wyndham Primary Academy in Derby has been chosen as the ‘English Team of the Year’ at the 2018 TES Awards.

Wyndham has been a Spencer Academies Trust school since 2015, and is an inner-city school in an area of high-deprivation.

Despite challenges including a comparatively high level of English spoken as a second language, Wyndham has chosen to put reading and writing at the core of primary delivery with an English mastery curriculum recognised by the judges as ‘inventive,’ ‘evidence-informed,’ ‘collaborative and rigorous.’

Making the award, the lead judge said: “This is a team at the top of their game, dedicated to excellence, to innovation, to partnerships and to improving the life chances of all their pupils.”

Pupils are given their own copy of a class book which changes every half-term, and are encouraged to keep and explore the text at home. Oracy runs through the curriculum, with UFO sightings reported in the school’s newsroom, and pupils commentating on Quidditch matches held in school for Wyndham’s radio station.

A regular winner in national teaching awards, Wyndham staff had been shortlisted for both Maths and English team of the year.

Principal Paul Lowther said: “I’m so happy for our wonderful team. Wyndham pupils love exploring their mastery texts and we put their reading at the centre of everything we do in school. Our approach makes Wyndham a brilliant place in which to teach and learn.”

Success in the TES Awards builds on previous recognition of Wyndham as an exceptional teaching school.

In 2017 teachers Nicol Winfield and Michelle Garton were recognised as New Teacher of the Year and Teacher of the Year at the Pearson Awards.

Also in 2017 Wyndham was recognised as the Research School within the Derby Opportunity Area, with staff chosen to support the extension of teaching research and best practice across the region.

More recently, Wyndham teaching staff and pupils have found national fame, with a series of appearances in the BBC Breakfast studio.

In April, pupils and teachers from across the school helped to launch the ‘BBC Breakfast Maths’ series, designed to support national maths confidence.

In May, teacher Ross Christie returned to BBC Breakfast’s Manchester studio to explain how staff could be encouraged to specialise in Early Years provision.

Speaking after his interview, Ross said “working at Wyndham is incredibly rewarding. We don’t just get to see the children grow as individuals and in confidence every day, but are recognised nationally for our work here. Recognition help us to understand the difference that we are making for local children, and to keep challenging ourselves towards even more creative and exciting learning!”