Welcome to the Gallery of Greats, an inspiring photography exhibition that shines a spotlight on some of the UK’s remarkable educators. The Gallery has been created to celebrate the Teaching Awards Trust’s 25th year anniversary and showcase a small selection of the amazing Silver winners from this year’s Pearson National Teaching Awards.

All images have been captured by photographer Donna Bridgewater, who is an educator herself at a specialist college in Coventry where she witnesses the positive impact of great teaching daily. Through these captivating portraits, she showcases teachers’ dedication and innovation, offering a rare glimpse into the lives of those who shape and inspire young minds.

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Farhan Adam, Head teacher, Crown Hills Community College, Leicester. Shortlisted for Head Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School.

‘Aspiration, commitment, success.’

Since taking the helm in 2017, Farhan has kindled a love of learning among the 1,500 students at this inner-city school.  His values-driven leadership transformed the school into a beacon of opportunity, where attainment and aspiration are central to the students learning and life experiences. He has made it his mission to change the lives and extend opportunities for everyone in the school community, living the school’s motto of ‘aspiration, commitment, success’.

Here Farhan is pictured with a selection of students from the school.

Matthew Jessop, Head teacher, Crosthwaite CofE School, Kendal, Cumbria. Shortlisted for Head Teacher of the Year in a Primary School.

‘Nurturing minds through nature.’ 

 Matthew is a visionary head teacher leading a unique school where he ensures students learn and grow in harmony with one another and with nature.

 Matthew and and his staff, alongside the community, operate an extraordinary farm where they nurture young minds through nature. The school boasts alpacas, sheep, and an array of quirky hens. Their school garden includes fruits and veg tended to by the students during school hours and after school clubs. At their annual Harvest lunch, the school community feasted on homegrown delights like garden tomato soup, shepherd’s pie made with school-raised lamb, and dessert featuring apple pie using apples picked from a nearby farm with garden damson ice-cream.

Matthew is pictured here with students and the resident school lizard.

Lee McCue, Secondary school teacher, Madeley High School, Crewe, Staffordshire. Shortlisted for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School

‘You are here for them.’

Lee’s uplifting affirmations are a hit with his students, cultivating outstanding behaviour and nurturing student well-being.

He has carried his motto, ‘You are here for them,’ on his ID badge for 19 years as he is driven by helping students on their journeys. He encourages students to reach for the stars, which he and his class did quite literally when they launched a student-conceived disco ball 35,000 miles into space, acing the descent. At the regional Young Engineer of the Year awards, his students clinched three out of five accolades, a testament to Lee’s exceptional mentorship. 

Lee is pictured here with a number of students in his technology classroom, admiring the disco ball they sent to the stars.

HEARTs Project, Hope School, Belle Vale, Liverpool. Shortlisted for the Award for Impact Through Partnership. ​

‘Together we can do this.’

The HEARTs project, led by a diverse team, empowers Liverpool schools to embrace attachment and trauma awareness. Hope School, a school of 68 children, started its journey in 2014, earning local and national recognition, even an OBE. 

Embodying its motto ‘together we can do this’ HEARTs spotted an opportunity for broader collaboration through Virtual School Liverpool. Today HEARTs is made up of a thriving network of schools, thanks to the synergy of leaders, universities, psychologists, and consultants. It swiftly scaled from 10 to 32 schools in just two years, creating a solid model for embedding attachment and trauma-responsive care.

Some of the team from HEARTs are pictured here.

Julie Deville, Eldon Grove Academy, Hartlepool. Shortlisted for the Award for Lifetime Achievement. ​

‘Lift up and celebrate.’

Throughout her career, Julie has been an unwavering advocate for diverse students: those with special needs, those affected by poverty and prejudice, excluded, gifted in sports, arts, or academics, or those lacking confidence. Her day-to-day interactions are guided by her inspiring motto ‘lift up and celebrate’.

Since becoming a teacher in 1986, Julie has transformed countless lives and communities, consistently raising educational standards. Her mission is to elevate education in underprivileged Northeast regions. In 2005, she founded the Extol Trust to boost system leadership, collaborating with primary and secondary leadership teams for lasting, effective change. The Trust’s footprint has grown from one to six schools. Julie is pictured here with pupils in one of the schools within Extol’s family of schools, decorated with hot air balloons to inspire pupils to lift up and celebrate their achievements. 

Nino Trentinella, Sutton Grammar School, Sutton. Shortlisted for the Award for Digital Innovator of the Year.

‘Dream STEAM.’

Nino, the head of the art and photography department. She’s a trailblazer in education, introducing cutting-edge tech like Stereoscopy, AI, and Robotics into her art and photo curriculum from Year 7 to Year 13. Nino’s goal is to reshape students’ and parents’ perceptions of the arts and career opportunities, putting the A into STEM, as her motto depicts. Using a drawing robot, she empowers students to explore the fusion of art, design, and computer science, teaching them coding, robotics, and automation while equipping them with skills crucial for the future job market.

Nino is pictured here with some of her students, proudly holding artwork they created using the drawing robot she introduced to her classroom. 

Manjit Nahal, lead lunchtime supervisor, Bridgetown School, Stratford-upon-Avon. Shortlisted for the Award for Unsung Hero. ​

‘Sprinkling magic and smiles day in and day out.’

Manjit, a midday supervisor since 2014 and lead lunchtime supervisor since 2019, wears many hats, including caretaker and part-time teaching assistant. She leads a team of 10 and often addresses assemblies on lunchtime behaviour expectations. Manjit’s creativity shines through in her weekly “Lunchtime Star of the Week” award scheme, where she sprinkles ‘magic and smiles’ for eight lucky students who enjoy a special meal at an elegant table she prepares with care. 

Manjit is pictured here with some of her lunchtime stars enjoying a meal at her special top table.

Pamela Brown, further education lecturer, North West Regional College, Derry. Shortlisted for FE Lecturer of the Year.

‘Transforming futures through education.’

Pamela, an educator at HMP Magilligan since 2011, excels in delivering Open College Network (OCN) accreditation. Remarkably, her prison students have achieved a 100% completion rate, a testament to her dedication. 

Transforming futures through education, Pamela recognises the power of creative writing within prison walls, helping inmates re-evaluate themselves, maintain family connections, and navigate challenging relationships during their confinement.

Pamela is pictured here in one of her classrooms where she delivers life-changing lessons.

David Jones, Pembrokeshire College, Haverfordwest, Wales. Shortlisted for the Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education.

‘Let us show you what our students can do.’

For over six years, David has passionately served vulnerable learners with diverse needs. He’s on a mission to empower every learner, celebrating their skills, talents, and diversity, reflecting his motto ‘let us show you what our students can do’. With a wealth of experience, he dedicates 100 hours of his spare time annually to support and coach young adults, including those in the justice system, to shine in competitions. David’s pioneering achievement? Outside his job, he launched a unique independent living competition which allows learners with complex needs to showcase their talents and gain national recognition for their skills and abilities.

David is pictured here with some of his students having fun while they learn to manage day-to-day tasks outside the classroom.

Patrick Walker, secondary school teacher, Turnbull High School, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow. Shortlisted for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School.

‘The planet in their hands.’

 Patrick has made a huge impact at this Greater Glasgow school, turning the geography department into a top performer, and boosting student achievement, with pupil attainment making it one of the leading departments in East Dunbartonshire. He’s introduced advanced courses, sustainability initiatives, and effective revision programmes, inspiring students to believe in limitless learning and success. His introduction of level 6 sustainability reflects the department’s commitment to climate change as does his motto ‘the planet in their hands’.

Pictured here is Patrick alongside some of his geography students and enthusiastic environmental stewards. 



Pearson National Teaching Awards

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