Inspiring Hackney teacher picks up coveted Teaching Award

Michelle Fennell, head of humanities at Clapton Girls’ Academy with the head girl Jamiah Okoye.

Michelle Fennell, head of humanities at Clapton Girls Academy with the head girl Jamiah Okoye. - Credit: Archant

An inspiring teacher from Clapton Girls Academy who was nominated by her grateful students has picked up an award for being their “teacher of the year”.

Michelle Fennell, head of humanities at Clapton Girls Academy in Laura Place, Lower Clapton, was one of 55 winners selected from over 20,000 nominations who picked up a Silver Pearson Teaching Award this year.

Founded 16 years ago by Lord Puttnam, the awards recognize the life-changing impact of an exceptional teacher on the lives of their young pupils.

Ms Fennell will now attend a ceremony at the Guildhall this October, which will be filmed by the BBC, where 10 of the silver award winners will receive a Gold Award.

One of Ms Fennell’s pupils said in her nomination: “Not only is she an expert historian, she has taught myself and my peers many life skills which are vital for our future endeavours”.

A spokesman from the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity which manages the awards, said: “Michelle has an exceptional talent for ensuring that all her students want to learn.

“Her enthusiasm for her subject is evident as soon as you walk into her classroom and her students are soon caught up and fascinated themselves.

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“She has a way of engaging students so that, as a result, they are inspired to do well, support each other and treat those around them with compassion and sensitivity.”

An education inspector from Ofsted who observed one of Ms Fennell’s lessons said they had never seen history being taught so well.

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