Alice O’Neil has only been a teacher for five and a half years - but she’s already made her mark as one of the youngest members of staff at Sheffield’s St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary.
As a Year 6 teacher and Key Stage 2 leader she’s impressed everyone with her professional attitude and excellent classroom abilities.
Alice has had a huge part to play in developing and improving her pupils’ progress in reading and writing over the last two years, one of the key elements of the school’s success.
Ofsted inspectors thought so too and had high praise earlier this year for her management skills. She offers weekly advice and support to other members in the teaching team on issues such as planning, marking and feedback.
Alice said receiving the Best Teacher award was an absolute honour.
“I had no idea I’d even been nominated until two weeks ago and I’m thrilled and delighted to have won,” she said.
“Really I’d like to thank the whole team. We have fantastic teachers, wonderful staff and parents and amazing children.
“I’m delighted the school is achieving such success and it is true - we are a small school with just over 200 pupils and the children and staff are like a family.”
Assistant head Liam Colclough said Alice provided an outstanding role model for the children and was one of the best young teachers he had encountered.
Alice added: “This is my very first school and I am just so lucky to be here.
“I certainly made the right decision. And I’m not going anywhere - they are going to struggle to get rid of me!
“I love every single day. They are such lovely children from a wonderful community and we have such a close team.”
Also highly commended in the same category was Hayley Aveyard from Wales High School - who was nominated by a group of her pupils.
Mrs Aveyard - previously known as Miss Dobson - was praised for the way she always has time to support pupils when they needed someone to turn to.
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