Date: 18/06/2008 Category: Learning and Achievement
A teacher from Gillingham was among the winners at the South East of England finals of the 2008 Teaching Awards. Kerry Scargill from Byron Primary School was announced winner of The South East of England Development Agency Award for Enterprise. Kerry will now go on to the national finals, which take place in October this year. Head Teacher James Fernie describes Kerry as “one of the most inspirational teachers I have ever met…pivotal in creating a spirit of enterprise within the school.” Mr. Fernie himself was also among the finalists, receiving a commendation in the category of Head Teacher of the Year in a primary school. Parents and colleagues describe Kerry as approachable, inspirational, and completely self-effacing. Many former pupils return to help out at her “Boffins and Bodgers” technology clubs and say she has inspired them to take on all kinds of challenges. Emily Lillis, a former pupil now taking GCSEs at Chatham Grammar School for Girls says, “I had the opportunity to do stuff that girls don’t often do… I chose drama for GCSE because of the confidence that Miss Scargill gave me in Boffins and Bodgers doing presentations”. No wonder that the sheds in which Kerry’s groups meet are known as ‘The Holy Grail.’ These after-school clubs are open to everyone in Year Five and Six, involving up to 60 children in numerous activities, from making their own Christmas cards to building their own robots. Kerry has worked for free at a summer school to raise money for equipment and developed a partnership with BAE, which gives them the help of an engineering apprentice. She has also developed a school recycling project, had the children’s art displayed at a museum in London, and helped pupils raise thousands of pounds for a local children’s hospice. Kerry’s pupils have accumulated an impressive collection of trophies and certificates for their achievements. They’ve been ‘champion of champions’, racing their go-cart on the Goodwood race circuit and, two years ago, won the Young Engineers Junior School of the Year award. When, as primary-age children, they entered a national competition for secondary schools, they came second. Medway Education Business Partnership spokesman Tony Clark said, “If Kerry thinks something is good for the children, she’ll go for it.” Luton Junior School was also celebrating at the Teaching Awards ceremony, as Assistant Head Teacher Carole Juniper was awarded a distinction in the category of Special Needs Teacher of The Year. At the ceremony, hosted by BBC presenter Beverley Thompson, each winner was awarded a Plato - the Teaching Awards symbol of excellence in education. Celebrating 10 years of recognition for unsung heroes, The Teaching Awards were founded by Lord Puttnam CBE in 1998 to focus on inspired professionals who make the positive achievements of pupils possible.