National award for Meadowbrook Primary School teacher Matt Smith

Matt Smith, a teacher at Meadowbrook Primary School in Bradley Stoke, with his Pearson Teaching Award.

A teacher at Bradley Stoke’s Meadowbrook Primary School has been honoured with a prestigious national award that recognises his innovative use of technology in the classroom.

Governors, staff and pupils gathered in the school hall on ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, Friday 16th May, to witness Matt Smith being presented with a silver Pearson Teaching Award, one of only 55 conferred this year across the whole of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching. Founded in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, they recognize the life-changing impact of inspirational teachers on the lives of the young people they teach.

Mr Smith was one of just six silver award winners in the Outstanding use of Technology in Education category. He will now join his fellow silver award winners at the UK final of the Teaching Awards at London’s Guildhall on 26th October, where ten of them will be selected to receive a gold award.

Before that, he will attend a winners’ gala at the Houses of Parliament in June.

Mr Smith’s fiancé and staff at the school had colluded to keep news of the award secret until he walked into the packed school hall, where he was greeted by Meadowbrook headteacher Jon Barr and presented with his trophy by Dave Baker, executive head of the Olympus Academy Trust, and Cllr Brian Hopkinson, Mayor of Bradley Stoke.

Appearing genuinely surprised to receive the honour, Mr Smith thanked all the staff and the pupils in school for their work on the ‘iPads at Meadowbrook’ project and their help in gaining him the award.

Headteacher Jon Barr commented:

“Matt has led the school on a learning journey with technology and the results we are now seeing in school are showing us the impact of that leadership. We are very proud of him and the children he and his colleagues have inspired.”

Claire Wingate, Chair of Governors at Meadowbrook Primary School, said:

“Matt has been the inspiration behind the innovative use of technology in the classrooms of Meadowbrook Primary. It is fantastic that this innovation, and his hard work and dedication, have not only been recognised at a national level but have won him this silver award, with the real possibility of winning gold in October.”

Jo Rowson, mum of a child in Voles class at Meadowbrook who is taught by Mr Smith, added:

“My son has benefited at many levels, but especially his confidence and enthusiasm in all subjects. He improved in his handwriting, which he has always struggled with, and even that was because of the iPad approach.”

Speaking to Bradley Stoke Radio schools reporter Judith Summers after the presentation, Mr Smith admitted to “still feeling a bit shaky”, adding: “It’s nice to get recognition for using technology in school, however it wouldn’t be apparent in any way without the children. Really, I owe this to them.”

Matt Smith’s nomination for a Pearson Teaching Award for Outstanding use of Technology in Education

Matt Smith joined Meadowbrook Primary School as a newly qualified teacher in September 2011 and it soon became clear that he is an exceptionally talented teacher with a vision to enhance learning through the use of technology. The implementation of his ideas has had a profoundly beneficial effect on the whole school! He has integrated advanced technology into the teaching at Meadowbrook Primary and as such is said to be “transforming our school, our teachers and most importantly our students”. He has introduced an innovative one-to-one iPad scheme so that the use of iPads at home and school is now fully integrated into children’s learning and pedagogy in the classrooms. He has led developments on the use of a wide range of Apps and Apple TV, connected to projectors; all dedicated to supporting the children’s computer literacy as well as their learning outcomes. And most importantly, he has inspired the children to love learning! He is truly a worthy recipient of this prestigious Award.

Matt Smith pictured with pupils after being presented with a silver Pearson Teaching Award.

Photo: Matt Smith pictured with pupils after receiving his award.

This article originally appeared in the June 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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