Published: 06:00, 01 October 2020
| Updated: 09:13, 01 October 2020
A surprise tea party was laid on for a Deal teacher who has earned accolade for her commitment to changing the lives of the children she works with.
Kirsty Gaythwaite received her silver award in the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year category of the Pearson National Teaching Awards.
Selected from thousands of nominations, the Goodwin Academy teacher is one of just 76 silver award winners across the country.
She is now in with a chance of winning just 14 gold awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC.
Ms Gaythwaite initially joined the school as a learning support assistant to help vulnerable pupils, but was quickly identified as having a talent for teaching maths.
She continued to work at the school while studying in evenings and weekends for her diploma in education, and since qualifying as a teacher has continued to put in an immense amount of work to ensure her students succeed.
Her tactics include organising lunchtime revision sessions, after-school interventions, Easter and May holiday sessions and constant communication with parents, all to make sure her Year 11 students have the best possible chance when it comes to their exams.
Simon Smith, Principal said; “I am absolutely delighted for Kirsty, this is an amazing achievement, one that is thoroughly deserved. Kirsty is such an inspiring teacher who works so hard to make a difference and to transform the life chances of every student she teaches.”
Rachael Moon, assistant principal added, “I’m so pleased the celebration went well, it was great to see how chuffed Kirsty was.
"I think she was suspicious, as she knew awards winners were announced that day, but she had no idea that we had her family here to celebrate with her, and that was a touching moment, one I really wanted her to have because I know how proud she is of her daughter.”