The Teacher Awards evening was part of a broader event to recognise the contribution and impact of the university’s Widening Participation programmes, which support students from under-represented groups into university.
Many of those attending will now apply to universities, including Bath. All the schemes are designed to support students in developing their skills for university study, with the students demonstrating great dedication to complete them alongside study for their A Levels, or equivalent qualifications.
Four outstanding teachers who were nominated by their students each received a trophy and £500 for their school’s professional development budget.
Mike Nicholson, Director of Admissions and Outreach at the University of Bath, said: “The unifying theme among those who were nominated and shortlisted was the very clear sense from the students that these teachers made such a huge difference to their confidence and to their onward progression.
“We want to recognise the very significant efforts that teachers make in supporting students taking the next step in their lives. As a first generation student going to university myself I can remember my history teacher just made the subject come alive, and I certainly wouldn’t have considered going to university without that inspiration at the age of 14.
“Congratulations to all of our winners and nominated teachers who do so much for their students.”
Teachers from schools from across England and Wales were shortlisted, and the winners were:
• The Paving the Way Award - for going above and beyond to support students to progress to University - Mrs Ellie Denscombe: Llantwit Major Secondary School, Vale of Glamorgan
• The Nothing’s Impossible Award – for inspiring students to believe in themselves and aim high - Mr Sumith Gamage: The John Fisher School, Surrey
• The Never Alone Award – for exceptional pastoral care and wellbeing support - Mr Serdar Sabri: Harlington School, Middlesex
• The Learning for Life Award – for nurturing talent through exceptional teaching - Mrs Bethan Morgan: Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form, Worcester
The event also heard from Jakub Przybylowski who attended Clarendon Academy in Trowbridge, and was part of the very first On Track to Bath scheme. He went on to study Chemistry with Drug Discovery at the University of Bath and has just started a PhD there.
He said: “On Track to Bath was an excellent opportunity to try something new and helped me develop practical skills, research skills and my confidence ahead of university applications.
“Quite a lot of the skills I learned from it, I still use today in the lab. On Track to Bath improved my general scientific knowledge, benefited my A Levels and the UCAS application help was essential for me.
“The support here is brilliant, people here do help you out, they do care about you, and they encouraged me to carry on.”
By completing access schemes like On Track to Bath students learn crucial skills that will benefit them in university study, and can receive a revised offer from the University to attend.
Mr Nicholson added: “In all of the programmes that the students do, there’s a very strong emphasis on project work. The University has for a long time now recognised that projects and getting students to engage in independent study before they arrive at university is a hugely beneficial activity for their future study.”