‘If she was a Blackpool rock, she’d have teacher written through her!’

Sinead Walsh (centre) flanked by (left-right) Cllr Shields, Sam Marrs (head boy), Mayoress, Mayor, Paige Maynard (head girl) and Michelle Ravey (headteacher)
Sinead Walsh (centre) flanked by (left-right) Cllr Shields, Sam Marrs (head boy), Mayoress, Mayor, Paige Maynard (head girl) and Michelle Ravey (headteacher)

A dedicated teacher at Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School received high praise and national recognition as she was presented with a Silver Teaching Award.

The presentation was made at a special school assembly as pupils and staff enjoyed a school-wide ‘Thank a Teacher Day’ event.

Selected from over 24,000 nominations received by Pearson’s Teaching Awards – the world’s leading learning company – this year, Sinead Walsh, Year 6 teacher, is one of just 55 educators in schools and colleges across the UK to win the award.

Sinead’s triumph means she will now join fellow Silver Award winners at the UK final of the Teaching Awards to be held at a glittering celebration at London’s Guildhall on 23 October, where ten Silver Award winners will receive a Gold Plato Award – the highest teaching award honour.

Award presenters last year included Prime Minister David Cameron, Great British Bake-Off champion Nadiya Hussain, author Michael Morpurgo and actor Sheila Hancock.

The 2016 ceremony, titled ‘Britain’s Classroom Heroes’ will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC as a showcase of excellence in education.

Michelle Ravey, Holy Spirit’s Head teacher, said: “I am so proud of Miss Walsh. This is great news for her family, our school and the whole community of Parr in St Helens. Miss Walsh is a natural born teacher.

“If she was a stick of Blackpool rock and she was cut in half it would say ‘TEACHER’ in block capitals.

“She is everything a teacher should be and is a shining example to others. Miss Walsh just has ‘it’ whatever ‘it’ is.

“It is that special, secret ingredient and if I could bottle and sell it I would. She is that rare breed of teacher that is the epitome of everything that is wonderful about

the teaching profession.”

Parr Ward Councillor and Chair of Governors at Holy Spirit, Terry Shields said: “We’re all extremely proud of Sinead at Holy Spirit.

“She’s a genuine credit to the school and the wider St Helens community, and she thoroughly deserves the highest praise and recognition.

“It’s easy to see why Sinead’s pupils nominated her, and I’d like to thank all the parents who came in during the judging stages, to vouch for her dedication.”

On ‘Thank a Teacher Day’ a heart-warming assembly was held at Holy Spirit, attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Councillors Dave and Jeanette Banks, and other honoured guests from the Archdiocese and the council.

All staff including cleaners, midday assistants, cooks, admin team, teaching assistants and teachers, were recognised for their hard work and presented with gifts.