Mapperley C of E Primary School, Ilkeston, Derbyshire is extremely proud to announce that Debbie Farmer has been awarded 2018’s most outstanding Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) for the East Midlands.
The award celebrates teaching assistants who have gained Higher Level Teaching Assistant status through the University of Northampton. The initiative is a partnership between the East Midlands Regional Provider of Assessment and the HLTA National Assessment Partnership, and seeks to recognise the valuable role HLTAs play in schools.
A panel of education professionals from a range of settings within the region narrowed candidates down to a short-list of five. Candidates were assessed on the following criteria:
• Their contribution to advancing pupils’ learning utilising their own specialist knowledge
• Their high aspirations for all pupils and their support in achieving this
• Their commitment to their own continued professional learning
• Their commitment to the wider school community
Debbie received the award in recognition of her “boundless enthusiasm to plan and lead whole school initiatives as well as her dedication and commitment to ensuring the pupils have a rich and vibrant school experience”.
Debbie covers whole classes, leads on PE and is instrumental in developing learning outside the classroom initiatives. Debbie has recently earned the school the Woodland Trust Green Tree award at gold level; she has undertaken the level 3 forest school practitioner qualification and developed a partnership with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. This expertise is used to lead inset sessions for her school and others as well as to lead training for staff from other schools, preschools and governors. In PE, Debbie has ensured the school has achieved the School Games gold mark for five years, she attends school sports partnership events and encourages pupils to take part in competitions and act as school Young Ambassadors, even on her days off. Her classroom work within KS 1 and 2 has had a significant impact on the pupils she teaches and their outcomes as a result of her high aspirations for every pupil.

Wendy Yarnall, HLTA Project Manager, East Midlands and Senior Lecturer in Education at the University, said: `While the panel was impressed by the commitment and work evidenced by all nominated HLTAs, Debbie was awarded East Midlands HLTA of the Year because it was evident that she is highly regarded by her whole school community, not only for her aspirational work within the classroom but her dedication to the extended curriculum. Her enthusiasm for learning outside the classroom by developing a partnership with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, becoming a level 3 forest school practitioner and work to gain the Woodland Trust Green Tree award at gold level is just one example. It is through her efforts not only in application, but her lead on PE for the school that they have achieved the School Games gold mark for 5 years – no mean feat and testament to Debbie’s outstanding endeavours. We congratulate Debbie on her success’.

Debbie will now go on to represent the East Midlands region at the National HLTA of the Year Award, which will be presented in London on Monday 19th November 2018 at the Houses of Parliament.

Debbie Farmer – Centre


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