Schools and colleges in Portsmouth are being encouraged to celebrate their staff’s achievements by sharing an image or video on their social media pages as part of a new initiative by Teach Portsmouth. Teachers across the city are being recognised for their immense efforts during the pandemic before the Teach Portsmouth Awards Live on Thursday 8 July.
Teach Portsmouth, part of Portsmouth City Council, promotes teacher recruitment and retention in the city. Every year, head teachers nominate their staff in nine award categories. This year, schools and colleges have the chance to recognise everyone’s achievements before the main awards ceremony.
The pandemic has shone a light on staff who work in education including teachers, learning support assistants, receptionists, cleaners and more in supporting the city’s families, children and young people.
These individuals have taken on more responsibility over and above their normal jobs. This includes the delivery of food parcels to vulnerable families, mass testing of pupils and introducing new technology for at home learning. In many instances, these changes have taken place quickly with staff going beyond what is normally required to support their community.
Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:
“We’re celebrating the amazing work that has gone on by school and college staff in the city. Teach Portsmouth is asking head teachers to pause and consider how they can recognise their staff.
“Teachers have played an important role in supporting children and young people in the city during the pandemic. Despite many pupils learning from home, schools never closed, supporting keyworker children in the classroom over the last 18 months.”
Head teachers are being asked to think creatively about how they will celebrate their staff, showcasing their efforts to the school community online. This could include recording a video message that says thanks or school children creating window murals to recognise their teaching heroes.
Schools and colleges can then share an image or video with parents and carers on social media using the hashtag #TeachPortsmouthCelebrates from 7 – 18 June.
Mike Stoneman, deputy director of children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council said:
“We appreciate how hard everyone has worked this year. Teach Portsmouth’s latest campaign gives everyone the chance to recognise their staff before the main awards ceremony on Thursday 8 July.
“It’s impossible to showcase everyone’s talents in The Teach Portsmouth Awards – so we felt it was important for individuals and teams to share their successes with parents and carers online.”
Organisations across the city are getting involved, sharing inspirational stories and messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Southsea Infant School has been sharing special messages of thanks, recognising their staff who have gone above and beyond during the last 18 months. Nigel Man, site manager at the school, said:
“I’d like to say a big thank you to Southsea Infant School for recognising our work during the pandemic. Me and my son, Sevon have been busy keeping the site clean to ensure the school is COVID secure. It has been hard work at times but with the help of all the staff we’ve got through it. It’s great to know we are being noticed and celebrated.”
Those who are recognised for their achievements on social media have the opportunity to feature in a special film which will be shown during the virtual awards ceremony.
The Teach Portsmouth Awards Live will take place on Thursday 8 July from 5pm. The virtual awards ceremony features celebrity host, Reverend Richard Coles. There are nine award categories which showcase the talents and dedication of Portsmouth’s teachers, support staff and head teachers. Due to social distancing restrictions, the awards will be streamed on Zoom video conferencing.
The awards are sponsored by local organisations including Portsmouth College, National Education Union (NEU), The University of Portsmouth, Caterlink, BAE Systems, Kier Construction, Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT), Express FM and The News.
Local residents can view photos and videos on the Teach Portsmouth website by visiting teachportsmouth.co.uk/awards.