Young Glaswegian teacher in East End nominated for 'Teacher of the Year' in national competition

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Nastasia Nawaz at Sandaig Primary School in Barlanark has been nominated for Teacher of the Year 2024 for her innovative teaching methods with Primary 1 pupils

A Glasgow Primary One teacher has been praised for her dedication, innovation and positive impact on learners in a Teacher of the Year competition, led by Miconex and sponsored by group collecting platform GiftRound.

Natasia Nawaz is one of the teachers from Sandaig Primary School nominated in the national competition. Achievements for Natasia include participation in a Glasgow City Council phonics initiative to ensure children can read, spell and write from the beginning of primary school, with her teaching methods filmed and shared city-wide.

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Susan Clark is the headteacher at Sandaig Primary School in Glasgow’s Barlanark area, and said Natasia is an excellent candidate for Teacher of the Year: “Returning from maternity leave, Natasia moved from teaching the older children to Primary 1 and has really excelled.

“Natasia’s teaching skills are exemplary, so much so that when we participated in the phonics project, Natasia undertook research into what was needed and created a benchmark for teaching of phonics in our area. Natasia also contributes to the broader educational community by sharing best practices and mentoring colleagues.

“Natasia’s remarkable commitment to her learners goes above and beyond, ensuring the children’s academic and personal growth in a nurturing and inclusive environment. Her innovative teaching methods engage and inspire learners, making learning both effective and enjoyable. Natasia has a strong relationship with pupils and parents. As a result, the children’s attainment has gone through the roof.

“Since the pandemic, attendance has sat at around 80%. Natasia is outside the gates every day chatting to parents so she can alleviate any fears and anxieties parents may have about sending their children to school.

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“Many children start school without attending nursery, so they start with us ready to be filled with knowledge. Natasia ensures the children undertake activities of interest to them and have time for free play. Attendance has increased to over 90% and the children have blossomed.

“Sandaig Primary School is a small, nurturing and caring school of 192 children. I’ve been here for two years and it is a fantastic school with a strong staff team. Natasia is an excellent candidate for Teacher of the Year, and in fact, all of our teachers are excellent candidates to be Teacher of the Year. They understand our children and our area and are the reason that Sandaig is the best school I’ve worked in.”

Natasia Nawaz, whose teaching methods have been shared with all primary teachers in the city of Glasgow, with with pupils at Sandaig Primary SchoolNatasia Nawaz, whose teaching methods have been shared with all primary teachers in the city of Glasgow, with with pupils at Sandaig Primary School
Natasia Nawaz, whose teaching methods have been shared with all primary teachers in the city of Glasgow, with with pupils at Sandaig Primary School | Contributed

It is free for people to nominate their Teacher of the Year and all types of teachers are eligible including primary and secondary school teachers, higher education teachers, early years teachers and special educational needs teachers in the UK.

The Teacher of the Year competition runs until the 31st August 2024 and the winning teacher will be announced in September 2024.

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The teacher who receives the most votes will be crowned as Teacher of the Year in the national competition. The Teacher of the Year, and their school, will each win a £500 Town & City Gift Card or Scotland Loves Local Gift Card, such as the Glasgow Gift Card. One person who nominated the Teacher of the Year will also win a £250 local gift card.

Miconex’s local gift cards can be spent with local businesses, encouraging a ‘shop local’ ethos and locking spend into local economies.

Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and said: “Our Teacher of the Year competition is designed to shine a light on schools and teachers who are going above and beyond to nurture, educate and inspire the next generation. Natasia’s story shows what a difference teachers make to young lives, helping children to not only learn but enjoy learning. Congratulations to Natasia and Sandaig Primary School for the nomination and please keep voting for your Teacher of the Year.”

The Teacher of the Year competition is sponsored by group collecting platform GiftRound. Founded in 2018, GiftRound gives people an easy way to collect money for various occasions, including end of term gifts. Town & City Gift Cards and Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards are available to buy on the GiftRound store.

Nominate a teacher in the Teacher of the Year competition at teacheroftheyear.co.uk

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