Our Head of Geography Wins National Teaching Prize

Senior School, Staff Success

We are delighted to announce that our Head of Geography, Raphael Heath, has been chosen as a Silver Teaching Award winner for ‘Outstanding Use of Technology in Education’ in the prestigious Pearson Teaching Awards 2016.

Selected from thousands of nominations received, Raphael is one of just 55 award winners from schools and colleges across England, Ireland and Wales.

Raphael has been rewarded for his highly innovative use of technology in teaching. He has led in the development of GIS (Geography Information Systems) computerised mapping internationally, with his work being recognised by Esri, the world’s leading GIS company.

One of his most significant innovations has been the creation of collaborative online mapping events for students to both promote the use of the GIS technology in schools but also to maximise the full potential of this technology in education. In the last two years alone over 20,000 students from schools around the world have taken part in these events.

Raphael has been recognised as making a significant contribution to the teaching of geography by being accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Chartered Geographer.

His Pearson Teaching Award will be added to a long list of awards both he and his students have won including the Ordnance Survey Award for Excellence in Secondary Education.

Head Mrs Jo Duncan said: “We are thrilled that Raphael has won this award which is richly deserved; his innovative approach to teaching is inspirational. He is also committed to sharing best practice with his teaching colleagues. He has recently been appointed to a consultancy role within our national organisation the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) to work with the other 26 schools in the network to enhance the use of technology in the classroom.”

The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching; founded in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, they recognize the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.

Raphael 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 23rd October, where 10 Silver Award winners will receive a Gold Plato Award.

Award presenters in 2015 included Prime Minister David Cameron, Bake-Off Champion Nadiya Hussain, War Horse 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.

Raphael was presented with his silver award in front of all the Senior School at a special assembly to celebrate ‘Thank a Teacher Day’.

“Teaching is a privilege and very special – it offers a chance to share your love of a subject to help shape the future interests and passions of the young people you work with. It is also a privilege to work with such a fantastic team of teachers who are so knowledgeable, dedicated, skilled and caring in such an extraordinary school where students show a genuine love of learning.” - Mr Heath