Hazelwood Integrated College wins Award for Making a Difference

Hazelwood Integrated College has won a Silver Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards category ‘Making a Difference – Secondary School of the Year 2020’

The Minister for Education, Mr Peter Weir, was in attendance to present the College with this prestigious award.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Hazelwood Integrated College is one of just 76 Silver Award winners across the country and was honoured with the award for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day.

Hazelwood Integrated College wins Award for Making a DifferenceHazelwood Integrated College is a high performing, co-educational, all-ability Integrated school, situated in, and serving an area of multiple deprivation in North Belfast. The College has introduced a number of unique initiatives to further enhance both the learning & pastoral experience of all their students, these include on-site Social Workers, Staff & Student Well-Being Coordinators, an LGBTQ+ group and an Internship programme for students at Post 16.

Hazelwood is now one of the final FIVE schools in the running to become the overall UK School of the Year, with three schools from England and one other school from Northern Ireland – St Cecilia’s College. The final will be broadcast on the BBC. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the exceptional school staff, who have worked wonders during an incredibly challenging time for educators across the country.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with. This year marks its 22nd year of celebrating, award-winning teachers, teaching assistants, head teachers and lecturers across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Principal of Hazelwood, Máire Thompson, said:
“We are so excited and proud to receive this award. Hazelwood is a vibrant, inclusive, learning environment. We place our students at the heart of our decision-making. This award is recognition of the hard work of students, staff, governors and the whole school community. A great day for North Belfast!”

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said:
“Over the past year, we have, all of us, come to appreciate and respect the value of teachers. They have so often been taken for granted. Not any more. Parents know now what it takes to teach, and teach well, and how much commitment, dedication and enthusiasm and knowledge and understanding, yes – and patience.

“Children know it too, if they didn’t before. So many missed their teachers as well as their friends. We all honour them today. Let’s now praise them, wish them well and above all, thank them.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said:
“Congratulations to all of our Silver Award winners for their commitment, dedication and passion for their work. Despite the incredible challenges they have faced over the past few months, school staff have risen to the occasion time and again.

“It is so important to recognise and celebrate teachers, teaching assistants and lecturers for the impact they have on our young people every year, and that is why Pearson is delighted to support these Awards.”

Lorraine Langham, Chief Executive of Future First, the education charity sponsoring this award, said:
“Making a difference is what our work at Future First is all about. That’s why we sponsored the Making the Difference Award. Hazelwood Integrated College has shown just what can be done and our heartfelt congratulations go to all concerned. A young person’s start in life should not limit their future and through our alumni programmes with schools, students can be motivated and inspired to make the difference themselves and transform their own lives.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“My warmest congratulations go to all this year’s silver award winners. They should be proud to receive this recognition of their commitment to the profession, and the outstanding education and guidance they provide for their students.

“Teachers and school staff up and down the country consistently go above and beyond for their students, and this is especially true over the past few months. It is down to their hard work that schools have been able to open their gates to all pupils again for the start of the new term, and I cannot say thank you enough for everything they have done.”