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Springwood’s shining stars are all winners

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There are plenty of stars shining at Springwood High School as an array of awards have been revealed by the University of East Anglia.

The 2021 UEA Stars of the East have been announced and Springwood had three in its constellation of vocational and technical staff and students among this year’s winners and runners-up.

Head teacher Andy Johnson said: “All our nominees deserve recognition for their hard work and determination over the last year and more - the awards are highly competitive and it’s great news that we officially have three Stars and we congratulate all of them on their success."

Teacher Emma Markwell with Ed Mellor and Bradley Howling
Teacher Emma Markwell with Ed Mellor and Bradley Howling

Teacher Emma Markwell took the silver award as Teacher of the Year after her nomination described her as a ‘perfect sixth form tutor and an inspirational fashion teacher.’

“Emma’s classroom is always open to students and is the type of environment that’s bustling with life every break and lunch time with students that want to design more and learn from Emma. Outside of her subject specialism Emma offers one-to-one mentoring for sixth form students to support them in their future aspirations as well as discuss their wellbeing,” the judges were told.

The awards are dedicated to recognising the vocational and technical (VTQ) stars across Norfolk and Suffolk and there are a total of eight categories which are all hotly contested.

“This has been a year like no other, and we believe now more than ever it is important to recognise the hard work of students and teachers, especially those from VTQ backgrounds who rarely get the recognition they deserve,” said a statement from the university.

Miss Markwell regularly teaches woodwork and food technology alongside her fashion commitments and also runs a YouTube channel with content varying from how to backstitch to making sausage rolls.

“Emma’s can-do attitude to everything really does rub off on Springwood students and promotes a love of learning beyond the curriculum. Without Emma there wouldn’t be a fashion course and that is testament to the enthusiasm she has in promoting the subject to new and current students,” continued her nomination.

Student Edward Mellor was a runner-up in the Social Science Learner of the Year and his nomination said he had made ‘significant progress’ in criminology since the start of the year.

“Ed is always contributing to class discussions, showing clear engagement with content, and they are often insightful which is beneficial to his class members. His confidence has grown in his independent work too,” added the nomination, which also highlighted his ‘strong work ethic and commitment.’

Science student Bradley Howling also took a coveted runners-up place in the awards within the science category.

“Time missed due to the pandemic has had a real impact on many students’ ability to approach hands-on scientific tasks.

“This has made Bradley’s efforts to develop and learn all the skills we have studied particularly impressive. He has worked hard to not only demonstrate complex scientific methods to a high standard but also spent a significant amount of time cultivating the reporting skills that evidence this,” says his nomination.

“He is a fantastic example of what a BTEC student is capable of and the high standard of learning and understanding a student can take forward onto higher education,” it added.

All of the winners received a certificate and a pack of resources from the UEA designed to inspire them for the future.

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