EDUCATION AWARDS: Staff bringing pre-schools to life • HEADLINE SPONSOR - DUNCAN AND TOPLIS CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS AND BUSINESS ADVISERS, PINCHBECK
The 12th and final category for the 2018 Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards is for pre-school staff.
Sponsored for the first time by Bakkavor Group, one of south-east Lincolnshire’s leading employers, the Pre-School Staff Award is for individuals or teams who have contributed to the overall success and achievements of an early years setting between June 2017 and May 2018.
How much of a difference staff can make to a pre-school was illustrated in 2015 when the award went to Tulip Pre-School Spalding, based at St Nicolas Church Hall in The Vista, from 2002 until its closure in 2016.
Judges in 2015 were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm with which Tulip Pre-School was nominated as it was described as “a team who really gets down to each child’s level”.
Former pre-school manager Helen Mason and her staff were praised for being “something special, striving to assist each child in achieving their individual potential” and “going the extra mile in making the most of every learning and development opportunity”.
Award sponsor Bakkavor Group is especially happy to support an award where the winner(s) is capable of showing parents, as Tulip Pre-School did for 14 years, an environment where “magic is happening”.
Duncan Ingram, group resourcing manager for Bakkavor Group, said: “We believe that, as a responsible employer, we should support events which recognise the great people and great work being carried out in our local communities.
“Bakkavor is the UK’s leading international provider of freshly-prepared food and a major employer in the Lincolnshire area, with more than 6,500 people working across five locations in the county - Spalding, Sutton Bridge, Holbeach St Marks, Bourne and Boston.
“We are therefore delighted to sponsor the Pre-School Staff Award category at the 2018 Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards which recognise excellence in schools and pre-schools across south-east Lincolnshire.
“Bakkavor is also pleased to be able to join the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian in celebrating both the staff and children who are making outstanding personal, environmental and community achievements across the area.
“As a business, we recognise the important role education plays in both developing great talent and sustaining our communities.
“We work closely with schools to raise awareness of the diverse roles in the food industry which is a key part of the UK’s ‘farm to fork’ food chain.
“To sustain our business, Bakkavor also runs successful apprenticeship and graduate programmes to develop the future leaders of our business.
“We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone good luck at this year’s Education Awards.”
The most recent winners of the Pre-School Staff Award in 2016 were the team from The Willows Day Nursery, Fleet Hargate, who were nominated having “acted a close family would do to support and protect each other”.
Whilst doing so, staff at The Willows still managed to keep the children in their care as the main priority, even organising events outside normal pre-school hours.
Speaking after winning the Pre-School of the Year Award in 2015, nursery owner Victoria Pitts said: “We don’t consider what we do as work because of our passion for the children themselves who make our jobs so enjoyable and special.
"Our staff give absolutely everything to make their days at the nursery fun.”
. You can nominate a pupil, student, team, group, class, teacher, support staff member or school across one or more of the awards’ 12 categories.
Nomination forms are available by emailing Denise Vickers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Completed forms should be returned, either by email or post, no later than 5pm on Friday, May 25, at the same time as schools break up for their half-term holidays.
A panel of judges, drawn from the south-east Lincolnshire area, will then meet in early June to choose three finalists in each category, including the winner.
Judges will include Alistair Main, a partner with headline sponsors Duncan and Toplis.
This is ahead of the awards night itself which will take place at South Holland Centre, Spalding, on Thursday, July 5, at 7pm, when representatives from each of the award sponsors will present trophies and certificates to the finalists.
Three nominees in each award category will be invited to the awards, along with parents and staff from schools and pre-schools in South Holland, as well as Bicker, Frampton, Kirton, Sutterton, Swineshead and Wyberton, the Deepings, Bourne and their surrounding villages.
• Primary School of the Year, sponsored by Springfields Outlet Shopping, Spalding
• Secondary School of the Year, sponsored by Mana Education, Rutland
• Student of the Year, sponsored by Moore Thompson Chartered Accountants, Spalding and Market Deeping
• Most Improved Student of the Year, sponsored by Worldwide Fruit Spalding
• Outstanding Sporting Achievement, sponsored by Double G Clothing, King’s Lynn
• Inspirational Primary Teacher, sponsored by Freshtime UK Ltd, Wyberton
• Inspirational Secondary Teacher, sponsored by Maples Solicitors, Spalding
• Support Staff Award, sponsored by UK Produce Industry Fair 2018, Peterborough
• Pre-School of the Year, sponsored by Riverside Training, Spalding
• Pre-School Staff Award, sponsored by Bakkavor Group, Spalding
• Contribution to the Community, sponsored by Duncan and Toplis Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, Pinchbeck
• Environmental Award, sponsored by South Holland District Council