EDUCATION AWARDS: Get your entries in now and see how winning can lift your school or playgroup

BIG WINNERS: Daran Bland (right) and staff from The Priory School, winners of the Environmental Award 2015,  with Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards judge, Coun Nick Worth of South Holland District Council.  Photo by Tim Wilson).
BIG WINNERS: Daran Bland (right) and staff from The Priory School, winners of the Environmental Award 2015, with Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards judge, Coun Nick Worth of South Holland District Council. Photo by Tim Wilson).
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When the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian launched its Education Awards in 2014, some schools embraced it wholeheartedly while others were more hesitant.

But now the awards are in their third year, with more primary and secondary schools in South Holland, the Deepings, Bourne, Bicker, Kirton, Sutterton, Swineshead and Wyberton recognising the importance of celebrating educational excellence in south-east Lincolnshire.

Last year, the Free Press and Guardian invited pre-schools and playgroups to enter as well, with parents and staff praising the quality of outstanding early years learning across our news area.

The positive impact our Education Awards can have on a community of pupils, students, staff, governors and parents is illustrated at the Spalding Special Schools Federation, made up of the Garth and Priory Schools for pupils aged two to 19 with wide-ranging educational needs.

The Priory School won the 2015 Environmental Award for its success in making environmental matters a core part of its curriculum, while The Garth School was named School of the Year (Primary) 2015 in recognition of its “unstoppable journey towards educational excellence”, according to the judging panel.

Dr Richard Gamman, head of The Garth School, said: “We were very honoured to be the winners last year of the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian School of the Year (Primary) Award.

We were very honoured to be the winners last year of the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian School of the Year (Primary) Award

Dr Richard Gamman, head of The Garth School, Spalding

“It was a wonderful year in which we also received an ‘Outstanding’ judgement from Ofsted and an Autism Inclusion Mark.

“However, receiving the School of the Year (Primary) Award was extra special as it is an award rooted in our community.

“We are very proud of our community links and would like to acknowledge the contribution to the school of our friends at Bakkovor, Gist, The Lighthouse Church, Homebase, Morrisons, Broad Street Methodist Church, Sainsbury’s and many, many others.

“Our next project to develop the school further is to build a sensory pod in which our children will be able to have 4D experiences.

“For example, making a virtual trip to the Arctic or to the Amazon rain forest, and we would be delighted to hear from organisations willing to help us in our fundraising.”

Daran Bland, executive headteacher for the Spalding Special Schools Federation, said: “The Priory School was delighted with the recognition its environmental work received at the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards last year.

“Environment, conservation, good citizenship and learning outside of the classroom are valued highly and form an important part of the curriculum at The Priory School.”

To nominate a pupil, student, teacher, pre-school, playgroup and/or school in one or more of the 12 categories, request a nomination form by emailing denise.vickers@jpress.co.uk or call 01775 765400.

A form will then be sent out to you on which you should state which category/ies you wish to be considered for, one entry form per category.

The deadline for nominations to be in is 10am on Tuesday, October 11.