Gidea Park teacher Joe Greenwood wins award for work in Shenzhen, China

A teacher from Gidea Park has been presented with an award by a Chinese local government.

Joe Greenwood, 43, who grew up in the area and went to the Royal Liberty School, received the Fu Tian International Friendship Award for “making an outstanding contribution to the development of the city of Shenzen.”

He teaches at the Shenzhen College of International Education, an international school which teaches the UK curriculum, to prepare the Chinese students for studying abroad.

Joe was among 12 winners of the prize for foreign workers in the country.

He said: “It was very gratifying to receive the award as it recognises the great efforts which my staff and I have put into improving the standards of teaching and learning at the college and also the efforts of the students who have achieved such outstanding results.”

After graduating from Oxford University and a postgraduate course at the Institute of Education, Joe became a teacher for 20 years, first at a school in Seven Kings, Redbridge, before moving overseas.

He credits part of his success to an Oxbridge preparation course organised by Havering Council to encourage state school students to apply to Britain’s top two universities.

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He added: “It has been a great privilege to teach such excellent students and to give them the opportunity which I received, to study at one of the world’s best universities.

“I still teach a class especially for biology teachers applying to Oxbridge, which I suppose brings the story back to how I started in Havering.”