“Outstanding” Rainham teacher in running for national award

AN INSPIRATIONAL Rainham teacher, described as “one in a million”, hopes to scoop a prestigious national teaching prize at the weekend.

Michael Wade, a Year 6 teacher at Brady Primary School, recently won Teacher of the Year in a Primary School for London and the South East.

He now faces country-wide competition at the National Teaching Awards, hosted by comedian Lenny Henry, and broadcast live on BBC2 on Sunday (October 31).

Parent Victoria Thompson, who nominated him, said: “His imagination knows no bounds. He has turned our school around and given it a new life. He’s one in a million.”

When Michael, 34, arrived at Brady in 2005, the school had just failed its most recent Ofsted inspection.

But during his five years at the Wennington Road school, he has been instrumental in reversing the school’s fortunes, helping it achieve outstanding status in January this year.

Modest Michael said: “There is no person who is more or less important in helping improve the school. It’s about working together as a team.

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“I feel incredibly lucky to be working where I am. Brady is an outstanding school, with outstanding pupils, parents and staff.”

Michael, who is vice-head, has helped scores of children during his 11-year career, and it is not unusual for pupils to make two levels of progress during the year they spend with him.

His students are trained in peer mentoring to help less confident pupils make better progress and get more out of lessons.

Headteacher Trevor Bradbury said: “As soon as I met Mike I knew that I was meeting a highly talented, committed, visionary, caring and inspirational professional who would be invaluable to Brady.”

Michael’s input outside the classroom is just as impressive: he works closely with learning mentors and special educational needs officers; he has set up a Fair Trade project - to help children recognise their roles “as citizens of the world and not just Havering”; and he is involved in school council and pupil voice service.

Michael also coaches football teams after school and is involved in the Havering Council-led African dance and drama project, helping develop links with schools in countries such as Ghana.

One judge said: “Michael’s lessons are an absolute joy to behold. His boundless enthusiasm, limitless energy and urgency to drive children forward are but a few of the attributes that make him outstanding.”

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