Chase Pearson National Teaching Awards

07 Aug
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Westcliff teacher has been selected above thousands of others to win a national award for her work inspiring young people.

Melanie Hall, subject leader for computing at Chase High School, has received the Silver Award for Digital Innovator of the Year in the Pearson National Teaching Awards.

Through her work, Chase offers young people the opportunity to indulge in gaming and games design through its unique curriculum and extra-curricular clubs.

They take part in eSports, where they play competitive digital games, and compete in national competitions.

The school was also one of just two in the area to achieve Digital Schoolhouse status last summer, giving students a unique link to the games development industry.

As a Digital Schoolhouse, teachers have access to resources and free training, as well as direct links to the UK video games industry to support games development students.

Digital Schoolhouse uses play-based learning to engage young people with the computing curriculum.

As a result, Mrs Hall – who also provides free creative computing workshops to local Year 5 primary school pupils – will attend a televised gala ceremony in London in November.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education run by the Teaching Awards Trust.

The accolades have been announced on National Thank a Teacher Day to celebrate the role of educators across the UK.

Following a week of assemblies at Chase, students wrote positive postcard messages to their teachers about how they make them feel positive about their subjects and help them to build confidence and self-esteem.

Headteacher Jamie Foster said: “Melanie is an inspiration to her team, our students and the wider community. She is passionate about providing an exciting, fun and unique computing curriculum for young people.

“Because of her work, we have seen a significant increase in our cohort at post-16, as well as an oversubscribed eSports club. Lessons are more active and more girls are demonstrating an interest in computing than ever before.

“Melanie is a selfless, hardworking asset to the school and our community. As a female role model leading innovation, she is a true inspiration.”

Dr Elise Ecoff, chief education officer at Nord Anglia Education, sponsor of the Award for Digital Innovator of the Year, said: “Digital fluency is a must-have for students’ success, and I’ve been impressed by the scale of innovation at Chase High School to deliver better teaching and learning outcomes. Given the ever-increasing need for students to be digitally savvy, I’d like to give a very warm congratulations to Melanie Hall for their creativity, inspiration, and commitment.”

Article Written by Kelly Louise Clark -