Michal Sobocinski, a Year 12 student at North Oxfordshire Academy, won the Technology Award - and Tia Shawyer, an early career teacher (ECT) at Hill View Primary School, was awarded ECT of the Year at United Learning’s Best in Everyone Awards 2022.
Both schools are part of the United Learning group.
At the academy, Michal is currently completing A levels in physics and maths as well as a BTEC Level 3 in engineering. He is described as an “extremely able and enthusiastic student” who has the capability to be an exceptional engineer in the future.
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Alongside his academic abilities, Michal immerses himself in wider school life. He has been engineering subject ambassador for two years and has supported many prospective sixth form students through the academy’s mentoring programme and at school open evenings.
Speaking about his win, Michal said: “I am grateful to have received this award. Thank you to the engineering department for supporting me over the past couple of years.”
In her nomination, ECT of the Year Tia is praised for becoming an “indispensable teacher in the Hill View community” with pupils flourishing under her guidance. She provides pupils with a “safe, nurturing environment to learn” and express themselves, and regularly invests time into exploring different teaching approaches to make sure each and every child is making strong progress in their learning.
Outside the classroom, Tia goes “above and beyond what is expected of her”. In September, she joined together with colleagues to successfully walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks to fundraise for the academy’s outdoor Early Years provision. She has also helped to strengthen knowledge of British Sign Language across the school.
Speaking about her win, Tia said: “I am very grateful to have received this award. It has been a lovely end to my first teaching year and a celebration of the journey I have been on at Hill View, which started when I was 18 years old as a teaching assistant.
"I am thankful for the incredible support I receive at Hill View each day from the wonderful members of staff and school community, especially my ECT mentor. I am looking forward to continuing my journey as a teacher in such an encouraging and nurturing school.”
The winners each received an engraved glass award.
Alison Merrills, principal at North Oxfordshire Academy, said: “Michal is an exceptional and highly motivated student who has not only achieved great things in his learning but who has added immeasurable value to our school community. His talent and aptitude for engineering has impressed us all and has likewise inspired students across the school."
Claire Ferens, executive principal at Hill View Primary School, said: “All of us at Hill View are absolutely delighted that Tia has been named ECT of the Year, chosen from a host of excellent nominees. Over the course of this year, Tia has thrived both inside and outside the classroom and has firmly embedded herself in our school community. It has been fantastic to watch Tia grow and develop as a teacher and I have no doubt that she will continue to go from strength to strength."