SECONDARY school science teacher has been awarded the Golden Apple Award winner for Best Educational Professional Newcomer.

The Whitehaven Academy, science teacher, Oliver Stewart has been crowned overall winner for Best Educational Professional Newcomer in this years Golden Apple Awards for his ‘exceptional’ commitment through COVID, dealing with lockdown learning and adapting to timetable changes and taking it all in his stride.

Oliver: said “I’m a little bit shocked but it was a really nice and pleasant surprise, I’m really honoured to be nominated and to have won.

"“What the school is doing for science is fantastic, we are giving students everything we have got, we have so many opportunities for them and it’s great.”

Dr Lynee Graham, Subject Leader for Science at The Whitehaven Academy said: “As a colleague, I couldn't ask for better.

“He is pro-active in his teaching, keen to take on board new strategies and reflective in his practice, to always strive to do what is best for the students in his classes. He is a fantastic team player - sharing his resources and working with others to improve quality across the department.

“His lessons are always great, pupils have the upmost respect for him, due in part for his respect for them but also his humour, his kindness and his warm personality.

“His contributions to the school do not stop at the classroom door either as Ollie is committed to supporting pupils in extracurricular activities.”

Students from The Whitehaven acadamey were keen to share their thoughts on Mr Stewart and said he was a wonderful science teacher.

They said: He is very thorough in each lessons and he makes lesson fun and easy to follow.

“He is good at encouraging pupils to complete harder work to challenge them and can make them the best they can be.

“In recent weeks, a STEM science glider club has been started with Mr Stewart heavily involved. He works well alongside other teachers and is really funny!

“ He is excellent at accommodating for all types of learners and makes lessons and clubs both engaging and informative.

“He is always up to answer any questions and I’m sure that if you ask anyone, they’ll tell you just how amazing he truly is."

Another student said: "Mr Stewart has helped us grow and mature through this year.

"He’s been extremely helpful and caring during lockdown and was always quick to answer any questions I had.

"During form he always makes what we’re doing entertaining, that could be by jokes or fun facts, either way it helps us to focus!

"During other subjects such as science, he always helps me and is patient whilst anyone’s stuck or asking questions.

"He always makes the class engaged by including activities like Kahoot or class discussions.

"Overall, he’s a really kind, helpful and happy form tutor that we’re all really grateful for!

"Mr Stewart made me know that I can do well, and he is always there to make me know how far I can go."

Other teachers that were nominated for the award were Kingmoor Junior, year three teacher Alex Graham who was recognised as a finalist in the award for her enthusiasm that was engendered by the Sock Olympics which she started during lockdown as the school was concerned the children weren’t going to get a sports day and Lakes College, teacher, Rebecca Lock for her proactive to digital delivery, she engaged well with learners to meet their flexible needs and created a range of solutions to encourage participants resulting in very good progress from learners.