Colchester: Mr Hookway ‘delighted and surprised’ and surprised to be named Essex Primary School Headteacher of the Year.
Creating an atmosphere where children can “learn for life” is one of the reasons Nigel Hookway has been named Essex Primary School Headteacher of the Year.
Mr Hookway, 56, has been headteacher at Highlands Community Primary in Colchester for the past seven years and says he was “delighted and surprised” when his name was read out at the inaugural Essex Teaching Awards held at Anglia Ruskin University on Wednesday.
He said: “I don’t consider myself anything special - there are a lot of good head teachers out there. This really is an award for everyone behind the scenes from the teachers and teaching assistants to pupils and governors.”
As well as having high aspirations academically for his 444 students, Mr Hookway says he believes in providing a rounded education for pupils and teaching them skills that will stay with them long after they have left the school.
He said: “ Our children come from all different backgrounds and we want to give them as many opportunities as possible. We have 16 extra-curricula activities from golf and sailing to rugby, teach them first aid and Spanish, and want every child to be able to play the violin by the time they leave us.”
Mr Hookway was one of a number of people from north Essex to pick up awards at the ceremony. Other winners included Trudy Halls from Market Field School in Colchester, who was named Special School Teacher of The Year and Dr Chris Saker from the University of Essex, who won the Further Education Teacher/Lecturer of The Year category. The Governing Body of The Year award went to Tendring Technology College.
The Essex Teaching Awards were open for nominations during October and November last year and over 100 nominations were received from headteachers, governing bodies and students. All the winners will now be entered into the National Teaching Awards
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Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, Ray Gooding, said: “The quality of applications we received were extremely high and I know the judging panel had a tough job choosing the winners.
“I was incredibly moved to hear so many examples of teaching professionals who are extremely committed to ensuring learners in Essex achieve great outcomes. The direct impact on learners, especially those in challenging circumstances is clear and in many cases life changing.”