Award for ‘inspiring’ Bethnal Green primary school teacher

William Davis Primary School headteacher Annika Eadie, Pearson National Teaching Awards silver award

William Davis Primary School headteacher Annika Eadie, Pearson National Teaching Awards silver award recipient Siobhan Freeman and Siobhan's former pupil and teaching assistant Mostaque Kamaly. Picture: Andrew Brookes. - Credit: Archant

A Bethnal Green teacher who fosters “a love for learning” and cares for pupils “like her own children” has been recognised with a national award.

William Davis Primary School year 6 teacher Siobhan Freeman's exemplary dedication to her profession and passion for changing young lives earned her a Silver Award in the primary school teacher of the year category of the prestigious Pearson National Teaching Awards.

She received the award in a special surprise assembly at her school, after being shortlisted from thousands of nominations across the UK for a Gold Award.

Siobhan, who has been a teacher for 25 years and came to William Davis in 2017, said: "I love this job with a passion, that's why I've always stayed being a class teacher.

"The fact that I get to make a difference is the most incredible privilege - there's no greater privilege than to be able to change lives.

"I don't take (that privilege) lightly and I will never take it lightly until the day I finish.

"Honestly, this is such an incredible honour and I feel very accomplished and very lucky to have this job."

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During the presentation, pupils and school spoke about the impact Siobhan has had them and their peers, which she described as "really humbling" to hear.

"You don't often hear those things and it makes you realise what a difference you've made and makes it all worthwhile, I guess," Siobhan said.

"This is a really special thing to be able to do and I feel pretty proud actually.

"It's not just about teaching them from year to year, you want feel like you've made a difference in this community."

One of those who sang Siobhan's praises was former pupil Mostaque Kamaly, who later became her teaching assistant and is now a teacher himself at the nearby Hague Primary School.

Mostaque said as a pupil, Siobhan made him and his classmates "fall in love with reading and writing" and being in her class inspired him to become a teacher.

"Siobhan is a kind, supportive teacher, she's friendly and welcoming, but the thing about Siobhan is it's such a joy watching her teach," he said.

"When you see what she does with the children and the impact she had on us when we were children, it inspires you.

"It just made me think 'I want to be like that, I want to have that impact', so when I got to university there was only one thing I wanted to do."

Siobhan has been invited to a Silver Awards winners event at the House of Commons on July 11, before the 21st Pearson National Teaching Awards at the Roundhouse on October 20, where the Gold Award winners will be announced.