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Lowestoft teacher, Johnny Lee, shortlisted for prestigious award at televised ceremony

PUBLISHED: 15:41 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:15 18 October 2017

Johnny Lee, of Red Oak Primary School, has been nominated in the grand finale of the Pearson Teaching Awards. Photo: Courtesy of Red Oak Primary School.

Johnny Lee, of Red Oak Primary School, has been nominated in the grand finale of the Pearson Teaching Awards. Photo: Courtesy of Red Oak Primary School.

Archant

A Lowestoft teacher could be honoured at an upcoming televised awards ceremony.

Johnny Lee, of Red Oak Primary School, has been nominated in the grand finale of the Pearson Teaching Awards. Photo: Courtesy of Red Oak Primary School.Johnny Lee, of Red Oak Primary School, has been nominated in the grand finale of the Pearson Teaching Awards. Photo: Courtesy of Red Oak Primary School.

Johnny Lee, of Red Oak Primary School, has been shortlisted in the ‘Teacher of the Year in a Primary School’ category at the Pearson Teaching Awards.

The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC Two as ‘Britain’s Classroom Heroes’ on Sunday, October 29.

Mr Lee, 31, has been teaching for nine years and won a Pearson’s Silver Teaching Award earlier this year after being nominated by pupils, parents and colleagues.

He said: “I was totally overwhelmed.”

“It’s a great honour. I wasn’t expecting to be nominated at all as it was all done secretly.”

The Key Stage 2 teacher engages children in sports as a way to inspire self-confidence and instil lessons which will serve pupils in later life.

Mr Lee said: “I grew up in Lowestoft and I feel a connection to the town. People say there is not a lot for children to do.

“Sadly it’s a deprived seaside town and I want to give the kids something that they can look forward to and carry on after they leave school.”

He added: “Sport has helped me a lot through life. It helped me at university and helped me to get a job. It teaches children about perseverance and hard work.

When Mr Lee started at the school its trophy cabinet was bare.

Three years later the school has amassed 27 trophies across all year groups thanks to its new, “more competitive” spirit.

He was also instrumental in helping the school achieve gold in the Sainsbury’s Sports Awards.

To earn gold a school must have 50pc of children engaged in extra-curricular activities, Red Oak now has 90pc.

Mr Lee added: We wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this without the support of our headteacher Heather Madsen and all of the staff at the school.”

Michael Morpurgo, president of awards, believes the ceremony helps recognise the everyday achievements teachers make.

He said: “Teachers are the quiet heroes. By telling their stories and highlighting their skill and dedication we can do some justice to them and their whole profession.”

Red Oak Primary School

The impact Johnny Lee has had on the lives of pupils, parents and colleagues at Red Oak Primary School has been praised by headteacher Heather Madsen.

She said: “Over the last three years Red Oak has experienced a number of challenges, and some of our children come from families facing daily hardship.

“Behaviour in the school was an issue, as too was the level of self-esteem in many children.”

Mrs Madsen added: “Parental engagement was also extremely low.

“I worked with Johnny to devise a plan to address these issues, and in the process improve fitness levels and ultimately create a positive attitude for learning.

“Johnny has been absolutely instrumental in the entire project and demonstrated excellent strategic direction, a fantastic ability to support young staff entering the profession and an ability to engage parents.”

She added: “Most of all he has a sheer determination, commitment and passion for developing childhood fitness and mental health and well being.”

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