Peckover teacher receives award for helping to improve outcomes for disadvantaged students

Teacher Andy Buffham from Peckover with his certificate for skills and integrity.

Teacher Andy Buffham from Peckover with his certificate for skills and integrity. - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech primary school teacher has been acclaimed top of the class after beating off competition from 50 others to win an award for working to improve opportunities for disadvantaged pupils.

His work was recognised whilst taking part in a programme to gain his National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders.

Andy Buffham of Peckover Primary School was acclaimed for demonstrating “core organisational values of mastery, grit, empowerment, teamwork and integrity to an outstanding level”.

Andy, who has been teaching at Peckover for three years, focused his project on those pupils not exposed to a broad range of vocabulary at home, which had an impact on their reading and writing.

He introduced a system so that a small group of targeted students discussed words and concepts with teachers and teaching assistants before embarking on a topic, giving them the vocabulary and confidence to produce higher quality work.

He said: ‘It was about giving students strategies for success. The idea has now been introduced across the whole school and integrated into teaching practice in the classrooms.”

The Ann Brougham Values Award won by Andy is dedicated to Ann Brougham, who passed away in 2010 and who was the first lead coach on the Teaching Leaders programme.

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In the citation for the award judges said Andy “had been noted to go beyond in hosting and visiting other schools and was always proactive with his involvement on the programme”.

Peckover’s principal Carrie Norman said: ‘We are all absolutely delighted for Andy. “He showed a huge amount of dedication completing the course alongside his full-time teaching role and coming up with an intervention that has been rolled out across the school to benefit all year groups. This award demonstrates what a committed and exceptional teacher he is.”

James Toop, chief executive of Ambition School Leadership said: “I’m delighted to present this award to Andy, in recognition of his hard work on the programme.

“Our charity’s ambition is to ensure every child goes to a great school and everyone on our Teaching Leaders programmes is dedicated to making this a reality and addressing educational disadvantage to improve the life chances of young people.”