Pleckgate High School’s Head of Religion and World Views Jenny Savage has been short-listed for a coveted Times Education Supplement (TES) Award.
Mrs Savage is one of eight candidates in the category for the Subject Lead of the Year (Secondary) and she will attend a glittering awards ceremony in London in June. Mrs Savage admitted she was ‘blown away’ by the nomination after Pleckgate’s Headteacher, Aishling McGinty secretly put her forward.
“I didn’t know anything about it, I was shocked and never expected it,” said Jenny, who began teaching at Pleckgate in 2007 as a Religious Studies teacher and became Head of Department in 2015. “I didn’t know if I wanted to be a teacher when I studied Religious Studies at University as I was nervous about standing up in front of my peers but, once I started as a teacher, I realised how much I loved teaching and that has stayed with me to this day”.
“This is the nicest thing which has happened in my teaching career and I was in floods of tears when I read the testimonials from the pupils which were part of the entry.
“Sometimes you get caught up in the craziness of day-to-day teaching and you don’t realise that you are a role model, you are an inspiration and that you touch the lives of your pupils so much. This is a validation of the work we do at Pleckgate and I can’t quite believe it!”
The Religion and WorldViews Department at Pleckgate has the prestigious Gold Mark and the school is one of just ten schools in the United Kingdom which is an Anne Frank Trust Link School, promoting a society safe from prejudice and discrimination. They also have strong links with the Olive Branch Awards through Solutions not Sides, which is about conflict resolution and has given pupils the chance to go to Lancaster University to take part in workshops and discuss issues with other young people.
Mrs McGinty said: “The impact of Jenny’s work is far reaching. She is a positive role model for all young people at Pleckgate as a teacher, leader, mentor and form tutor. Jenny is a leader who places the needs of the pupils at the centre of everything she does, she creates opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, she builds confidence, she has empathy and she genuinely tries to create pupils who have moral values and principles as she role models these values herself. The RE Department under Jenny’s leadership is outstanding, the department also achieved fantastic results with 19 Grade 9’s in 2022.
Mrs McGinty selected a number of quotes from pupils to support Mrs Savage’s application. There were many willing pupils who were very keen to share their views about Mrs Savage and were delighted to make a contribution towards her nomination. They described Mrs Savage’s teaching as ‘unique and helpful,’ ‘she constantly pushed us to move forward’, ‘passionate, hardworking and dedicated’ and ‘a supportive, organised, thoughtful, caring and amazing teacher.’
Jenny is looking forward to attending the ceremony in June with her colleague, Head of Year Zoe Millest who also contributed to the nomination. Everyone at Pleckgate is delighted that Jenny has been shortlisted for this important award.