Taking the rap to learn how to spell

Taking the rap to learn how to spell

Ideas for memorable science resources and a spelling project in which students become DJs won the day for two teachers in the Let Teachers SHINE competition.

Michelle Lockwood of St Bernard’s Catholic high school in Rotherham, and Peter Scutt of Isambard community school in Swindon, were two of ten teachers recognised at the Capita SIMS annual conference, held in Staffordshire.

This year, 125 teachers entered the awards to bid for grants of up to £15,000 to develop their ideas to support disadvantaged students in English, maths or science.

Lockwood was awarded £15,000 for a “fantastic” spelling project that encourages students to learn the rules of spelling through rap and rhyme.

She says the funding will help pupils across the country to “get to grips” with spelling and improve literacy by “giving spellings stickability and making the more boring rules of language fun”.

Scutt also won £15,000 to develop video resources to make science accessible, “memorable and inspiring”.

“I was inspired by Colin Hegarty of Hegarty Maths, a previous winner, to enter the competition. I hope now to bring free science resources to every pupil in the UK. By having the information they need at their fingertips, it will help them to achieve their full potential in science, no matter what their background.”

Charlotte Mellor from Littletown junior, infant and nursery school in Liversedge, West Yorkshire, was given £5,000 for her Now That’s What I Call Grammar! programme that combines music with lyrics to help students to memorise grammar terminology.

Phil Neal, director at Capita SIMS, says that choosing the ten finalists was a “tough decision”.

Paul Carbury, chief executive of SHINE, added: “Our finalists go on to make a real difference to the lives of children up and down the country. This competition continues to discover inspirational teachers and their truly amazing ideas to help level the playing field for every child. We look forward to working closely with all ten winners.”

Last year Jackie Flaherty, a teacher at Chipping Campden school, won more than £12,000 for her SHINE in science idea. She says the money allowed her A-level students to develop their teamwork, organisation and communication skills.

“It also inspired GCSE students to consider science careers with a series of enrichment activities that included lunch with a science, technology, engineering and maths ambassador from Abbey Road Studios.”

Picture: Ten teachers celebrate winning this year’s Let Teacher’s SHINE competition at Capita SIMS annual conference