A teacher from Mountain Ash has been named one of the nation’s most inspirational educators at a prestigious awards ceremony held on Saturday, November 26.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Nicola Richards has been awarded a coveted Gold Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School. The ceremony followed a week-long celebration of the education award winners on the BBC every night on The One Show.

The week ended with all the award-winning teachers, teaching assistants, lecturers and school staff being presented with their coveted trophies at a glamorous ceremony at The Brewery in the City of London.

Nicola is an inspirational teacher at Caegarw Primary School who places staff and pupil wellbeing at the heart of the whole school curriculum. She firmly believes that a happy school is a learning school and is a beacon of positivity throughout the school day. Her sunny and positive approach to school life is infectious and she is a much-loved member of staff.

Nicola teaches the children to make an impact on their local community through community projects, helped the children raise funds for Ukraine by making and selling wristbands, organised food bank collections and other support over the holidays and created a ‘lending library’ at school. The school is based close to Aberfan, where a mining spoil tip disaster caused the deaths of more than 100 children in 1966.

The Pearson National Teaching Award winners are shining examples of the people who make schools and colleges so special. Schools are the beating heart of our communities and these awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise the unseen work that schools and colleges do on a daily basis, from going the extra mile to providing reassurance during uncertain times, to offering wider support to families who need it most.