Simon Gunstone

Royal Wootton Bassett Academy

Winner, Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, 2019

“It is so important to recognise teachers in this way because it is a shared recognition and celebration of what we do.”

It was a honour and privilege to receive the award. It has been a real source of pride, gratitude and humility. To be recognised by colleagues, students, and parents means more than I can say.

The award has been a defining moment personally and professionally; it has made me very appreciative and keen to be the best I can. The award has enabled me to reconnect with ex students, colleagues and parents which has been  special; these connections are so important and that sense of ‘making a difference’ is priceless.

It is so important to recognise teachers in this way because it is a shared recognition and celebration of what we do and how students continue to inspire and motivate us. At a time when recruitment and retention of teachers is a top priority, the Pearson National Teaching Awards can make such a difference.

I have taught at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy for 18 years and feel very lucky to have found a school in which students and staff flourish and thrive.

Winning the award has made me want to improve and get better as I think teaching is a journey of becoming and you never feel that you have cracked it. This makes it so special and if you are passionate about the subject and working with young, talented minds then it truly is the best profession. Lots of patience, humour, empathy and a listening mind all help!