The media hoo-ha is finally over and Jamie's Dream School has closed its TV doors on Channel 4, proving its central point – that young people, even the more difficult ones, want to learn and to succeed if they are given the opportunity.
It also proved how tough teaching can be be, and the tremendous achievements of Britain’s 'Dream Teachers'. And now Jamie Oliver and YouTube have announced the seven winners (see videos below) of the programme's national video competition to find answers from teachers to the toughest topics at GCSE and Standard Grade. The winning videos and all entries can be seen at www.youtube.com/dreamteachers.
The competition launched to find 'Britain’s Dream Teachers', the ones who could provide the most creative and engaging answers to the toughest topics faced by 14-19 year old students. The seven teachers have each won prizes of £10,000 to share between themselves and their schools. Each teacher gets £2,000 plus £1,000 to spend on ICT equipment and £7,000 goes to the school.
Subject experts at UK awarding body Edexcel worked with YouTube and more than 1,000 students and teachers to identify the topics at GCSE and Standard Grade that are the toughest to understand in maths, English, history, physics, chemistry, biology and geography. And then YouTube and Jamie Oliver challenged teachers from across the UK to provide short videos explaining the topics and helping students to address them to succeed.
A panel of subject specialists and previous winners of the UK Teaching Awards picked a winner from each of the seven subjects. They were looking for creativity and innovation in particular.
David Rogers (below), head of geography at Priory School Specialist Sports College in Portsmouth.
Question answered: "Geography - Using a diagram explain the process of long shore drift".
Take a trip on to the beach to turn a diagram into the real experience of wind, sand and sea.
Benjamin Barnicoat, science teacher at Peacehaven Community School, East Sussex.
Question answered: "Biology - How does nerve transmission work?"
Running, leaping and spinning students show how neurotransmitters work and what drugs do.
Richard Pollott, of Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Canterbury, Kent
Question answered: "English - How do I analyse a poem I've never seen before?"
Richard creates his own performance poem to explain the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of understanding poetry.
Amy Hughes, head of history at St Thomas More Catholic School, north London.
Question answered: "History - How do I know what caused a particular historical event?"
Amy demonstrates a clear and simple diamond approach to show what caused historical events.
Olly Offord, maths teacher and a Teach First participant, based at Balby Carr Community Sports and Science College, Doncaster, south Yorkshire.
Question answered: "Maths - What is Pythagoras' theorem and where does it apply?"
Olly uses the all-important consumer concern – the size of our gadget’s screen - to bring Pythagoras up to date.
Maureen Cowles, of Windsor Girls’ School, Berkshire.
Question answered: "Physics – How is radioactivity used in everyday life?"
Smarties and chocolate brownies make nuclear fission a much tastier topic.
Mari Nicholas, a science teacher at Ricard’s Lodge High School, south London.
Question answered: Chemistry - How do you balance a chemical equation?
Mari creates a visually clear explanation of how to multiply molecules to balance a chemical equation.
'An exciting demonstration of how many excellent teachers there are in our schools'
Laura Scott, head of external relations for Google, YouTube’s owner, says: “We created this competition to give a voice to the many teachers who are inspiring students everyday in classrooms across the country. The high quality of the entries we have received has been an exciting demonstration of how many excellent teachers there are in our schools. It was difficult to select just a few winners but the chosen Britain’s Dream Teachers have all shown that they can be engaging, inspiring and really help students get to grips with tough topics.”
Amy Hughes, a 'Dream Teacher' based in north London, said: “I can’t believe I’ve won something just for doing my job!”
The winning videos and all the other entries will remain on the website as a resource to be shared by teachers and learners worldwide. The teachers will receive their award from Matt Brittin, Google UK chief executive, and Jazzie B, one of the teachers at Jamie’s Dream School. The award ceremony will be held at Google’s UK headquarters on May 26.