The Renaissance Awards 2022: Recap
By Denisha Polin
December 14th 2022 was a big day in the Renaissance calendar – we held our 7th annual Renaissance Awards ceremony. The time of year where we recognise educators across the globe for their dedication to teaching and joining us on our mission to accelerate learning for all. From whole-school recognition to outstanding individuals, this anticipated event was all the hype for the Renaissance family last month.
Meet the Judges
This year, we had three judges. Liezel Wilkinson, Katrina Piggott and Peipei Yang, scanned through the entries – there were a lot to get through! And after hours spent on Zoom, breaking down each entry, six winners were selected. As with previous years, we took the time to anonymise all of them. So even after all the deliberation, the judges actually had no idea who they’d picked as the winners!
And of course, the evening wouldn’t have been a hit without our favourite duo: Margaret Allen and Frances Kingston, who hosted the ceremony once again. We also roped in a few of our other colleagues to help out on the day doing things like controlling the slideshow and being on standby in case we ran into any technical hitches.
On the day
Though in-person events were taking off throughout the year, our previous virtual awards ran so smoothly, we decided that this time round we’d stick to hosting the ceremony from the comfort of our homes. This way everyone could attend (given the train strikes) and our international nominees could also join in on the festivities.
Everyone who had entered the awards was invited to attend, as well as anyone else who wanted to join in – one perk of an online ceremony is that you don’t have a capacity limit!
The evening began with a brief introduction and welcome from Jon Cooper, Customer Success Director at Renaissance. Heading up our newest department in the UK office, Jon declared his main priorities for 2023 are to “focus on successful outcomes for students, teachers and schools”. And so, the awarding kicked off!
We had some lovely speeches from our winners and once again, the night was a success.
And the winners are…
Celebration and Achievement
Awarded to: Cleeve Meadow primary school – The Whole School
Judges were particularly in awe of the schools potting shed which they use to encourage children to read. It’s a quiet place where pupils can go during lunch breaks and escape into the world of reading. They are also huge advocates of teacher-made quizzes which they use to facilitate books for children that weren’t at quite the right level.
In their acceptance speech school staff recognised their pupils for “working so hard and improving their reading” and also the team for being “relentless in their pursuit of bringing reading onto the radar and keeping it alive”.
Creativity and Innovation
Awarded to: Kirton Primary School – The Whole School
Judges were completely blown away by how innovative the school had been, in fact their initiatives managed to reach the local papers. They’ve built a copycat high street in there school which has a bank, a shop, a café and post office and is run by the children themselves! They have their own currency and they can earn currency by working hard. The judges highly praised this initiative labelling it ‘incredibly creative’.
Deputy Head, Claire hopped on to thank Renaissance saying the school continue to “strive for the best, for their children”.
Awarded to: Jumeriah English Speaking School
This school emphasised how much AR is at the heart of their reading strategy. Our judges were impressed with how they go above and beyond to make sure staff are well-informed and can take next-steps. Not only that, but impressively they use QR codes around the building so that children are constantly provided the opportunity to learn more information about the book they’re reading.
Success & and Achievement with Renaissance Solutions
This category had two winners:
Sherborne Primary School
It’s clear that this school has reading at its heart! In their first year as Renaissance customers, they went all out to celebrate World Book Day, making it World Book Week! Teachers setup a reading marathon with a target of 500 books for KS2 and 300 books for KS1. But, there was a twist! Rather than it just being a competition of the number of books read, children had to have a total quizzing score of 85% or more – meaning they had to show good understanding of the books too!
TOV Educational Institute
Judges were pleased with how this school uses the Complete Literacy Solution to help with furthering students and improving their English skills and fluency in speech, particularly with the audio features in myON. They are also great at involving the parents, encouraging them to come into the school and get involved.
The ‘Wild Card’
Awarded to: The Whole School
It was great to see how much staff champion the importance of reaching students who have difficulty in reading. They have created intervention booklets which outline specific tasks for children to complete. It’s a great structure for pupils to follow and an efficient way to reach all and help them progress with reading.
The school shared theses booklets on their Twitter page (@LcaReading) and have had 350 downloads to date.
The Terry Paul Award
In memory of Terry Paul, the late co-founder of Renaissance who was truly passionate about accelerating learning for all, we give the Terry Paul Award each year to an individual. Whether a teacher, educator, or someone influential in the education world, we select someone who embodies Terry’s ambition to help all children achieve their potential.
Awarded to: John Moore, former Managing Director, Renaissance UK/AU and colleague for 16 years!
John worked on sales and key customer relations which meant he could be found in many departments and functions in the company. Sadly, he left the team last month but his knowledge, passion and kindness will always remain at the heart of the company”.
And a special mention to…
- Holborough Lakes
- Whitehill Primary
- Bo’ness Academy
- Castle Hill St Philip’s CE Primary
- St Paul’s Catholic Primary School
- Morley Meadow Primary
A big thank you to: Laburnum House Educational for sponsoring our event and the fantastic prizes; our judges who read all the nominations and had to choose the best of the best; everyone who took the time to put their nomination together; every guest who spent their Wednesday afternoon at our awards ceremony on Zoom; and finally, all of the schools up and down the UK Ireland, and Internationally who are accelerating learning for all their students. Where would we be without you?
You can watch a recording of the awards ceremony here!