Headteacher David Airey shows one of the 'Thankyou' cards received from the school’s community for support during the pandemic. He is pictured outside the school looking through an artwork depicting community hand-in-hand. [Picture: Keith Blundy]

++ Colleagues, Pupils and Parents send ‘thank-you’ cards to teachers at The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy, making it the most thanked school in the North East ++

The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy in Sunderland has been recognised as one of the schools receiving the most thank-you cards expressing thanks for the work of teachers and staff during the pandemic.

 Students, staff, and parents at The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy in Sunderland have been sending thank you cards to their teachers and staff through the Thank a Teacher campaign, which is run by the Teaching Awards Trust. Cards have been sent via the online portal between colleagues, and from children or parents to their teachers, in a collective effort to praise and acknowledge the individuals going the extra mile. With the high number of thank you cards sent through Thank a Teacher, The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy is currently the most thanked school in the North East. 

 As we close in on one year of pandemic learning and come to the end of a two-month national lockdown, our communities are more grateful to schools and teachers than ever. Educators and school staff across the nation have certainly gone above and beyond; they have taught and looked after key worker children who continue to come into school during lockdown, while simultaneously offering a remote education to ensure kids at home keep up and that the community stays safe. Ensuring that children, whether at school or at home, are able to access high-quality education and feel supported academically and emotionally has been no small task during this year of disruption. 

 We can all agree that educators and school staff deserve more thanks than ever before given the challenges of the last year, and The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy community is leading the charge on intentionally reminding all school staff members that the work they are doing is valued and appreciated. 

 David Airey, Headteacher of The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy, said: 

“The last year has been challenging for all of us, staff, pupils, parents and community. We wanted to be able to mark the exceptional effort made by so many during this time so we started sending thank-you cards through the Thank a Teacher campaign. It has been well received and a wonderful morale booster. 

 “Our staff do what they do because they love it, not because they receive praise for it. But that doesn’t mean that a ‘thank-you’ every now and again isn’t appreciated. For our community to recognise the challenges of this year and tell us that they feel thankful for the work teachers and staff are doing is humbling and greatly appreciated.”

 Mary Palmer, Chief Executive of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: 

“The Thank a Teacher campaign is all about spreading appreciation. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us all how incredible schools, teachers and support staff really are. They have superbly navigated the waters in a rapidly changing environment, adapting to remote learning, periods of isolation, and the differing needs of their pupils. We are delighted to see so many thank you cards being sent to The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy, and encourage everyone to send their own lovely messages to their teachers and school staff members. They deserve it!”

The Thank a Teacher campaign is a year-round effort to draw attention to the amazing work of teachers across the UK, culminating with Thank a Teacher day on June 16. Anyone can send a card; children, students, parents, grandparents and colleagues can all say thank you. The Thank a Teacher campaign recognises ALL staff working in schools; school leaders, teachers, teaching assistants, and all support staff such as lunchtime supervisors, caretakers and cleaners.

 Particularly outstanding thank you cards can also lead to teachers being put forward for the Pearson National Teaching Awards, where winners may have the opportunity to appear on the BBC’s The One Show.

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