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The Pearson National Teaching Awards


St Patrick’s College teacher wins Silver Award in The Award for Digital Innovator of the Year 

Mrs Catriona Houston honoured as schools across the country celebrate Thank a Teacher Day to highlight families’ gratitude to school staff 

Selected from thousands of nominations, Catriona Houston has been honoured as one of 102 Pearson National Teaching Silver Award winners across the country. Catriona Houston was honoured with a Silver Award in The Award for Digital Innovator of the Year for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day.

Catriona leads the ICT Department at St Patrick’s College with passion, creativity and innovation, supporting pupils to develop their skills to leave school with the digital knowledge they will need for the future. She led the school to securing a Cyber First Silver Award, one of only two schools in Northern Ireland to achieve this status. Her First Tech Robotics Team have recently represented Northern Ireland in the UK Finals, and her student Digital Ambassadors were selected to speak to UK Members of Parliament on Internet safety.

Catriona Houston has now been shortlisted to win one of just 15 Gold Awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the exceptional school staff who have worked wonders during an incredibly challenging time for educators across the country.

Principal; Catherine McHugh said; 

‘We are very proud of Mrs Houston and all the great work she has undertaken and led in order to provide progressive learning opportunities for pupils in this school. Mrs Houston is innovative and forward planning. She has established a network of links to ICT companies and organisations to enable skill based learning opportunities and work experiences, both in person and virtual for our pupils. Mrs Houston is focused on ensuring quality outcomes for pupils and a curriculum which is aimed at enabling them to build their ICT skills in the areas necessary to contribute fully as a member of the future workforce within the fourth industrial skills revolution. We are delighted to celebrate her great and deserved success having been recognised with a Silver Pearson Award.’

The Silver Award winners are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, a national campaign to honour and recognise school staff for their incredible work. Mrs Houston was presented with her Silver Award, by Bill Connors CEO of Sentinus on 23rd June at a special Tea Party event held in school, celebrating the work she has led and also the ongoing work of all teachers in the school. The celebrations follow new data which shows how the previous year’s lockdowns have significantly changed how families across the country view the role of teachers.

The last year has seen a wealth of stories of teachers making care visits to vulnerable families, coming up with innovative ways of remote teaching, keeping their pupils settled by regularly checking in and even using their school sites for Covid-19 testing when classes did return to school. There has never been a better time to appreciate them and the vital work they do.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with. This year marks its 22nd year of celebrating, award-winning teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers and lecturers across the UK

Dr Elise Ecoff, Group Director of Education for Nord Anglia Education, said: “Congratulations to all the Silver Award winners on their fantastic achievement. The National Teaching Awards and Thank a Teacher Day is an important opportunity to recognise excellence in teaching and celebrate educators who are helping make a real difference to student learning through their passion and commitment. This has especially stood out in the last year with teachers using ingenuity, creativity and technology to inspire students.” 

Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President of Schools at Pearson UK, said:  

“After a year like no other we want to take today to say thank you to all the incredible school staff who have kept children and young people learning despite unprecedented challenges. We hope the celebrations today show how much you are appreciated, and that your hard work has not gone unnoticed nor unrecognised.”


St Patrick's College Dungannon
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