Barnstaple teacher honoured at national awards

Yeo Valley School teacher Katie McGarry with pupil Callum Myers.

Yeo Valley School teacher Katie McGarry with pupil Callum Myers. - Credit: Archant

Yeo Valley’s Reading Recovery teacher Katie McGarry is runner up at prestigious London ceremony.

A Barnstaple teacher has been recognised as one of the top two in country for her tireless work helping children to read.

Katie McGarry of Yeo Valley Primary School was short-listed for the annual Reading recovery Awards 2013, which took place at the Institute of Education in London on Friday.

She came a close second to the winner and although she did not lift the award, Katie said she was delighted just to be selected after being nominated by headteacher Jan Reid.

“It was a real honour and a real sense of achievement because I know I have worked hard and given my all for the children and their families over the years, so it was lovely to think Jan had recognised that,” said Katie, who has been at the school for 15 years and part of Reading Recovery for three.

“It was quite an experience, a privilege to be part of such an occasion and to hear so many examples of such inspirational teaching from the nominees. It’s a huge recognition for the school as well as me.”

Reading Recovery is a national programme designed to help five and six year olds struggling with reading and writing when they begin school.

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Children receive individual tutoring each day from a specially trained teacher such as Katie to help bring them up to speed, and the national programme has an 82 per cent success rate.

Katie also works with teachers and teaching assistants at Yeo Valley and other Barnstaple schools to pass on her skills.

In her nomination, Jan Reid said Katie was an exceptional practitioner and a natural teacher who was able to gain the respect and confidence of the children she worked with.

“I have heard many invaluable comments from staff praising Katie’s professionalism, enthusiasm, commitment and sheer wholehearted passion for ensuring these children, who can have a very disadvantaged start to life, are able to catch up and maintain good academic standards,” she said.

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