King’s teacher top of the class

A history teacher from The King’s came runner-up in a prestigious competition after being nominated by his own pupils

Mike Bunney, who teaches Year 7 pupils at the Ottery academy, narrowly missed out on becoming the South West’s Secondary School Teacher of the Year at the 2012 Pearson Teaching Awards.

The 37-year-old, who has been a teacher for 14 years, said he was extremely pleased to have been nominated by his own students for the title.

He said his use of ‘active learning’, such as using innovative methods to teach his pupils about the Battle of Hastings, helped him get put forward.

Once he was nominated, there is a rigorous assessment by the Pearson Teaching Awards judges, which includes observing his lessons, interviewing other staff and a host of The King’s pupils about his work as a teacher.

Asked whether he was nervous about the students talking about his lessons he said: “No, not at all. The most pleasing thing was that the students were so supportive of this.”

Mr Bunney, who has been teaching at the Ottery academy for two years, after moving from Cornwall, said he has been nominated for the award before at other schools he has worked at.

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“But I’ve never got down to the final few before, I think the King’s is bringing the best out of me,” he added.

The Head of House said he credits his success to the environment at the Ottery school, saying the atmosphere and freedom to be creative with his teaching has helped him improve.

He was shortlisted from a record number of nominations, and as a finalist in the regional awards was handed a ‘distinction’

The King’s School headteacher Faith Jarrett said: “We are all delighted for Mike.

“He is a fantastic teacher and an amazing Head of House so this award is really well deserved.”