United Teaching Blog

National Recognition for United Teaching Graduates


United Teaching graduates Hal Rabey and Poppy Thomas have both won awards at United Learning’s annual Best in Everyone Awards. The event sees staff and students across the country recognised for their achievements, commitment and impact.

In a ceremony held at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Hal and Poppy were awarded the Primary ECT of the Year Award and Secondary ECT of the Year Award, respectively.

Their nominating schools gave us their reasons below:

Hal Rabey - Primary ECT of the Year

Hal was commended for the “phenomenal impact” he has made since joining William Hulme’s Grammar School in September 2022.

“Hal’s attitude to teaching and learning shines through as he endeavours to create an outstanding culture and climate for all his pupils. Hal is meticulous with this planning, ensuring it is fun, engaging and meeting the needs of all the pupils in his class. When Hal thinks through a lesson, a sequence of lessons, a full unit, and a full term, he shows a real understanding of the small steps, scaffolds and models needed to enable all children to achieve the best possible outcome.”

“Hal is never afraid to seek support and is always wanting to continuously improve. Anyone watching Hal teach would be very surprised that he is only two terms into his teaching career. Hal is part of the Ambition Institute early career training programme and shows so much enthusiasm when participating in his weekly sessions. He is always very reflective and open to adapting his teaching and learning approaches. Hal often goes away from his coaching session and quickly returns with further questions and requests as he is so intrinsically motivated to provide the best provision.”

“We are so grateful to have such an amazing and dedicated teacher working with us at WHGS. If this is two terms into his career, we can only imagine where Hal will go in the future." 

Hal said: “I’m really proud to achieve the ECT Primary of the Year Award. I’ve had an amazing year teaching and I’m thankful to the school that I work in and all the support I get there.”

Poppy Thomas – Secondary ECT of the Year

Poppy was lauded for her dedication to geography and going the extra mile to deliver engaging lessons and opportunities for students.

“As an ex-student, Poppy is passionate about every Elms Academy student getting the best geography teaching possible. She goes above and beyond to make sure our most vulnerable pupils always feel included in her lessons. She constantly celebrates students’ efforts, praising them through school systems such as merits, post cards and weekly calls home for her students of the week.”

“Poppy is invaluable to the geography department. She has meticulously planned Y7 and 8 resources for her department, ensuring these are high quality and accessible to non-subject specialists. She has supported non-specialists (including senior staff) to deliver this curriculum without fail, or question, and demonstrating consistent positivity and ‘can-do’ attitude.”

“As Head of House, Poppy has led many house assemblies, directed student leaders, and instigated house competition. Poppy has sought student feedback on the enrichment curriculum and based on this, started the school’s first coding club. Poppy taught herself how to code in order to lead this club, demonstrating how she is always willing to go beyond her comfort zone to do what’s best for the students." 

Poppy said: “I’m really happy to be winning ECT Secondary Teacher of the Year – I love my job and inspiring students every day.”

Congratulations Hal and Poppy!

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