Hitchin Boys' teacher honoured with national award

Rob Thorp, centre, was presented with his silver National Teaching Award by Hitchin Boys' head Fergal Moane, left

Rob Thorp, centre, was presented with his silver National Teaching Award by Hitchin Boys' head Fergal Moane, left, today (June 23) alongside head of science Steve Cook, right - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School

A teacher at Hitchin Boys' School has been honoured as one of Pearson's National Teaching Award winners.

Biology teacher Rob Thorp was selected as just one of 102 teachers across the country to be awarded the accolade, cherry-picked for his "outstanding commitment" to changing the lives of the children he works with every day.

Biology teacher Rob Thorp said he was "surprised" to be honoured with a national teaching award

Biology teacher Rob Thorp said he was "surprised" to be honoured with a national teaching award - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School

Mr Thorp was presented with his award today - which is also National Thank a Teacher Day - by head teacher Fergal Moane.

"I am surprised and delighted to receive this award and would like to thank my colleagues and former students who nominated me," he said.

"Hitchin Boys’ School has been a big part of my life for the past 16 years, and it is rewarding to know that both within school and through the expeditions I have organised, I have been able to make a positive impact on the lives of many students who have attended HBS in that time."

The Hitchin Boys' School teacher is known to go above and beyond for his students -  having continued to work in school throughout the first lockdown to teach vulnerable pupils in addition to his normal timetable.


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He also transformed the entire science department into a 'Crystal Maze’ which involved 12 themed laboratories. Pupils had to solve puzzles and ‘escape’ from each room.

As well as this, his A-Level biology class was ranked in the top 20 schools in the country in 2018 for results achieved, and most years his GCSE classes achieve the highest number of grades 8 and 9 in the school. 

Rob Thorp has taken Hitchin Boys' students all over the world, including South Africa, Malaysia, Costa Rica and Malawi

Rob Thorp has taken Hitchin Boys' students all over the world on expeditions, including South Africa, Malaysia, Costa Rica and Malawi - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School

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Outside of the classroom, Mr Thorp has organised and led both biology field trips and World Challenge expeditions to South Africa, Malaysia, Costa Rica and Malawi. The trips - which involve many months of planning, risk assessing, team-building and fundraising - also see him willingly give up his own time to ensure the best possible life and learning experiences for students.

Rob Thorp has taken Hitchin Boys' students all over the world, including South Africa, Malaysia, Costa Rica and Malawi

Rob Thorp has taken Hitchin Boys' students all over the world on expeditions, including South Africa, Malaysia, Costa Rica and Malawi - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School

Off the back of his teaching style and work ethic, Rob is not only being honoured for his service through the silver award, but the has been shortlisted to win one of just 15 gold awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC.

Mr Moane said: “We are thrilled that Rob’s hard work over many years has been recognised with this award, and wish him luck in the final stage of the process at the Awards Dinner in November.”

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education, recognising 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.

Sir Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and president of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “Thank a Teacher Day gives us all a chance - children, families, all of us - to pay tribute to those wonderful educators who change more lives than they will ever know. Today we say thank you to the teachers who have helped our young people navigate these most difficult of times, and who will continue to inspire countless young minds over the coming years.”

Hitchin Boys' School's Rob Thorp has won a Pearson Silver Teacher of the Year award

Hitchin Boys' School's Rob Thorp has won a Pearson Silver Teacher of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for one of just 15 Gold awards, which will be announced later on this year - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The hard work and dedication of teachers in schools, colleges and across the education sector during the pandemic has been inspiring, and while our teachers deserve the country’s recognition every year, this year’s Thank A Teacher Day is even more significant.

"The support they have provided children, young people and adults has been remarkable, and each and every one of us should be grateful for the part they have played over the past 18 months.

“Congratulations to all the Silver Award winning educators, and every teacher who has gone above and beyond, inspiring and shaping our future generations to be the best they can be.”

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