School of Education Prizewinners 2018

We are delighted to announce this year's School of Education Prizes. The prizes were in recognition of the outstanding work and the exceptional achievements of students.

Photograph of Suzanne TaffUndergraduate Dissertation Prize 2018

The Undergraduate Dissertation Prize 2018 has been awarded to Suzanne Taff. Suzanne was nominated by her dissertation supervisor, China Mills, who commented, "her dissertation showed strong evidence of sophisticated, scholarly and incredibly thoughtful research, that sensitively and perceptively traced organisational approaches to sleep interventions in two areas of Northern England. The dissertation was well-argued, carefully researched, and evidenced of creative and well-developed research skills applied to a really fascinating topic. The work was highly original and was such a pleasure to read. With some further work I strongly believe the dissertation could be published, and I would love to see the research further developed in postgraduate and PhD level study. Sue has been an absolute joy to work with over the past year. She has a wonderful open minded and inquisitive approach to research, and has been open and responsive to feedback. Sue is keen to pursue further postgrad study with us at Sheffield, and I think by awarding her the prize we would be giving much needed encouragement to, and showing belief, in a brilliant future scholar.”

On receiving the award, Suzanne said, “I am a bit shocked at winning, to be honest, as the cohort I have worked with has some excellent scholars. I was lucky, in a way, as the idea for the study fell in my lap. A friend asked me to attend a session on sleep during my second year work placement and I nearly didn't go, but am so pleased that I did. It flagged the similarities in symptomology of sleep disorder and ADHD. As an ex-teaching assistant who worked with children with Special Educational Needs I had a keen interest in ADHD, and this link made sense. I couldn't gain access to any data once I left the placement, so I spent the summer sourcing contacts and setting up an alternative route into the organisations working with sleep disordered children. Establishing a framework for involvement created a snowball effect and data poured in steadily through the year, culminating in case studies and hospital visits toward the end of the year. I trained as a sleep practitioner as part of my volunteer role, during the research, and am hoping to provide a voluntary clinic for the charity I worked with. I have also enrolled in the Masters course in Psychology and Education at Sheffield university and am aiming for a career supporting children with mental health issues and SEN. I had the pleasure and delight to work with China Mills. It felt like I'd hit the jackpot when I found out who I had been allocated and I never lost that feeling! She was, and is, amazing both in terms of encouragement and expertise. I would not have won without her."

Postgraduate Student Prize 2018

Photograph of Postgraduate Prize winner 2018The Postgraduate Student Prize has been awarded to Megan Richardson on completion of the Applied Professional Studies in Education (APSE) MA, Megan had previously undertaken her PGDE at The School of Education. 

Dr Chris Winter nominated Megan for the award, commenting, "Megan applied herself to her APSE studies this year with a high and consistent level of dedication. She showed sound understanding of the advice given by applying it to her research thinking and writing, with tangible results. The quality of her research knowledge and understanding increased as the time progressed, together with a noticeable shift in her thinking as she adopted an increasingly critical and political stance. Megan was committed from the start of the dissertation journey to try to improve her own practice and that of her school colleagues and more widely, by conducting research which led to a deeper understanding of the issues A level students face when tackling examination questions in Geography. She was determined to assist Geography students to adopt innovative approaches to de-coding examination questions in order that their knowledge be drawn on effectively to allow them to receive the credit they deserved in high-stakes examinations."

On receiving the award, Megan commented, "I am both surprised and grateful to have received this award. My research has been an invaluable contribution to developing my teaching practice in the classroom. I intend to continue pursuing action based research in the future as education theory evolves."

Marie Midolo Prize 2018

Miriam Bugeja is the proud recipient of the Marie Midolo Prize 2018.

On hearing the news, Miriam said, "I was thrilled to receive this news. Although I invested a lot of my time and energy to my studies, I never thought I would be honoured with the Marie Midolo Prize. I feel indebted to my dissertation tutor Dr Theresa Neckles for her invaluable guidance and to Dr Sabine Little for her constant support during my first year of studies. I am also obliged to the Malta Programme team, in particular to Dr David Hyatt, for making this learning opportunity a truly remarkable one. The distance learning programme organised by the University of Sheffield provided me with an enriching experience both personally and professionally. My research helped me further understand and appreciate the challenges newly qualified Mathematics teachers experience. It provided me with insights to better support newly qualified teachers during the initial years of their career. I hope that my studies prove beneficial in the support provided to these teachers.”

Dr David Hyatt, Director of the Malta programme, remarked “Miriam Bugeka produced excellent work throughout the MA programme. Her studies culminated in an outstanding dissertation which presented a critical exploration of the challenges faced by newly qualified mathematics teachers and how mentoring practices might address some of these concerns.”

Rutland Prize 2018

Photograph of Katie CobbThe Rutland Prize 2018 has been awarded to an exceptional student on the Early Childhood Education MA programme. This year's worthy winner is Katie Cobb.

Director of the Early Childhood Education MA, Liz Chesworth, commented on her achievement “Katie has made excellent, sustained progress throughout the Masters programme. She submitted an exceptional dissertation focusing upon early years professionals' perspectives of digital technology in which she demonstrated mature, critical reflection based on solid knowledge and scholarly research. We wish her all the best for her future work in the field of early childhood education.”

Katie said, “I am honoured to receive the Rutland Prize 2018, undertaking the Early Childhood Education MA has been the most amazing experience. The study school weekends were invaluable and presented inspirational lectures alongside the opportunity to meet other early childhood educational professionals from all over the world. I would like to thank all of the ECE team, in particular Dr Liz Chesworth who was a constant support throughout the course and my dissertation supervisor Dr Sandra Cooke, for her encouragement and guidance.”

Turnbull-Halloran Prize for the Most Outstanding PGDE Student

Photograph of Rebecca Hodgkins

Adam Peach (PGDE History) and Rebecca Hodgkins (PGDE Geography) were both nominated for Turnbull-Halloran Prize for the high marks they attained along with very successful schools placements. The teaching team commended their collegial approach to learning and recognized them as highly effective team players. In addition, their contribution to the development of teaching and learning materials for future PGDE students was applauded.

Adam Peach, said “I am extremely honoured to be receiving such an important award with the Turnbull-Halloran prize for 2018. I am grateful for the recognition I have received for my work and feel very humbled. The prize is testimony to the outstanding teaching I have received from staff at the School of Education at the University of Sheffield and my inspiring colleagues on the course. I also want to thank staff and pupils at my two placement schools whom have guided me in my development as a teacher and enabled me to win this special award. As always, I would like to thank my family, my girlfriend and my friends for their amazing support.

Photograph of Adam Peach

My PGDE year has been challenging yet highly rewarding. The course at Sheffield has equipped me with the tools to be an outstanding teacher, strengthening me to become a confident practitioner. I feel privileged to have been part of the education team at Sheffield and this award is a testament to their work. Thank you for making me the teacher I am today. In terms of the future, this award has only provided me with a springboard to build on my development this year and continue my hard work. I will strive to take my experience this year into my NQT practice and beyond, with this award adding to my drive to reach my eventual goal of Head of Department. 

Thank you Sheffield for helping me reach a stage where I can proudly hold up this award as a mark of my achievement.”