A teacher from Chelmsford has been named outstanding new teacher of the year. 

Georgina Pennycook, who works at Heathcote Preparatory School in Danbury, has been honoured with a Silver Award winner in the Pearson National Teaching Awards.

Selected from thousands of entries, Georgie has won the award in the ‘Outstanding New Teacher of the Year’ category. 

This recognition means Georgie is now on a prestigious shortlist to win the Gold Award in the category later this year, in a programme that will be broadcast by the BBC.

Georgie initially joined Heathcote School as a teaching assistant in 2015 before embarking on her teaching degree, studying in her spare time while continuing to dedicate herself full time in the classroom.

She also gained a Mental Health First Aider qualification in order to implement mental health support by running school council sessions, holding special assemblies, and enabling pupil ‘check in’ sessions in periods of remote learning during lockdown.

Unusually for a newly-qualified teacher, she also leads the science curriculum across the school, organises school enrichment days to inspire pupils to engage in STEM subjects, and has evolved the school’s curriculum to incorporate citizenship topics.

Samantha Scott, headteacher, said: “We are so proud that Georgie has been recognised for her contribution of excellence in education so early in her career.

“Heathcote staff go above and beyond for our pupils and families. As part of this community, Georgie ensures her pupils engage across the curriculum to ensure continued academic excellence.

"She is an incredible teacher and a hugely dynamic addition to the team.”

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise 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.