THE HEAD of Calstock Community Primary School has said how proud he and his staff are at being crowned as top of the class in teaching geography

The school has been announced as the winner of The education charity PTI’s (formerly the Prince’s Teaching Institute) Primary Impact Award, with judges praising the ‘sheer passion’ with which the subject is taught..

Ben Towe, Calstock school headteacher said: “We are proud to have won this prestigious award and to be recognised for the hard work we have invested in our geography curriculum. Much of our curriculum intent has been significantly enhanced by the school’s involvement with the PTI and through the high quality training and learning opportunities that have been provided. In response, the design of our curriculum seeks to enable our children to be enquiring and critical, developing a deeper understanding of both the physical and human world.

“We want our children’s geographical encounters to draw upon, and make full use of the immediate and wider local area, with the aim of enabling them to develop a deep understanding of the rich geography of their locality. Significantly, we also want to encourage our children to think globally and to be outward looking.”

The award promotes and celebrates excellence in primary leadership, recognising primary schools that put quality subject teaching at the heart of the classroom.

The shool was nominated for innovating and improving geography teaching across the school and federation. The school initiated, delivered and field-tested a redesigned geography curriculum.

Ben Towe also organised and led professional development sessions for South West PTI Hub schools, building on the learning of previous PTI sessions and imprving to global learning, critical thinking and fieldwork.

Hugh Rayment-Pickard, co-director, the PTI said: “The PTI is delighted to announce Calstock Community Primary School as the winner of the inaugural PTI Primary Impact Award. The award allows the PTI to highlight excellence in the classroom, and the impact that quality subject teaching can have on the future prospects of young students.

“Many congratulations to this year’s shortlisted schools, and to the tremendous teachers impacting lives around the country.”

Christine Counsell, chair of the judging panel, said: “The Awards Panel was struck by many things at Calstock and we are thrilled to give recognition to such thorough and inspiring subject work, as well as truly exceptional leadership which makes sure that this subject work is sustained, renewed and has impact.

The partnerships created by the school with many local organisations bear rich fruit in consistently high-quality subject resources and quite phenomenal subject teaching. Sheer passion for geography coming from the class teachers made it no surprise that the pupils love geography with an enthusiasm so deep, that it is very likely to outlast their school years.“

The school was awarded £5,000 prize and trophy will be awarded annually to an exceptional school which demonstrates the ethos and values of the PTI through hubs of schools sharing good practice.