ENTHUSE Celebration Awards 2016: an interview with winner Rose Russell

ENTHUSE Celebration Awards recognise the impact teachers, technicians and support staff have on their students as a result of professional development delivered across our network.

A key milestone within the academic year, shortlisted schools and individuals are invited to a high profile dinner where they can showcase their work.

2016 saw seven schools, colleges and individuals win ENTHUSE Celebration Awards. One of these winners is Rose Russell. This year, Rose undertook a STEM Insight placement with Crossrail, which had a profound impact on her teaching. As a result of this, Rose was nominated for one of our ENTHUSE Celebration Awards, and won the Technician in STEM Subjects ENTHUSE Award.

We chatted to Rose who shared her experiences and how winning the award has benefitted her and her students.

What have been the benefits to you, your students and your school so far?

The last year or so has been crazy, and I am thrilled to see the impact this award has had on my students, school and myself.

When I made the decision to apply for this placement, I underestimated the extent to which it would benefit me. I soon realised that it was going to give me a lot more than I originally anticipated. Not only did the placement provide me with essential experience, the people I met and the development opportunities I was given were priceless. It inspired me to have the confidence to go beyond my own expectations, and achieve outcomes which, quite frankly, have astounded me. 

As a result, learning about the vast array of career opportunities in the engineering and construction sector, as well as contacts that students otherwise would not be exposed to, I am now much better informed and more confident to share the knowledge about the different routes into engineering. Increasing my knowledge on engineering has also inspired me to make my teaching and club activities more engaging.

I am very touched to have won three awards this year, to be recognised nationally was overwhelming, being among such a formidable shortlist was exciting enough and winning was the highlight of my career and a moment that I will never forget.

I have recently been invited to share my experience at a series of parliamentary events to raise awareness of the STEM Insight programme, this would not have been possible without taking part in the programme.

How has winning the ENTHUSE Celebration Award benefitted you?

Through connecting and networking with other people, I have come away with a range of easy to use ideas to increase the popularity of STEM subjects. These new connections have given me a strong foundation for engaging with other professionals and experts in their chosen fields.

I have also gained a variety of useful skills and abilities that cannot be taught in the classroom, giving me more awareness of the current developments in the STEM sector.

This year alone, I have won three awards: the ENTHUSE Celebration Award, Design and Technology Association award and the Jack Petchey Leaders award, have been a keynote speaker at various events and am now a published author. None of this would have been possible without taking part in the STEM Insight programme or winning an ENTHUSE Celebration Award.

What effect has this had on your students?

Students’ awareness, understanding and interest of different areas of the STEM sectors has been dramatically increased, enhancing the skills that are necessary in a global economy.

University and job applications have been strengthened, and the number of opportunities they have had to meet and engage with well-known companies (such as Crossrail, Skanska and Costain) have been increased.

During National Apprenticeship Week, ten student visited Crossrail. Following that experience, two of our students applied for an apprenticeship and one was successful with her application and now works at Skanska. We were offered another opportunity in September 2016 to attend an awareness day and following the event, we have several girls considering applying next year for work experience and apprenticeship.

How has your school benefitted?

Teachers’ confidence in the classroom has dramatically increased, lessons are more engaging for students and leadership skills have improved. The refreshed content and resources has meant that students are being constantly pushed and stimulated.
As a result of this, the profile of the school has been raised, with a number of prestigious local schools getting in touch with us and requesting visits.

Our whole-school approach to STEM has transformed the learning environment of other subject areas, all wanting to offer similar enriching programmes.


Applications for ENTHUSE Celebration Awards 2017 are currently open and will close on 5 March 2017. 


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