‘Inspirational’ Enfield teacher wins award

Dec 18, 2019 | Inclusion, News | 1 comment

A profoundly deaf Enfield primary school teacher has been awarded for her outstanding contribution to teaching.  

Alysha Allen impressed judges with her confidence and ability to inspire and motivate children at Brimsdown Primary School. She teaches pupils using a combination of British Sign Language and lip reading, and many have become fluent in signing as a result.

Her positive approach to education is infectious and helps the children to develop a love of learning. This month she was presented with the Special Contribution Award at the Teacher of the Year ceremony hosted by Maths Hub London North East, a programme involving around 600 schools which helps to lead improvement in mathematics.

Alysha beat strong competition to take the title after being nominated by Brimsdown Deputy Headteacher Eleanor Painter, who says the whole school is immensely proud of her.  

Eleanor says: “Despite being profoundly deaf, Alysha teaches and engages an entire class of hearing children which is a remarkable achievement. The children absolutely love learning sign language and not only does this help to create a really inclusive environment at the school, research has shown that it can help with language and speech development too.”

Eleanor adds: “Alysha has inspired us all with her positively and resilience. She has had much more to deal with in her life than many of us but every day she comes to school with a positive attitude and that’s reflected in the enthusiasm of her class, who love to learn.”  

Despite being a mainstream school, every child at Brimsdown learns BSL and it also runs free staff and family signing lessons. Not only does this create a supportive and inclusive learning environment, it also has a number of benefits for all the children, helping them to communicate with their friends and teachers. The school has just celebrated 10 years of being an accredited hearing impairment resource base by Signature, the leading awarding body for deaf communications qualifications in the UK. 

Alysha said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out that I had been nominated, let alone won. It’s an absolute honour and a privilege to have received this award. I love teaching and the children in my class really enjoy learning sign language – after a while they don’t even think about what they’re doing anymore, it just becomes natural to them.”    

Brimsdown provides evening classes on Wednesdays for anyone in the local community who wants to learn BSL. Learners can gain their Level 1 and 2 awards. A fee is payable for this. For more information, please contact the school on 020 8804 6797.