I've just had a very nice e-mail from the folks at IntoFilm who have forwarded some of the comments the film industry judges who looked at my category. They are rather lovely...
"Phil is clearly a special teacher who has carved out time to do wonderful things with film. I’m particularly impressed by the way he has used film to respond to particular circumstances in his class, school and area. The diabetes film prompted by the case of a child in his class is an example of this. It is evident his work has raised aspirations by making positive connections between the children’s lives at home and at school.
"The report provides evidence that he has used film to promote learning in all curriculum areas. However I think his focus on inspiring and encouraging reading and literacy with all children is especially valuable. It is an important contribution to the motivation, learning and success of children. The report explains that Phil started with no official training in animation but the supporting evidence shows he achieves amazing things with the children. I especially like the collegiate tone of the report written by his fellow teachers. He has clearly inspired them to share his passion for using film to excite pupils and enhance their learning experience."
Veronica Hanke (IntoFilm Ambassador, University of Cambridge)
"Phil Sheppard uses his love of film and his understanding of its potential for learning to inspire and educate pupils across the curriculum. He brings tricky concepts from maths to geography to life and organises cross-curricular projects that are enhanced by film. Pupils are engaged in both analysing and reviewing film through an after school film club and enjoy extra-curricular opportunities to make cartoons and animations. The school has entered a number of competitions and won first prize in the “Show Racism the Red Card competiton” and a highly commended from BAFTA for a documentary about diabetes, as well as first prize for an animation created by his class for National Book Day. On a broader front Phil has also made a wider impact, training other teachers in animation techniques and using his involvement in the Doncaster Book awards to inspire reading through regional film-making competitions and page to screen events.
"Verdict: A highly creative teacher who clearly uses film to unlock pupils’ potential and to inspire those who work with him. It is clear that his example has had a lasting impact on the school and the community."
Hilary Hodgeson, Education Consultant
"This is work of very good quality. Phil has established strong links between the use of film and important areas of the curriculum such as literacy and history. The stimulus for cross-curricular topic work is particularly worthy of praise. Animations created by children in Paul's class are highly successful. Supporting evidence is impressive. A worthy runner up who ran the winner very close indeed."
"The glowing awards Phil has already received alongside this position as runner up is small testament to the obvious dedication he has to his job. On top of the incredible workload all teachers face, Phil adds a whole gamut of extra responsibilities both within school and the wider community. He is an absolute inspiration.
"What stood out for me most about the entry was the fact that Phil embedded film beyond the national curriculum, looking at life skills such as tolerance and health issues, such as Diabetes. I loved Dylicia's Diary – this was a very clever way to help children to understand the effects of this scary disease in a positive, informative way."
Kate Hodge (Guardian Teacher Network journalist)
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