I recently interviewed Sam Craggs, maths teacher at Malton School for my Teacher Hug Radio show ‘Spotlight’. ‘Spotlight’ shines a light on fantastic schools, teachers, teaching assistants and business leaders to celebrate what an amazing job they are doing in education. You can listen to the Malton School Episode of my show on Saturday 3rd July at 4 p.m. on Teacher Hug Radio.
Malton School has won best Maths Team of the Year in the TES Awards. Sam Craggs has won a Silver Pearson award and was shortlisted for a TES New Teacher of the Year Award. Their Headteacher, Rob Williams has also won the Pearson Headteacher of the Year award.
I really enjoyed talking to Sam and hear the enthusiasm of someone in the early years of their career. It was so great to hear about Sam’s attitude towards making a difference in his school and to the lives of the young people he teaches. Students at Malton know that if they have Sam teaching them they will receive a consistent and fair deal in class and also know that Sam will help deliver strong progress in lessons and over time.
Sam has spent lots of time outside of lessons developing his own pedagogy, attending lunchtime and afterschool TeachMeet sessions, contributing superbly at Faculty meetings as well as attending external training on Mastery teaching.
Teaching from an iPad was very new to Sam when he joined Malton but as a one to one iPad school, Sam quickly got to grips with the apps used in the department and some of the software the students use to improve the quality of his lessons and the overall experience the students get in his class. These iPad skills helped stand him in good stead for the issues COVID brought, moving around school more, teaching outside of Maths rooms, and crucially teaching Maths remotely from home.
Sam’s reflective nature has supported his development and he spends time working with more experienced teachers in the department to plan, create and resource lessons. He always evaluates ideas shared by more experienced staff in the department and will often adapt and use ideas to benefit his own teaching.
Sam contributes at Faculty meetings and he always offers great ideas and input when the Team discuss plans. Sam is a very popular member of the school staff team. He has helped run the Gardening Club after school and this has allowed him to meet students across all year groups. Sam has also taken on the role of mentoring PGCE students so he is already supporting others to develop their teaching practice.
Sam has lots of outstanding traits as a young teacher but it’s his care for his students that sits above all. He takes a real interest in each student and carefully considers before each lesson how he can get the best out of each of them, his students see this in him and they replicate this by working hard and showing the right attitude throughout his lessons. Sam has a fantastic rapport with the students that he works with and also the parents and carers of those students.