A TEACHER who has dedicated her life to igniting a passion for Chemistry in young people has been honoured for her achievements.
Wendy Winnard, who has taught A-Level Chemistry at Priestley College for 13 years, received the Excellence in Secondary and Further Education Prize from The Royal Society of Chemistry.
“I am fortunate enough to have maintained contact with many of my students over the years and many have gone on to diverse careers becoming doctors, research scientists, art restorers and some of them, chemistry teachers themselves,” she said.
“It is these success stories that have inspired me to keep on doing what I do and also seeing, on a day-to-day basis, students who struggle with difficult concepts, turn up to support sessions and become resilient in their learning, and ace those formative assessments.”
The Royal Society of Chemistry rewards teachers who have inspired and supported students from a range of backgrounds.
They recognise individuals, teams and schools across primary, secondary, further education and higher education, for their exceptional contributions to chemistry education.
Wendy was praised for ensuring the next generation is scientifically literate, well informed and enthusiastic about learning.
Judges said of her: “Wendy’s work plays a crucial role in shaping the future of aspiring scientists. Every day she plans, prepares and delivers lessons with the aim of engaging and inspiring students.”
Wendy studied biochemistry at the University of Manchester in the early 1980s and since her PGCE has taught chemistry in various state comprehensives, an International School in Milan, and four sixth form colleges.
The proud Salfordian was inspired to teach by her mum who was also a teacher despite disabilities brought on by a bout of polio she suffered as a child.
“I saw how she changed many young lives for the better and how generations later she would be stopped in the local shopping precinct to remind her how she was valued,” said Wendy.
Now, as she prepares for a new career working at Daresbury Laboratory, she sees the Royal Society of Chemistry’s honour as a ‘lifetime achievement award’.
Reflecting on her career so far she said: “Great science education creates critical thinkers. It enables students to call out misleading headlines and to question narratives. It should highlight climate change and fuel crises, but instil hope that future generations of scientists have the power to adapt and rise to these challenges.”