Chiswick School teacher wins gold at prestigious National Teaching Awards

Image above: Zac Moxon (second from the right) at the award ceremony with Georgia Knight, Head of Dance (L) Tommy Robinson, Head of Performing Arts at Chiswick School, and Head teacher Laura Ellener (R)

Music teacher honoured at ‘Oscars of teaching’

Zac Moxon, the Head of Music at Chiswick School, has won the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year award at the 2023 Pearson National Teaching Awards. These awards, regarded as the ‘Oscars of teaching’, recognise the unwavering commitment of educators to their students’ development and learning.

The accolade was bestowed on Zac during a ceremony on Saturday evening (25 November). Judges praised his inspirational teaching style, remarkable contributions to both the school and the community, and his significant influence among peers and students.

Under his leadership the students at Chiswick School have had the opportunity to perform in some spectacular venues. Two weeks ago Chiswick Voices, the senior choir of Chiswick School, sang at a joint service of Choral Evensong with King’s Voices, the mixed choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and in March Chiswick Voices sang the whole of Vivaldi’s Gloria with Hounslow Youth Choir, even though the choir had only been formed in January 2022.

The school has several music groups which participate in community events around Chiswick, with students performing regularly at the Sunday markets in Chiswick High Rd. Tonight (Monday 27 November) the performing arts choir will be singing carols at the switching on of the Christmas lights by Hogarth’s statue. The school’s steel pan group also now perform across the area and have made quite a reputation for themselves.

READ ALSO: Chiswick School Choral Group sing at King’s College, Cambridge

Zac started at Chiswick School in 2020 as a trainee Maths teacher. When a vacancy in Music emerged a few months later, despite having no previous experience, he took on the challenge of revitalising the department, with the specific brief of  increasing participation.

‘He brought a whole new way of developing Music’ the Pearson National Teaching Awards noted. ‘Within only a few months, participation had risen and the school was producing twice as many concerts’.

In collaboration with fellow music and performing arts staff, he has achieved some remarkable milestones. He established the choir, facilitated student album recordings, fostered partnerships for the school’s steelpan group, and most notably increased GCSE Music uptake by 50%.

The Orchestra has grown to 30, and seven bands across the key stages are mentored by Zac and his colleague, ranging from Year 7 to 13. They all have their own name and style and Zac has established a healthy competitiveness between the groups. Zac has also initiated a scholarship programme offering free music lessons to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Well done, we are very proud of you” Chiswick School posted on social media.

Hounslow Council were among the first to congratulate him. @HounslowMusic, The London Borough of Hounslow’s Music Service posted:

‘Congratulations Mr Moxon, well deserved! This morning a @ChiswickSchool pupil waxed lyrical about how brilliant the arts are and how enthused they are, as a year 8 teenager, at 8.30am! What an impact you’ve had. We are so proud of you!’

The annual awards, managed by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity founded by Lord Puttnam CBE in 1998, were established to acknowledge the pivotal role educators play in shaping young minds.

“A great teacher can enrich your life”

Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said at the award ceremony:

“We all know that a great teacher can enrich your life, can help you rise to the challenge, believe in yourself, find your own voice. I know that because it happened more than once to me. That’s why these Teaching Awards are so important, and important to me.

“Every year, without fail, we see nominations which move and inspire us and this year we have seen stellar examples of life-changing role models for young people. I want to once again congratulate the winners of the 2023 Pearson National Teaching Awards and thank them for the incredible impact they have on our communities.”

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Schools at Pearson UK, said:

“It’s an honour to celebrate and express gratitude to our teachers and the incredible impact they have on our communities. The hard work that goes into teaching and showing up for students day in and day out cannot be underestimated. Congratulations to all winners and thank you for your continuous efforts.”

Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan said:

“The impact of a teacher on a child’s life can be immeasurable – I know it was for me. I am so grateful to all the staff in our schools and colleges for everything they do. This year marks 25 years of the Teaching Awards Trust, which is a huge landmark. Teachers change lives and we should all feel a sense of gratitude to those we are celebrating today. Thank you again and congratulations.”

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