A teacher from Willows High School has beenhonoured with a Silver Award in The Pearson National Teaching Award for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year.

Selected from thousands of nominations from across the UK, Joe Gill received the accolade for his outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children he works with every day. 

Nominated by the school's Senior Leadership Team, Joe's excellent work has enabled vulnerable pupils to continue learning despite the pandemic. He has also created and led an integration programme so that children with little or no English, many of whom having experienced trauma in their own countries, can be supported before entering mainstream education.

Since joining the school in September 2020, Joe has brought learning to life and brings in tools such as construction equipment and gardening utensils in a bid to keep pupils engaged. He also uses his break and lunch times to encourage pupils to play sport, purposefully encouraging different ethnic backgrounds to interact and collaborate.

Headteacher at Willows High School, Chris Norman said:"I am so pleased for Joe, he fully deserves the recognition for the difference he is making in the lives of our most vulnerable pupils. In the relatively short time he has been at Willows he has had a massive positive impact and enabled us to become even more inclusive as a school."

Reflecting on the award Joe said:"I am humbled to have been given this prestigious award. It's rewarding to know that my work has been recognised and that what I'm doing is having a really positive effect on some of our most vulnerable pupils. Many have faced traumas I can't begin to imagine yet they are the most hardworking and grateful pupils I've ever worked with. Their positivity is infectious - watching them develop confidence and start to flourish is the reason I love this profession. I'm excited to see what the future holds for them and for myself."

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Merry said: "I am delighted that Joe has been recognised as an educator who is committed, dedicated and whose approach to teaching will change the lives of many young people.

"Children and young people have missed out incredibly over the last year or more and I would like to pay tribute to Joe, and all of Cardiff's teachers, who have gone above and beyond to help support and keep pupils engaged during these difficult times."

Joseph has now been shortlisted to win one of just 15 Gold Awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC and celebrates the exceptional school staff who have worked wonders during an incredibly challenging time for educators across the country. 

Willows High School is embarking on an exciting new chapter and proposals are currently being developed to relocate and rebuild the school. A six week non-statutory engagement process to give pupils, members of the public and local stakeholders the chance to have their say in creating a new vision for the school including its curriculum, rebrand and the development of the new school building.

To share your views online, please visit 

The engagement period closes on July 23 2021.