PE Teacher wins Gold at Pearson National Teaching Awards

Everyone at the Youth Sport Trust would like to send a huge message of congratulations to Rachel Bown from Fairfield Farm College, who won a Gold award at the Pearson National Teaching Awards on Saturday.

Rachel is a PE teacher of 30 years and a longstanding triathlete. She has changed many lives through her passion for the impact physical activity can have on mental, physical and social health. 

Rachel was nominated for the award by our Head of Sport, Vicci Wells for her work as the Youth Sport Trust Inclusion Lead for Swindon & Wiltshire.

On hearing of Rachel’s success, Vicci said:

"Congratulations to Rachel on this well-deserved recognition of her exceptional dedication to teaching inclusive Physical Education. Her commitment to delivering inspiring, accessible, and meaningful PE for young disabled people has not only transformed lives but also made her an integral part of the YST Lead Inclusion School network. Rachel's passion for improving the quality and quantity of PE for young people shines through, making her a true beacon of inclusion and excellence in education. Well done on winning this award – a testament to your outstanding contributions!"

I believe in what I can do, rather than what I can’t do. My students are just amazing, and I always do everything I can to ensure they are successful in their lessons.

Rachel Bown
Rachel Bown

Rachel’s nomination for the award stated that she is an exceptional SEND PE practitioner at this college for students with learning and physical disabilities with “a rare gift to enthuse and motivate children and adults alike”. 

What makes Rachel’s story so special is that she was diagnosed in 2014 with a brain tumour. She not only overcame several significant challenges following this, but now proudly races for Team GB in triathlon, and has already qualified for the 2024 European Championships, demonstrating to her pupils what is possible in the face of adversity. 

Relentless in exploring new depths and determined to reach new heights, Rachel actively shares these aspirations and hope with her learners.  She has personalised life-skill courses such as ‘I can Lead’ to make them fully inclusive, and supports pupils with the most complex needs to develop communication skills, promoting independent learning. She always focuses on how something CAN be achieved, not on what might limit her learners.

Rachel’s wasn’t the only success teachers linked to the Youth Sport Trust had on Saturday evening. Well Schools board member Farhan Adam from Crown Hills Community College won Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School, you can listen to an episode of our Wells Schools podcast featuring Farhan talking about the importance of a Well Culture within schools here.

Find out more about our Inclusion 2024 programme here. You can see the full list of award winners here.

Published on 27 November 2023