Sevenoaks Teacher shortlisted for Global Teacher Prize

Huge congratulations to Miss Cat Davison, Director of Sevenoaks School’s Institute of Service and Partnerships, who has been shortlisted for the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize in partnership with UNESCO. 

Cat is one of two teachers in England selected for the shortlist of 50, out of over 8000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world. 

She was selected for her creation of innovative curricula that apply critical thinking and ethics to action and her inspiring leadership of student service, community and partnership projects. 

Early in her teaching career, Cat recognised the role teachers could play in supporting students’ efforts to drive change. She started teaching philosophy and ethics, engaging students in challenging debates on social justice. Understanding that classroom practice needs to be community-connected to enable students to apply knowledge to the transformation of their worlds, she has committed to a life as a community-centred educator.

Cat’s curricular innovations at Sevenoaks School include 'Society and Change', which enables Year 7 to explore charitable ethics and environmental action, and a social leadership programme which enabled students from many local schools to come together for sessions led by active social entrepreneurs. These have led to a surge of student-led projects including www.footprintfacts.org, which offers a personalised carbon footprint calculator, and WomenEmpower, who lead collaborative workshops.  

 After seeing passionate teachers in Ghana limited by a lack of resources, Cat has brought together teachers, students and community members in Ghana and the UK to create EduSpots, a network of 42 community-led libraries, with many powered by solar. Over 500 volunteers are connected in collaborative learning through conferences, programmes and WhatsApp groups.

Cat has also led and grown the national Schools Community Action network, bringing teachers across the country together for online sessions and conferences which enable teachers to collaborate on inclusive and sustainable models for service and partnerships. Students across the world are engaged in critically reflective global citizenship education through online courses she developed on global development and postcolonial thinking.

 The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. 

 The prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers – not only on their students but on the communities around them.

Sevenoaks Headmaster Jesse Elzinga said, ‘We are absolutely delighted that Cat Davison has been chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Global Teacher Prize. Her energy and commitment to social justice is inspiring, and what is most impressive is how she inspires our young people to play an active role supporting charities, changing society and creating a better world.  

 ‘I am so pleased that her remarkable work has been recognised by the Varkey Foundation and I know that she will continue to lead on innovative educational initiatives around service and partnership work, and be a force for good.’

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