We are extremely proud of Gareth Smith who has been a Teacher and Department Lead at Severndale Specialist Academy for the last two years.  He has been awarded an MBE for his services to Children and Young People during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sabrina Hobbs said “Well done Gareth! This is a huge achievement and I am so proud that one of our own team members has been recognised for the work that we did during the pandemic and continue to do in different ways. It was a fantastic team effort, which led and influenced the specialist offer on a national scale.  Gareth supported the leadership of Oak National Academy to shape and develop the specialist provision of their virtual school, and he led on our weekly contributions with a large number of staff. The lessons and resources were always of the highest quality and ended up consistently being the most viewed with over 22,000 views captured half way through.  We planned, filmed and produced 45 lessons in total over 9 weeks, over and above supporting our own pupils and families with two Zoom sessions/lessons a day, making work and resource packs to send home, and actively adding to the Severndale YouTube channel, throughout the whole lockdown period. I am very proud of what we do and our brilliant staff who make it all happen, shaping a more inclusive future for children and young people with learning difficulties.”
Gareth was a guest on BBC Radio Shropshire’s Breakfast show this morning and he said “After my first week working with children with special educational needs (SEN) eight years ago, I realised what an honour it was to work with students who need such a personalised approach and have enjoyed everyday since.  Music is a powerful tool for children with special educational needs and it helps to engage and interact with the children.  Lockdown presented us with many challenges to how we could best support our students and families.  We zoomed our families twice a day to teach and keep in touch.  We collaborated with Oak National Academy making dedicated lessons using a multi sensory approach by including music to engage with them.  I am highly honoured that I have received an MBE and I am looking forward to the day I can go to Buckingham Palace to receive the award from Her Majesty The Queen.”
Please listen to one of the songs that Gareth wrote and sang for Oak Academy
Shropshire Star, (link below).
Well done Gareth from us all at Severndale!