A record number of nominations from pupils won their teacher national recognition for her work.

Gemma Blaker, of Beit Shvidler Primary School in Edgware, was named by The Week Junior as its Teacher of the Week this week. 

The national news magazine for children, which has a circulation of more than 100,000, said she had received the highest number of nominations in the award’s history.

As well as being Year 1 form teacher, Mrs Blaker, who has been at the school for three years, is also head of learning and curriculum, on the PTA and the founder of a staff/parent book club.

She was praised by pupils for her efforts to make learning so interesting and relevant, taking them on local walking trips, setting up book clubs for different year groups, creating reading challenges and initiating a poetry slam. 

When asked how she felt about her teacher winning, six-year-old Jessica Dysch said: "It's amazing, it's phenomenal."

She added: "Mrs Blaker is fun. She turns everything into a game. She did a book fair and she had a cool T-shirt saying 'It's a good day to do lots of reading'.

"Last year she wore a tiara in the classroom. She doesn't do it much now but her classes are really good."

Naomi Greenwood, a year 1 parent, said: "Mrs Blaker sees every child for who they are and centres them and their needs in a way that is so refreshing and inspiring - as a parent with a child who has special educational needs I can’t express enough how invaluable that is. 

"School is a challenge for my son but he loves being in Mrs Blaker’s class and is so engaged - she brings life and energy to every subject and he comes home excited to tell me about the stories she has shared and what he has learned.”

Times Series: Pupils at Beit Shvidler Primary School celebrated their teacher Gemma Blaker winning Teacher of the WeekPupils at Beit Shvidler Primary School celebrated their teacher Gemma Blaker winning Teacher of the Week (Image: Beit Shvidler Primary School)

The achievement was celebrated in a school assembly on Monday (March 20) and with cake and a class party in Year 1.

Mrs Blaker said: “I’m so touched that my class and their parents have nominated me as Teacher of the Week.

"It’s always lovely when people see how hard teachers work – but my amazing class and their parents make my job an absolute joy."