A PRIESTLEY College teacher has been awarded a highly prestigious chemistry prize.

Wendy Winnard was named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Excellence in Secondary and Further Education Prize for her contributions to chemistry education.

The Priestley teacher from Moore won the prize for ‘innovation and leadership’ in chemistry teaching after helping inspire students from a range of backgrounds to show an interest in chemistry.

As well as her work mentoring fellow chemistry teachers.

All the winners join a prestigious list of past winners in the RSC’s prize portfolio, 60 of whom have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their work, including 2022 Nobel Laureate Carolyn Bertozzi and 2019 Nobel laureate John B Goodenough.

The honour comes with a medal, certificate and £3,000 cash prize.

Speaking of her achievements, Wendy said: “I feel absolutely honoured and overwhelmed to receive this prize. It arrives at a pinnacle moment in my life.

“I now hope that I am able to put this recognition to good use and hopefully pay something back to the next generation of chemistry teachers.” 

Wendy's work plays a crucial role in shaping the future of aspiring scientists. Every day she plans, prepares and delivers lessons with the aim of engaging and inspiring students.

She helps those who find learning most challenging progress while supporting the most independent learners to be their best selves.  

Through her teaching she trains students to conduct hands-on research in the chemistry laboratory to develop safe habits while actively reinforcing their subject knowledge.

While encouraging her students to explore various career options and emphasises how achieving high grades can open up many opportunities.  

Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said:  “The chemical sciences are at the forefront of tackling a range of challenges facing our world.

“From fundamental chemistry to cutting-edge innovations, the work that chemical scientists do has an important role to play in building our future. 

“The inspiration, innovation and dedication of those who work in education is fundamental to the progress of the chemical sciences – shaping the future and setting our young people up to tackle the challenges and the opportunities facing our society and our planet. 

“Mrs Winnard’s work demonstrates an outstanding commitment to chemistry education, and it is our honour to celebrate their considerable contribution.”