Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2022

12 October 2022

Junior School Headteacher Mrs Davies and Teaching Assistant Mrs Allonby attended the Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2022 in London on Tuesday 11 October.

Mrs Allonby was among 5 finalists in the ‘Unsung Hero’ category, which had over 700 entries from other independent schools across the country.

Sadly, she did not come first but she will always be a winner to us!! We love you Lesley Anne, congratulations.

Read our entry for Mrs Allonby, and see some wonderful words from our Junior School children below:

Lesley-Anne (sorry Mrs Allonby) has been a much-loved Teaching Assistant at Windermere School, Elleray since September 1997. Lesley-Anne has been here so long that she used to change the nappies of our now Year 4 teacher, Mr Whitehead!

We love Lesley-Anne because she goes above and beyond to make sure staff and children are welcomed, happy and entertained. She arrives early every morning, with cheerful enthusiasm, a smile and a genuine zest to start the day.

We love Lesley-Anne because she gives her time selflessly to children, families and the wider school community. Although she is part-time, she attends the school functions on her days off. She was specifically invited to the Year 5 and 6 wrap party after their production of ‘Star Warts’ and while told to sit down and relax, spent the afternoon holding a bin bag, collecting rubbish and calming down tired and over-excited 10-year-olds. Lesley-Anne never takes time for herself. In her 20+ years of working at Elleray, she has only ever taken time off during her lunch break once – choosing instead to work with the children or support the staff.

We love Lesley-Anne because nothing phases her, and she is a ‘go to’ for staff and children. When there are questions over who can help, Lesley Anne is always there volunteering or taking the jobs on. Lesley-Anne will drop anything to help and support any individual.

We love Lesley-Anne because she has been a constant support as a Teaching Assistant and can be relied upon to put a display up in no time at all! She has the best ideas and nothing is too much for her. She is currently working on our ’Kindness Tree’ noticeboard in the main hall.

We love Lesley-Anne because she is never afraid to share her opinion. If she thinks your lesson needs adapting for the children, she will let you know, and she is never wrong! Lesley-Anne recognises every student’s uniqueness. She discovers the pupils’ own interests in order to enthuse them in their learning. Hector had a strong dislike for reading but wanted to be a farmer, so Mrs Allonby brought in Farmer’s Weekly for their reading sessions. Hector, now in Year 11, still recounts the story with great fondness.

We love Lesley-Anne because even though she is not naturally an ‘outdoorsy’ sort of person, she has found herself outside for a considerable amount of time over the last 25 years. She has learnt to embrace the school’s passion for the outdoors, developing her skills in Forest School, on the Lake and in the Fells.

We love Lesley-Anne and she loves Christmas! Each year she cannot wait to put on her red elf shoes and bring Christmas magic to all we do. Nativity plays, parties and Christmas lunches, Lesley-Anne can be found at the centre of it all!

We love Lesley-Anne and she loves us! She even chose to have the Elleray choir attend and sing at her wedding!