Jemma Evans of Penybont Primary School is our Teacher of the Year 2022

28 Jun 2022 in Into Film Awards

4 mins
Teacher of the Year Jemma Evans with actor Celyn Jones and Monica Geldart
Teacher of the Year Jemma Evans with actor Celyn Jones and Monica Geldart

Congratulations to Jemma Evans, from Penybont Primary School in Bridgend, Wales, who has been awarded Teacher of the Year (sponsored by Working Title Films) at the 2022 Into Film Awards. The award was presented by actor Celyn Jones and TikTok star Monica Geldart.

A life-long film fan, Evans has truly embraced the use of film in learning during her 17 years at Penybont. Teaching primary age learners, she has made full use of the Into Film offer to help and support her students. As well as running a successful Into Film Club, Evans' activities range from a passion for filmmaking and stop-motion animation, to extensive use of the Into Film+ streaming service, regular attendance at the Into Film Festival, and an enthusiasm for writing film reviews.

"My pupils are able to overcome the barriers they would usually face with literacy when film is the vehicle for learning", explains Evans. "I am able to sensitively raise awareness and develop empathy though film. I have pupils in my care contending with everything from dyslexia and autism to bereavement or having had to leave their country. Through film I'm teaching the children to understand others' perspectives and broaden their own".

We get so much enjoyment from reading, understanding and writing reviews on the Into Film website. I love noting the sense of pride that they feel when their work is published online for other children to see.

Jemma Evans, Penybont High School - Teacher of the Year 2022
Teacher of the Year Jemma Evans receives her award on stage

Bridgend is an area of high deprivation, with a significant percentage of pupils relying on Free School Meals. This, along with the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has seen Evans' use of film come into its own. "Their resilience has astounded me", she says of her young learners. "I've never been more proud to be a teacher".

"It's a privilege to be able to provide my pupils with opportunities to not only explore the creative work of others but also to develop their own ability through film. How awesome that I get to share my passion for movies with them it doesn't feel like work at all doing something that I love, and I'm constantly enthused by how much of a positive impact it has on the children."

Robbie Owens, Headteacher at Penybont High School, was also effusive in his praise of Evans' achievements: "Jemma's enthusiasm, passion and vision for using film in the school has not just benefited her class, but the school as a whole, as she shares her knowledge and skillset with both pupils and staff in many ways. We are extremely lucky to have Jemma leading such an exciting area in our school, and we look forward to developing the school's use of film within our new curriculum in the terms to come".

To be able to inspire young lives through the power of film encourages me to remain dedicated to my teaching and my Into Film Club. I can't imagine ever doing anything else.

Jemma Evans, Penybont High School - Teacher of the Year 2022
Jemma Evans, Teacher of the Year 2022, sitting in the Delorean

This Article is part of: Into Film Awards

Articles relating to our annual Into Film Awards, including all the nominees and winners from past years.

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