BEST TEACHER: Dedicated Nick Matthews is nominated

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AN ENTHUSIASTIC and dedicated teacher who taught in China for two years has been nominated in this Community Stars award.

Nick Matthews, a year-five and six teacher, has said he was “really touched” after he was nominated for the Best Teacher category.

Nick is a teacher at St Mary’s C of E Primary School, Clymping, in Brookpit Lane, and started working there a year ago after returning home from a two-year stint teaching in China.

Yet although he has only been at the school for a full year he has made a big impression on staff, pupils and parents.

Mum Karen Baird nominated Nick for the award and said: “My oldest child has been growing steadily through his school years and I would say with the arrival of Mr Matthews in this past year, his self-confidence and enthusiasm has excelled and he is heading off to secondary school with a great attitude to learning.

“Mr Matthews has ignited a spark and sense of enthusiasm and inspiration to his class and also through to other pupils in the school.

“He has been dedicated and supportive to all children taking part in inter-school and outside of school activities and he is always behind a barbecue wherever needed.

“Before and after school clubs have also been great and my children have been very enthusiastic to take part.”

Head teacher Janet Llewelyn said Nick was one of “many fantastic teachers at this school”, adding: “The nomination recognises the amount of enthusiasm and hard work he puts into the job.

“He is the first man who we have had here for a long time. Men are a bit thin on the ground in primary schools.”

Nick Matthews said he was “delighted” about the nomination and said: “I was not expecting it at all. I am really touched people feel what I am doing is working.”

Nick has lived in West Sussex since he was 16 and teaches at the school where his nephew once attended.

He said of his teaching: “I like to think it is fairly enthusiastic and I like to bring in humour where it is appropriate and bring in scenarios that the children can relate to.

“I like to keep them on their toes so they never know what will happen next.”