Inspirational teacher to be awarded by top university

Graeme Morrison, 28, history teacher at Biggar High School
Graeme Morrison, 28, history teacher at Biggar High School

A Biggar High School teacher has been honoured by Oxford University in recognition of the inspirational role he played in the education of a former pupil.

28-year-old Graeme Morrison, who has been a history teacher at the school for nearly 5 years, inspired former pupil Kathryn Sandilands to go onto study law and French at the oldest university in Britain.

18-year-old Kathryn Sandilands, former pupil at Biggar High School, is now studying law and French at Pembroke College, Oxford.

18-year-old Kathryn Sandilands, former pupil at Biggar High School, is now studying law and French at Pembroke College, Oxford.

He is just one of 10 state school teachers to receive the Inspirational Teachers Award, run by Oxford University.

Graeme, from Moodiesburn, said: “I was taken aback when I received the news that Kathryn had nominated me for this award, and I am overwhelmed that she felt I was deserving of recognition.

“I am honoured to receive this award from such a prestigious institution however, I must stress that pupils like Kathryn make a teacher’s job very easy indeed.

“She is a model student with all the attributes, both academic and personal, to succeed in whatever she wishes to do in the coming years. I am very grateful she took the time to recognise my work.’

18-year-old Kathryn, from Biggar, is now in her first year at Pembroke College, Oxford, after leaving Biggar High School last year where Greame taught her history classes.

She said: “Mr Morrison was the first person to tell me I’d make a good lawyer and without his support I would never even have considered the University of Oxford as a possibility.

“Mr Morrison is the kind of teacher who pushes people to find out what they’re capable of and he deserves to be reminded of the kind of impact that can have.

“This award is a thank you for four years of enthusiasm, kindness and support.”

He will be presented with his award at a ceremony held at Oxford’s St Peter’s College on Friday, May 19, by Professor Sarah Whatmore, pro-vice-chancellor at Oxford University.

The scheme recognises the crucial role teachers and careers advisers play in encouraging talented students in their schools or colleges. A selection of current first-year Oxford undergraduates were asked to nominate teachers or careers advisers who inspired them to apply to Oxford, fostered their passion for a particular subject, or supported them through the application process.

Oxford University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, said: ‘Inspirational teachers make a lifelong impression on their students. Every one of us, of any age, can remember a teacher who challenged and inspired us, who brought out the best in us, and motivated us to do more.

“Oxford’s standing as one of the world’s pre-eminent universities is underpinned not only by the excellence of its research against global benchmarks, but by the acknowledged quality of its teaching.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients.”