Portland College Curriculum Manager David Winter was announced as the winner of the Outstanding Individual Contribution Award at the National Special Educational Needs and Disability Awards Ceremony that took place last week.
The National Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Awards celebrates the most inclusive practice for young people in schools, colleges, educational settings and employment across the UK.
Portland is a leading independent specialist college and registered care home for young adults with disabilities and Dave’s career at the college has spanned over 23 years. First starting as a part-time carer as his first paid employment, then as Care Coordinator, before moving into learning support and teaching roles and ultimately management as an excellent educator and role-model for his learners and colleagues.
During his time at the college, Dave has helped his learners to achieve many successes throughout his career and as he has developed, he has been able to have an even bigger impact on more people. After designing and introducing the first sports curriculum at Portland in 2006, learners have the opportunity to compete in local, regional and national events, and Dave has led many successes with learners representing England in Boccia squads and the Table Cricket team have won the Lord Taverner’s national title several times. Dave has also introduced a comprehensive evening enrichment programme for learners which he has opened up to others in the community.
Dave is now in the process of rolling out a new initiative at Portland; the Be Healthy, Active and Courageous project, which involves a 12-week training programme for staff to provide the knowledge tools and techniques for staff to support learners with self-awareness, self-regulation, goal setting, achievement habits, self-compassion and resilience.
All of this is alongside Dave’s busy role of managing a complex curriculum and large team of specialist staff to ensure our learning programmes are delivered to the highest quality and in line with learner aspirations.
Portland College Principal and CEO comments on Dave’s award: “Dave was one of the first people I got to know when I came to Portland nearly 15 years ago. Then he was just completing his teacher training qualification and I observed his teaching practice and watched him develop from a beginning teacher to an outstanding one. I worked directly with him on innovative projects such as our Sport England Fully Inclusive Sport training programme and the groundwork that led to the current Natspec Games. He has continued to innovate and put his heart and soul into developing young people with disabilities. It is wonderful to see Dave get this recognition and the outpouring of appreciation for a brilliant teacher.”
Dave himself comments: “I am very honoured to have received this award. I have dedicated the last 23 years of my life to Portland and the learners that have passed through our doors in that time, but I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support of my colleagues and family and for that I am extremely grateful.”