Posts by Mark Taylor

The Rosemary Evans Bequest Award winner Tara Paxman – NAPE 008

Tara Paxman was the first recipient of The Rosemary Evans Bequest Award given by The National Association for Primary Education. Now in her 3rd year as a teacher Tara talks to Mark Taylor about why she applied and the positive effects it has had on her teaching and professional development.


Are you a recently qualified early years / primary teacher (QTS gained since June 2016)? 

Are you keen to reflect on your professional development as a classroom practitioner?

Are you keen to get something published in an educational journal and add it to your CV?

If so, we hope you will be interested in the Rosemary Evans Bequest Award to be given on an annual basis to the best article received for publication in Primary First from a recently qualified teacher. The award is for £200 and the theme can be selected from one of the following:

  • The highlights and challenges of taking on your own class
  • What do you see as the key principles and/or values which inform your approach to learning and teaching?
  • How can teacher retention be improved?
  • The global teacher for the 21st century.

The article should be between 1500 and 2000 words and you are welcome to select your own focus and title, but drawing on one of the above themes. The article should both critically explore aspects of your own experience and identity as a recently qualified teacher and be informed, where appropriate, by relevant literature. Your personal voice is seen as a key dimension of the writing.

The final date for submission for this academic year is 1 May 2019. It is to be submitted electronically in Word or PDF format to Robert Young, NAPE General Secretary at The Primary First Editorial Board will judge the submissions and it is anticipated that more than one submission will be considered for inclusion in the journal, although not in receipt of the Award itself. Further details about the Award can be requested from Robert Young.

Background and Criteria

As a result of a very generous bequest from the Rosemary Evans estate, the NAPE Council decided to make an annual award of £200 for the best article received from a recently qualified early years/primary teacher in the United Kingdom on a theme which we hope has particular salience for recently qualified teachers. The NAPE journal, Primary First, attracts contributions from distinguished educationists as well as current classroom practitioners at different stages of their careers and we see contributions from new teachers as making an important and very welcome contribution to educational discourse. We are pleased to announce that since the annual award was introduced in 2016, two primary teachers, new to the profession, have had their articles published in the Journal and have received the award.

The following criteria will be used for assessing the submissions:

  • it meets the specifications regarding word-length and choice of theme;
  • it is written with clarity, fluency and in a style which engages the reader;
  • it illuminates the issues/topics being addressed with insight and informed judgement;
  • it address aspects of the author’s own experience as a teacher with a perceptive and critical eye.
  • it draws selectively and cogently on elements of relevant literature (which might include local and/or regional documents, published articles, key texts etc.), acknowledging sources, where appropriate.

2 October 2018

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C.H.A.M.P.S. Mentoring with Vondale Singleton. LF015

Vondale Singleton joins me on the Learning on Fire podcast and explores the most important learning and educational moments that shaped his life.

Our guest – Vondale Singleton

Vondale Eugene Singleton Sr. was born on the Southside of Chicago. After overcoming the death of his mother due to crack-cocaine, an incarcerated father throughout high-school, and the negative influences of the Ida B. Wells Housing projects he beat the odds becoming a first-generation college student earning his Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education and his Master’s Degree in Marital and Family Therapy from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. He credits his mentor, Steven Robertson as the person who invested sacrificially his time and resources to help him become the man he is today.

The last 16 years he has worked as an advocate in primary, secondary, and higher education, as both a teacher and administrator. He believes that “salvation plus education is an unbeatable combination.” He started C.H.A.M.P.S. for young men in an effort to mentor young men with similar circumstances. He helped organize the Award Winning Music Video at the White House Film Festival, which landed the C.H.A.M.P.S. a visit to the White House with President Obama.

Vondale has won numerous awards and received many recognitions for his work with C.H.A.M.P.S. He was recently named the “Father of the Year” for the State of Illinois by the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, a Walmart Community Playmaker through the coveted Chicago Blackhawks as well aa MLK Community Champion. He is married to his College sweetheart, Dr. Patrina Singleton. They reside in Chicago, Il with their two beautiful children, Promise Singleton (9), and Vondale E. Singleton, Jr, (4).


Questions asked on the Learning on Fire Podcast Interview

  1. Who are you?
  2. What does your life look like now and how is it different from when you were growing up?
  3. What was valuable about your school experience?
  4. Which teachers do you remember and why?
  5. Who did you admire when you were young?
  6. What was it about that person that had such an impact?
  7. What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given and who gave it to you?
  8. What advice would you give your younger self?
  9. What does your future look like?
  10. What podcast, book, video, film, song or other resource has had the biggest impact on your life and why?


Resources mentioned

The Bible

Believe to Achieve by Howard H White 

Eric Thomas – Podcast


Contact information

Social Media – @champsmentoring

Show Sponsor

National Association for Primary Education

Our aim is to achieve a higher priority for the education of children from birth to 13. High quality learning in the early years of life is vitally important to the creation of an educated society. Young children are not simply preparing for the future, they are living a never to be repeated time of life and the best way to learn is to live.