Inspirational Bradford College teacher honoured by Oxford University

Bradford College English teacher Adam Pothecary has won an Inspirational Teachers Award from the University of Oxford

A teacher from Bradford College is being honoured by Oxford University for the inspirational role he played for one of his former students.

Adam Pothecary, who teaches English language and literature, is one of a select group of state sector teachers recognised in the university’s annual Inspirational Teachers Awards.

The awards aim to recognise the importance of school or college teachers in encouraging bright students to realise their potential and make a successful application to Oxford.

Mr Pothecary, from Steeton, was nominated by his former pupil Rocco Memery, who is currently studying English Language and Literature at Harris Manchester College, Oxford.

Rocco said: “Mr Pothecary is the most dedicated tutor I have encountered. I nominated him because he made me fall in love with my subject; without his support and encouragement I likely would not have accepted my place at Oxford.

Mr Pothecary, who has worked at Bradford College for 21 years and taught Rocco at A Level, said he was “surprised” and “flattered” to learn he had been nominated.

He said: “Rocco was a delight to teach: obviously extremely intelligent, perceptive and analytical when looking closely at literature, but also highly motivated, hard-working and very well organised. His real strength, though, lay in the fact that he always listened very carefully to other students, was very generous with his help and time, was never arrogant, dismissive, impatient or condescending, and would always offer and suggest alternative readings and interpretations of texts rather than issue edicts or confrontational challenges.”

Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at Oxford, congratulated Bradford College for “providing inspiration, support and encouragement” to its Oxford candidates.

She added: “The University of Oxford’s Undergraduate Admissions Office launched this award scheme in 2010 to recognise the crucial role teachers and careers advisers play in encouraging talented students in their schools or colleges.

“Each year a selection of current first first-year Oxford undergraduates are asked to nominate a teacher who inspired them to apply for Oxford, fostered their passion for a particular subject or supported them through the application process.”

Mr Pothecary will receive his award at a formal awards ceremony and dinner in Oxford in May.