Award delight for proud Vasile

Date published: 15 February 2021


A Romanian-born maths teacher now living and working in Oldham has won a prestigious national award – the Ray Gibbons Memorial Prize.

Along with his wife of 41 years, Iuliana, Vasile Holban came to Oldham just over a decade ago after teaching for 21 years in his homeland.

Now a hugely valued member of staff at the Hollinwood-based New Bridge School since April, 2010, Vasile was recently recognised for his outstanding teaching of children with SEND needs.

A New Bridge school blog post read: “The Ray Gibbons Memorial Prize is a very special award given specifically to maths teachers who go that extra mile in their teaching of children with SEND.

“It is a national prize, sponsored by the Mathematical Association and Equals Magazine, and Mr Holban was selected from entries nationwide to receive the award.

“Staff who have visited Mr Holban’s lessons on many occasions have always left feeling inspired by both his own passion for mathematics, and the manner in which he instils this same passion in his pupils.

“He has an extensive subject knowledge, he is skilled in helping our pupils to link their learning to everyday life and other curriculum subjects, and he has an outstanding ability to pitch his lessons at the just the right level for everyone in his class so that each pupil gains a sense of accomplishment from meeting the challenges he sets them.

“A quiet, unassuming man with a love of Rummikub – a numbers-based board game - school offers its huge congratulations to Mr Holban and deepest gratitude for the commitment and dedication you have shown to the pupils.

“This is a thoroughly well-deserved award."

A proud Vasile said: “Teaching maths is my favourite job and I put down a lot of passion, enthusiasm and hard work, which could be very contagious to my students.

“With all these ingredients, it is impossible for any student not to achieve whatever is his/her level.

“So, my recipe for success is very simple: passion for this subject, hard work, humour, building excellent relationships with my students, differentiation and the big results will come.”

Ray Gibbons was a 90-year-old mentor and hugely influential champion of lower maths achievers.

She died last year.


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