There are several 'Awards Evenings' each year at Emerson Park Academy, these are for academic excellence, effort and sporting achievement.
During lesson time and extra-curricular time students are awarded Pride Points for a variety of reasons: for example an exceptional effort, contribution to class discussions or being supportive and encouraging others.
Students are awarded Pride Point certificates and badges in the category of Bronze, Silver and Gold each year.
At the end of each term staff nominate two students per subject, one for exceptional performance and one for exceptional effort. Students receive a badge and a certificate for these awards.
The Walter May Achievement Award
The student who received this award in 2017/18 was Sam Young, he achieved a Grade 9 in both French and Spanish.
The Walter May Achievement Award is given in honour of the first Headmaster of Hornchurch Grammar School which was the original school in Wych Elm Road now known as Emerson Park Academy. The award is given to pupils studying modern foreign languages. It is awarded for substantial effort and improvement in language study during the academic year.
Walter May was an outstanding teacher and educator whose love of language particularly French continued throughout his long and eventful life. He was born in Enfield in north London in 1910. After completing teacher training Walter May moved to County Durham for his first teaching position. In 1940 he was appointed senior modern languages master at Buckhurst Hill County High School where he taught through the war years as teaching was a ‘reserved’ profession. He built a formidable reputation as a pioneer of modern language teaching. Lessons were conducted almost entirely in French. Pupils were only allowed to speak in English when they held the ‘craie magique’ (magic chalk).
This success led to his early appointment as one of His Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools. Travel around the country followed and while he missed teaching he saw the inner workings of many different schools which helped form his ideas on headship. In 1952, he was appointed headmaster of Hornchurch County High School. Shortly afterwards the school moved on to a newly constructed site at the end of Wych Elm Road and was renamed Hornchurch Grammar School. He remained headmaster until his retirement in 1970.
His commitment to language teaching continued even with the demands of managing the school. Following Walter May’s retirement he moved to Angers in France where he spent 20 happy years enjoying the country, its language and culture and he continued his teaching although mostly of English. He returned to England in 2003 to Cheltenham where he was close to family and friends. He died peacefully on the 8th January 2013.