A teaching graduate from Edge Hill University has been nominated for a top award for an innovative sporting activity launched for children in lockdown.

Alexandra Graham, 22, teaches at Kingmoor Junior School in Cumbria. She has been nominated for a TES School Award for New Teacher of the Year 2020 for her incredible work setting up the ‘Sock Olympics’.

The Sock Olympics was created by Alex as an inclusive way to get children active and having fun during the first UK lockdown. It simply involves rolling up a pair of socks and using them to do a range of sporting activities.

Alex explained: “My colleagues and I were looking for a way to keep kids active despite the lockdown. Then the idea for the Sock Olympics came to me in a lightbulb moment. It was perfect, everyone has socks, so they cost nothing and need no extra equipment. I came up with eight different events for the children to do using the socks and the initiative was born.”

The simplicity of the concept meant it was quickly picked up by schools from all over the UK and even went international with schools from America, Canada and Egypt contacting Alex about the Sock Olympics. Overall 400 educators got in touch with her for help setting up their own events.

“I was overwhelmed with the response. Schools were really enthusiastic to join in with The Sock Olympics and it was amazing that something so simple could bring so much joy to children in lockdown” Alex said. “Being nominated for a TES teaching award has made me feel really honoured and appreciated and has given me a lot of confidence in my abilities.”

Alex studied BA Hons Primary English Education and graduated from Edge Hill University in 2019. She has been teaching in Carlisle ever since.

Discussing her time at Edge Hill, Alex said: “Being a new teacher is challenging but I learnt so much at Edge Hill and it set me up well. I’m still in contact with my lecturers and sometimes ask them questions which they always answer. You don’t realise it while you’re studying but now I appreciate just how much I learnt on my course.”

Senior Lecturer in Primary English Karen Morris said: “It is such an honour for Alex to be shortlisted and as her former English lecturer, I am really proud of her, as is everyone in the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill.”

The TES Schools Awards will be held digitally at 8pm on Friday 13th November. Winners will also be announced on twitter.

To find out more about the Sock Olympics or for information on setting up your own event, visit Kingmoor Junior’s website, or follow Alex Graham on Twitter at @MissGrahamteach.

Edge Hill University runs a number of courses in education and teacher training. Visit the website www.edgehill.ac.uk/education for more information on all the education courses available at Edge Hill.