A Beckenham language teacher attended the live final of one of the year’s most prestigious national children’s activity awards this week, after beating hundreds of other entrants to become a finalist.
Sandi Gomez, 41, is the owner of La Pinata language club, which offers Spanish lessons to children in Beckenham and the Borough of Bromley, London.
Sandi was a finalist in the What’s On 4 Awards 2021 in the category “most valued academic activity” in her region, being nominated for the quality of her teaching, innovation and the growth of her business.
The awards, now in their 15th year, were held at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, where the ceremony took place in the original setting of the Great Hall of Hogwarts.
Sandi said: “I’m extremely proud to have reached the final because there were literally thousands of entries and it’s such a strong category and everyone wants to win.
“The last 18 months have been really difficult for everyone with the kids activities industry being hit hard as schools and venues suddenly closed and then upon reopening there were so many restrictions affecting the progress of the courses, so it’s a huge thing that encourages me to be recognized in this way.”
Sandi, along with her tutor Natalia, teaches Spanish to babies, toddlers, preschoolers and primary school children in Beckenham, using the award-winning La Jolie Ronde curriculum.
During the lockdown, Sandi took her classes online so her students could continue their language learning journey. She taught hundreds of classes on Zoom at different ages, until face-to-face classes could finally resume in person this year.
Sadly Sandi didn’t win her category but said: “The awards ceremony was magical, we had exclusive access to this iconic venue in its entirety and it was so great to be able to network with others. providers of children’s activities during the evening.
“Although I didn’t win, I’m so grateful for the amazing support I’ve received over the past few months from my equally amazing parents and students.”
Click to find out if your part of the country is one of the areas we cover.