Education excellence recognised

Former Narre Warren South MP Judith Couacaud Graley opened the new building with Kambrya College principal Keith Perry and the school’s Student Leadership Team in 2018. Picture: SUPPLIED

The State Government has named a number of local schools and education leaders as finalists in this year’s Victorian Education Excellence Awards.

Announced on Thursday 5 October, the awards would support the continued professional development of staff, with professional learning grants of $20,000 available for each individual award and $25,000 for each team award.

Kambrya College principal Keith Perry was named as a finalist in the Colin Simpson Outstanding Secondary Principal award.

According to the nomination, he has promoted a positive learning environment and fostered a culture of collaboration and support among staff members, encouraging collaborative data analysis where teachers can share best practice, discuss student progress and collectively develop ways to improve student outcomes.

“Keith is empowering teachers to utilise data to inform their teaching and implement targeted interventions,” the nomination said.

“Keith’s experience and skills in leadership, relationship-building, planning and organisation, have instilled a sense of collective responsibility at the college that is encouraging greater community participation in school activities and actively supporting staff to excel.”

Brentwood Park Primary School was named as a finalist in the Dr Lawrie Shears Outstanding Global Teaching and Learning Award, recognising schools which have demonstrated excellence in global learning and engagement at their school and have provided their students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Brentwood Park Primary School principal Jim Bell said with about 35 languages spoken and more than half the students speaking a language other than English, the school was committed to improving global learning and engagement.

“We often say that we are energised by the cultural diversity within our school,” he said.

The school also has a sister school partnership with the Yangzhong Experimental Primary School in Jiangsu, China via the Jiangsu Education Services for International Exchange (JESIE).

The school’s global education initiatives also included an Intercultural Capability Curriculum, a Chinese Language and Culture and Asia-literacy program, a Building Global Citizenship Program, teacher exchanges and local professional partnerships.

Hampton Park Secondary College physical education teacher Ellen Newton was named as a finalist in the Outstanding Physical Education and Activity Teacher award.

According to the nomination, her engagement with students’ learning and wellbeing through their physical education has extending teachers’ understanding and capability across the college.

“Successful in attaining a 2023 Active Schools Grant for the college, Ellen has also built strong connections with organisations and partners to ensure that all students can access the learning and facilities they need to be safe, both at school and in the community,” the nomination said.

“Ensuring her students’ have every opportunity to succeed, Ellen is building scaffolded resources and providing opportunities for her students to take active responsibility in their learning.

“Whether teaching or leading professional development on how to measure and celebrate student wellbeing and learning achievement holistically, Ellen is leading by example.”