At a time when the Junior School at Ballarat Clarendon continues to thrive and develop, I fell privileged to have been asked to take on the role of Acting Head of Junior School for the immediate future. All in our school community continue to wish Susan Jackson (Head of Junior School) all the very best for her recovery from illness and we look forward to her ongoing contribution to Clarendon in the not too distant future.
Returning to the Junior School after being Head of School from 1993 to 2006 seems like symmetry. After leaving my role in 2006, I was Co-Head of the Middle School with Jenny McGie for the period 2007-2009. Having completed my Master of Education in the areas of teacher professional learning and teacher competency using video analysis, in 2009 and 2010 I ran my own consultancy. This gave me the rare opportunity to work with and coach primary and secondary teachers across the state, catholic and independent education sectors. During this time, I also worked in the tertiary sector as a University Mentor at the University of Ballarat. My role involved the supervision of students in their school placements. Having had the benefit of these rich experiences, I returned to Clarendon in 2011, to act as a Literacy Mentor in our Middle School, to coach teachers in our English team and to teach English at Years 5 and 7. I’ve also been engaged in our pastoral care program as a Year 5 Learning Mentor prior to returning to the Junior School mid-way through Term 3.
So what of the symmetry I referred to? Having had my Junior School years, then my time in Middle School and then consulting, what have I learned as I step back into the Junior School? I’ve learnt that to be part of a very good school, learning is central to all that we do. I’ve learnt that quality teaching and learning is only generated in schools where students, families and teachers share a passion for life-long learning. I’ve learnt that to be an excellent teacher, you need to place yourself in the shoes of a learner. I’ve learnt that my own children benefitted greatly from their time at College and were able to realise their aspirations beyond Year 12. Based on all of these learnings, I have a renewed passion for making the Junior School at Clarendon a place where children love to learn.
I am committed to developing a learning culture where the students know that their effort counts and that their teachers share this same commitment. The Ballarat Clarendon College Junior School continues to assist ordinary children to achieve extraordinary outcomes across all curriculum areas. The exciting thing for me is the fact that as the school continues to grow and develop, we have the opportunity to develop within our students a wonderful foundation for the Middle and Senior School years. At this time, the school is about to undergo some significant structural change to improve the teaching and learning spaces and as we move to a three-stream school we have the chance to add additional staffing expertise to support all of our children to realise their potential.
As Acting Head of the Junior School, I am committed to ensuring that no momentum is lost in supporting each and every learner. It is a privilege to return to this leadership role in the school and to continue my learning journey amongst wonderful children, staff and families.
Acting Head of Junior School