Over the past week, Beef Australia 2021 has provided a wonderful opportunity to catch up with so many individuals who are connected with the Girls Grammar community. Our trade stand in the Walter Pierce Pavilion was a hive of activity all week. It was very rewarding to have so many of our current students pop in for a chat, share their experiences of Beef Week and talk about what they were learning, seeing and enjoying. We also loved meeting and catching up with so many Old Girls as well as the many past parents, past staff and friends of the school who stopped by to say hello. Importantly, our stand allowed us a chance to meet with potential families, talk about our lovely school and discuss all the features that make it such a great learning environment for girls.
The broader offerings of Beef Week also provided an ideal platform to gain insight into aspects of the lives of many of our rural families and to gain greater understanding of the importance of the agricultural industry to our region and our nation. Educationally, our agriculture students gained a great deal from their time at the showgrounds, engaging in a range of learning opportunities, listening to industry presentations and trialing the latest technology used in beef processing. Our Show Team also participated in a number of competitions, including judging, and some of our students even met the Prime Minister!
With so many people visiting Rockhampton, it was also an ideal time to host a social function and our gathering on Tuesday evening was lovely. Many Old Girls, past and current parents, and past and current staff joined us on McKeague Deck for drinks and canapes. The company, great setting and balmy evening all combined to provide a very relaxing, pleasant and social evening.
Teacher Growth and Development Program
This Thursday, together with teachers Gabriel Nader and Katelyn Schultz, I attended Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ)’s Teacher Growth and Development Program in Brisbane, an important time investment given the “unequivocal evidence that the quality of teaching is the most significant in-school fact affecting student outcomes” (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2012).
ISQ’s program, which is underpinned by the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework (ATPDF), is designed to help schools develop and improve teacher performance. By participating in the two-year program, Girls Grammar will receive practical guidance about how to improve our current teacher professional development framework. As part of this process, we will consider:
effective classroom practices and classroom management strategies that have a high impact on student outcomes;
strategies for effective teacher goal setting;
methods to provide teachers with effective feedback on their professional practice; and
structures to increase the chances of successful implementation.
Girls Grammar is participating in this program as we believe that every student matters and therefore we must ensure that excellent teaching and learning is occurring in every classroom. At this stage, it is just Gabriel, Katelyn and I who are working with ISQ but over time our teaching staff will be involved with the design and planning of our processes and practices. Our learning and skills will take time to develop, but we are looking forward to working with ISQ to develop the systems and structures that lead to teacher improvement and student growth.