The Assistant Principal: Curriculum at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Catherine Wilson, has demonstrated innovative practice in professional development, teaching strategies and learning spaces at her school.
Regularly drawing on current research, she implements and trials with interested teachers well-researched strategies within the school. This included the work of John Hattie and Gregory Yates with their Visible Learning and the Science of how We Learn (2014) and the ten instructional practices known as High Impact Teaching Strategies.
She has a deep knowledge of all curriculum areas across Prep to Year 6 creating all curriculum programs for the school in her role.
Having engaged in learning such as the Queensland Education Leadership Institute (QELi) data literacy program in 2018, she continues to use ongoing data collection in class to have students reflect on their learning and then use the feedback to personalise the support of them.
Based off the work of Rachel Eell’s The Power of Collective Efficacy (2011) about the power of collective teaching efficacy, and the positive correlation with student achievement, Catherine has increasingly led staff to collaborate more.
Adopting a “doors open” policy, teachers now schedule planning days together and share data. Catherine has led groups of teachers to other schools and hosted groups at her school to share practice and innovation and build a collaborative future.
“Catherine has introduced the use of flexible learning spaces, along with the associated pedagogical changes and learning approaches used. Technology is embedded deeply in teachers’ pedagogy, using digital portfolios of work, flipped learning, online learning resources and as a parent communication tool. Catherine designed and delivered Professional Development (PD) in 2016 to develop teacher knowledge of coding, how to program robots and design algorithmic thinking activities to meet the new Digital technologies curriculum,” Principal Mark Fox says.
These teaching strategies have built student confidence and their problem-solving skills. Many spend their afternoon tea at Catherine’s Maths Club which is open to students of all abilities. Improved results have been recorded, including at external competitions such as the University of New South Wales International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) competitions.
A life-long learner, she completed a Graduate Certificate of Education in 2012 and is nearing the completion of a Master of Philosophy (Education). She participates in and encourages others to join online courses, attends and presents at conferences and runs workshops.
“The removal of mathematics texts in 2019, accompanied by the introduction of the Assessment Tools for Number created by Professor Dianne Siemon, has led to a whole school approach to data collection in Maths. This has informed learning and teaching in Mathematics, with a significant change in teaching practice across the whole school in Mathematics.” Mark says.
Congratulations Catherine on your nomination.