Jocelyn Elliott, from Darling Downs South West Region (DDSWR), has headed a team running a regional project called Increasing Activity and Intelligent Minds (iAIM) in partnership with the Department of Health.
The project involved providing classroom teachers the opportunity to implement evidence-based strategies to not only increase student physical activity but also contribute to student engagement, positive behaviour and students’ ability to learn.
Jocelyn played a pivotal role in developing the regional iAIM strategy which promoted physical activity as a key contributing factor to school improvement – particularly creating a culture that promotes learning. The iAIM program allowed for local contexts and encouraged whole-of-school approaches to physical activity, partnerships with local, state and national organisations, and the building of teacher capacity and capability across 80 schools which registered with the iAIM program.
Jocelyn led and supported over 50 teacher action research projects and promoted the resultant good practice in various formats and forums. She developed a framework and strategies to assist principals to evaluate and plan future actions in relation to their school’s physical activity culture to support learning, health and wellbeing.
Jocelyn also organised and staged over 10 TeachMeets across the DDSWR which encouraged teachers to share active engagement strategies with other teachers in 2, 5 and 7 minute presentations during twilight meetings from 4pm – 6.30pm. Many teachers cited this community of practice as an invaluable part of their professional development and within the DDSWR, the TeachMeet concept is now being used for other ‘subject’ areas – somewhat of a legacy.
Further, Jocelyn forged a partnership with Sport and Recreation Services to develop and deliver a 10-workshop series for teachers across the region called “Activity-Permissive Classrooms” which was based on local and international research findings and recommendations, as well as her own ideas and experiences. She engaged the talents of other practicing teachers to act as special guest presenters at times which again promoted teacher capacity and capability.
The workshops focussed on the neuroscience behind using physical activity as an effective pedagogical practice as well as practical applications including active lesson warm ups, active curriculum, active brain breaks and active furniture in classrooms. Consistent themes from workshop participants’ feedback was how inspiring, motivational, practical, and relevant the workshops were and from one participant that it ‘revolutionised’ his teaching!
The 100KM Club – a walking and running program before or during school which emphasised inclusion, parent and community engagement, readiness to learn, and health and wellbeing - started by Jocelyn and a colleague from Dalby SS in 2014, was enhanced and showcased by Jocelyn over the years which culminated in over 20 schools replicating the model and the 100KM Club winning a state award i.e. the ACHPER QLD Innovative Program award, and taking out the Regional award for the 2018 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools.
Jocelyn worked tirelessly to share the iAIM findings and strategies at schools, in regional forums and principal meetings and at state, national and international conferences. She was invited to speak at three international conferences, one with other iAIM team members, one where she invited practicing teachers to share their experiences, and one as part of a Schools Showcase section. Jocelyn also nominated the iAIM program in the Educational Innovation category for the 2016 Regional Achievement and Community Awards and the iAIM program was one of three state finalists.
“Jocelyn continually looked for opportunities to increase the capability of team members and teachers in areas such as presentation skills, expert content knowledge and up-to-date national and international research findings,” Principal Advisor Regional Improvement Kath Kelly said.
Her team’s work is available on the iAIM edStudio on the Department of Education’s ‘The Learning Place’ as well as the website www.iaim.eq.edu.au as a resource for all teaching staff.
Congratulations Jocelyn on your QCT Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award nomination.