When Southport Special School was faced with a loss of some of their play space to make way for new classrooms, one inspirational teacher created a solution that has provided invaluable opportunities for students.
Shelley Peers applied for grants and set up a successful sports and activities program to promote student engagement in exciting and important physical activities.
Shelley’s colleagues, Emily Attard and Kerrie Fletcher, say the benefits of the Sports and Activities Program are far-reaching.
“Not only does the program promote physical activity, but it also acts as a platform for social interaction and sportsmanship; an area in which our students are now showing confidence,” Emily and Kerrie say.
“She sourced brand new, suitable and modified sports equipment kits, enlisted trained professionals to run weekly sports coaching sessions, and confidently communicated with staff across the school to develop a smooth-running timetable to ensure all students and classes had access to the physical activity opportunities,” Kerrie and Emily say.
“Not only do students thoroughly enjoy their scheduled lessons, they get to transfer their skills to lunch time play with their peers, promoting and encouraging social skills and positive interactions, which is crucial at a school such as ours.
“Parents and carers have also expressed gratitude for the opportunity provided to their children.”
Children are now engaging in physical activity at the school more than ever.
Shelley has inspired her colleagues with her strong advocacy for students and her collaboration with staff to ensure the sports and activity program is long-lasting and provides new opportunities for all Southport Special School students.
“She understands and promotes the idea that disability should not exclude someone from participation in appropriate sports and physical activity,” Emily and Kerrie say.
Southport Special School principal Lisa Bodley says Shelley has worked across several teams to enable the sporting program to take place.
“She has initiated the concept for our school, been successful in gaining the necessary grants and organising coaching staff to deliver the program,” Lisa says. “I strongly endorse the nomination of Shelley Peers for this award and am very pleased that her colleagues have recognised the contribution she has made to the students in our school.”
Shelley told the QCT, "The enthusiasm of students and staff for the programs I have introduced has spurred me on further."
She has now initiated a morning and afternoon run club with 136 students that happens five times per week. She is also now in the process of organising a fun-run-fundraiser that invites other special education schools and units to join in for the day.
"It will be a day to celebrate our abilities," Shelley says. "I could not have grown as much as I have as a beginning teacher without the support and encouragement of my colleagues."
"The culture and comradery at Southport Special School ignites my passion for teaching daily."
Congratulations Shelley on your nomination for a QCT Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award.