Before the much-anticipated return of the students, all teaching staff spent 3 days the previous week engaging in professional learning (PL). We call it Week 0. There were many highlights but a key one from the outset was having so many non-teaching staff attend the first half of Day One together with the teaching staff prior to enjoying a collegial lunch.  Across the three days, a variety of engaging opportunities were on offer including the launch of our Strategic Vision – SOC2035, updates from the Principal, Marketing and Community and eServices, the launch of The Resilience Project, a fantastic guest speaker and collaborative meeting time.  Whilst all were valuable, I want to focus on the guest speaker who zoomed in from the mainland to work with us.

We have been lucky enough to engage the services of Gavin Grift who is an internationally renowned presenter and author.  Gavin strongly believes that all students should have the same chances of success.  As such, his mission is to help develop teachers and leaders through transformational programs that focus on coaching, collaboration and teaching practice.  We hope to be working with him for the next three years so Week 0 was just the beginning.

Gavin cleverly led the teaching staff through a series of reflective questions to make it clear that we all believe in the ability of every child to experience growth and success and, furthermore, we all believe that that outcome is more likely to occur through collaboration.  We explored the notion of purposeful collaboration and focused in on the four most important questions that we all need to ask ourselves as educators.  We are energised by the thought of even deeper collaborative practice with each other and we are looking forward to our next steps with Gavin.  Through structured professional learning teams we will become a Professional Learning Community (PLC), hence meeting one of the key goals in the Learning Strand of SOC2035.

In the words of famous American poet, Mattie Stepanek, “Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”

Virginia Berechree
Head of Professional Learning, Research & Innovation