The educational achievements of two Lower Mountains primary schools have been acknowledged in the 2021 NSW Minister's and Secretary's Awards for Excellence.
The award announcement, which took place on Monday, September 6, delivered the news that Winmalee Public School had received the Secretary's School Achievement Award for Whole School Achievement.
Glenbrook Public School has also been recognised, after receiving the Secretary's School Achievement Award for Quality Teaching Coordinator.
"I am beyond proud of the students, staff and community and think that receiving this award is great recognition for the relentless focus we have on student learning," said Winmalee Public School principal Kate Ford.
"To me, whole school achievement is having both short-term and long-term student-centered goals that are applied to all students not just to selected cohorts. When making decisions about what is going to be best for our students, we look at not only the academic gains but also the well-being gains and ensure that the impact spans all students K-6. Whole school achievement is the foundation for the strong positive learning culture at Winmalee."
Glenbook Public School principal, Fran Campbell, said that the award for Quality Teaching Coordinator "is validation for the outstanding work and dedication that our teachers demonstrate everyday to improve the learning outcomes of our students. We could not be more proud to receive this award."
Quality Teaching Coordinator refers to a teaching role developed within the school, led by support staff Amanda Kenny in collaboration with teachers. The initiative is designed to align student performance with the professional development of teachers.
"The award acknowledges that the school is engaging in quality best-practice to support differentiation, high expectations and explicit teaching in all classrooms," added Mrs Campbell.
Of course, both schools have had to contend with a challenging learning landscape in recent months, with lockdown throwing many teaching initiatives and learning modes into disarray.
"This has been a very long lockdown for us all," said Mrs Ford.
"The support of our community has been outstanding. We have a strong focus on wellbeing and making sure that families really take a break from remote learning when needed. It has been great teamwork between the school and the community."