In the application, you wrote about how you’ve been transforming outcomes for your students. Tell us what you’ve been doing, and what the results have been.

Our focus at Shailer Park has been transforming our big 4: reading, writing, attendance and Senior School outcomes. We are delivering on these through a strategy we have developed: the RED-P agenda – Reading to Learn, Explicit Direct Instruction, Data Informed Practice and Positive Behaviour for Learning. Since arriving at Shailer Park in 2015, our NAPLAN results have skyrocketed with a dedicated focus on this approach.

How has becoming a teaching fellow benefited you?

Becoming a Teaching Fellow has benefited me through the networks it has opened and the mentoring relationships it has created for me. Learning from and hearing about the great work that the other Fellows are doing has increased my educational knowledge and confirmed that the work I am doing is on the right track.

What has been the response of your students, school and community to you being named a commonwealth bank teaching awards fellow?

The Teaching Awards have been the catalyst for bringing together some high-performing and motivated educators, business people, universities and the Logan Council to develop the ‘Promise Project’ with the aim of benefiting students in the Logan area.

What is the program you’re implementing at your school as a result of the award?

The ‘Promise Project’ team will travel to the US to investigate the Harlem Children’s Zone ‘cradle to college’ pipeline that has created a scalable and sustainable education initiative that now serves over 12,500 students and has achieved 96% of its students going onto college from a very low SES community in New York. The aim of the project is to create a sustainable and scalable plan to increase the number of students in the Logan area progressing to further education.

What has been the highlight of becoming a teaching fellow?

Without doubt the highlight has been the education trip to Singapore. This was an amazing experience for a range of reasons – being able to see a high-performing system; having the time and opportunity to reflect on this as a group to identify the how and what that is happening that is contributing to Singapore’s education success; having time to reflect on and plan my own leadership of my project at my school; being able to reflect and plan on how to make a bigger impact across Queensland and Australia; and working with staff from Schools Plus, the Commonwealth Bank and Learning First to share stories and compare opinions on a vast array of educational initiatives.