It's been a big week for Bradshaw Primary School: on top of teacher-librarian Jo Sherrin's national gong (see separate story), the school was a winner in the 2011 Northern Territory Smart Schools Awards for "Excellence in Student Inclusion and Wellbeing".
The fact that the school applied for that category in the awards reflects its values: the first thing that principal Jill Tudor mentions is keeping children happy, safe and well-supported so that teaching and learning are the best they can be.
Then there are the school's few guiding 'e' words: equity – children get what they need, rather than everyone getting the same;expectations – they're high as with the right support every child can learn; effort – the harder you work, the smarter you get.
It's Mrs Tudor's third year at the helm at Bradshaw, but she credits former principal Ursula Balfour for putting in the "hard yards" to develop the inclusive culture that is the now hallmark of the school. Pictured: "Happy, safe, well-supported children" at work: Karen Stewart watches her students using their "One Laptop Per Child" computers to practice their spelling. Photo courtesy Bradshaw Primary School. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
What does it take to be the best primary school teacher in Australia? To have a warm and vivid presence might be part of it. Add imagination, keenness, a strong sense of possibilities, interest in the world. Then let's not forget experience, support from colleagues, and a school environment where everyone is pulling on the same string to keep kids happy and learning.
This teacher, Jo Sherrin, and this school, Bradshaw Primary, can be found in west-side Alice Springs. Last Friday at a ceremony in Melbourne Mrs Sherrin, one of two teacher-librarians at Bradshaw, was named the nation's Primary School Teacher of the Year at the inaugural Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership. Pictured: Kaylana Hagan (left) and Casey Lally with teacher-librarian Jo Sherrin, who's been named the Best Primary School Teacher in Australia. KIERAN FINNANE reports.