Our Lady of the Way Primary School
Kevin Burke is passionate educator and school leader who uses data, research and evidence based practices to lead his school. This has seen his school transform into a high performing school, consistently ranked in the top 10% of schools for NAPLAN improvement, despite being in a low socio-economic area.
Inspired by the work of Sal Khan, in 2020 Kevin set about leading the development of the OLW Learning Channel on YouTube to support the students learning during the extended lockdown periods. The videos allow the students to work through a range of Literacy, Numeracy, Physical Education, Art and STEM tasks at their own pace, having multiple exposures to concepts in order to achieve mastery. Testing data on return to school after lockdown showed above average growth of students engaged with the channel, particularly the EAL learners. The channel continues to be developed and currently has over 750 subscribers and almost 200 public videos available for free use by other educators.
Kevin oversees the extensive use of data tracking from Prep, continually monitoring both individual and cohort growth. This informs the evidence-based teaching strategies to engage individual students and set ambitious but realistic individual learning goals. Kevin’s current whole school improvement focus is based on the intertwining of Cognitive Load Theory; Spaced. Interleaved & Retrieval Practice; and reducing Visual Clutter to optimise student learning. This will enable teachers to improve effectiveness by providing explicit guidance accompanied by practice and feedback, enhance long-term learning and transfer of information, whilst also providing an environment where visual and sensory overload is ameliorated.
Kevin also has a strong interest in school design and how this can impact on student learning and wellbeing. He has assisted in preparing key note speeches and plenary sessions for the Association for Learning Environments (formerly the Council of Education Facilities Planners International) on ‘Creating Schools as Welcoming Environments’ and ‘How School Design can impact Learning & Wellbeing’. Kevin has been actively involved in the planning and design of three new school projects and four refurbishment programs, and is currently involved in the planning of an Early Learning Centre adjacent to his school.
A Victorian Early Years Award recipient for ‘Promoting Children’s Health & Wellbeing’ in 2018 and one of twenty-five people worldwide to receive a Global Educator Unsung Hero Award 2019, Kevin’s passion and excitement for the possibilities of education is indefatigable.