College's year off to a flying start


2021 is shaping up to be a special year at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College.

In February, the College welcomed its new principal, Robert Brennan, ushering in a new era for the school’s leadership team.

Less than a few weeks later, two of the College’s educators were awarded the prestigious Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) accreditation, making them among the first in Victoria to be nationally certified by Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools and authority for Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) in Victoria.

Careers and VET Coordinator Julie Pilioglou and Director of Professional Learning Monique Dalli now join an ever-growing group of super teachers who are helping to supercharge teaching and learning across Australia.

Another standout educator recognised at the College was Head of Learning (Mathematics) Colin Chapman, who was recently awarded the Adem Foster Award for Leadership in Technologies Education by Design and Technology Teachers Association (DATTA).

Chapman said the award is “wonderful encouragement” to continue the engagement across curriculum areas, at international, national, state, and local levels.

“Presenting at conferences for Mathematics, Robotics, Health and Physical Education, Systems Engineering and Physics has been important to increased visibility of technologies and computation across the curriculum,” Chapman told The Educator.

“For all educators, it will continue to be important to engage with technologies and computation to develop new ways of teaching that prioritise the learner as the centre of multiple engagements with the world at local, state, national and international levels. Our work on the National Curriculum has had a clear drive towards computational capabilities”.

Striking the right balance

Dalli said Professional Learning offerings allow College staff to focus on a balance of teacher identified and school provided professional learning that covers the AITSL standards.

“At the College, this year our school wide focus areas are continuing with the Berry Street Education Model, a partnership with ACU to deliver a Leadership Formation programme, Horizons of Hope with CEM and our ongoing coaching focus with Growth Coaching International,” Dalli told The Educator.

“I develop relationships with our strategic partners so that PL is not a drop in/once off programme, it is ongoing and embedded”.

Dalli said this year the College has a new format for Professional Learning Teams that provides half days allowing for additional time to implement strategies, as well as in-house professional learning that runs in a blended format to suit staff needs.

Taking risks, reaping rewards

Pilioglou said completion of the HALT certification will enable her to reflect on processes that she currently has in place within the careers and VET areas, and further refine them to increase productivity and day to day operations.

“It may also further develop more new initiatives to have a larger impact on the College community that includes students, staff, and parents whilst at the same time continue to develop my leadership skills,” Pilioglou told The Educator.

“For other career practitioners and VET coordinators, it may be an opportunity to share new initiatives and practices as the HALT certification enabled me to realise that sometimes taking risks and trying new initiatives and unconventional approaches can be to the benefit the College community”.