What makes a great primary school?

What makes a great primary school?

On November 23, the outstanding achievements of the nation’s top-performing schools and educators will be celebrated at the Australian Education Awards 2020, which is being held as a virtual event for the first time.

The event will highlight the amazing work being done by Australia’s schools, principals, department heads, and teachers amid this year’s unprecedented challenges. The highly anticipated announcement of winners will start at 5:00pm.

In the lead-up to the announcement, comedy extraordinaire Lawrence “Moonman” Mooney will take the main stage at 3.45pm to calm the nerves with some rib-tickling humour. A pair of sponsor-moderated virtual panel discussions follow, featuring finalists for Teacher of the Year in the primary and secondary school categories.

The first panel, taking place at 3.50pm, will feature the finalists of the Teacher of the Year - Primary School category, discussing various successful teaching and student wellbeing strategies.

The Award’s sponsor, Teachers Mutual Bank, will moderate the panel, which will discuss various successful teaching and student wellbeing strategies.

“I’ll be speaking about important topics such as fostering a love of learning among primary school students, bringing laughter and happiness into the classroom and diagnosing barriers to learning,” Conor Kiernan, Stakeholder Engagement Manager at Teachers Mutual Bank, told The Educator.

The panel will also address how schools can create learning environments that are student-centred, how to provide students with a safe and supportive space and how to help early learners develop themselves with guidance and expertise.

Kiernan said the panel will be comprised of award nominees who will share their “broad and diverse knowledge” with the virtual audience.

“Early discussions with the group reveal a deep understanding of current challenges educators face in the current climate and their obvious passion and dedication to nurturing the young minds in their care,” he said.

‘New boundaries will be set in 2021’

Kiernan said that this year has revealed some important learnings for Australian primary schools that can be taken into 2021 to help improve students’ learning and wellbeing.

“2020 has been a challenging year for us all, and especially for the education community as our principals, teachers and students have had to respond to so much change and uncertainty caused by COVID-19,” he said.

“I believe the key learning has been the agility and adaptability with which educators’ transitioned from face to face to online learning”.

Kiernan said this will result in new boundaries being set, as well as a greater acceptance to try different methods of sharing knowledge in the years to come.

“In addition, I believe our teachers and principals have a new understanding of their own resilience and how to maintain it even in the most challenging circumstances. I congratulate our entire education community for what they have accomplished this year”.

The Australian Education Awards 2020 virtual event will be held on November 26. For more information, please visit the website here.