Relieving head teacher welfare
Macquarie Fields High School (NSW)

Now in her sixth year of teaching, Marinda Barnes has demonstrated herself to be a leader in learning and wellbeing. “For every child to learn and develop a love of learning, they need a safe, positive environment at home and at school,” Barnes has said. “Every day I work with children who are seeking adult help to make this ideal a reality.”

Barnes has implemented a transition support program at Macquarie Fields High School that teaches senior students the skills needed to deliver an engaging program for incoming students in Year 7. It’s a program that is said to have produced excellent learning outcomes. Barnes also leads the school’s new student mentoring program, in which students are teamed with other students who have been identified as at risk of disengagement. For that program, senior students have undergone training in a mentoring methodology, in order to assist junior students in developing their own educational goals.

Currently, Barnes is developing a new citizenship program to facilitate students working with disadvantaged groups in the local community. It will involve students using design thinking to develop programs of real change. She’s also seeking to develop the leadership skills of other teachers specifically to enable them to support the wellbeing of the school’s most vulnerable students.

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