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Seven top teachers at Flinders achieve national certification


Seven teachers from Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast have been recognised nationally as among the ‘best of the best’

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Seven teachers from Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast have been recognised nationally as among the ‘best of the best’.

After an arduous near two-year process, the seven Primary and Secondary teachers at Flinders achieved the nationally-recognised top teacher certification at the Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) career stages.

The process is managed by Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) and coordinated nationally by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

The seven teachers at Flinders were part of a group of just 30 teachers in the independent sector across Queensland to achieve certification this year.

The HALT service provides a high-quality, nationally consistent approach to identifying and certifying teachers according to the advanced career stages of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST).

Flinders’ Highly Accomplished teachers are Katie Dawson, Lenora Phillips, Paul Anderson and Alison Wilson, and the Lead Teachers are Kate Pearce, Penny Horton-Stephens and Sarndra Street.

Flinders Principal Stuart Meade congratulated the teachers for their proactive commitment to their professional growth.

“I congratulate these seven remarkable teachers on our Flinders staff team who have chosen to stretch themselves professionally to achieve this HALT certification,” Mr Meade said.

“In doing so, they enhance their own sense of career confidence and satisfaction, and benefit our students’ learning.

“They also inspire and guide their colleagues to greater professional heights.

“As a College, we recruit, retain and support the very best teachers as we continue to provide the highest quality education for our students.

“We thank our newly-certified Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers for the positive knowledge and energy they contribute to our whole College community.”

The national certification entailed a four-step process of application, submission of portfolio of evidence, site visit assessment, and certification, completed over 18 months.

In addition to the core certification process, Lead Teachers were required to complete a significant leadership project.

Flinders Secondary Biology teacher Penny Horton-Stephens said she chose to complete the Lead Teacher certification because she believes in lifelong learning and sharing collective expertise.

“Preparing my Lead Teacher portfolio has allowed me to share my learnings with my colleagues as well as reflect deeply on my own learnings,” Mrs Horton-Stephens.

“As teachers, students are at the heart of what we do and if we follow what the research says, and what we intuitively know is in our students’ best interests, then we will succeed in helping them to soar.”

Flinders Head of Learning and Innovation Edward Wright and Head of Learning and Teaching (Primary) Debbie Planck are responsible for guiding the College’s teaching team through continuous professional development.

Mr Wright is an ISQ in-school assessor, having completed the National Assessor Training Program for the certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in Australia in November 2018.

Mr Wright is one of approximately 50 assessors across Queensland who is responsible for assessing HALT candidate’s portfolios of evidence and carrying out the on-site visits to candidate schools.

“We know that teacher quality is the single greatest in-school influence on student engagement and outcomes,” Mr Wright said.

“What’s more, evidence indicates that improving the quality of the teaching workforce is fundamental to any overall improvements in schooling.

“At Matthew Flinders Anglican College, we have teachers who are experts in their field, with exceptional depth of knowledge and passion for the subjects they teach.

“They work tirelessly for the benefit of the students in their care and seek to continuously improve.

“It is fantastic that these seven teachers have chosen to become formally recognised as exemplary teachers who contribute to the quality of teaching and leadership at our College.

“They have completed a huge amount of work and truly deserve this wonderful accolade.”

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