Premier's Award for Service

Staff at St Johns Park Public receiving award

St Johns Park Public School and Woonona Public School principal Lorraine Bradwell have been recognised for their outstanding work in lifting student achievement with a NSW Premier's Award for Public Service.

The awards announced last night highlight the outstanding achievements and contributions of public servants and their peers and partners in the private and non-government sectors.

St Johns Park Public School was the team winner in the Improving Education Results category for its Curiosity and Powerful Learning program, which has led to above-average growth in literacy and numeracy results at the school.

The primary school, in the Sydney suburb of Fairfield, has 783 students with 95 per cent of its children from non-English speaking backgrounds.

The Curiosity and Powerful Learning program develops curiosity, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and deep learning skills in all students.

The school also provides strong support for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, ensuring they have equitable access to quality numeracy and literacy programs and educational experiences.

The program has underpinned a dramatic improvement in NAPLAN results – between 2015 and 2016 the percentage of Year 3 students achieving in the top two NAPLAN bands in reading increased from 47.6 per cent to 57.9 per cent.

School principal Dianne Donatiello said the program had been driven by the school's leadership and school improvement teams.

School principal Dianne Donatiello said the program had been driven by the school's leadership and school improvement teams.

Mrs Donatiello said she was "thrilled" by the award.

"This is only the second year of the program and we are already seeing strong results," she said.

Mrs Donatiello said the program focuses on improving whole school and teaching practices to develop a consistent approach to engage students.

"We are implementing consistent early literacy and numeracy strategies, which is having a positive effect on student learning outcomes," she said.

Critical to the program's success was a new approach to developing consistent learning protocols and giving students effective and timely feedback so that they know what is working well and how they can improve.

Ms Bradwell received the individual award for driving significant pedagogical change at Woonona Public School during the past three years. Mrs Bradwell accepted her award on behalf of her school and all of the staff who had worked tirelessly to raise the expectations of students.

This has seen the school identified by the Department of Education as one of the top 20 schools in the state in terms of the highest levels of student growth for the past four years.

Ms Bradwell has improved student learning outcomes by engaging with current global educational research based on Professor John Hattie's research and the principles of visible learning and visible teaching.

Central to the improvement in results was effective feedback and data-driven decision- making, Ms Bradwell has said.

The other finalists in the Education category were Janice Farmer-Hailey, Leader Early Learning and Primary Education; Ulladulla High School and Engadine High School.


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