St Peter's School, Rockhampton
Joanna Cornwell’s leadership and direction, as Assistant to the Principal in Curriculum (APC), has seen a streamlining of processes and curricular engagement by classroom teachers.
Her commitment and dedication to improving teacher practice and student learning started when she took on this role 3 years ago.
“I got into teaching because I was always interested in learning myself and wanted to continue this by helping others on their journey. I also had some great teachers along the way that inspired me.” Joanna says.
“Whilst I never had any aspiration to move into an Assistant Principal role, as I was very satisfied with classroom teaching, I saw a need and thought I could really make a difference by supporting and encouraging those around me.”
In her time as APC, she combined three key elements of teaching – understanding, data and leadership – to allow classroom teachers to fully maximise the learning potential of their students. Her hands-on leadership style has inspired teachers to actively follow her practices.
Joanna’s efforts have led to a streamlined and consistent execution of teaching across the school.
Through this, morale was boosted across the school community. Teachers exhibited a positive attitude towards the teaching of the curriculum, which led to stronger ties with not only staff, but also the wider school community in general.
Programs that Joanna has supported during her time in this role include the development of a school-wide oral language program, redeveloping the school’s spelling program, refocusing on reading and streamlining Learning Area Overviews.
She was also instrumental in creating a web portal where curriculum, policies and procedures are easily accessible.
Joanna leads various in-school professional development groups, where positive and robust discussions regarding curriculum occur.
It is Joanna’s personal development as an educator that enabled her to bring positive changes to the wider school community.
She communicates with fellow APCs in other schools to exchange strategies in regard to the curriculum, which allows them to improve and maximise learning outcomes for all of their students.
Joanna’s willingness to help staff members to understand the curriculum has made her gain the respect of her colleagues.
She makes sure that any changes to teaching plans are made in a way that teachers can implement easily, and provides ongoing support to all stakeholders involved.
She is continually improving the execution of curriculum at her school and is currently working with a team to overhaul the school’s writing program.
“It’s great having a whole school approach and everyone working on the same topics,” Joanna says.
“We can really support each other as a community of learners. We engage in meaningful and productive discussions about how to support teachers and improve student outcomes.”
Joanna is very proud of the staff and how they have embraced change during her tenure as APC.
“For me, it’s very rewarding when I see staff embracing changes, with a real focus on improving their skills as practitioners and supporting students to build confidence in their ability as independent learners. This role is amazingly rewarding.” she says.
She has become an important part of the curricular development of St Peter’s.
Congratulations Joanna on your nomination.