St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School
It’s one of Queensland’s most successful school stories.
St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School has been acknowledged over the past decade as the most improved primary school on nationwide literacy and numeracy tests and has regularly topped the state with its Years 3 and 5 results.
Its teachers have won state awards and aren’t afraid to take risks to deliver innovative programs to keep the school ahead of the educational curve.
The quiet driver behind all this has been Head of the Junior School Louise McGuire whose trust in and support for teachers, and connections with students, have made it all possible.
Louise’s outstanding leadership has led to her being named a finalist in this year’s Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award. The winner will be announced on 27 October – Queensland’s World Teachers’ Day.
Under Louise, St Aidan’s teachers have been early introducers of coding and robotics, creative Makerspaces, STEM holiday programs, which are open to students from all schools, sustainability programs, a Philosophy Club and everyday music and language programs.
Louise leads a culture in which teachers observe each other to improve their practice and perform systematic data analysis to tailor curriculum and programs for their students. She’s also studying a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.
“For me it comes down to supporting the outstanding teachers at school and for us there is a culture of learning and embracing new ideas amongst our staff and our teachers share and learn from each other and whoever has a strength, they take the lead,” Louise said.
“I involve them in decision making – I think if teachers are treated as professionals, whose insights are valuable, they will authentically engage and do their absolute best. I want them to be innovative and I want them to take risks, and that is the way we keep developing and delivering such great programs.”
The key to her leadership success is her strong relationships with staff and students. Louise still actively works with children in classrooms and has attended about 80 school camps.
“I love to get involved with the girls; I love to do what they do and I love for them to see that I’m a normal person and I don’t mind getting muddy – that I get scared climbing through narrow tunnels – that I have fears like they do and it helps me relate to them,” she said.
“Parents know that I connect with their daughters … I do love the connection with students.”
Congratulations Louise on being a finalist.