Pimpama State Primary School
It could be the happiest school in Queensland.
Pimpama State School students are greeted at the front gate in the mornings with praise and compliments from the Principal Marius Marx, the Deputy Principals and other staff for the way they are wearing their uniform and for using their manners. There is also praise for parents.
Marius likes to encourage positivity – he brings in yoga and fitness coaches for teachers outside of school hours. There’s a staff netball team. The school bell is music and there’s even a deluxe massage chair for teachers in the staff room, which is always “booked out”.
“I can’t even get on it to use it,” Marius jokes.
The happiness factor is a serious ingredient behind the success at the school, which has won four regional Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools over the past six years for its multi-tiered and inclusivity program. This program, which is now used in other Gold Coast schools, ensures students from every level, ability and background are catered for in every lesson, every day, using 37 different programs.
This year Marius has been named a finalist in the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award, but he said it was his teachers who deserved any accolades the school received and that’s why wellbeing was important.
“That is my philosophy: if you have got happy teachers, you have got a happy principal; if you have got happy teachers, you have got happy students; if you have got happy teachers, you have got happy parents,” Marius said. “I have got awesome staff… they are the best in the world.”
“And that is why our surveys are so good – for parents, students and staff – some of them are at 100 per cent. We have got a waiting list of students wanting to come to our school.”
To maintain the role of principal while still being out among students and parents takes time, with Marius working around the clock like many school leaders, but he said it was “the best job in the world” and he loved what he was doing.
“If anything, all principals deserve an award for the hard work they do,” he said.
Not surprisingly, Marius has been described as one of the most “selfless and humble” principals.
A parent at the school says the school fulfils that vision and “there is a certain magic that grows” thanks to Marius' gentle, but powerful leadership.
She said Marius was not someone who would want to be nominated for an award, but he deserved one.
“He already receives a high job satisfaction from what he does,” the parent said.
The school’s website states “At Pimpama State School, we want every student to be a happy, competent learner and to be a confident member of the school community”.
Staff from other schools also come to Pimpama State School to witness its coding and technology program, which involves a teacher, who has been pulled offline, teaching robotics and coding not only to students, but also to their teachers at the same time for one hour a week.
The winners of the QCT Awards will be announced on 27 October, when Queensland celebrates World Teachers’ Day.
Congratulations Marius on being a finalist.