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Principal involvement


Gerard Tully – Rector

One of the things I committed to doing when I arrived was to have a 20-minute conversation with every staff member, and it was really for them to tell me about what’s going on in the school. And one of the things that came through strongly was the professional learning programme. And I was really heartened by what I heard, actually. The strong sense I got from so many people was “This is a really fantastic thing that’s going on in our school.” They talked in, some of them in glowing terms, about what they’d learnt in that year, and what they tried. So I was really excited to hear all that, very encouraged. And so there’s, I’d say, a very positive sort of feel towards the whole teaching and learning and professional development programme that has been running in the school probably for about three years now.

Peter Hicks – Co-HoD Science

The boss has been teaching for 25 years, same sort of deal – wants to make things better for the kids. And so even though he doesn’t teach so much – and I think he’s probably going to look at that as well, maybe he might do some teaching next year – he’s trying to obviously make things better for the staff. So he’s trying to be involved in what we’re doing, modelling behaviour and all that sort of stuff – it’s really good.

Gerard Tully – Rector 

A key part of any sort of leadership role is that you don’t expect people to do things if you’re not prepared to do them yourself. So if we’re wanting all our teachers to be engaged in inquiry learning, then I think I need to be involved too, and be in there with everybody else in experiencing the same things they are. You know, we’ re asking our teachers, all of them, to take some risks, to put themselves out there, and try new things. Now it’s all very well for me to sit there and say that – if I’m not going to do that myself, then I think that’s fairly shallow. I want to work with everyone, with the staff as a team. And not just because I feel like I need to do it, I want to do it, too. So that I’m taking those risks, I’m putting myself out there, I’m having a go and I might fail. And I might fail quite publicly, but I learn from that and move on, and hopefully that might be encouraging to other staff members.

Peter Hicks – Co-HoD Science

You know, we see them doing their paperwork but we never see them actually fronting up, so I think it’s fantastic that he’s there. One would hope that it’s not just lip service – he’s actually going do the things that he says he’s going to do, so that’s a big thing for us as well. As a frontline teacher, you want to see that everyone understands that we’ve got to move forward and not just stay the way things are.

Gerard Tully – Rector

I guess the thing that I was excited about, not surprised about actually but excited about, is the support of the people immediately around me who are my peers or colleagues on the staff. That as soon as I’ve said what I want to inquire into, I immediately felt a strong sort of wave of support. That they’d help me with it, and that they would like me to be successful – it’s probably in their interests that I am successful. You know we’re all there, we’re all learners, we’re all hopefully going to take risks and put ourselves out there. And also, we’re all there to support each other, and it’s really heartening to hear teachers say, “Hey, you know most of my stuff’s been very teacher-centred – I want to move to be a lot more student-centred.” That is just really exciting, that people are aware of what’s going on, and going “Hey, there’s a different way, and I’m going to explore if that’s actually a better way for the kids.”

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