Excellence Shines

St Mark’s Anglican Community School is excited to announce the success of our staff and programs in the recent Australian Education Awards 2022. We have received two finalists in these awards, which recognise.

Now in their fifth year, the Awards are presented in 28 categories, including Australian School of the Year, Australian Principal of the Year, Best Professional Learning Program and Best Student Wellbeing Program.

Our first finalist is St Mark’s Deputy Head of Primary School (Early Learning), Linda Sweet. Linda is an Australian Education Awards 2022 Excellence Awardee as Department Head of the Year and is in the final to be named the Department Head of the Year.

Linda is an esteemed trailblazer in early learning leadership and practice. Since 2017, she has led the St Mark’s Early Learning Centre (ELC), which looks after K-1 students. She has developed the ELC as a beacon of pedagogical and well-being best practice in early years education, with each child and family considered, cared for, understood, and catered for. Well-respected within the school and in the wider community, Linda is an outstanding and inspiring leader. She ensures that the St Mark’s ELC fosters an environment and relationships that honour the development of the ‘whole child through play and inquiry-based learning in an intentional, nurturing environment for children and where staff and families feel valued and connected.

St Mark’s second finalist in these acclaimed awards is a ‘School Award’ for ‘Best Remote Learning Program’. A global pandemic sent the world of education into a spin, and as educators, we quickly re-evaluated how we taught and the best methods to engage our students. Since emerging at the beginning of the pandemic, the St Mark’s Distance Learning Plan (DLP) has evolved based on research, best practice, and the needs of our community. Its pillars include tailoring our approach to different ages, stages and subjects; a balance between live teaching and content that students can access in their own time; streamlined communication; manageable workload for students; opportunities for collaboration and reflection; and a focus on the wellbeing of all in our community.

The continued evolution of the DLP demonstrates foresight and emergency response planning, while being responsive, adaptable and informed by community feedback. It continues to serve its purpose: provide effective and meaningful education for students; provide stability and clear communication in uncertain times; act with expertise, agility and compassion to meet the needs of our context and community; and ensure everyone’s health and wellbeing.

Principal, Mr Steven Davies, commented, “It is wonderful to see the School’s high-quality leadership and programs acknowledged in these awards. Our students are at the heart of what we do at St Mark’s, and this is reflected in not only our Distance Learning Program but also in the care, energy and expertise that pervades our Early Learning community.”

Winners in the Australian Education Awards 2022 will be announced in August.