Sophie Honeybourne joins our staff team at Matthew Flinders Anglican College in the role of Co-ordinator of Talent Development (Primary). In this role, Sophie will provide programs and strategies to support students with high academic potential and who are identified as gifted and talented students, along with supporting staff to meet the needs of these students. We hope you enjoy this staff profile Q&A with Sophie.
Through your role, how do you intend to support and guide the students at Flinders and the College community?
It is my fundamental belief that everyone is unique and has a special talent. As Co-ordinator of Talent Development, it is my role to work with the Primary School community to identify, support and nurture these special talents. It is my vision that students with high potential are passionate, engaged and individually thrive during their time at Flinders.
What are you looking forward to about your new role?
I am excited about the challenge and opportunity to build and grow this relatively new role in the Primary School. I am grateful to be working with such a friendly, enthusiastic and adaptable staff. My greatest joy is working with students and watching them grow in confidence and ability. I am delighted that students at Flinders are able to challenge, question and teach me something new every day.
Please share your background story.
I grew up on the south coast of the United Kingdom, gained a degree in English Literature and then moved into a career in event management. I travelled the world on my own for a couple of years, and also ended up working on yachts and sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. In my late 20’s I decided I needed a change and wanted to do something more worthwhile, so I migrated to Australia in 2004 to study a Master of Teaching at the University of Sydney. Shortly after moving to Australia, I met and married my Australian husband and we now have two lovely children who are seven and eight years old. After 15 years of living and working in Sydney, we made the sea change to the Sunshine Coast last year.
What roles have you previously worked in and what have you enjoyed about your career to date?
I have taught a variety of grades in the Primary years, working at various schools in Sydney as a teacher, then moving into school leadership for 10 years as both an Assistant Principal and Deputy Principal. I have developed specialist interests and skills in curriculum design, gifted and talented education, literacy and literature and using technology as a transformative tool for teaching and learning. I also work as a freelance educational writer, combining my passion for children’s literature with my passion for teaching.
What do you enjoy about living on the Sunshine Coast?
I love the weather! Coming from England, the blue sunny skies and warm water are a daily joy. I also love the friendly people, the stunning surroundings and the gift of more time with my family that seems to come from living life at a less frenetic pace.
What do you enjoy about working in a school community?
Working with children is incredibly joyful, and often very funny. No day is ever the same; there are new challenges to meet and problems to solve every day. I love being part of an organisation that has a bigger purpose, and that makes a positive difference in the world.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
It isn’t so much advice, as a belief about my job as a teacher: ‘There are two gifts we can give our children: one is roots, the other is wings.’
Who gave you the advice and how has it helped you to grow as a person?
I saw the quote on a greetings card one day at the beginning of my teaching career and it has resonated with me ever since; it sits on my desk as a daily reminder of my ‘why’. It is so simple yet so true. I believe that if we support children to feel that they are cared for and that they belong, as well as building them to have the confidence to learn, explore and try new things, then we have done a pretty good job as educators.