Seven teachers have been recognised nationally as among the ‘best of the best’ at Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Flinders is a leading independent school that supports its 1,300 students from Prep to Year 12.
The seven Primary and Secondary teachers at Flinders achieved the nationally-recognised Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) career stages.
Certification is managed by Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) with support from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).
The seven teachers at Flinders were part of a group of just 30 teachers in the independent sector across Queensland to achieve the certification this year.
The teachers will be recognised at a formal ceremony hosted by ISQ in Brisbane in December.
HALT certification is a rigorous but rewarding process.
It provides a high quality, nationally consistent approach to identifying and certifying teachers according to the highest career stages of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST).
Flinders’ Highly Accomplished Teachers are Katie Dawson, Lenora Phillips, Paul Anderson and Alison Wilson. And the Flinders Lead Teachers are Kate Pearce, Penny Horton-Stephens and Sarndra Street.
Flinders Principal Congratulates Top Teachers
Flinders Principal Stuart Meade congratulated the teachers for their proactive commitment to professional growth.
“I congratulate these seven remarkable teachers on our Flinders staff team for choosing to stretch themselves professionally to achieve HALT certification,” Mr Meade said.
“In doing so, they enhance their own career confidence and satisfaction, and benefit our students’ learning,” he said.
“They also inspire and guide their colleagues to greater professional heights.
“As a College, we recruit, retain and support the very best teachers as we continue to provide the highest quality education for our students.
“We thank our newly certified Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers for the positive knowledge and energy they contribute to our whole College community.”
Reflecting on the Lead Teacher Process
AITSL congratulated the newly certified Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers of Matthew Flinders Anglican College.
“Being certified as a HALT demonstrates a deep commitment to professional expertise and the benefits it creates for student learning.”
The national certification entailed a four-step process, completed over 18 months. Steps include the application, submission of portfolio of evidence, site visit assessment and certification.
In addition to the core certification process, Lead Teachers were required to complete a significant leadership project.
Flinders Secondary Biology teacher, Mrs Penny Horton-Stephens elected to complete the Lead Teacher certification.
“I believe in lifelong learning and in sharing collective expertise,” Penny said.
“Preparing my Lead Teacher portfolio has allowed me to share my learnings with my colleagues as well as reflect deeply on my own learnings,” she said.
“As teachers, students are at the heart of what we do.
"And if we follow what the research says and what we intuitively know is in our students’ best interests, then we will succeed in helping them to soar."
Quality Teaching at Flinders
The Flinders teaching team engage in continuous professional development.
Flinders Head of Learning and Innovation, Mr Edward Wright and the Head of Learning and Teaching (Primary) Mrs Debbie Planck support this focus.
Edward is an ISQ in-school assessor, having completed the National Assessor Training Program for the certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in Australia in November 2018.
He is one of approximately 50 assessors across Queensland.
“We know that teacher quality is the single greatest in-school influence on student engagement and outcomes,” Edward said.
“What’s more, evidence indicates that improving the quality of the teaching workforce is fundamental to overall improvements in schooling,” he said.
“At Matthew Flinders Anglican College, we have teachers who are experts in their field, with exceptional depth of knowledge and passion for the subjects they teach.
“They work tirelessly for the benefit of the students in their care and seek to continuously improve.
“It is fantastic that these seven teachers have chosen to become formally recognised as exemplary teachers who contribute to the quality of teaching and leadership at our College.
“They have completed a huge amount of work and truly deserve this wonderful accolade.”
Back L-R: Katie Dawson, Paul Anderson, Lenora Phillips
Front L-R: Kate Pearce, Penny Horton-Stephens and Alison Wilson (Sarndra Street - Absent).