26 September 2023

NSW shines in education awards

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Australia’s best public primary school principal: Paul McDermott from Blue Haven Public School.

The Blue Haven Public School, which two years ago was at the bottom of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and its Principal, who defied unemployment trends, have each skyrocketed to win Australian Education Awards as the nation’s best.

The central coast school was named ‘Primary school of the year – Government’ and Principal Paul McDermott recognised as ‘Primary school principal of the year – Government’.

Mr McDermott said the school had turned things around in the past two years, moving from the bottom 10 per cent to the top 10 per cent of NAPLAN test results.

He attributed the change to hard work and a team effort from students, staff and parents and said the award would not change the staff’s approach to improving student results.

The Awards also recognised Plumpton High School principal Tim Lloyd who was named ‘School principal of the year – Government’, declaring the school had seen a growth in the number of students accessing post-school study and career pathways.

Mr Lloyd said the award was recognition of the “massive shift in culture” that had taken place at Plumpton.

Liverpool Boys High School also featured in the awards, being named ‘High school of the year – Government’.

The judges said the school was shaking up the traditional high school structure by encouraging students in Years 7 to 10 engage in project-based learning, in which they worked across the curriculum to combine knowledge from multiple subjects.

Kurri Kurri High School teacher Lisa Scobie rounded out the public school staff to be recognised with an award, taking home the title ‘Education rising star of the year’, while Mount View High School was awarded ‘Best student wellbeing program’.

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