These videos provide insight into high-impact leadership across four Australian schools. Each school’s story is presented in two videos:
- The principal’s message outlines a challenge the school faced, the school’s response, and the skill set required to enact change successfully.
- The case study provides examples of the distributed and collaborative nature of leadership to realise the school’s vision, demonstrated through the lens of the five Professional Practices of the Australian Professional Standard for Principals.
You can delve further into each of the Professional Practices utilising AITSL’s ‘what is guides’ to reflect on your practice and plan for further development and growth.
Redbank Plains State School
Evan Willis, the substantive principal, started at Redbank Plains State School in mid-2016 when the school was receiving priority support from the Queensland Department of Education School Improvement Unit. A metropolitan government primary school located between Brisbane and Ipswich in Queensland, Redbank Plains State School, has a significant school population with language backgrounds other than English. The school commenced a journey to improve the outcomes for their students by focusing on people and mindset – beginning with the leadership team and staff development.
This case study has a key focus on the Professional Practices ‘Developing self and others’ and ’Leading the management of the school’.
Bray Park State High School
Bray Park State High School in Brisbane, Queensland has moved from having a high turnover of principals in 2014 to being awarded the Queensland Government's Showcase Award for State School of the Year in 2017. A key driver behind this transformation was the leadership of the principal, Kirsten Ferdinands. Kirsten and the leadership team focused on a strategic leadership plan and a strong pedagogical focus, taking a school of 860 students on a journey to "challenge the unknown."
This case study has a key focus on the Professional Practices ‘Developing self and others’ and ‘Leading improvement innovation and change’.
Circular Head Christian School
Keeping students in school beyond year 10 is an area of focus for Circular Head Christian School, and three years ago it made structural and pedagogical changes to address this. The principal, Ara Popowski, began her journey with the independent school, located in the top north-west corner of Tasmania, as a parent helper then moved through positions as a teacher’s aide, teacher, learning support coordinator, head of school, assistant principal and principal. Ara’s career path demonstrates the power of employing from within the community in rural areas as a strategy to develop and retain great leaders.
This case study has a key focus on the Professional Practices ‘Leading improvement innovation and change’ and ’Engaging and working with the community’.
Good Shepherd Lutheran College
Led by Rachel Boyce, the school has focused on the ‘us’ of schooling, which involves all stakeholders working together as a collective. The school aims to create positive social learning environments using appreciative inquiry, and have been on a journey to make sure as much effort is put into the teachers' learning and development as is put into the students'. Teachers are supported to grow and develop and are encouraged to undertake certification to become a Highly Accomplished or Lead teacher (HALT).
Good Shepherd has 1,260 students from early learning right to year 12 across three campuses. It is a co-educational, independent, regional school in the Northern Territory which offers the International Baccalaureate. In the development of their Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP), they seek to form learners passionate about lifelong learning.
This case study has a key focus on the Professional Practices ‘Developing self and others’ and ‘Engaging and working with the community’.