The philosophy of Woodridge State High School (WSHS) is ‘a life of choice, not chance’. With a diverse range of cultures represented amongst staff and students, and with 70 per cent of the latter having English as an Additional Language/Dialect, teaching at the school presents unique opportunities and challenges. Visual Arts teacher Brittany Sauta has risen to such challenges with a clear intention to have every student succeeding. Brittany develops strong relationships with students and their parents to support their learning.
“Through Brittany’s energetic approach to community connections, she has seen steady improvement in her students' effort and behaviour results. This is evident in her Year 10-12 Visual Arts and Visual Arts in Practice classes where 88.5 per cent of students are achieving a C or higher,” Deputy Principal Megan Landbeck says. The Visual Arts program has also been supported by the council art gallery where WSHS students' artwork has once again been selected to be curated in 'Artwaves 2019'. This is an example of a school belief that Brittany shares, that students need real-world experiences in their learning to engage them and for them to aim to be successful outside of school. She demonstrates a deep knowledge of Arts curriculum and a range of pedagogical practice based on the latest educational research, which she continues to read up on. Student data and formative assessment inform her teaching practice and she constructs differentiated learning for the students. Within her faculty Brittany leads development of data walls and high-expectancy curriculum. She has reviewed curriculum to be in line with the new Queensland Certificate of Education and Vocational Education and Training offerings at the school. Sharing a strong rapport with her mentor, she used their support to establish good pedagogy. Sharing a collaborative approach with her Head of Department, Brittany has become a valued “Knowledgeable Other” that fellow staff members consult. Having taken advantage of learning walks, peer observations and reflective conversation with peers and mentors as a beginning teacher, she is now already organising the same for new teachers. Brittany has taken on two leadership roles, as Faculty Art and Science of Teaching pedagogy coach and now as a Professional Learning Team leader. She recognises the need for professional learning in herself and others and works to create safe environments and opportunities for this to take place. She has written, modified and reviewed Teaching, Learning and Assessment Plans as year-level curriculum coordinator. Congratulations Brittany on your nomination.