Injune students are using flipped learning and taking part in student-led experimental investigations thanks to this Science teacher who has quickly become an active member of her local community. After just two years, Sarah Cook has been made Acting Head of Curriculum at Injune P-10 State School (ISS), has worked as a case manager for at-risk students, and is a mentor for other beginning teachers. Whilst at Wallumbilla P-10 State School, Sarah co-organised a Sydney and Canberra excursion for students as part of her role as Junior Secondary coordinator.
ISS teacher Lee-ette Williams says Sarah’s promotion to Acting Head of Curriculum is a reflection of her knowledge of content, pedagogies and sequencing. “Sarah practices a range of engaging pedagogies such as flipped classrooms, experimental investigations, student interest-directed projects and class expos, such as running museums and presentations within the community,” Lee-ette says. “By running activities that allow students to engage with an activity divergently, Sarah increases their engagement due to the open-ended nature,” she says. “She uses her knowledge of students and their learning for her excellent differentiation, but most importantly she demonstrates her belief that activities need to be authentic and linked to real-world scenarios. “Sarah consistently reflects on the effectiveness of activities, lessons and learning sequences through the use of observations and student data.” Lee-ette says Sarah regularly contacts parents, helps run community sports programs and attends local events to represent the school. Sarah has also organised STEM trips to engage with local businesses and has helped organise school and community events. She has played a key role in improving policies, procedures and programs at the school, including implementing a new school calendar system, implementing NAPLAN online and reviewing, and rewriting school policies. Congratulations Sarah on your nomination.