HERE, WE ARE Next Jen­er­a­tion Thinkers

Fir­bank wel­comes Prin­ci­pal JENNY WIL­LIAMS, a leader in pro­gres­sive learn­ing.

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Alot has changed since its es­tab­lish­ment in 1909 and to­day Fir­bank ed­u­cates in ex­cess of 1200 stu­dents across its three cam­puses. With a girls-only Ju­nior School and Se­nior Cam­pus (ELC – Year 12) in Brighton along­side a co-ed­u­ca­tional Ju­nior Cam­pus (ELC – Year 6) in San­dring­ham, Fir­bank has been a part of the Bay­side com­mu­nity for more than 100 years. Jenny Wil­liams joins Fir­bank with a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence and a Diploma of Ed­u­ca­tion and is a ded­i­cated, re­spected ed­u­ca­tor. She brings with her a wealth of teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and has been a School Prin­ci­pal for more than 16 years. This in­cludes her most re­cent po­si­tion as the Prin­ci­pal at Sa­muel Mars­den Col­le­giate School in New Zealand, a po­si­tion she has held since 2008. So let’s get to know a lit­tle more about her. What is the best thing about teach­ing? I be­came a teacher (Sci­ence, Math­e­mat­ics, Bi­ol­ogy and Chem­istry), be­cause I be­lieve that ed­u­cat­ing our chil­dren is one of the most im­por­tant jobs in the world. We have the op­por­tu­nity to make a dif­fer­ence in their lives and to help de­velop the next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers. It is a big re­spon­si­bil­ity that I take very se­ri­ously. What do you be­lieve is the recipe for stu­dent suc­cess? To set stu­dents up for suc­cess we need to start with the ba­sics, en­sur­ing lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy is an early fo­cus. Then in­tro­duce chil­dren to other ideas and ar­eas of knowl­edge to en­able them to fnd their pas­sion. I am driven by a strong be­lief in the pur­suit and ex­pec­ta­tion of per­sonal ex­cel­lence – be­ing the best you can be. Hav­ing played high-level sport when I was young, (State net­ball and State league vol­ley­ball), I un­der­stand the im­por­tance of phys­i­cal and men­tal health. A holis­tic ap­proach to ed­u­ca­tion must in­volve the mind, body and soul. The world is chang­ing, how do we en­sure that stu­dents are best pre­pared to com­pete in a global so­ci­ety? In this time of ex­po­nen­tial change we need to be en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents to take risks, to ac­cept and learn from fail­ure and to be re­silient. We can best sup­port this by sur­round­ing stu­dents with care and com­pas­sion and to fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing skills in ar­eas which will be es­sen­tial in the fu­ture – cre­ativ­ity, em­pa­thy, re­silience and en­trepreneur­ship. What are you look­ing for­ward to most in your new role at Fir­bank? For me, ev­ery­thing is about peo­ple and my job is as an en­abler, to as­sist stu­dents, par­ents, staff and com­mu­nity to all work to­gether. Good peo­ple work­ing to­gether cre­ate some­thing great and that is what I want for Fir­bank. Ms Jenny Wil­liams com­menced as Fir­bank Gram­mar School’s 10th Prin­ci­pal in July 2017.

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