School earns top marks

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Emily Sharp

A Kwinana pri­mary school can now count it­self among the top 12 best in Aus­tralia.

Cal­ista Pri­mary School and its prin­ci­pal Craig Skin­ner re­ceived a $45,000 Com­mon­wealth Bank Teach­ing Award late last month in Syd­ney.

The awards are an ini­tia­tive to high­light dis­tin­guished Aus­tralian ed­u­ca­tors with a fel­low­ship to en­cour­age them in trans­form­ing stu­dent lives.

Mr Skin­ner said he was ex­cited and proud to be a re­cip­i­ent of the award, which ac­knowl­edged the stu­dents’ achieve­ments.

“We’ve worked re­ally hard in the past four years to en­sure our teach­ers are teach­ing at a high level,” he said.

“We have a very con­sis­tent ap­proach across the cur­ricu­lum that has al­lowed us to achieve some re­ally great results. Our in­ter­nal as­sess­ments show that our stu­dents are per­form­ing at a much higher level than what they were four years ago.”

Mr Skin­ner has worked in the ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment for more than 25 years, start­ing in the Kim­ber­ley be­fore mov­ing his way through Al­bany, Carnar­von, north and south metropoli­tan ar­eas and Man­durah.

He is cel­e­brat­ing his fifth year at Cal­ista PS in 2017 and cred­its the school’s hard work and the cre­ation of a teach­ing model based on the top schools in WA, for its suc­cess.

“It’s a re­ally re­ward­ing pro­fes­sion, when you can make a dif­fer­ence in kids lives you get a buzz out of that,” he said.

“Our stu­dents are on the cusp of achiev­ing Aus­tralian na­tional stan­dards on av­er­age and I think we can go be­yond that and be­come one of the very high per­form­ing schools.”

As part of the award Mr Skin­ner will travel to Sin­ga­pore in July for a week to study the school sys­tems there.

“There are some re­ally great things about this award that will en­able us to think dif­fer­ently, to work dif­fer­ently,” he said. “We see no ceil­ings, we’re not look­ing to get­ting to a cer­tain point, we need to keep striv­ing to do bet­ter.”

Pic­ture: Emily Sharp

Cal­ista Pri­mary School's prin­ci­pal Craig Skin­ner.

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