The South Aus­tralian Catholic Pri­mary Prin­ci­pals As­so­ci­a­tion (SACPPA) caters for Pri­mary School Prin­ci­pals, Deputy Prin­ci­pals and Pri­mary Heads of Schools, fo­cus­ing on ‘train­ing the trainer’, as well as col­le­gial­ity, sup­port and well­be­ing amongst its memb


WHILE the as­so­ci­a­tion is gov­erned by the South Aus­tralian Com­mis­sion for Catholic Schools, SACPPA is or­gan­ised around re­gional groups and clus­ters of schools that re­port to SACPPA on pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment ( PD) ini­tia­tives, their re­gional pri­or­i­ties, and chal­lenges at the lo­cal level.

Pres­i­dent Phil Schultz says the as­so­ci­a­tion is about col­le­gial­ity, pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment and in­for­ma­tion shar­ing about sec­tor and school based ini­tia­tives, with the ex­ec­u­tive of the as­so­ci­a­tion con­duct­ing gen­eral meet­ings where pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment is a pri­or­ity.

“Our cur­rent PD ini­tia­tives are wo­ven into our reg­u­lar gen­eral meet­ings, and in­clude Ev­i­dence based teach­ing and learn­ing ( with a lens of Lit­er­acy) Early Years ped­a­gogy and ser­vices and STEM ed­u­ca­tion,” Mr Schultz said.

When asked about the re­cent In­ter­na­tional Space Congress, Mr Schultz said there was a strong fo­cus in South Aus­tralia on gen­er­at­ing qual­ity STEM ed­u­ca­tion.

“There’s an un­der­stand­ing of what STEM is as acro­nym for four cur­ricu­lum ar­eas, but we’ve been try­ing to bring an un­der­stand­ing of the idea of STEM be­ing about in­te­grated learn­ing.”

“There’s a fo­cus on how we de­velop a ped­a­gogy and a cur­ricu­lum around that for our schools and this hap­pens within SACPPA, but also at the lo­cal level in schools [which] have their own STEM strate­gies,” he said.

The South Aus­tralian Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment and in­di­vid­ual schools are look­ing at re­sources and in­fra­struc­ture to cre­ate net­works and part­ner­ships in the broader com­mu­nity.

“In­di­vid­ual schools are de­vel­op­ing STEM mas­ter plans; my school is look­ing at build­ing a fa­cil­ity that will fa­cil­i­tate STEM ed­u­ca­tion and the arts as well,” said Mr Schultz.

“The pro­fes­sional learn­ing model in SACPPA is cen­tred on lead­ers and our cur­rent and re­cent pro­fes­sional learn­ing has been that no­tion of `train the trainer`.”

“In or­der for lead­ers to be ef­fec­tive in their work they need to be in­formed and they need to have the ca­pac­ity to lead in STEM. We’re pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity to bring fo­cus to that with the hope that that will in­crease lead­er­ship den­sity and in­crease de­vel­op­ment at the lo­cal level,” he said.

Mr Schultz en­cour­ages Catholic Pri­mary

“The pro­fes­sional learn­ing model in SACPPA is cen­tred on lead­ers and our cur­rent and re­cent pro­fes­sional learn­ing has been that no­tion of train the trainer.”

School Prin­ci­pals to join SACPPA be­cause of the col­le­gial­ity, sup­port and the strong well­be­ing com­po­nent of be­ing able to share sto­ries and seek ad­vice in a safe en­vi­ron­ment.

“As a pro­fes­sional learn­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion our Catholic iden­tity is im­por­tant to us and is our guid­ing prin­ci­ple,” he said.

“We want to be a con­tem­po­rary and for­ward think­ing as­so­ci­a­tion with an ed­u­ca­tion fo­cus of bring­ing about con­tem­po­rary teach­ing and learn­ing that is re­spon­sive to the needs of th­ese times and re­spon­sive to the needs of learn­ers into the fu­ture.”

SACPPA pres­i­dent Phil Schultz .

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