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A Catholic Independent Day & Boarding School for Girls years 7 - 12

Michael Elliott

Leader of Learning - Innovation and History/Geography/English Teacher

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Michael Elliott is a Teacher of History, Geography and English and Stuartholme’s Leader of Learning – Innovation. In his role Michael works with teachers to develop more innovative strategies that better address the needs of each individual student.

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Why is your role as Leader of Learning – Innovation so important?

The world children are growing up in is much different to that of 20 years ago. There’s a whole range of changes that are occurring in society. Technology’s changing, social values are changing, and teachers need to be continually moving forward in both the strategies and their use of technologies. As the Leader of Learning – Innovation at Stuartholme, working with teachers to develop new skill sets, to develop new teaching strategies is probably the biggest change that I’m personally involved in.

How critical is the engagement process with students?

Very – if the girls aren’t engaged then they’re not learning. So really the first thing a teacher needs to think about is engagement – how do I engage the students? And one of the most important things to do that is to make sure that the girls understand the ‘why’ of the learning, why am I learning this? It’s actually more important than the ‘what’ that we’re learning. I spend a lot of time explaining to the girls why we need to be doing what we’re doing in the classroom.

The second thing is on a day-to-day basis is using technology, engaging the girls in collaborative work. They really enjoy working with each other and given that you have quite a diverse range of girls in the classroom, collaborative work enables all girls to participate in the learning process.

Parents are often concerned about their child’s results, what advice can you give?

The most important thing for parents I think is to ensure that they and their daughters are focussing on the learning and not the grades. Grades are important but what’s more important is the learning.

You also teach Geography, English and History. What do you love about this aspect of your role?

When I first started teaching at Stuartholme, I taught Economics because I had an Economics degree and was doing post-graduate work in Economics. But over the last ten years, I’ve shifted my focus to Years 7, 8 and 9. I particularly love History and I believe it equips students with skills in critical analysis, being able to see things from a range of perspectives, writing and communicating. I love being able to share this with my classes every day.

Michael Elliott
BA Dip.Ed. MA


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