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Culture From The Heart


“I want to support people to be happy in their work”.

This was Louise O’Donovan’s response to the question, “What difference does it make to a school, working in a Positive Culture?”


Basically, Louise (Principal of the Year 2021) was referring to creating an environment that allows people to be happy, means they are more inclined to be contributors to the clear vision and feel safe when speaking up about how to improve teaching and learning.


David Wanstall, (Director of Early Childhood and Primary Support) answered the same question, but in an entirely different way. There was no theory or science, just emotion. After David’s answer, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.


David simply read an email he received earlier on in the week from a former Ballajura student thanking David and the staff for the opportunities that were now before him due to the excellent, high standard of education he received at Ballajura Primary School.


This is what teaching is about and culture is a driving force to achieve excellence.


Louise and David were the guest panelists at the Building Positive School Culture held last Friday. The audience showed their appreciation by writing furiously in their complimentary By George notebooks as the very passionate Louise and David answered relevant questions about creating a learning environment that is shared and championed.


Where ideas are turned into initiatives through consultation and feedback.


It was a knowledge packed 2 hours.


A couple of take aways worth noting.

1. The school’s purpose must be clear and easily articulated. People should understand that all decisions support the achievement of the purpose.

2. When having a difficult conversation with a staff member, picture the students behind, because they are who you are talking for.

3. There will be mistakes and heart ache. However there will be celebrations and exceptional growth. It is all worth the effort and energy.


The Panel Discussion concept was so well received that there will be another one in Term Two.


For those who missed the opportunity to hear the pearls of wisdom, a recording will be available at the start of Term Two.


Thank you to those who attended and to David Wanstall and Louise O’Donovan for being so honest and passionate about your individual journeys in Building a Positive School Culture.


Are you on your Culture journey?

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