Lakes Grammar: “Positive Teacher of the Year”

It is a pleasure to report that Mr Ralph Johns has been awarded “NSW Positive Teacher of the Year” for 2016 by the Positive Schools Institute. Ralph was nominated by a member of the school community and was subsequently selected for this honour by a panel comprised of members of the Principals Australia Institute, Geelong Grammar Institute for Positive Education and the Positive Schools Institute.

This award recognises the work that Mr Johns has put into his role as Co-ordinator of Student Wellbeing (K – 6) at Lakes Grammar over a number of years in improving student wellbeing in the school.

In his time at the school Mr Johns has implemented the KidsMatter framework to improve the mental health and wellbeing of JS students, complementing the MindMatters framework in the SS and providing a K – 12 structure for consistent positive strategies to enhance wellbeing. Mr Johns also initiated a trial of PAVE – Prevention of Anxiety and Victimisation in Education in conjunction with Macquarie University, where current Year 5 and 6 students have benefitted from the Cool Kids and Friendly Schools Plus programs that also have great potential for our K – 4 year groups.

Mr Johns pioneered the use of Gallup Student Wellbeing surveys in Australia through the Independent Primary School Heads Association of Australia (IPSHA) in 2014 and has continued to use ACER and KidsMatter surveys of the school community to gauge and further develop levels of student wellbeing.

Student wellbeing in our Junior School is also influenced positively by the effort of all of our staff members who run a number of clubs like Chess, Athletics, Coding, Equestrian, Snowsports and provide extracurricular opportunities in Music and the Performing Arts including IPSHA Performing Arts Festival, School Band and Ensemble Groups, Choirs, Showcase and the like. Mr Johns’ leadership has also led to the introduction of a number of other initiatives including Peer Support led by Ms LeRay, Student Representative Council (SRC) led by Mrs Holland and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) which was introduced to the school and set up by Ms Dow. Congratulations Mr Johns on a well-deserved award!