Jess Heysen

Year 7 Coordinator Year 7 Core Tutor

I currently hold the position of Year 7 Coordinator at our our school, in addition to teaching a Year 7 class in all their core subjects and also a Year 10 Physical Education class. Our school is a large co-ed independent school, with a large cohort of boarding students and a large Indigenous and International contingent as well.

This is my 8th year teaching and I was lucky to start my teaching career here and to have had many opportunities to  continue in various leadership roles throughout the College. I am a trained Middle School teacher and my specialist areas are Physical Education, Information technology, Middle Schooling, IBMYP and Inquiry-based learning.

I am passionate about many areas of education, however I could easily break my passions into two quite distinct areas. The first being progressive 21st Century teaching. Teaching where a culture of embedding both technology and critical and creative thinking skills has been developed and is practiced regularly. Classrooms should be welcoming and warm, a place where students want to learn. But the 21st Century Classroom also needs to extend beyond the four walls, Global Collaboration is where education is heading and is an area I am keen to involve myself in more heavily.

My second area of interest and in all honesty the one I am more passionate about, lies in adolescent health and wellbeing. The Principal of our College has a favourite saying: 

"The Heart of Education, is the Education of the Heart"

For me this is particularly true of how I like to teach. I am passionate about teaching our kids valuable life skills. I am passionate about Mental and Sexual Health Education, Wellbeing Education and the area of counselling.

My main philosophy as a teacher is that everybody is extraordinary and that any one who steps inside my classroom has the potential to do and be anything they want to be. I want my students to aim high, to take risks and to develop a life-long love of learning.



Jolanta Stephens

      Year 7 Core Tutor        MS Enrichment Programs

I am a year 7 core teacher, I'm involved in the Middle School Enrichment Program and have been heavily involved in the writing and implementation of the pilot Interdisciplinary Units which have become a compulsory element of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program in 2015.

This is my 4th year at this current school and my 9th year teaching overall. I have taught in country settings and in metropolitan settings, both quite challenging in their own rights. My specialties include the Arts, Information Technology, Middle School Curriculum writing, IBMYP, and Inquiry-based learning.

My interests and passions in education lie with Educational technology and implementing technology tools into the classroom to enhance learning, not just as a token, and inquiry-based learning coupled with creative and critical thinking skills. Again, for me it is important to provide students with the language and opportunities to engage with these skills and create a classroom culture with them so that the students are immersed and use these skills automatically within their own learning.

I have three main rules and philosophies in my classroom. The first is to 'take a risk'. By being risk-takers, we open ourselves up to numerous opportunities, both successful and not. We learn together as a class from both successes and 'failures' positively and embrace it as a part of our learning. I role model this risk-taking often in the classroom by 'having-a-go' at anything that seems like it could further benefit my students learning. The other rule is to 'support each other.' By doing this, we create a classroom environment where the risk-taking is a positive and safe experience for the students and they take pride and enjoyment out of their learning. The last rule is to 'think outside the box and question'. Originality and creativity is the key to creating life-long skills in students. Through inquiry, students are able to learn about what they really want to learn about with purpose. They are given opportunities to form skills they require to become valuable and inquisitive members of society. Content will follow when the students have a good routine set in them of inquiring about their learning.