Claymore Public School receives award for improving student outcomes

Leaps and bounds: The staff at Claymore Public School are working hard to give their students the best possible education. Picture: Chris Lane
Leaps and bounds: The staff at Claymore Public School are working hard to give their students the best possible education. Picture: Chris Lane

Claymore Public School has just been recognised for 'significant improvement in educational outcomes and opportunities for students'.

But this has come as no surprise to staff who have been working hard for years to build up their students and rewrite the suburb's often less-than-favourable public perception.

The school picked up a Secretary's Award for School Achievement in the 2020 NSW Minister's and Secretary's Awards for Excellence.

Deputy principal Lisa Phipps said it was a nice way to mark the huge amount of work that had been done at the school in the last several years.

"This is an acknowledgement that we've been recognised as a centre of excellence," she said.

"Prior to 2012, there were a lot of areas that needed to be addressed here at Claymore. We had a new principal appointed - Lisa Porter - and she brought in a whole bunch of changes to school planning processes, to see where we were at with strategic directions and what our data was actually saying about the school.

"So we brought the whole community on board to bring about our core values, and we got a strong parent voice involved at the school.

"We implemented high-learning strategies to ensure all our staff's professional needs were met and well managed."

Ms Phipps said Claymore Public introduced Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) as well as addressing wellbeing issues, and a consistent message: "be safe, be respectful, be a learner".

"Everything comes back to those values," she said.

"We strengthened the relationship with our community to get them involved and see Claymore as a place that they're welcome and their voice matters.

"It was a big amalgamation of all those things that led to where we are now, and that was spearheaded by our high-quality leader in Lisa Porter.

"She left us this year for another role as Director of Educational Leadership, but she led Claymore on this journey."

Ms Phipps said the award showed staff especially that their work was meaningful.

"For our teaching staff, both past and present, to have that acknowledgement out there to say what a great job they're doing - and teaching is a hard job, especially in areas that are challenging - is a real validation and it's amazing," she said.

"Parents and grandparents who have been here their whole lives have seen the shift themselves, and now having that public acknowledgement that we're doing really well is amazing."

Ms Phipps said she was proud to be involved with such a dynamic school community.

"It's never been the perception of our staff, but sometimes people will ask you, why do you want to be a teacher at Claymore," she said.

"And I always say, 'why would I not want to?'. It's amazing and the community is so resilient."