Julia Padgett, is Head of Middle School Curriculum and a teacher of Year 6 Encounter.
Julia has been teaching for 15 years. She started at Geelong Grammar and taught in the UK for 6 years.
“I have the best of both worlds,” says Julia. “I love teaching and watching students learn and develop over the year, and curriculum is my passion.
Julia enjoys discovering new ways to improve students’ learning and outcomes, and sharing this information with staff.
One of the most rewarding parts of her current role is being a Success Coordinator with the University of Melbourne Network of Schools (UMNOS).
UMNOS involves schools coming together to collaborate and learn from each other’s teaching experiences. Julia says, “We hear from experts and academics talking about the latest research and trends in education, and we can take this knowledge back and implement that in our schools. UMNOS gives us access to key thinkers in education.”
Julia says she is inspired by the passion of the people she meets and connects with in the program. “It’s reassuring to know that lots of what we do here is good practice. Through UMNOS we learn ways of making it more refined, more dynamic and exciting for our students.”
Being involved in UMNOS is a huge amount of work but according to Julia, “Well worth the time spent.”
Julia is part of a Data Literacy Group within the project that looks at data and uses that to guide and inform teaching practice. There are eight schools in the group with two representatives from each.
The group convenes for a full day each month at Graduate House at the University of Melbourne, and participants talk about what has been implemented, and share their successes and recommendations.
Julia says she has taken a number of strategies back to improve student and staff outcomes at Braemar College.
Based on the knowledge acquired through UMNOS, she has started professional learning teams within Middle School, meeting with staff on a fortnightly basis to implement new strategies into their planning and teaching.
In the teams, staff can specifically target areas they would like to develop at their Year level. “It also improves connectivity and collaboration. It creates continuity between teaching and assessments and staff support each other with ideas. Working collaboratively also reduces the workload.”
Julia acknowledges the big commitment made by Braemar College, investing in staff like her to be leaders, and keeping up-to-date with the latest thinking in education.
Apart from the learning and leadership opportunities provided to her, Julia says that the environment here really sets Braemar College apart from other schools. “There’s such a strong sense of community, a sense of belonging. It’s so rewarding getting to know families and their children and watching their progression through the school.”
“Having iPads is a tremendous benefit. It allows students to be independent learners and work at their own pace. The resources you can use as a teacher are far greater because you know that students can access them on iPads.”
Julia has presented to her UMNOS group about Braemar College’s SEQTA Learning Management System, and how we are using it to enable parents and carers to be involved in their child’s learning, even down to seeing what students did in class that day.
In her spare time, Julia loves running, cooking and travelling, and completed a half marathon last year. She enjoys taking the time to cook, and Italian is her specialty. She recently returned from a holiday at Uluru and has travelled extensively throughout Europe.
Future travel goals include New York, and Julia would love to go back to the Greek Islands.