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Great Staff = Great Culture – Jennifer Oaten Principal

Great Staff = Great Culture – Jennifer Oaten Principal

Culture is the set of shared values, goals, attitudes and practices that characterise an organisation. An individual’s personality is made up of values, beliefs, behaviours, interests, experiences and background. The combined personalities of all employees contribute to creating the culture of an organisation.

For 81 years, the culture at Santa Maria College has been and continues to be, influenced by Catherine McAuley.  Her vision and values are embedded in the College and our staff.  The College Leadership Team, through the Strategic Plan and our decision making, play a major part in influencing the culture here at Santa Maria. We have a shared language based on our values of Hospitality, Compassion, Justice, Service and Excellence and reinforce this with our students at every opportunity. When staff, parents and students interact, these values are central.  All staff impact culture and it is evident to me that our staff embrace our values and have a true sense of pride in relation to Santa Maria College.

Every year we survey our new parents and ask them what are the main reasons why they chose Santa Maria College? The teachers are the number one response. Without great teachers, Santa Maria would not be achieving consistent academic results and other great outcomes for our students.  Our teachers are the backbone of our success.

What do I believe makes our teachers great?

Our teachers:

  • know and connect with their students,
  • engage their students in great learning opportunities,
  • are passionate and knowledgeable,
  • are approachable and so willing to help, they go above and beyond for our girls and
  • provide effective feedback that helps our students grow.

I believe it is essential to invest in the professional development of our teachers.  We have a great learning culture among our staff who actively collaborate to build knowledge and pedagogy. They embrace our focus each year Deep Learning (2017), GRIT (2018) and Connecting Learning to Life (2019). Each Learning Area commits time and energy to ensure the focus is embedded in all we do.

Our staff development programs of Grow and Lead are pivotal in the ongoing growth of our teachers, enabling self-reflection, feedback from peer observations and student surveys and conversations that assist in developing our culture of learning.

I am proud to be the Principal of this great school. I am proud of all the staff, their dedication and their ability to be ‘a shining lamp giving light to all around us’ (Catherine McAuley) to build the incredible culture at Santa Maria College.

I encourage you to share some of the positive experiences you have had with our teachers. Click HERE to share your experiences.

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