St Margaret's Anglican Girls School supports the next generation of Brisbane's educational leaders

And when you get to where you’re going, turn around and help her too. For there was a time, not long ago when she was you. Unknown

Just as we instil in our students at St Margaret’s the importance of giving back, it is also a key tenet that extends to our staff community who, through initiatives such as the Born to Fly Scholarship, are also doing their bit to pay it forward.

In 2019, St Margaret’s introduced the Born to Fly Scholarship aimed at supporting undergraduate teachers, giving them the opportunity to gain further real-world experience and professional learning during their studies.

Principal Ros Curtis said the scholarship benefited not only beginning teachers but St Margaret’s experienced educators.

“This is an opportunity for university students, who are just starting out in their careers, to gain practical support and inspiration from our experienced and expert St Margaret’s educators, which will help the students to develop their own practice and hopefully provide a confidence boost.

“Adopting a mentoring role is also valuable for our St Margaret’s teachers, who use the opportunity to reflect on and critically analyse their own practice as well as develop their leadership skills and make a valued contribution to their profession,” Ms Curtis said.

“We have all been at that point, at the beginning of our career. Now is the time for us to turn around and help the next cohort of beginning teachers to fly upwards.”

Katie Sills is this year’s recipient of the Born to Fly Scholarship. Currently in her final year studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education majoring in Geography and HPE, Katie is looking forward to gaining real-world experience and professional learning through her immersion in the St Margaret’s community throughout 2022.

“I am really looking forward to spending one day a week at St Margaret’s this year. The ongoing professional development and mentorship will assist me greatly in developing my teaching practice as will the opportunity to gain a holistic insight into the school’s operations and philosophy.

“I am passionate about empowering young women and challenging students to achieve their best in all endeavours, educational philosophies I am excited to witness in action at St Margaret’s,” Katie said.

Jess Galpin, who was the recipient of the Born to Fly Scholarship in 2020, said the real-world experiences and opportunities offered throughout her scholarship year helped build her knowledge and confidence as a first-year teacher.

“I was fortunate enough to shadow, observe and be mentored by some of the most amazing teachers, opening my eyes to a range of teaching strategies and tricks of the trade while inspiring me to be the best teacher I can be.

“St Margaret’s Quality Teaching and Learning Framework provided me with guidance and assistance in developing my teaching ethos,” Jess said.

Throughout her internship, it was clear Jess shared similar teaching values to those that underpin St Margaret’s philosophy, and so, upon completion of her Bachelor of Secondary Education, she took up the opportunity to join St Margaret’s teaching staff as a mathematics and STEM teacher.

“I am passionate about girls’ education and want to make a difference by educating, empowering and producing confident young women who can then make a positive influence on a global scale. I am focused on personal development, lifelong learning and challenging students to be comfortable with and embrace failure as a positive learning experience.

“I love working at St Margaret’s. We have a great community, where we are respected and challenged to be the best teachers we can be, and I always feel supported and provided with opportunities to grow,” Jess said.