Congratulations Shelley Parkes, Head of Junior School

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Oakleigh Grammar is thrilled to announce that its Head of Junior School, Shelley Parkes has been awarded two prestigious accolades. Shelley has been named as a winner of The Educator Magazine’s Most Influential Educators Award and in addition, has received an Excellence Award and is a finalist for Primary School Principal of the Year – Non-government, with the overall winner to be announced later in the year.

In the category of Most Influential Educators in Australia, Shelley was recognised for her clear vision and reimagined approach and delivery to learning and teaching across the Junior School by designing the unique Quartet Model. The model encompasses the Junior School journey from Early Learning to Year 5.  This innovative model harnesses creativity and innovation at its core, and ensures students transition seamlessly from the Early Learning Centre through Junior School and into Middle School in Year 6.

During the first pandemic-impacted year of remote learning and teaching in Melbourne, Shelley understood how to make the best use of remote learning.  Her devotion and strong desire to see all students achieve, allowed a remote learning model that was creative, responsive and flexible to meet the needs of individual students during what proved to be a period of transitioning into and out of remote learning for two years.  The Quartet Model allowed for the curriculum to run parallel whether on-site or remote, providing continuity for the staff and students, which met the expectations of parents for their child’s continued learning.

The Quartet Model Shelley created consists of four phases that Explore, Engage, Explain and Elaborate student learning.  It is recognised that each child develops and achieves at their own pace; growth is unique to them in their time at school.  Using different approaches, the phases of The Quartet Model allow students to develop into individual inquiry learners.  Exploration is encompassed by the Reggio approach.  Explicit instruction is used for engagement.  The explanation phases slowly take the consolidated learning through the Quartet Model, and bring the student’s learning to the elaborate phase where they have a greater impact over the direction of their own learning journey.

While the overall winner of The Educator Magazine’s Primary School Principal of the Year – Non-government won’t be announced until The Educator Magazine’s Awards ceremony in Sydney in August 2022, Shelley has received an Excellence Award in the category putting her in the running for the main award.

Principal Mark Robertson said: “I am encouraged daily by Shelley’s boundless positivity and energy.  The development of the Quartet Model that sustained live face-to-face teaching each and every day was creative and responsive.  It draws together the very best of primary education from both a pedagogical and philosophical point of view.  It is innovative but grounded in sound knowledge of what works best for each age group of students.  Shelley ensured there was flexibility for parents and teachers to meet the needs of individual students, and has successfully built a culture of connectedness, transparency and honesty”.

Shelley’s volunteer work also contributed to her recognition as a Most Influential Educator. She has worked with Indigenous communities in Darwin and local charity organisations closer to home.

“I am humbled to have been recognised in this way.  Although I have been named as the recipient of these awards, the acknowledgment belongs to a mighty team that is much bigger than just me.  Success is ours to achieve when we bring passion, authenticity and professionalism together.  The students influence all that I do and the staff walks with me to ensure our students are central to each and every decision we make as educators. I am privileged to work with such an incredible community.”

Candidates for the Excellence Awards were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Education leaders, founders and administration of a school or program
  • Changemakers who have made an impact on many students and school communities in Australia in the face of adversity
  • Award-winning educators that been recognised for their contributions to the Australian education industry
  • Educators who have demonstrated innovation and creativity that is driving the education industry forward.

Nominees were evaluated on the overall impact of their contributions.

The final list of Most Influential Educators consists of 50 educators and other professionals from across Australia who delivered specific outcomes that significantly influenced the Australian education industry.

Oakleigh Grammar offers excellence in coeducational learning from ELC through to Year 12. We are dedicated to empowering young minds and building resilient lifelong learners and responsible global citizens, by ensuring each child is known and cared for personally. Oakleigh Grammar provides a multicultural environment with Christian values, where diversity is celebrated and inclusion is encouraged.

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Mark Robertson, Principal of Oakleigh Grammar, congratulates winner of The Educator Magazine’s 2022 Most Influential Educators award Shelley Parkes, Head of Junior School, Oakleigh Grammar.

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Winner of The Educator Magazine’s 2022 Most Influential Educators award Shelley Parkes, Head of Junior School, Oakleigh Grammar.

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Winner of The Educator Magazine’s 2022 Most Influential Educators award Shelley Parkes, Head of Junior School, Oakleigh Grammar, doing what she loves best.


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