We have a wonderfully experienced and diverse teaching staff who love their jobs:
Making every student feel welcome when they first arrive at Stewart House and enjoying their reaction of being so close to the beach is one of my highlights at the start of a new group.
At the beginning of each school day Tom and I run an assembly where students actively assist with the Acknowledgement of Country and presentation of awards. We view different clips and images relevant to the teaching and learning program. One of my favourite clips is about random acts of kindness and I ask students to look out for examples to share on assembly.
A report is written by the teachers and cabin supervisors about the students stay and forms a plan for after they leave Stewart House. I enjoy reading the reports and see their achievements, the strategies imparted and the activities they have enjoyed at Stewart House.
I am fortunate to be involved in all aspects of the Stewart House teaching and learning program and I am passionate about the social skills lessons and excursion experiences across the 12 day stay. I actively teach all lessons and support every student to increase their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. I have a particular interest in the areas of developing a growth mindset, Aboriginal culture and how the brain works to help us emotionally regulate our feelings. Seeing students get the opportunity to participate in new and exciting activities, for example getting sand between their toes at the beach, sometimes for the first time is an amazing experience to be involved in.
One of my favourite lessons is teaching the students about their inner strengths. We work together to discover what makes each of us special and unique. We all finish this lesson feeling positive about ourselves and our classmates.
Wait till you see the slide at SOPAC (Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre)! It’s long, windy, colourful and sooooooo much fun! Stewart House students get the chance to use the slide. There are always smiles from ear to ear as they crash into the pool.
Something I am passionate about is having a growth mindset. At Stewart House we teach our students about what it means to have a growth mindset and how to apply it in their lives. I love watching the students apply this way of thinking, and begin to challenge themselves by using a growth mindset to further improve their self-belief of what is possible in their future.
Without a doubt, my favourite ‘out day’ is visiting the Powerhouse Museum. I love the interactive displays and activities which are all so much fun. The spaceship simulator is also quite amazing too!
Working at Stewart House is such a joy! Seeing the kids’ faces light up as they take in the scenery never fails to amaze me. One of the highlights of the stay for me is taking the kids down to the pool for some free swim time. Watching them relax and unwind in the salt water really helps them bring their walls down and even nervous swimmers end up having the best time! I love getting outside and learning with the kids, whether it’s at the beach, in the bush tucker garden or even on our amazing classroom balconies that overlook the entire Curl Curl beach.
Teaching kids how to manage their emotions appropriately is such an important life skill. At Stewart House, we give kids the opportunity to build upon and learn ways to manage their ‘big’ feelings, because we all have them! These are skills and strategies that students can carry with them beyond Stewart House and will help them through when times get tough. I feel so lucky to work in such a supportive and positive environment and love getting to know some amazing kids from all around NSW and ACT!
One of my favourite lessons is based on emotional self-regulation. I feel students come away from this lesson with a range of effective strategies that they can use in their everyday life to enhance their wellbeing. Having these strategies students are able to better engage with others and build on their positive connections.
My favourite out day is going to Taronga Zoo. Seeing students’ excitement when looking at the different animals and perhaps the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the first time is wonderful. A highlight while at the zoo is the seal show as students love watching Murphy and Bondi jump from the water, wave, smile and do tricks.
My favourite aspect of working at Stewart House is providing our students with a range of exciting opportunities to build their social and emotional understanding through classroom lessons such as understanding our brain and outdoor activities like excursions to the Zoo or local parks.
Being able to use the beach to engage students in building friendships and self-confidence is something I thoroughly enjoy, whether that’s through swimming in the beach pool, activities on the sand or looking out for whales and dolphins.
The thing that I value most is student wellbeing. At Stewart House I have the opportunity to teach students about Emotional Regulation, which includes strategies that can be practiced at their home schools and can be used in all facets of their life. One of my real joys is seeing these students apply this knowledge in real time and seeing the sense of achievement that students have after they have successfully regulated their feelings.
Part of the Stewart House experience is ‘out days’. Taking students to the zoo is particularly exciting as this is often a new experience. The pure happiness on their faces as they see their favourite animals and being in an immersion room is something that is so unique to Stewart House.
Working at Stewart House has been one of my long-held dreams! All the staff work together to make sure each student leaves with more than just a fun break (which is amazing in itself!), but also tools and strategies they can use and apply to their lives once their stay ends.
I have always been passionate about helping students to know and appreciate their own positive attributes and to be aware of their own responses to more challenging situations. A highlight of my role is to give students an insight into their own emotions and the tools to help them respond to them. By incorporating Groove movement into my lessons I try to help the students connect their brain, body and emotions as they dance. It’s also wonderful to see their delight when we are able to have a sunny afternoon at the beach pool or at the fun of being so close to the splash zone at the seal show at Taronga Zoo.
I love being the Stewart House school counsellor because I get to meet so many incredible kids from all over NSW and ACT. I learn heaps from my conversations with the students I meet and I try to help make sure that they have the best possible stay with us and feel supported when they head back home too.
I love meeting the classes out on the first day BBQ and Bowling excursion when everyone is still getting to know each other and a little bit nervous about what to expect! I really enjoy helping out with the social skills lessons and art activities in class, and it is so much fun joining in on the playground and over at the beach, sometimes you might even see me out at the zoo!
I am passionate about helping our students to see how amazing and brave they really are. I feel so lucky to be part of such a special place that gives kids a chance to just be kids, with sea water up their nose, sand between their toes, clay all over their hands, and their eyes wide experiencing so many new things during their stay.
Being an Aboriginal Education Officer plus having this space to hand down healing and also share my experiences, music and culture with these children has been incredible. As part of the Aboriginal Education Program I engage with students, teachers and support staff to create a sense of place for our students through connecting and caring for Country, speaking and singing language and also sharing music. South Curl Curl beach across the road has to be my favourite place to take our groups to fill our senses, for cleansing, grounding, sand, sun and saltwater.