School’s global excellence

Birmingham Primary''s global education team. From left, Sue Withers (global studies teacher), Trish Enzinger (Principal), Tom James (CIS Coordinator) and Sally Buckland (global studies teacher). 198216 Picture: ROMY STEPHENS

Birmingham Primary School has been acknowledged as a finalist in this year’s Victorian Education Excellence Awards, for its work in the space of international education.

The school has been shortlisted as a potential winner of the Dr Lawrie Shears Excellence in Global Teaching and Learning Award.

The award was named in honour of the late Dr Shears who was the director-general of the Victorian Education Department for nine years and was a strong advocate of global teaching and learning.

School principal Trish Enzinger said winning the award would be recognition of the hard work that has been put into the school’s global education efforts.

“For us to have that recognition would be just outstanding,” she said.

“For all of our hard work it would be absolutely amazing and a real credit to the program and a credit to our school community.”

Birmingham Primary School is one of four Australian schools participating in the International School-to-School Experience, an international exchange student program.

The program has seen the school receive students from, and visit, countries such as Peru, Costa Rica, China, Mexico, Malaysia and the USA.

It has also partnered with Monash University to introduce a specialist subject program called the Future Problem Solving Program.

Students involved in the program attempt to solve real-life global problems, such as how to solve a pandemic, then their work is sent to the University for feedback.

Such initiatives have seen the school receive global recognition and accreditation for the Council of International Schools.

Ms Enzinger said the Mount Evelyn region is not extremely diverse when it comes to nationalities and ethnic groups, therefore it’s important students learn about different countries and cultures.

“It’s just so important to have these kids realise that there is that big wide world out there and that they are part of it and they can act,” she said.

Victorian Education Excellence Award winners will be announced at a ceremony to coincide with World Teachers’ Day on 25 October.

Winners will receive professional development grants of up to $25,000 to support work in their schools.