16 October 2023
The Principal of Trinity College Beenleigh has received a prized Queensland education award.
Allison Elcoate was presented with the Dr John Dwyer Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award at the 2023 Queensland College of Teachers’ TeachX Awards for driving improvement and making meaningful contributions within her school community.
Ms Elcoate, one of five recipients, was praised for developing new learning and teaching practices, leading innovative educational approaches and methods and curriculum enhancements.
The Brisbane Catholic Education principal acknowledged her school staff team in her success and her desire to help young people achieve their dreams – a desire that she said has driven her career.
“I find joy in helping students find their voice and develop their own individual aspirations,” Ms Elcoate said.
“I believe the students should be the biggest advocates for their own learning and I have made it my mission to advocate for young people to be the change-makers in their own education.”
Allison’s unique approach includes the implementation of agile and social learning spaces and differentiated learning based on her students’ individual needs and preferences, and the promotion of learner agency.
Trinity College Deputy Principal Craig Hirst, who nominated Allison for the award, said Allison’s new learning and teaching practices had reduced workplace intensification for staff. He also said the award would set a standard of excellence to which others could aspire.
“Allison’s dedication and innovative approach to education has truly transformed our institution fostering an environment where both students and staff thrive,” Mr Hirst said. “Allison’s leadership has improved student and staff wellbeing resulting in a positive school and workplace culture.
“Working with Trinity College educators over 18 months, Allison co-created learning and teaching practices our educators believe in while also fostering a profound sense of collective efficacy within the College. The learning and teaching practices are tailored to the needs and demographic of our school and community, with our students now benefiting from an education which is both engaging and relevant to their lives and future aspirations.”
The Deputy said the agile and social learning spaces developed were “significant transformations” Ms Elcoate had initiated within the College community, granting students the autonomy to select their preferred learning methods within a single lesson.
“This means students can decide if they want to receive direct instruction from their teacher or work independently throughout a lesson if they feel they have already grasped a concept,” he said. “Her commitment to providing students with greater control empowers each student to embark on their unique journey of improvement.
“Allison has also championed targeted professional development opportunities for staff providing Trinity College educators the tools they need to assist any student. She has also created a thorough strategic plan that considers the unique demands and problems of our diverse student body, which is already yielding positive results.
“Allison’s win served as a testament to the positive influence and inspiration she has had on the lives of students and staff at the College.”
BCE Senior Leader Paul Easton said Ms Elcoate was an excellent educator who led an improvement agenda at the College focusing on putting student learning needs at the centre of teacher practice.
“Allison works extremely hard to provide pathways for students at the College, so that each step a student takes at school, is a positive step towards their future careers and life beyond school,” Mr Easton said.
About the Queensland College of Teachers TeachX Awards:
The TEACHX Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of teachers in Queensland.
Every year, teachers from across Queensland’s schooling sectors and early childhood education and care services are nominated to share their stories and inspire colleagues.
About the Dr John Dwyer Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award:
The award recognises classroom teachers or school administrators who have taken leading roles in enhancing teaching and learning in their school or early childhood centre.