A year to remember: In (and out of) Our Classrooms in 2023

Take a digital skip down memory lane, as we reflect on the wonderful year that was for teachers and schools across Victoria.

Tuesday, 12 December 2023 at 12:38 am

From junior speedsters racing miniature Formula One (F1) cars to recognising some of our longest serving educators, the year that’s been has certainly offered us a pretty fair highlights reel to look back on. 

Among the more recent and exalted highlights was, of course, the Victorian Education Excellence Awards (VEEA)! What a wonderful occasion that was to recognise our outstanding government school teachers, leaders, business managers and education support staff.

Balwyn High School took out the prestigious Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education for their outstanding programs for high-ability students.

Meanwhile, Clare Monk from Warrnambool West Primary School won the Outstanding Primary Principal award, and Kimberley Tempest from Cobram Secondary College received the Colin Simpson Outstanding Secondary Principal award.

In all, the awards recognised 47 finalists across 15 categories for their achievements, plus the overall award for excellence in education.

And in keeping with recognising the great work of everyone in the Victorian school system, the year also saw more than 300 school and corporate staff awarded for giving 40, 45, 50 and 55 years of service to education in Victoria, with the Recognition of Service ceremony.

Students race to STEM learning

Just as the years have flown by for many teachers, many of our students are also moving quickly! And while most students zoom the halls, this year a handful of them zoomed the racetrack in miniature Formula One cars.

Developed to introduce students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in the most engaging way possible, F1 in Schools sees students design and experiment with carbon dioxide-powered miniature F1 cars to make the fastest car possible.

Competing against 68 teams from 33 nations, ‘Team Hadron’ from Alamanda K-9 College in Point Cook and Phoenix P-12 Community College in Ballarat, made it to the world finals, while Trinity Grammar school and Brighton Grammar school also took part in the international renowned event.

Sustainability in schools

From skills in racing to skills in sustainability, the year also saw 12 Victorian schools recognised at the ResourceSmart Schools Awards.

More than 260 school children, teachers and school volunteers attended the event, with the ResourceSmart School of the Year award going to Eastwood Primary School and Deaf Facility.

We’d also like to give a shout-out to Sunshine West’s Ardeer South Primary School, which took out the Emerging School of the Year award.

‘No’ to plastics

Sustainability was a big focus for us this year, and we were certainly impressed by the efforts of students at Melbourne Girls’ College in Richmond, who successfully negotiated with their canteen and catering company to only provide them with biodegradable cutlery and containers.

The girls’ negotiation skills means that all food packaging at the school can now break down in the school’s solar cone organic digesters rather than being diverted to landfill.

It builds on other great work at the school, including working with Yarra Council to expand glass and co-mingled recycling, as well as bulk purchasing reusable coffee cups for staff and students to use.

Of course, these are just some of the many, many highlights of the year in education, as told through In Our Classrooms.

Whether it be reducing waste, learning STEM subjects while racing an F1 car, honouring our longest serving educators, or recognising sustainability in schools, 2023 has been action packed with both students and teachers alike.

We’re sure you’re all looking forward to a well-earned break, before kicking it all off again in 2024, and we’d like to wish you all the best for the festive season.

Find out more

For more information, refer to In Our Classrooms.