Foundation staff member returns home
From humble beginnings in 1997, Jennifer Worthington was one of the very first teachers employed to help lay the education foundations and develop the culture, of what was then a dream to build one of the leading independent schools on the Sunshine Coast.
Fast forward two decades and a whole lot of growth, Jennifer feels privileged to be able to continue the dream and return to Sunshine Coast Grammar School in 2021 as a teacher in the Primary School.
This year, the School will officially celebrate 25 years since the sod was first turned on the 100 acre Forest Glen site and Jennifer is proud to return to what she describes as an outstanding school of choice and be a part of a culture where everyone has a sense of belonging and respect.
“It is wonderful to see that the School has continued to go from strength to strength and expanded in enrolments, staff and physical structures. Our learning community is blessed with a well-resourced learning environment in such a beautiful natural rainforest setting,” said Jennifer.
“Yet walking back into Grammar I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic looking at the turfed play areas and the beautiful gardenia gardens at the front of the school which foundation staff helped created. Returning to Grammar is like coming home, the culture of Grammar has not changed. You get a real sense of belonging and being part of the Grammar family. I feel very special being welcomed by familiar staff faces from previous years and new staff who now call Grammar home.”
As a foundation Art teacher, Jennifer has many fond memories of developing the Visual Arts program and being part of the visual arts learning journey.
“Our students’ art work was proudly shared in promotional art exhibitions in the local community and a number of our students took out awards in the QATAS Awards in Excellence in Art Design. I think our participation in the annual Sea Week Festival and our celebration of caring for the marine environment was a notable part of the art program,” said Jennifer.
Jennifer and her husband Graham, who taught Indonesian at the School, left Sunshine Coast Grammar in 2002 to take up two year teaching contract in Singapore. During their time overseas, they joined the international teaching circuit, which Jennifer describes as a truly rewarding experience both personally and professionally.
“I was fortunate to teach in a number of international schools in South East Asia and Europe. Some being extremely large and recognised as top international schools such as Tanglin Trust School in Singapore and the International School of Geneva in Switzerland,” added Jennifer.
While on the international circuit Jennifer taught mainly in Early Years, but also held leadership positions as Head of Curriculum, Year Lead Teacher and as a Foundation Principal of a new international primary school. She worked with a variety of curriculum from different countries, met and worked with students, families and staff from around the world. She become an IB PYP Educator to lead professional learning workshops for teachers in IB schools across Asia and Pacific region and presented at conferences for international schools. She also taught in Australia at Canberra Girls Grammar School as a classroom teacher and was Head of Literacy for the Primary school.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my overseas experiences in education and both Graham and I have seen and experienced so many different countries and cultures. But it is wonderful to be home at Grammar again.”
Jennifer’s new role at Sunshine Coast Grammar is as a classroom teacher in Year 1 and she is very excited about teaching and learning with the school’s young learners and being part of the experienced Primary teaching team.
“Joining Grammar in 2021 has been a dream come true for me. I feel very privileged to be back at Grammar where passion meets purpose and I can continue to guide and support our Grammar students to be responsible global citizens and join in our shared guardianship of the planet, making it a better place for all.”