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Brooke Sweeney

Brooke Sweeney
Bachelor of Education - Primary & Secondary

Selection Criteria
SC1 Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of initiatives in student learning including the Principles
of Learning and Teaching P-12 and the Assessment and Reporting Advice and the ability to implement
curriculum programs consistent with their intent.
SC2 Demonstrated understanding of how students learn and effective classroom teaching strategies and
the capacity to work with colleagues to continually improve teaching and learning.
SC3 Demonstrated capacity to monitor and assess student learning data and to use this data to inform
teaching for improved student learning.
SC4 Demonstrated high level written and verbal communication skills and high level interpersonal skills
including a capacity to develop constructive relationships with students, parents and other staff.
SC5 Demonstrated commitment and capacity to actively contribute to a broad range of school activities
and a capacity to reflect on, evaluate and improve professional knowledge and practice.
SC6 Demonstrated ability to cater for students with English as an Additional Language

I acknowledge the Elders, families and forebears of the Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri tribes of the Kulin who
were the custodians of University land for many centuries. I acknowledge that the land on which I studied was
the place of age old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal and that the Kulin people's living culture
had and has a unique role in the life of this region.

Brooke Sweeney

SC1 Demonstrated understanding of initiatives in student learning including the Standards, the Principles of
Learning and Teaching P-12 and Assessment and Reporting Advice and the capacity to implement curriculum
programs consistent with their intent.

Constructing engaging curriculum programs across the AUSVELS learning strands and levels I have
demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of initiatives in student learning. My understanding of how
students learn, a range of effective teaching methods and relevant assessment approaches supported by
the importance I place on the PoLT principles in my learning environment, have equipped me with deep
understandings and implemented practice of exceptional student learning and achievement through
curriculum programs.
Some demonstrated examples of my capacity in this area are:

Planned and implemented curriculum specific and integrated units of work which were differentiated
catering for the engagement of all students learning styles and interests.

Used the PoLT principles as a lens to structure and then reflect on my teaching experiences in
Malaysia creating a video account of this.

Structured lessons and unit sequences with the E5 instructional model and guided inquiry learning.

Created assessment tasks and processes which support personalised learning programs and student
centred learning while explicitly assessing learning outcomes and AUSVELS standards

Implemented a blend of approaches to enhance teaching and learning in diverse cultural settings
(Malaysia) and in Victorian primary and secondary schools including; gradual release of responsibility,
collaborative learning/community of learners, reciprocal teaching, experiential and situated learning.

Created and used rubrics and assessment criteria and used these for explicit assessment for, as and of
learning and additionally for peer and self-assessment.

Used formative and summative assessment including pre and post testing to inform my teaching and
planning and to provide ongoing feedback to students.

Employed knowledge of students backgrounds and interests to cater for disengaged students and
structure learning environments and programs which engaged and extended these students.

Planned an open inquiry integrated curriculum. Prepared resources defining the PoLT principles and
AITSL standards utilised and mapped the learning standards F-10 that could be achieved for:
Discipline based learning:
English, Humanities, Humanities-History
Interdisciplinary learning:
Thinking Processes
Physical personal and social learning: Civics and citizenships
Cross curriculum priority: (o/id 5 & 6) Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander History and culture
Resources:
Learning standards from F-10
PoLT principles
AITSL standards
Can be viewed here: http://bsweeneyportfolio.weebly.com/inquiry-integrated-links-f-10.html

These understandings are solid basis for my teaching and learning practices. This would be further driven
by the eLearning and 21st Century education and a commitment to improving student outcomes in literacy,
and numeracy. I strive to individualise and create relevant challenging experiences for each learner
providing for an education meeting curriculum standards as the minimum achievement, not the only
achievements of the educational journeys engaged in by students in my learning environment.

Brooke Sweeney

SC2 Demonstrated high level classroom teaching skills and the capacity to work with colleagues to
continually improve teaching and learning.

During my final 6 week placement I took on full responsibility for all planning and lesson preparation
across all learning areas for the whole grade 5/6 team. (2 grade 6 classes and 2 grade 5 classes). This
entailed not only working with my mentor teacher and my grade 6 students, but also collaborating and
working closely with all four teachers in the grade 5/6 team to plan all lesson sequences and units to be
taught across the curriculum. This gave me valuable insight and experience which further improved my
own teaching and learning practices and those within the classroom and school team environment.
My final placement report indicates I am performing above the graduate teacher AITSL standards in:
know the content and how to teach it
plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
engage in professional learning
engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community
With specific notes stating: Through curriculum days, staff meetings and staff professional development,
Brooke was able to engage in a wide range of professional learning. She was positive about all of these
experiences and participated actively in professional conversations.1
Some further comments by mentor teachers can speak to my teaching skills and capacity to work with
colleagues and continually improve teaching and learning:

Your active contribution to collaborative group planning saw you undertake a lead
role in the preparation and execution of a Year level themed day focused on Ancient
Civilisations. Staff and students alike provided nothing but positive feedback as to the
Your observations and contributions during Key Learning Area and whole-school
meetings allowed you to gain a further understanding of the profession.
Your enthusiasm to partake in professional activities has enhanced your professional knowledge.
When you undertook your classes you took the time to establish relationships, protocols
and expectations of the students.
You continuously provided feedback to students and allowed for them to ask clarifying
questions and offer their ideas.
You adequately scaffolded the learning for students when new skills were explored. This
included using a variety of resources to compliment and supplement the fundamentals being
covered. 2
Brooke did amazing work with the alternative program and completely changed the way it was
viewed by students and staff an amazing culture shift.3

I will bring my current high level classroom skills and enjoyment of working collaboratively with
colleagues to the learning environment. I look forward to further developing authentic and collaborative
quality collegial relationships and those with students, parents, and the extended school community.

Nicole Langmaid Team leader grade 5/6 team Sunbury Heights Primary School Final Project Partnerships report for Brooke
Sweeney, 2014.
2
Romina Pimpini Ass. Prin. & Julianne Brown Yr 7 Eng - Final Project Partnerships report for Brooke Sweeney, 2013
3
Casey Ferris Head of Junior School - Final Project Partnerships report for Brooke Sweeney, 2013

Brooke Sweeney

SC3 Demonstrated ability to monitor and assess student learning data and to use this data to inform teaching
for improved student learning.

During this final year of BA Ed (P-12) I have had the opportunity to gather and investigate student learning
data in a number of forms. My involvement with data this year has been of a broader scope than
previously and thus my understanding of the value, use of, and teaching and learning impact which can be
derived from and driven by student learning data has been a significant contribution to my professional
development.
As a pre service teacher this year I have:
gathered individualised student learning data and generalised cohort data from my own teaching
collated data gained from students to show growth and further inform teaching to improve learning
worked in PLTs and staff groups to explore implications of data (NAPLAN cohort data) with teaching
and learning foci including question types, transferability, strategies, teaching methods and linking
learning further across all key learning areas,
Reflected on and evaluated data and used this to drive planning for unit/topic specific teaching and
learning programs and for students individualised learning.
Employed a range of tools to collect student learning data, some of which were:
Pre and post testing
PROBE
Conferencing and feedback
Student evaluations/surveys
Excel program
Reflection/evaluation of own & others lessons
Formative assessment of teaching and learning; and as assessment for, as and of learning
Each of the above helped me to improve student learning by implementation as
A tool to inform prior knowledge, misconceptions, range and scope of current competencies,
learning objectives and guide specific planning for topic, individual students and class as a whole
A measure of growth, understanding, knowledge and concepts which can be used to further
scaffold learning, next steps, or areas requiring further and/or alternate focus, time etc.
A measure of my teaching, effectiveness of varied methods and strategies, ensuring assessment is
relevant, comprehensive and explicit and used for, as and of learning
Indication of comprehensive or inadequate planning, resources, learning objectives, and insight
into time allocation, entry/introduction point accuracy for students etc.
Some other experiences in monitoring and assessing student learning data to inform teaching include:
NAPLAN
Running records
Summative assessment
reporting learning
Early years Numeracy
Midyear exams (year 9)
testing
Mind-maps
PM Benchmark
Journals
I also gained insight into John Hatties Visible learning and effect size through my participation in an inhouse staff PD which was implementing John Hatties software in 2015 to gather and use student data.
I would look forward to the opportunity to further gain student learning data and use this to inform my
teaching. This ensures a constant cycle of reflection and implementing best practices for students needs and
growth by engaging in relevant meaningful and individualised teaching to improve student learning
outcomes.

Brooke Sweeney

SC4 Demonstrated high level written and verbal communication skills and high level interpersonal skills
including a capacity to develop constructive relationships with students, parents and other staff.

I hold high expectations for myself and am dedicated to achieve excellence in all I engage in, while valuing
learning and insight gained when working collaboratively. I am passionate about children and their futures
and as a mother myself relate to parents and understand the vital role they play in their childrens lives and
education. As such I am committed to facilitating an enriching home-school connection with my students
and their families.
Some comments from teachers I have worked closely with which reflect my capacity in this area are:
Brooke built very strong relationships with the students in the City to Sunbury program. She shows a
strong sense of empathy and students felt they could connect with her on a personal level. Brooke
supported students in their learning and encouraged them to work outside their comfort zones.
It is evident that Brooke has strong values in supporting young people to become confident and able
young adults who can appreciate their strengths, acknowledge their weaknesses and continually
strive for success.4
Prior to undertaking active teaching, you consulted with the relevant teachers and
passionately sought after appropriate resources to engage students and support their
understanding. This included the development of handouts, worksheets, the use of ICT in the
classroom as well as embarking on email correspondence with students and their parents to
provide ongoing feedback and assistance. 5
Some cases which also reflect my capacity in this area are:
Using an online blog space and sending home an accompanying open letter to parents introducing
myself and encouraging them to do the same whilst I was working with their child.

I was involved in containing a highly volatile and violent situation between two students, resulting in
suspension of both boys in my class. As this was a serious incident and I was directly involved, it was
important for me to be part of the discussion with the parents and students and other staff members
as to the resolution and restorative procedures we would employ moving forward.

I regularly communicate and advise a Coral Speaking group of students in a Malaysian after developing
strong relationships with the parents and coaches whilst I taught at their school. We use email, video
and live video calling one on one and with whole group sessions. Since this partnership the students
enthusiasm has increased and their members have risen from 19 to 42 with the additional families
becoming part of our small but cross cultural community.

I strongly believe that developing constructive relationships with the family and community network of
each student is an important factor in knowing and valuing each student and catering best for their learning
needs and interests.
I would bring an approachable and friendly personality and genuine caring nature to the staff team and
broader school community. I believe parental involvement in a childs learning journey is enhanced by open
and dedicated relationships built with their childs classroom teacher.

4
5

Casey Ferris Head of Junior School - Final Project Partnerships report for Brooke Sweeney, 2013
Romina Pimpini Ass. Prin. & Julianne Brown Yr 7 Eng - Final Project Partnerships report for Brooke Sweeney, 2013

Brooke Sweeney

SC5 Demonstrated commitment and capacity to actively contribute to a broad range of school activities and a
commitment to ongoing professional learning to enable further development of skills, expertise and teaching
capacity.

Students need to feel a sense of connectedness and belonging to ensure learning and development is
maximised. I personally model positive involvement within a learning community by being an active
contributor. This aids in forming constructive relationships across the community. This is important not only
for students benefit but also for beneficial collegial relationships and attitudes which contribute to the
environment as a whole and the wellbeing of those within it.
During my final placement some contributions I made to school activities included:
Co-coached grade 5/6 softball team for the regional summer sports round robin tournament. This
included during a lunchtime and afternoon training and the region competition day.
Coached grade 5 boys Rugby team for the Melbourne Storm Billy Slater Rugby Gala day, coached and
managed the team through their heats and finals of the regional tournament
Assisted in weekly homework club sessions, supporting students of all ages and abilities
Book Week planed and implemented a differentiated task for p-6 based on a text and connections
Footy Day contributed to the set up and running of the footy day activities
World Vision fundraiser - facilitated the students in conducting their fundraiser activity
Contributions to school activities previously:
Contributed to an in-depth resilience program At risk grade 5 students at Springside College built
confidence and self-esteem whilst undergoing a film making intensive 8 week program. I assisted in
helping the students explore ideas and strategies in difficult situations and supporting them to channel
these ideas into a script and short film.

Participated in a grade 1 school sleepover

Created a year level music photo story at the end of a term-long Inquiry learning unit which celebrated
the achievements and experiences (camp, excursion, learning displays) and was displayed on the school
website

Professionally and personally I strive to always increase my knowledge and skills and see this as an
imperative element of teaching and learning. Opportunities and possibilities to engage in professional
learning and development ensures as teachers we are continually striving to maximise each students
individualised learning and our capacity to innovate teaching and learning.
This year I have engaged in
PD as an introduction to John Hatties visible learning and data software
4 day DEECD / SWV Region Graduate Professional Learning Program (literacy and numeracy)

ACMA Cyber-smart outreach pre-service teacher program

Living, learning and teaching in a multi-layered cultural environment. Engaging with the diverse and
intricate religious, cultural and language groups has enhanced my development as a teacher to an
equal degree as the teaching and curriculum implications of the global practicum.

I would look forward to embarking on as many new learning experiences and professional development
opportunities as possible whilst contributing as an engaged member of the school community. I also look
forward to working with a team of teachers and gaining from their experience and expertise to develop
further into an exemplary example of the teaching and learning partnerships. I am currently attending a 4
day SWVR PD which will add to my skills and professional tools to maintain and improve achievement in
literacy and numeracy NAPLAN results as per following the South Western Victoria Regions blueprint.

Brooke Sweeney

SC6 Demonstrated ability to cater for students with English as an Additional Language

The core beliefs driving my teaching and learning pedagogy and practice is of the valuing of each individuals
holistic development through teaching and learning connections which celebrate and support the diversity
in backgrounds, culture, language and community to enrich learning.
Catering for specific needs and interests of all learners is specifically imperative for connectedness and
engagement for ESL/EAD students. ILPs and collaborative strategies to support and enhance learning
opportunities within my learning environment are enhanced by my recent teaching experience in a Chinese
school in Kuala Lumpur.
Below I have included an excerpt from the Teaching and learning in an international context initiative and
part of a reflection in my teaching portfolio.
My teaching and learning programs would be devised from a deep understanding and implementation of the
the specialised schools approach and frameworks employed for EAD/ESL students. Additionally employment
of the EAL development continuum and EAL companion or EAL standards would be instrumental in
facilitating supportive and enriched learning for and with EAL students in my learning environment.
The international practicum has given pre-service teachers an opportunity to enhance their cultural
knowledge and develop their professional experience, intercultural capacity and engagement with Asia
through people to people relationships. This knowledge will enrich the quality of their teaching and learning
practices in the local schools they teach in.
This study and practicum provided the impetus for professional development, shaping the questions and
pedagogical issues, such as enriched pedagogy for teaching diversity and collaborative and Inclusive
practices
Teaching in a foreign context has extended and strengthened pre-service teacher understanding of
challenges faced by ESL learners. This insight will be of enriched and substantial benefit to their graduate
teaching skills when they teach ESL students.

Teaching and learning cultural exchanges have helped shape me as an educator


During the semester break of 2014 I travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 4 weeks as 1 of 10 students selected
from Victoria University to complete a 'Global Practicum' as an additional teaching experience to our Australian
teaching placements
My teaching and learning experience took place at Kuen Cheng 2, a large Chinese Malaysian School of 1400
students. I was the sole teacher in my classes and taught English, P.E, Music and Art across standards (grades) 1 to
5, each class having 40 to 50 students.
All curriculum was taught in Mandarin except for the subjects of Bahasa (Malaysian national language) and
English. Mandarin was not all students first language with English being a third and fourth language for the
majority, however as I do not speak Mandarin it was negotiated for my classes to be taught in English with the
agreement to ensure the curriculum content was being met.
I engaged in a deeply cultural experience both within the school and wider community during my stay in
a truly unique country where the three cultures of Malay, Chinese and Indian interact and coexist harmoniously.
This challenge was a remarkable experience for me both personally and professionally and provided me with
an unforgettable journey equal in exchanges of teaching and learning
Experiencing Chinese and Malay cultures and integrating new ways of teaching and learning into my classes to
best personalise learning and engage students also contributed to introducing new concepts and ways of thinking
about learning to the students.

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