Merrylands East P.S. On Show. 2017.46.
Merrylands East Public School’s principal John Goh and I have been professional colleagues since we were in executive teaching roles in Western Sydney in the 1990s. Early this century, I retired as a school principal close to the time John became a school principal here. We caught up a few years back via twitter and I attended Teach Meet events where John was host or one of the presenters.
John is both a promoter of public schools and a humble man. He speaks loudly about the need for schools to have the full funding from the Gonski reforms as the students in his school have benefited already from this. I know he would want me to add that to work alongside the staff at his school is a highlight. John does playground duty each morning and often posts a morning selfie on twitter. He’s in the SES and uses social media to let us know about keeping safe in all the weather conditions.
In February 2017 he was part of TedXSydney Salon. The talk was live-streamed and this is his bio from the site.
John Goh is currently the principal of Merrylands East Public School, in South Western Sydney. He leads a culturally diverse school of around 380 students with 85% of students from a non-English Speaking Background and 10% refugees. John’s dynamic and innovative staff are part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Program. Together, they have a passion for the use of technology in learning and student engagement. In recent years, John’s school has achieved the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award for their sustainability programs and infrastructure and the NSW Director General’s School Achievement Award.
I visited John’s school a few years ago and even then I was impressed by the ways in which he and his staff were ‘undoing’ traditional teaching models. John added resources that save the school money including water tanks and solar and in this way, funds can be channelled for students’ needs. He had some spaces transformed and kids were using technology to communicate with kids in remote schools in NSW. He also has an area in the school set aside for gardens and produce grown there has been supplied to the canteen. This school is in an area where many people do not live with a backyard so fresh is always appreciated. John and his staff are helping kids see the food chain in action! I loved the playground signs!
Merrylands East P.S. varied its school hours some years back and there have been benefits. Some media about this and other matters can be found on ABC’s Life Matters here and ABC’s Radio National here
What inspired me to write this post, with John’s permission, was what I saw on SBS TV last Sunday night. I have much pride in introducing this wonderful segment with teacher Lee Hewes and his class. They tell the story themselves here on SBS!
I am a proud public education supporter and I hope you enjoy seeing what one school is doing so well!
Joining with Kylie Purtell and bloggers who blog on Tuesdays here.
On the weekend I am linking here with Sammie and friends for The Ultimate Rabbithole.