Outstanding Physical Education and Activity Teacher Award Finalists

Outstanding Physical Education and Activity Teacher Award Finalists for the Victorian Education Excellence Awards program.

Morgan Belbruno, Ardeer South Primary School

As Physical Education teacher at Ardeer South Primary School, Morgan Belbruno believes that quality physical education is best delivered with a whole-school approach that ensures all students can be active in multiple ways and settings.

Ardeer South Primary School is one of 96 schools to receive an Active Schools grant, an initiative aimed to give Victorian children the skills, confidence, and motivation to be active for life. Morgan’s outstanding contribution in securing funding for the grant (for two years running) is supporting a range of additional targeted opportunities for students and the community.

Driven by his vision to improve students’ engagement and enjoyment of physical education, Morgan strongly promotes participation over performance.

With initiatives such as engaging students and families in Brimbank’s ‘learn to ride’ biking program and the improvement of the school’s recreational and sport facilities, Morgan is increasing community participation, access and sporting opportunity for students and their families.

Ellen Newton, Hampton Park Secondary College

Ellen Newton’s inspirational leadership of the Health and Physical Education department at Hampton Park Secondary College is ensuring that students’ learning and wellbeing outcomes are valued equally.

Demonstrating the highest standards in curriculum development, teaching practice and assessment, her engagement with students’ learning and wellbeing through their physical education is extending teachers’ understanding and capability across the college.

Successful in attaining a 2023 Active Schools Grant for the college, Ellen has also built strong connections with organisations and partners to ensure that all students can access the learning and facilities they need to be safe, both at school and in the community.

Ensuring her students’ have every opportunity to succeed, Ellen is building scaffolded resources and providing opportunities for her students to take active responsibility in their learning.

Whether teaching or leading professional development on how to measure and celebrate student wellbeing and learning achievement holistically, Ellen is leading by example.

Paul Baks, Belle Vue Park Primary School

Nearly half of Belle Vue Park Primary School students speak a language other than English at home, with many refugee families having to negotiate the challenges of being new members of the community and school.

Noticing the low physical education participation rates of his female students, Paul Baks placed a particular emphasis on ensuring his physical education program was inclusive, non-competitive, and engaging for young female students from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Convinced that physical activity in young girls can help build social confidence, positive body image and overall health, Paul worked closely with Netball Victoria and local community agencies such as the Darebin Netball Association, to form a netball team. Seeking further support from local business to sponsor uniforms, Paul has helped to establish the skills and confidence of the girls as a team.

With the encouragement of their families, Paul is expanding this initiative and transforming the outcomes of young people in his community.