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The Principals of the NS5 seek to facilitate innovative projects which empower classroom teachers and reward them for taking risks in teaching and learning by offering staff from all five schools the opportunity to apply for funding each year.

The premise of this NS5 initiative is to promote teacher innovation and collaboration to positively impact upon student learning outcomes. The NS5 model of collaboration that we have successfully established is one that empowers staff to take ownership of educational change and encourages teachers to work together to improve teaching and learning opportunities across all five schools.

As a core value of the NS5, the funding scale will reward projects that promote collaboration both between faculties and between schools. 

The levels of funding available are set out below:

Level 1: Base grant – up to $2,000 for a project that embeds innovative change within a teacher’s classroom.

Level 2: Grants up to $3,000 for projects that embed innovative change across a faculty

Level 3: Grants up to $5,000 for projects that embed innovative change between faculties within a school

Level 4: level of funding based on scope of project across schools and subject to approval from the NS5 leadership team. This level of funding is for projects that embed innovative change between schools. The funding would be shared across the schools involved.

NS5 Teachers exploring the possibilities available in 
Maker Spaces (July 2016)

The NS5 Innovation and Collaboration Grants have been offered annually since 2013. The inspiration for this initiative came from my desire to encourage and promote new ways of thinking about teaching and learning within our schools and to encourage the sharing of this knowledge among the staff of all NS5 schools in a sustainable way. The grants are designed as incentives for our teachers to think innovatively about their classroom practice and to collaborate with other teachers - ideally across schools and Key Learning Areas - and more importantly, to be able to access funding to achieve these goals.

Through these grants, our teachers have been funded to develop skills and knowledge in areas such as Visible Thinking, The Art of Leadership and Cultures of Thinking as well participate in an Innovative Schools Tour in Melbourne to experience first-hand schools who are on the forefront of educational change. All of the above approaches are being used across all five of our schools, which demonstrates the power of the Innovation and Collaboration Grants to effect sustainable and measurable changes in classroom practice and  highlights the collaborative approach of staff within the NS5 and their commitment to work together to improve classroom practice across the North Shore.

Jeffrey Lambert, former NS5 Curriculum Leader