Encouraging Excellence in Teaching

The research of John Hattie in his book 'Visible Learning' shows that excellence in teaching is the single most powerful influence on student achievement.  We are proud to be one of a select few school systems in Australia to be developing an internal Institute of Teaching and Learning to strengthen our staff and support the next generation of teaching professionals.

The SCEA Institute of Teaching and Learning was established as a means of professionalising the sector and as an investment in staff to achieve excellence in teaching and learning. A key focus of our Institute therefore is to continue to build the capacity of our teachers and our leaders to deliver excellence.  We do this in a variety of ways, including:

  • in-school consultancy by working alongside teachers and school leaders in and beyond our schools
  • providing professional learning on a wide range of teaching, learning and leadership topics
  • facilitating collaboration opportunities for staff from different schools to work and learn together
  • developing opportunities for current and future staff to engage in Christ-centered teacher training at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The Institute coordinates educational consultancy, professional development (including the Better Education Conference), and our future goal of being involved in tertiary teacher training in
Western Australia.
Our Institute team are leaders in their field and are regularly called upon to offer thought leadership, provide best practice counsel and deliver programs at an increasing number of schools and organisations outside of SCEA. 

Education Consultancy

The SCEA Institute lives by the motto 'Every Person a Learner' and encourages a culture of learning focussed conversations in and across schools.
The education consultancy team is comprised of four in-house consultants, each of whom is an specialist in their field. Their remit is to provide expert guidance, advice and support in the areas of:
  • Education strategy
  • Languages
  • Information, communication and technology in the classroom and
  • Christian education
The core purpose of this team is to encourage and maintain the development and implementation of high quality learning and teaching across our schools.
This team not only operates between all of our schools but also serves the wider teaching profession by lending their experience and expertise to other schools and institutions.

SCEA's Biblical Foundations Curriculum Framework

In 2014, the Kindergarten to Year 12 Biblical Foundations Curriculum Framework (BFCF) and online teacher resource platform were launched. 

The purpose of developing a Christian Education Framework is to bring greater consistency, unity and rigour to the teaching of the Bible in our schools and to equip our staff with engaging, age-appropriate teaching resources to do so.

The Biblical Curriculum Framework is the culmination of a three year project, involving more than 55 team members with expertise right across the student age spectrum and from across all seven SCEA schools with added input from nearly 500 participants at Mind the Gap 2012.  

Key characteristics of the Framework are the central Biblical narrative of creation, fall, reconciliation though Jesus and our response; and a focus on issues like community-connectedness, Mission and values like compassion, service, justice and responsibility.  

The online teacher resource contains 52 age-appropriate topics, with the emphasis on encouraging a thinking faith through empowered teacher ownership.  Each unit contains:

  • Rationale
  • Key concepts
  • Scripture references
  • Resources
  • Ideas/strategies for lessons

To ensure continuous improvement, the resource development teams will continue to ensure that there is a good selection of teaching resources available to support staff across our schools to teach each of the topics in the BFCF.  

The Biblical Foundations Curriculum Framework is gaining great interest from other Christian education providers and is available for implementation in other schools. 

Contact foundations@scea.wa.edu.au for more information and access to the curriculum. 


Introducing the 
Institute Key Staff

Mathilda Joubert

Mathilda Joubert is the leader of the SCEA Institute and also works as an Education Consultant. As an advocate of lifelong learning, Mathilda has completed two bachelors and three masters degrees (in music, languages, education, cognitive neuropsychology and business) and is currently studying towards her PhD at UWA.

Mathilda has worked directly with more than 500 schools on a range of successful school improvement initiatives and has advised national governments in Australia, Lithuania and the UK on curriculum and assessment policy development. At present she serves on the ACARA General Capabilities Advisory Group as expert advisor for Creative and Critical Thinking.  

Mariel Howard

Mariel Howard is a K-12 Languages Consultant for both Swan Christian Education Association and Catholic Education Western Australia. She also teaches Japanese at Kalamunda Christian School. Mariel was awarded Japanese Teacher of the Year by JLTAWA in 2012.

Mariel has presented extensively in national languages conferences in Australia and New Zealand and published in a Languages journal (NSJLE 2012 Proceedings). She is currently studying for Master of Instructional Leadership through the University of Melbourne and learning her sixth language.

Tony Stopher

Tony came out of retirement to join SCEA as Christian Education Consultant in 2015.

After 25 years at St Marks Anglican Scool, 12 years of which as school Principal, Tony undertook a Graduate Diploma in Divinity at Trinity College in 2013. 

Tony's role at SCEA is two-fold: working with schools in implementing the Biblical Foundations Curriculum Framework and developing relevant materials and supporting Senior Staff at the schools as they continue to develop School Improvement Plans.