PRINCIPAL STEPHEN KANOWSKI

Berrinba East State School

Steve is currently the Principal of Berrinba East State School. Berrinba East State School is situated in Logan Central, Queensland and has a strong reputation child centred innovation. The school was awarded State Winners of the 2020 Education Queensland Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years for its collaborative work with Early Learning providers to enhance oral language development through Kindergarten to Prep transitions.

Steve holds post graduate degrees in disability and inclusion and is fiercely passionate about providing opportunities for disadvantaged children and children living in low-socio economic communities. Steve has led his school community on a journey by where Outdoor Play and Learning is embraced not only as a vehicle to engage students but also a crucial component to enhance oral language development and student learning. This journey has seen the school significantly reduce suspension rates and acts of physical aggression, increase student attendance and reengage vulnerable students and families. This work was acknowledged with Berrinba East State School being named as a State Finalist in the Outdoors Queensland Nature Play Education Awards.

Keynote title: Outdoor Play - Improving Oral Language

While Berrinba East State School has received wide acclaim for improving behaviour and attendance through the implementation of Outdoor Play and Learning, the school’s ultimate end game is improved student learning outcomes. Responding to the advice of a Speech Pathologist that ‘children won’t talk unless you give them something to talk about’, Steve will talk about how his school is using Outdoor Learning and Play to improve student oral language, and in turn, improve student learning outcomes. Steve will discuss the school’s unique pedagogical ‘thread’ approach by where learning in, through, with and about occurs through the threads of Language, Nature and Play.

PRINCIPAL STEPHEN KANOWSKI