Mat Wilton is a primary school teacher of long standing, and has recently been recognised by the Department for Education for 40 years of service. He has taken on the roles of Deputy Principal, Maths Coordinator, and Technology Coordinator. As a teacher, Mat was one of the earliest Advanced Skills Teachers when the classification was introduced.
Mat was a presenter at the 2017 International Australian Literacy Educators Conference; ‘Cutting Edge: from Margin to Mainstream’. At this conference Mat workshopped his new pedagogy on the teaching and learning of grammar as a pictorial language, which has been trialled in his classrooms, with great success, since beginning his tenure at Rose Park, eight years ago. The book has been rewritten as a series and Mat is looking forward to presenting the new material at teacher focus groups.
Mat has written and produced two Rock Operas for primary school children. When he was a young choir trainer, Paul Gersch, Festival of Music conductor and friend of Colin Thiele, rated the choir A+++. (It was Paul’s last year: he was magnanimous.) Mat was also once inspired to write a sequel for Mem Fox’s ‘Possum Magic.’ For a number of years, Mat successfully taught recorder, to performance level, to Year Two students. Mat is a Level 1 Orff Approach to Music presenter.
Mat endeavours to create a variety of entry points for student engagement; for incidental learning to occur within an environment of stimulating activities.
Caitlin Petrou is a dedicated teacher who encourages students to be actively involved in their learning, supporting the development of lifelong learners. Since completing her Masters of Teaching, Caitlin has worked in a number of IB schools and successfully combines her knowledge of the IB with the Australian Curriculum to create student-centred learning experiences.
An enthusiastic, approachable and collaborative teacher, Caitlin cultivates a Growth Mindset amongst all students, resulting in a safe and nurturing classroom environment. She identifies the strengths and needs of students through regular conversations, questioning, constructive feedback and assessment, and supports students to identify achievable learning goals and appropriate actions.
Caitlin holds a Bachelor of Arts (Writing and Creative Communication) and Graduate Diploma of Journalism, and worked in PR prior to her teaching career. She still writes copy for websites in her spare time. Caitlin’s love of the written word is evident in the classroom, where she works with students to develop skills around effective writing and speaking.
Outside of school, Caitlin is a self-confessed foodie who enjoys spending time with her daughter and Chihuahuas (Bruno and Olly).
Jo Ferguson has been an Early Years classroom teacher at Rose Park for 5 years. She completed her Bachelor of Education (Junior Primary and Primary) at UniSA in 2009. Jo has a passion for teaching and learning through authentic inquiry, where students build upon deep, conceptual understandings of the world.
Jo’s experience and knowledge of inquiry learning, play based learning, and Reggio Emelia educational principles foster children’s innate curiosity and the idea that we (teachers, parents, and children) are all explorers of the world. She encourages students to express their opinions and feelings through visual arts with a focus on the process of creativity as much as the end product.
Jo grew up in a creative family and continues to enjoy her own artistic pursuits outside of teaching. She loves the great outdoors and enjoys taking time in school holidays to pack a bag and head out into the bush for overnight hiking or bush walking. Jo takes many opportunities to bring nature into the classroom or to take learning outside to experience learning beyond the classroom.