Leadership Conversation- Episode 71 with Peter Webster
Name: Dr Peter Webster
Current title: Principal
Current organisation: St John XXIII Catholic College
My name is Peter Webster and I am the Principal at St John XXIII Catholic Learning Community at Stanhope Gardens. On our site we have: Parish Church & Office, Catholic Early Learning Centre (CELC), Catholic Out of School Hours Care (COSHC), Primary School and Secondary College – combined with our partnership with the Australian Catholic University and the Masters of Teaching embedded program – makes us a true Catholic Learning Community.
I have a passion for learning and strive to provide an environment in which all students and staff can engage in purposeful learning. To achieve this our College has needed to recontextualise the vision of a ‘new-new’ Catholic Learning Community.
St John XXIII Catholic College is at the frontier of learning. Connecting and encouraging every student and staff member so that they can flourish and be the very best person they can be.
St John XXIII Catholic College will proactively co-adapt, co-create and transform in ever changing local and global ecosystems.
As the Principal Leader of our Catholic Learning Community I have orchestrated transformation in action within our College. I foresee that our College will continue to create new frontiers for educational communities and learners. I have strived to put research and theory into action with a series of driving questions.
As our College has grown in understanding contemporary pedagogies, colleagues from across Sydney, NSW, Australia and World have visited our community to both see our new pedagogies in action and to listen to our learning journey. This has allowed us to continuously reflect on our learning frameworks and learning environments. In 2018 our College was identified as one of the most innovative schools in the world by Destination Education (Brazil).
In 2021 we had 117 students in Year 12, yet we had 330 students sit for the Higher School Certificate (HSC), with students in Years 10, 11 and 12 achieving Band 6s. Many of our Year 10 students achieved Certificate III VET qualifications that are higher qualifications than the HSC. In many ways we are successfully breaking down the lineal approach to learning and providing individual pathways for all our students.
On a personal level I have had the wonderful opportunity to be the leader of a K-12 Learning Community with over 1900 students, 185 staff and 1300 families, this has been both a privilege and a challenge. I have enjoyed the invitation to speak at local, State, National and International conferences on my insights and learnings. My learnings have been significant and I seek the opportunity to lead and assist other communities on their journey.
It has been my honour to represent my peers on several Councils. These opportunities have provided me with a voice at the macro level of education. I was twice elected as the Catholic School representative on the NSW BOSTES: Quality Teaching Council and I am currently in my second term on the CEDP: Parramatta Catholic Schools Council and as Chair of the CEDP Enterprise Committee. These experiences have allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the workings, policy and governance of educational systems.
In a concise manner I hope I have conveyed that I have both the wisdom, range of experiences and skills that would allow our College’s students and staff to flourish.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Free Download of The Leadership Survival Guide (10 World-Class Leaders Reveal Their Secrets)
The Leadership Conversations Podcast
The Jonno White Leadership Podcast
The Leadership Question of the Day Podcast
7 Questions on Leadership Series
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Jonno White's eBook Step Up or Step Out
Jonno White's Book Step Up or Step Out (Amazon)