Literacy lover comes full circle

LOVE OF LEARNING: New reception teacher Nicole Bradley in the play based learning room she has helped establish at the school.

Caroline Hammat

An experienced junior primary school teacher has returned to the school which first inspired her teaching career.

16 years ago Nicole Bradley started work at Newbery Park Primary School (NPPS) as a student services officer (SSO).

During that time she began studying for a teaching degree and this year, she enters her 13th year of teaching.

Since graduating, Ms Bradley has taught at Millicent North, Mulga Street and Rendelsham primary schools and is happy to be back in Millicent teaching the school’s new reception students.

“I live in Millicent so it’s great to be back, work with local families and be a part of the community,” Ms Bradley said.

“My biggest passion is literacy and numeracy, I love teaching reading, it’s my favourite thing to do.”

Ms Bradley began the year by implementing a play based learning room which the reception students visit each morning.

“The students come in, they unpack and they can go in there for 25 minutes and learn through play” she said.

“They learn lots of social skills and emotional regulation, sharing and manners, which is exciting for them.

“There is lots of modelling how to join in play, how to exit play and make friends.

“It’s unstructured so the student is the leader of their learning and we watch and model when we need to.

“They might invite us into play, I always love being invited into play.

“It is fantastic and the kids have real ownership over that.

“They’ve given it a special name, The Design Area.”

Principal of NPPS, Leanne Scudds, worked alongside Ms Bradley when she was an SSO and Ms Scudds was a teacher at the school.

“We are so thrilled she is here because she has connection with the community,” Ms Scudds said.

“Nicole is a wonderful, experienced teacher.”

The school’s numbers have remained stable this year and Ms Scudds is keen to see improvements to the school continue.

All classrooms have been moved upstairs enhancing collaboration between the classes and a wellbeing room has been set up as well as the play based learning room.

The lower level of the school has been converted into a community hub, which includes a sewing room, and there are plans for a community kitchen.

“The community hub is where people can come and access food through Foodbank and we’ve got Spare ya Change 4 Kids meals available,” Ms Scudds said.

“People have been donating brand new uniforms and they can be purchased for a gold coin donation.

“It takes so much pressure off families.

“The community hub is just going to expand from here.”