As Assistant Principal, Luke Moxon, supports the Principal and staff at Our Lady Help of Christians, Epping, to ensure that the school is a safe and happy environment where children flourish in their educational, spiritual and social development.
What brought you to your work in schools?
To be honest, I always wanted to be a sports cameraman, getting paid to watch sports was a dream. But my love of sports went down another route in coaching junior sporting teams, which was lots of fun. Watching kids develop on the field was really rewarding and led me to apply for a Bachelor of Education at ACU. I’ve now been working in schools for over 20 years, around Australia and overseas. Becoming a teacher is up there with the best decision I have ever made.
What motivates you?
Watching others grow and learn. From a teacher’s perspective, those “Aha” moments or the times that a child takes home what they have learned in class and builds on that new knowledge by sharing it with others or doing more finding out, nothing beats it. As a leader, working with colleagues to look for ways that we can grow together, never becoming dormant.
What does Safeguarding mean in our schools?
Protecting our kids. Having systems and structures in place that ensure we are on the front foot to identify, support and protect those that are vulnerable.
How does your work make a difference?
We might be the adults that these children have the most face-to-face contact with each day. The time that they spend at school could be the happiest time during a child’s day, where they feel safe and free from the concerns in their lives. Therefore, developing quality relationships with the children, where they are valued and cared for, not only develops trust but allows us to notice if changes occur in a child’s physical or mental wellbeing – knowing our kids is essential.
Why is collaboration between family and schools important in Safeguarding our children?
Parents are the primary educators in a child’s life and hold a major place in the community of a school. The connections that a school leadership team and classroom teacher make with parents reassures families that their child is at the centre of everything that we do. However, sometimes schools need to provide additional support to families and within our diocese there are systems in place for accessing services that will assist parents in providing a safe home environment. Having a strong connection could make a massive difference in the prevention of harm.
How can you encourage connection in families?
Involving parents and families as much as possible in the life of their child – open classrooms, science exhibitions, social media, newsletters, parents as experts, Mother’s Day liturgy, Father’s Day liturgy, and all of the other wonderful ways that parents can make a connection with their child’s school life. Giving parents opportunities to see how amazing their children are.
How can we let children know their voices are being heard?
Taking the time to listen and reassuring the child that you believe them and that coming to you was the right thing to do. By following the correct procedures, children will see the impact of their words by the support that is provided to help protect them. I think it goes back to developing quality relationships in which the child knows that their voices are heard and that you will help them.