Emmaus Award Spotlight: Fiona Stretton

Members of the Catholic Schools of Maitland-Newcastle community gathered at Sacred Heart Cathedral last month for the annual Called to Serve Mass.

Before the mass, the annual Emmaus Awards were presented, which recognise and celebrate the significant contributions of staff in schools across the diocese.

Fiona Stretton, from St Kevin’s Primary School, Cardiff won the Award for Excellence in Teaching (Primary).

Fiona is renowned for creating a learning environment that is engaging and productive. Her use of technology to support and enhance student learning is truly something we should all aspire to. Simultaneously Fiona assisted and mentored students in the Virtual Academy whilst also attending to the diverse needs of students with additional needs at St Kevin’s.

Find out more about Fiona below.


How long have you been a teacher at St Kevin’s? Have you taught elsewhere previously?

I worked at St Kevin's for three years, starting in 2020. This year I have moved to St Patrick's, Lochinvar. I have previously worked for the Department of Education and as an accountant. I am teaching Year 6 at Lochinvar this year. At St Kevin's, I taught Year 5/6 for the past two years and Year 2 during my first year there.


What inspired you to want to become a teacher?

I wanted to become a teacher so I could make a difference in the lives of students. I enjoy learning new things and found that my passion for learning translated into teaching. I have four children of my own, but being a teacher means I am able to foster a love for learning with a lot more children!


What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Watching students grow, be challenged, and have those ‘light bulb moments’ is very fulfilling. I enjoy the relationships I build with students, their families and colleagues. Teaching and working with children is never dull. Every day is different and is usually filled with fun!


How do you set about meeting the individual needs of each student, and why is this so important?

I believe it is important to create a learning environment where students feel safe, supported and can be engaged. Fostering the social, emotional and spiritual growth of students by getting to know them and building strong, trusting relationships is the foundation of academic growth. Getting to know students and how they learn helps me to engage and encourage students to meet their full potential. 


How does it feel to have received the award?

It is a privilege to receive this award because I work with many other deserving teachers. I worked with an amazing team of colleagues at St Kevin's, Cardiff and am working now with equally talented and committed colleagues at St Patrick's, Lochinvar, so to receive this award is a huge honour.

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