Singleton teacher scoops prestigious national maths award

A Mandurah maths guru was the only WA teacher to be recognised at a national awards ceremony last week.

Sheila Griffin from Singleton Primary School won a teacher excellence award at the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Choose Maths Awards last Friday.

Much to her delight, she was also named the Outstanding Primary School Teacher at the event in Melbourne last Friday.

Ms Griffin has worked at Singleton Primary School since 2005 and has played a definitive part in bringing maths into the limelight at the Mandurah school.

“I was ecstatic - I went over to Melbourne knowing that I’d won the excellence award but I was flabbergasted when they read my name out for the overall teacher of the year,” she said.

Ms Griffin has been the architect of a number of whole-school initiatives at Singleton Primary, including the Maths Wizard and Ten a Day programs to improve the numeracy of students.

“We drive student engagement – if the students aren’t engaged, they are not going to learn – we do that by making it interactive, hands-on and fun,” she said.

“We make it as authentic as we can and give the students reasons on why we are learning specific things.”

AMSI’s Choose Maths awards and careers awareness officer Dr Susan James praised Ms Griffin’s engagement of parents and her innovative approaches tying learning to real-world context. 

“What we liked most about Sheila were the fantastic original initiatives around financial literacy,” she said.

“She has set up a whole school program where they even have their own school currency.

“A lot of teachers are great at implementing other people’s programs, Sheila has created her own.”

Ms Griffin’s win means $5,000 will be granted to the Singleton Primary maths program, while another $5,000 will go towards her personal development.