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  • Writer's pictureDanny Hyndman

VALE Steve Willy

Hi Colleagues,

I hope this week’s edition finds you well.

VALE Steve Willy

It has been a challenging and sad time of late with the passing of my close friend, mentor and colleague Steve Willy.

Steve and his partner Keay are the brains behind the literacy suite of courses as part of the Education State agenda in Victoria.

His legacy is tremendous, and the world is a lesser place with his passing. A damn sight less funny too ☹


“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson




I’ve recently joined the world of Instagram to share resources, thinking and what’s going on in education. I would love for you to follow me @education_enclave.


This episode has been a long time coming.

In this episode I’m joined by Flick Curnow who is the Assistant Principal at Woori Yallock Primary School.

In Flick’s career she has witnessed and helped lead the school from rock bottom to sustained excellence as one of the best schools in Victoria. The school hosts numerous visits each year from educators looking to learn from the practices and culture the school has developed. Flick and the other members of the leadership team are very generous with their time during these visits. In doing so ensuring that their circle of influence goes beyond their own school community.

Flick and I discuss some of the key ingredients for school improvement, the impressive amount of professional learning she has completed in a short space of time, as well as Flick’s reflections on supporting two school communities she led as a result of tragedies.

I hope you enjoy the episode as much as I did!


Last year I ran an experimental online study group around Debbie Miller’s fantastic text, What’s The Best That Could Happen? New Possibilities for Teachers and Readers.

You can read about this in the next section of the newsletter.

For 2023 I’m looking at running a Study Group on just a single chapter out of a book. Yep, you read that correctly, 1 chapter.

The chapter in question is Chapter 2 in Craig Barton’s ‘Reflect, Expect, Check, Explain. Sequences and Behaviour to Enable Mathematical Thinking in the Classroom’ (pages 133 – 305). The reason I’ve selected this book and chapter is that I’m taken by Barton’s attempt to describe what a ‘learning episode’ could/should look like. I believe this is something that should be getting more air time in the numeracy space.

It is likely that the sessions will be on a Wednesday night at 7:30pm. It is likely that we will run two sessions a term. If you are interested just shoot me an email and I will add you to the list.

(Note: I will be recording the sessions and uploading them to my Education Enclave Podcast).


All five episodes from last year’s Study Group are now available around Debbie Miller’s, What’s The Best That Could Happen? New Possibilities for Teachers and Readers.

This is a fantastic text! While I would recommend this book to all primary educators, those educators who employ the workshop model in their classroom/school will get the most out of the text. Reading is the lens that Debbie Miller employs throughout, but it is easy to make connections to other areas of the curriculum.

A big thank you to my colleagues who joined me across the five episodes. It started out as a bit of an experiment, and I really enjoyed the deep thinking and ideas that you all generously shared.

While you can listen to each episode as a stand alone, the best experience will be if you’ve read the book, as well as listened to each episode in sequence.

I’ve included the links to the podcast for each chapter below.


Last year sections of the Education Enclave community collaborated to celebrate and give feedback to the writing of students across schools.

This is something that I would love to be able to foster again in 2023.

The grade 5/6 students at Woori Yallock PS are about to engage in a persuasive unit and would love to get feedback from other 5/6 students. The team are planning to use a Google site that will allow their writing to be read.

The students and staff at WYPS are also happy to reciprocate to any other schools who would like feedback for their students.

If you’re interested in this project, ask your students if they would like to do something similar with their published writing. It would be amazing to get a community of students who are celebrating each other’s writing, as well as giving each other feedback.

Last year this proved to be both effective in giving students an authentic purpose and audience for their writing. Something that is often lacking.


To make sure the newsletter lands in your inbox, I’d really appreciate it if you could add my email address to your contacts. Another option is to reply to this email with ‘Hi’, or a personal message.


Thanks for reading and see you next week, Danny. P.S Feel free to provide me with any feedback regarding the newsletter, or anything for that matter via email.

If you would like to check out previous editions, you can access them here.

In case someone forwarded this to you, you can sign up for the newsletter here.

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