Trinity College Recognised Nationally

The annual Australian Education Awards is the leading independent awards event. The awards showcase the top-performing schools, principals, department heads and teachers for their outstanding achievements and transformative work that makes a profound difference to the lives of young people across Australia.

In 2023 we are thrilled to announce Trinity College has once again been recognised as a leader in education securing three awards.

2023 Australian Education Awards Excellence Awardee

Grok Academy Innovation In Curriculum Design - Blackham Environmental and Conservation Centre

This award recognises excellence in curriculum design in an Australian school.

The Trinity College Blackham Environmental and Conservation Centre (BECC) has a new initiative to provide diverse, inclusive, and engaging outdoor experiences for younger students. Its programs safely take students out of their comfort zone and encourage them to develop their self-confidence and mental fortitude by taking safe risks. By incorporating First Nations’ history and culture and teaching the importance of sustainable living, the BECC allows students to develop a deeper appreciation for our nation’s cultural diversity and the beauty and fragility of our environment. This alternate learning environment fosters student curiosity and imagination and encouraged problem-solving and collaboration amongst the students.

Best STEM Program 2023

Grok Academy Best Stem Program - SPARK Program

This award recognises the most outstanding STEM-based project or education program implemented by a school in Australia.

The Trinity College SPARK program received the prestigious title of "2022 STEMM Educator of the Year at the South Australian Science Excellence and Innovation Awards”. This acknowledges a team of educators who have delivered a holistic learning experience for our students and promote lifelong learning, interdisciplinary connections, and technological innovations.

The SPARK immersive experience features six workshops that are designed to align with the Digital Technologies National Curriculum, create cross-curricula connections, highlight diverse industry connections, and empower students to become inquirers, analysts, and innovators. Students are shown how to use new hardware, actively encouraged to innovate and be creative problem-solvers.

Department Head of the Year 2023 awardee

Department Head of the Year - Samantha Andonis

This award recognises the most outstanding department head in a school in Australia.

Samantha has a proven track record of leading the way for women in the field of STEM and Innovation having been presented with the;

  • 2022 SA Science Excellence & Innovation Awards – STEMM Educator of the Year (Team).
  • 2021 Australian Education Awards – Department Head of the Year (Excellence Awardee)
  • 2021 SA Science Excellence & Innovation Awards – STEMM Educator of the Year (Finalist)

These public acknowledgements are testament to Samantha's exceptional contributions to STEM education and her dedication to inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders.

The Trinity College SPARK Program was announced as the winner of the STEMM Educator of the Year – Primary or Secondary School Level Category at the SA Science & Innovation Awards on Friday 25 November.

The Trinity College SPARK Program is a future-oriented STEM curriculum. Through an immersive five-day experience, students engage in interdisciplinary and technological themed learning activities that develop inquiry skills, computational thinking and creativity.

The design, implementation and evaluation of the SPARK Program at Trinity College has truly been a team effort and the impact on teaching and learning has been published in the Mathematics Education Research Journal.

As exemplary educators, innovative curriculum writers and contemporary researchers, the team of Samantha Andonis, Steve Grant, Wayne Jaeschke and Sion Harman are at the forefront of STEM education and are leading educational innovation throughout South Australia. Click on the image below to watch a short video about the Trinity College SPARK Program.

Trinity College SPARK Program team
Left to right: Sion Harman, Wayne Jaeschke, Samantha Andonis and Steve Grant.

Trinity College has once again been recognised nationally with an Excellence Award in the Australian Education Awards 2022 Best STEM Program category for the ‘SPARK’ initiative.

The ‘SPARK’ initiative is a future orientated STEM and digital technology program. It involves seven specialist STEM educators facilitating a session and implementing pedagogical strategies to promote student agency and problem-solving, and to showcase how digital technologies can enrich learning.

One component of ‘SPARK’ is a 5-day immersive experience where Year 7 and Year 8 students engage in interdisciplinary and technological themed learning experiences that develop inquiry skills, computational thinking and creativity.

The SPARK immersive experience includes:

  • Doctor Drones: Using the Engineering Design process, students collaboratively build a drone attachment to successfully fly medical supplies to the remote areas of Nepal. Designs, routes and written programmes were evaluated for efficiency to encourage refinement.
  • Robotic Engineering: Students become robotics engineers needing to solve the technological challenges associated with autonomous cars. The robotic vehicles were coded to move at various angles and use advanced sensors to measure distances and aspects of tilting.
  • Technology in Sport: To understand the role of data in society, students wore GPS trackers to monitor physical performance. Students applied scientific inquiry skills to inform goal-setting and team tactics.
  • Mathematics of 3D printing: By applying mathematical concepts such as measurement and geometry, students were challenged to remodel the generic “spinning top”. 3D models were programmed using TinkerCAD, and once 3D printed, were tested and evaluated.
  • Do Your Bit: Using the Design Thinking Process, students prototyped a device that would promote positive mental health. To establish empathy, students brainstormed the local and global social challenges faced by children, adults and the elderly. Once a target audience was selected, students created sketches and programmed the BBC Micro:Bit to sense environmental stimuli and incorporate user inputs.
2022 Australian Education Awards Best STEM Program

This award recognises excellence in the use of education technology by an Australian school.

When judging this category the criteria considered was:

  • How the technology has fulfilled a need in or outside the classroom
  • Impact of the technology on the school
  • Change management and implementation process
  • Evidence the technology has supported student learning outcomes

The Trinity Innovation and Creativity School (TICS) in its first year of operation continues to help us meet the challenges of a greater reliance on technological solutions but permits us to explore new technologies, develop teacher capacity and lead the way with STEM programmes.

2021 Australian Education Awards Best use of Technology

This award recognises the most outstanding professional (staff) learning and development program or initiative implemented in an Australian school.

When judging this category the criteria considered was:

  • Innovation and excellence in program design and delivery
  • Demonstrated support for individual professional learning and links to individual and school-wide learning priorities
  • Contribution to improved student learning outcomes
  • Effective collaboration, reflection and feedback

Recently nine staff were presented with Professional Learning Certificates in Future Oriented Learning (PCFOL) which is a key component of the work of the Education Futures unit at UniSA to understand how to best implement and sustain innovation in schools. In 2020 staff participated in the PCFOL through the Trinity Research Institute This work is led by Mr Wayne Jaeschke (Director of Research & Learning Services) and the result is a whole-of-College engagement in data-informed professional learning that transforms education and builds new understanding about the way schools develop the capacities students need to flourish in a rapidly changing world.

2021 Australian Education Awards Best Professional Learning Program

The College is thrilled to announce that STEM Co-Ordinator, Ms Samantha Wyatt has been acknowledged as the Best Department Head of the Year by the judges of the Australian Education Awards.

This award recognises the most outstanding department head in a school in Australia. When judging this category the criteria considered was:

  • Demonstrated commitment and drive to lead
  • Consistently high standards of teaching
  • Leadership of innovation and improvement in curriculum delivery and student learning
  • Commitment to professional development and collaboration with colleagues to address student learning needs
  • Engagement with parents and the wider school community

This National recognition for us as an organisation acknowledges how we are leading the way with the teaching of new skills, outstanding staff professional development offerings and immersing the learning experience for our students across the curriculum with technology.

2021 Australian Education Awards Department Head of the Year

The Trinity Innovation & Creativity School (TICS) completed in December 2019, was named as an Australian Education Awards 2020 Finalist in the category of, Innovation in Learning Environment Design.

The new school building (TICS) is the result of a rigorous consultation process between architects, educators, students, parents, our wider community and with our university partners. The design was informed by a growing body of knowledge in learning design for the 21st Century and reflects the increasing dependence of technology in the workplace, along with greater need for critical and creative, collaborative working skills.

The TICS design features spaces intended to reflect that pedagogical shift – with flexible, fluid spaces; being multi-textural and multi-purpose; with embedded and integrated collaborative ICT services; break-out spaces alongside classrooms and a lecture theatre, with facilities for VR and 360-degree immersive environments.

Technology chosen for TICS reflects the need for students to be across industry standard tools in a variety of different areas. Additive manufacturing (commercial grade 3D printers), virtual reality and 360 projection are examples of technologies that are becoming key for students to participate in emerging industries.

The College is developing in students a self-directed approach to learning. This learning space gives students the opportunity to develop greater ownership of the learning environment. From the ability to make their own room bookings, to the many breakout spaces on offer, the design of this learning space enables students to craft their own experience. For example, view Year 8 student Ryan who has produced his own podcast “The Road to the Big Time” available on Spotify and Youtube.

Trinity College seeks to improve educational practice to support young people to succeed personally and academically at school and, in their lives beyond school. With our University partners, Trinity has co-developed a research agenda which has deepened the capacity of teaching staff to engage in powerful and purposeful reflection and evaluation of educational practices within this new space. Teachers will be upskilled in educational research, and contribute to the growing body of knowledge in 21st Century learning spaces through Masters and PhD study and publication.

2020 Finalist Innovation in Learning Environment Design

The Educator’s sixth annual Innovative Schools list reveals fifty schools making the most profound and exciting impact in Kindergarten to Year 12 education. Trinity College was named in this list from over 300 schools.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Australian schools to implement massive changes to their existing models as face-to-face classes shifted online.

While this no doubt posed enormous challenges across all areas of education, parental engagement and student wellbeing, some schools saw some unique and exciting opportunities to innovative and improve the way they deliver teaching and learning, not just in 2020 but well beyond the pandemic.

Education professionals are constantly looking for new ways to enhance student learning and engagement and increase productivity. Schools around the country are implementing new initiatives, technology and methods of learning and teaching that are moving the education industry forward.

The Educator Innovative Schools report seeks to showcase those schools at the forefront of change and innovation. From new learning spaces to curriculum design, use of technology and more, these schools are trying new approaches to teaching and learning that are shaping the educational landscape of the future. Find out more here.

2020 The Educator Innovative Schools Award