Simone Xirakis

Significant Support Award

To continue celebrating the amazing recipients of 2022 Children’s Week Awards, we bring you Simone Xirakis, a classroom teacher at Macgregor Primary School. Simone is an experienced primary school teacher with a deep passion for the wellbeing of students and staff. Her nomination under the category of Significant Support is in relation to her ongoing support of a student in year 6 at risk of disengaging with the curriculum and school.

Simone has developed and delivered a personalised AUSLAN program for a neurodivergent student at Macgregor Primary School who was having significant difficulties accessing and connecting with the standard LOTE program at the school. Simone identified that the student possessed a passion for learning how to sign. Simone pitched the idea of creating a personalised program for the student and it was enthusiastically approved. Simone then went about upgrading her qualifications in AUSLAN outside of work hours, in her own time. Whilst still completing these higher qualifications, Simone designed an outstanding personalised online program of lessons for the student to complete at their pace. These lessons were professionally filmed by Simone and uploaded each week. Every third week, Simone would touch base with the student as a check in and a way of formative assessment to gauge student progress. It is important to note that this student was not in Simone’s class, highlighting her deep commitment to all students and their development.

The results of this personalised program have been outstanding. The student has progressed significantly in this personalised course but more importantly, the student has reconnected more deeply with school generally after expressing how successful they now feel. Simone has reached a neurodivergent child at risk and has truly changed their schooling trajectory just before they reached high school. Simone has done this, mostly in her own time, and at her own expense. Simone is an exceptional educator who makes a difference in all children’s lives. We are very grateful for the ongoing positive impact she continues to have at Macgregor Primary School.