The achievements of public education and local schools were put in the spotlight at the launch of Education Week earlier today.
The high quality of teaching and learning being undertaken across the NSW public education system was showcased in the keynote address, given by two students and a teacher.
Student Joseph Anderson said: "I've been gifted with many learning opportunities as a student at Tamworth South Public School. These new experiences have challenged and motivated me to strive to do my best. I am discovering my true potential by being exposed to a variety of rich and memorable experiences. This has changed the way I look at education — education is now a passion for me."
Oxley High School student and former Tamworth South Public School student Geordie Brown said: "What I value most about my time at school is the relationships that I have built with my teachers — the friendships which are built on trust, the sort of trust that allows a student the freedom to dream, to experiment and to make mistakes and learn from them."
Both students have had Robyn Inglis as one of their primary school teachers. Mrs Inglis said: "As educators, we aim to inspire our students to be the best they can be. We facilitate their learning by providing them with rich experiences and then we guide and support them towards their journey of achieving their short and long-term goals. We strive to develop 21st century learners who are equipped with the necessary skills to make positive and productive contributions to society."
Student speakers and performers showcased the talent being fostered in NSW public schools during the launch, held jointly from Glenmore Park and Tamworth high schools, using digital technology.
Department of Education Secretary Mark Scott acknowledged the attendance of community leaders, including senior representatives of the NSW Teachers Federation and principals' associations and the Federation of Parents and Citizens' Associations.
"We get a clear sense that public education doesn't just happen in our schools, but it's a community effort…It is so great because of the engagement of community members who come around and support our schools," he said.
The 86,000 staff educating and nurturing almost 800,000 students to reach their personal best are at the heart of the NSW public education system, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a recorded message.
"Please enjoy Education Week and may you all bask in the sunshine of your success — you deserve it. This is time out to recognise our hard-working teachers and the students they continue to inspire for generations to come," Ms Berejiklian said.
Education Minister Rob Stokes acknowledged the "incredible work" and "depth of talent and experience" in the public education system. He said the public education system was an "incredible legacy".