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2023 in perspective – a year of highs and lows

We take a quick look at some of the biggest school stories of the year.

2023 has been the first in recent years without large-scale school closures thanks to COVID-19; the first in a while where students resumed face-to-face learning in an almost normal environment. While there have been concerns about the long-term impact of the pandemic on learning, Australian children have shown themselves to be resilient and adaptable.

Read the Term 4 edition of School News HERE

This year, some of our highlighted stories included introducing School News readers to a range of new resources and skills that teachers can use in the classroom, exploring ways to celebrate diversity, going behind the scenes of unique learning environments, and looking at how books can be used to help open up conversations with students.

Catch up on some of the top stories you may have missed this year:

Help and resources for the classroom

Should you be using Teachers Pay Teachers – while selling resources you have developed to other educators may seem like a great way to share knowledge and make a few dollars, we take a look at some of the legal and copyright issues around who actually owns your work.

The Enigma of Out-of-Field Teaching – one of the ways the teacher shortage is making its impact felt is the increasing number of educators who are teaching out-of-field. We take a look at some of the challenges as well as the opportunities that OOFT offers.

My TeacherAide, the AI classroom assistant – we spoke with the developers of a new classroom AI assistant, and how the new technology can be used to save time and create resources.

What Happens when you Give Teenagers Agency? – we take a look at a school where the students (and teachers) are being equipped with much more than simple lessons from the curriculum, and are being given agency to make decisions about their own learning and education.

Conversation starters to have with your students – making connections with people can be difficult, let alone with a room full of teenagers. We give some practical and varied conversation starters that educators can use to open the door to a richer connection, and explain why these questions are so effective.

Seven Tips to Encourage Shy Students – some practical ways to meet quiet or timid students where they are, and help make the classroom a safe and comfortable place for them.

Dear Teacher, What I want you to know about my Child’s Anxiety and School Refusal – a heartfelt conversation with one parent who shares what she wishes teachers understood about chronic school refusal and teenage anxiety.

Ways to Show Your Students you Care – in ten or twenty years’ time, today’s students probably won’t remember who was in power or who won the Grand Final, but they will remember the teacher who made a lasting impression. We look at some of the ways you can show your students how much you care.

Talking to Students about Self-harm – we show teachers a way to reframe the conversation around self-harm and help young people talk about their difficulties.

High-Energy Games for Restless Kids – while calming brain breaks help children rest and reload, short bursts of these high-energy games can help improve focus and learning.

Exploring ways to celebrate diversity and identity

Talking about Pride in the Classroom – five practical and effective ways to improve inclusivity in the classroom all year round.

Books for Kids with Neurodiverse Characters – being inclusive is more about choosing books that talk about neurodiversity, it’s about choosing the right books. We look at a range of books with characters with ASD, dyslexia, OCD, ADHD, bipolar, anxiety and more.

Ten Books by First Nations Authors – we take a look at some books by Indigenous writers that every school library should have on its shelves.

Where are the Queer Voices in Literature? – be prepared by having a range of books and resources to help students talk about being trans and other queer identities.

Go behind the scenes of unusual teaching environments

Hospital schools – hospital schools are among some of the oldest educational facilities in the country but are relatively unknown to both educators and the community. We take a look at a typical day in the RPA hospital school.

Studio School Model – we take a look at one of the newest and most innovative new schools, the Studio School in Perth, which provides a truly unique learning experience for both students and teachers.

Wellbeing dogs in schools – discover some of the far-reaching benefits of having a dog on campus.

Respect, inclusivity and the power of working together – Tracey Rapson, Principal of Hunter River Community School explains how her and her school are fostering a welcoming, inclusive and respectful environment for all learners.

Books as a learning tool

Using Books to Help Children Talk about Grief – we spoke with award-winning debut writer Molly Schmidt about how her book can be used to help teachers understand the ugly side of grief and bad behaviour in the classroom.

Behind the Scenes with Bookstagang – this group of dedicated parents may be an educator’s best friend, reading hundreds and thousands of books each year and providing ‘best of’ lists that will make your school library sparkle.


As the 2023 school year comes to a close, the writers and editors at School News Australia wish to thank all the teachers, educators and school staff for their dedication to educating and inspiring our children. We wish you all a safe and relaxing holiday break, and hope you take comfort in the knowledge that the work you do has had a positive influence on so many. Happy holidays and thank you for all you do.

Shannon Meyerkort

Shannon Meyerkort is a freelance writer and the author of "Brilliant Minds: 30 Dyslexic Heroes Who Changed our World", now available in all good bookstores.

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