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Bernadette StivalaBernadette Stivala

I have been working in the educational field for the past 29 years. I started my career as a teacher of English language and literature after I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from the University of Malta. After I taught for 4 years, I read for a Master of Business Administration degree in Educational Management at the University of Leicester. After I graduated, I led an Early Years and Junior school for 15 years. Following this experience, I moved to the school I currently work in and headed the Early Years sector for 10 years. Last year I was appointed Head of School. San Anton School caters for 1300 students aged between 2-16 years. As part of my professional development, I have followed a number of courses dealing with a variety of topics such as the Emergent Curriculum, the Reggio Emilia Approach, Outdoor Education, Project Based learning and Tackling Bullying in Schools. I have been an Early Years Teaching Practice Examiner with the University of Malta since 2017. I am also a member of the National Curriculum Framework review board.

Why vote for me?

I would like to be a member of the BELMAS Council because I feel that my educational practitioner experience both in teaching and in management combined with my academic background will be beneficial for the role. Throughout my Educational career, apart from teaching and working on curriculum planning with various teaching teams, I also had the opportunity to work on teachers’ professional development through the organisation of specific training programmes as well as teacher mentoring. I have pioneered the Emergent Curriculum and the Reggio approach as well as introduced Outdoor Education at our Early Years and Junior Sector and introduced a hands-on cross curricular enrichment programme for our Senior Sector Students. As part of my role at school, I am also responsible for looking for potential partnering schools to collaborate on different educational projects. Throughout the years I have organised and coordinated a number of Erasmus projects with other European Schools which have enabled our teaching staff to go on training abroad. Through these courses we have learnt about different pedagogies which we now apply in our daily teaching and learning. If I am elected member of the council, I would like to share my knowledge, expertise and experience with the other Board members and also look forward to learning from them about innovative educational practices, new leadership skills, policies and ideas. Being part of this Council will give me the possibility to discuss with other professionals new and effective ways of making education more relevant for the 21st century learner. I believe that students should be taught how to be resilient, have creative and critical thinking skills, be socially responsible and have cultural, global and environmental awareness. Our teaching has to reflect these qualities. Students everywhere have a right to learn and get a good education as this is the only way that we can have lifelong learners and active citizens who can make real positive change in the world. Schools have a duty to establish and nurture learning communities which involve a constant dialogue between parents, teachers and students. This will ensure a holistic, supportive and inclusive approach to education where students will be nurtured and empowered to develop into balanced, resilient and confident adults who are prepared to face the challenges of the future.

As Nelson Mandela said, Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world- I firmly believe that we have to offer our students engaging and inspiring teaching and learning experiences. As members of the BELMAS council, members have the possibility of being agents of change and can make sure that good quality inclusive education happens everywhere and is available to everyone, regardless of country, gender and economic background.