Port Noarlunga Primary School

Meet the Primary team 2023

Mar 1, 2023 | class story, school info

Meet the Primary teaching team for our year 3/4/5 classes in 2023.

Mrs Desma McMillan

Room 16-1

How long have you been teaching at Port Noarlunga Primary School?

I have been working at PNPS in many different capacities for well over 15 years. When I first came to PNPS our school was half the size and with very old facilities. It has been exciting to watch the school change and develop over the years. I enjoy working here and love that it is so close to my home and the beach.

What are your passions as a teacher?

Reading, reading and reading! For me, developing reading in primary schools is an essential element in determining student success across the curriculum. I work hard to encourage all students to enjoy reading. I do this by sharing my love of reading with my students and engaging with them about their favourite books.

What is the best thing about Port Noarlunga Primary School?

Mmmm! This is a hard question as there are many great things! I think my favourite thing is our aquatics. I love the fact that our students participate in swimming lessons at the beach and learn beach safety in their local environment. Our Beach Carnival is an event that students love and will remember fondly about their primary school years.

What are you looking forward to this year with your class?

I am actually looking forward to our new Outdoor Education Program. In the past our school was really big on having camps and I have been on too many to count. We now get to enjoy the camp experiences without the sleepover component. Very excited!

Ms Shona Thompson

Room 16-2

How long have you been teaching at Port Noarlunga Primary School?

This is my twelfth year teaching at PNPS. I took nearly the whole year off last year to develop my skills and try a different career path but missed teaching too much. Throughout my years here, I have had classes ranging from year 2 to 7 but the previous few years I have had year 3/4s.

What are your passions as a teacher?

One of my passions is continuing to learn about and authentically embed First Nations stories, cultural values, traditions and histories into my learning program. I am also passionate about developing students’ wellbeing. I want them to feel a sense of belonging and develop a positive sense of identity as this contributes to their ability to engage and become successful learners.

What is the best thing about Port Noarlunga Primary School?

Definitely the people! I continue to see past students and their parents who always stop and chat and I love seeing that spark in their eyes when they talk about how aspects of schooling at PNPS shaped them. It brightens my day when I am walking across the school yard and hear a student or a parent call out ‘hi Ms Thompson!’ Also my colleagues, who are so friendly, caring and helpful!

What are you looking forward to this year with your class?

I am looking forward to seeing the growth in my students. I love seeing students flourish and believing in their abilities. I am also looking forward to getting to know my students better, learning together and enjoying some fun times.

Ms Chantelle Parkes

Room 10-2

How long have you been teaching at Port Noarlunga Primary School?

This is my fourth year as a teacher at Port Noarlunga.

What are your passions as a teacher?

Maths, science, digital technology, history, poetry and maths (again).

What is the best thing about Port Noarlunga Primary School?

The people. It’s the students, how they look out for each other and show exceptional kindness, teamwork and responsibility. The parents, popping in to say hello, helping out on excursions, even just a friendly wave in the yard all make Porties a great place to be. And the staff, a passionate and dedicated team who are supportive of each other and continue to find ways to improve the teaching and learning happening here.

What are you looking forward to this year with your class?

I really love seeing the growth in students, looking back at where they started and seeing the improvements they have made. I grew up in the country, and loved being outdoors when I was in primary school, so I’m very excited to experience the outdoor education program with my class this year!

Mrs Kris Sander

Room 10-1

How long have you been teaching at Port Noarlunga Primary School?

This is the start of my eleventh year at Port Noarlunga. I’m a walker so I’m lucky that there are lots of scenic walks as well as challenging hills to tackle in this area. In my first year here I had a year 3 class which was a great experience but have mostly worked with year 4/5 students.

What are your passions as a teacher?

I’m very interested in cognitive psychology and how children learn. Metacognition is the term used when people think about their thinking and this means monitoring what they know and understand and how to use different strategies to improve their learning outcomes. Children need to be explicitly taught metacognitive awareness so I try to push that in my classroom. I also like to encourage compassion and empathy, so raising funds for charity and visiting nursing homes (although that hasn’t happened due to Covid) are big ticket items.

What is the best thing about Port Noarlunga Primary School?

It takes a village to raise a child. Port Noarlunga is like the proverbial village.

What are you looking forward to this year with your class?

Getting to know them as people, helping them to develop their potential in learning and supporting them to show leadership and initiative.

Mr Sebastian Braim

Room 10-1

How long have you been teaching at Port Noarlunga Primary School?

This is my very first year at Port Noarlunga Primary! Last year I was lucky enough to part-take in some relief lessons, however this is my first year out of Flinders university and my first contract ever! I am very excited to be working with this school and its lovely 3/4/5 cohort of students.

What are your passions as a teacher?

My passions are within sport and science. I have had role models in my life that have led me to want to become a teacher and share their ideas and aspirations. My passion in teaching is to allow students to find themselves in this new world, follow their own passions and become the best version that they can be.

What is the best thing about Port Noarlunga Primary School?

I think that the best thing about Port Noarlunga Primary School is the community!

What are you looking forward to this year with your class?

I am most looking forward to knowing all the students in my class and involving their interests into their learning.

Thank you for meeting the 2023 Primary teaching team.

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