New IGS Head of PDHPE, Sport and Outdoor Education, Simon Board sees sport and Outdoor Education as an adventure, and the classroom as an opportunity to grow confidence in literacy skills.
Simon brings to IGS valuable experience in teaching and leadership roles in PDHPE and Sport in a variety of independent schools, including Santa Sabina, Loreto Kirribilli, Barker College and St Aloysius College.
Most recently, Simon has been Leader of Learning PDHPE and Student Leadership Coordinator at Northern Beaches Christian School. He continues to pursue many professional learning opportunities, including being appointed to the HSC Examination Committee for PDHPE.
“Sport needs to be, for each individual, an exciting adventure based around their inherent strengths,” said Simon, who has played and coached cricket, soccer and tennis at a high level, and has strong coaching experience in rugby, basketball and volleyball, which his own children enjoy.
The father of three loves the team aspects of many sports, and enjoys helping students “explore the myriad of sporting activities helping to find a lifelong sport to meld into their futures”.
Simon is also passionate about outdoor education.
“Some of the most valuable experiences I have had with students have been outside the classroom, with lifelong bonds created.”
He recalls his experience as Camp Counsellor at a US summer camp, valuing the opportunity to grow lifelong relationships, enhance personal skills and learn to cater for the needs of a diversity of young people on camp. Simon has paddled, hiked and camped in a variety of inspirational NSW National Parks, watching students work collaboratively, develop personal skills and work outside their personal comfort zones as they progress through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
As for PDHPE, Simon has taught some of the top students in the State and takes a keen interest in identifying and growing the strengths of each student in both the theoretical and practical components of the PDHPE course.
“From Year 7 to Year 12, my passion is to grow students’ ability to write and move with confidence,” he said. “The development of students’ written and physical literacy skills is critical as we look to maximise learning outcomes for future generations of young people.”
Simon has made a significant contribution in the development of the new PDHPE syllabuses and assessment practices as an executive member of the PDHPE Teachers’ Association. He is an Independent Education Union of Australia PDHPE representative and contributes to NSW Educational Standards Association and Association of Independent Schools committees.
An exciting project Simon is currently involved in is a cross-curricular State-wide Skin Cancer Syllabus Project where students are empowered to design their journey to explore the impact of skin cancer as a “Data Doctor, Urban Designer, Demographer or Myth Buster,” bringing the real world into the classroom.
Simon graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education degree from the Australian College of Physical Education and then achieved his Bachelor of Education from Deakin University. In recent years, Simon embarked on postgraduate studies, graduating with a Master of Leadership and Management in Education from Newcastle University.
Simon will commence at IGS on Monday 9 November 2020.
“I am excited about the opportunities ahead at IGS and looking forward to joining the community,” he said.