Mrs Sally Hurley

Life before Girton
I grew up in the Western District city of Hamilton and completed a Bachelor of Education with honours (Physical Education) at Ballarat University. My first year of teaching involved working at St. Leonards College in East Brighton and Aquinas College in Ringwood. I then spent the next 11 years of my teaching career at Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School, in a range of year levels, subject areas and positions, including Head of Physical Education. I was a founding member of Girls Sport Victoria committee and the School Convener for Cross Country for the 24 Participating Girls Schools. I was fortunate to be granted 10 months leave during my time with Camberwell Girls Grammar, to travel overseas and took the opportunity to experience teaching in schools throughout the United Kingdom.

What I Love about Teaching
I thrive on the diverse nature of teaching. I love working with students of all ages and abilities, in a range of subject areas. Each developmental stage and each individual brings unique opportunities for me to empower students to fulfil their potential. As I impart my academic and practical knowledge, I aim to motivate students with my passion for learning. Without question, the best part about teaching at Girton is the exceptional students. Their energies and inquisitiveness inspire me. They make it impossible to lose the momentum to continually strive for excellence.

What do you like best about the subject/s you teach?
I am in the fortunate position of teaching in a variety of subject areas and year levels. As a teacher of Physical Education, Psychology and History, I am dedicated to motivating students to develop all aspects of their intellectual, physical, social and emotional self. Paramount is the role of creating an effective learning environment to support all ability levels and learning styles within each setting. As I step into the classroom, I bring an empathetic, sincere approach to ensure all students are engaged and active learners. I am committed to inspiring students academically and personally, imparting knowledge and skills for life long learning, equipping students to lead healthy and fulfilling lives and to always strive for success.

My favourite classroom activity
One of my favourite VCE Physical Education lessons is on the topic of Energy Systems. It is a practical running session, based around students learning through feeling or experiencing how the body relies on the energy systems to fuel physical activity. The session is held at Rosalind Park and runs much like the popular Boot Camp classes. It involves a series of running activities. The intensity, duration and recovery of each run is specific to each Energy System.  The students are creating experiences that they can draw upon during class theory sessions and in exams, hence they are driven by their personal learning rather than being competitive with each other. The commitment students have shown to this style of learning is incredible. The preliminary theory leading up to the session is often challenging for students, many commenting that the concepts are very complex. However, throughout the course of the practical session, there are regular “light bulb moments” where the theory falls into place and suddenly makes sense. It is sheer joy to see students completely exhausted, out of breathe, smiling as the Energy System concepts suddenly become clear.  These moments are “gold”.

What difference can good teaching make?
A successful student is an active learner, who works hard, who sets themselves high standards of achievement, who thrives on being challenged and who expects to be pushed to reach their potential.  I hope that students will develop passion, commitment and enthusiasm for learning. Ultimately, I want students to always strive to be their best and to feel supported and empowered in this journey.

Other Hats
Whilst I am currently working is Senior School, I have also had the pleasure of working in our remarkable Junior School teaching Physical Education. I have had the privilege of meeting many students in their early years at Girton and then teaching them again as brilliant young adults.  What an amazing journey this has been.

I am currently involved in the netball co-curricular program, as a team coach of a Year 9/10 team. Working with the senior students in this role has been a highlight. Building relationships around sporting endeavours and nurturing skill development in young people is particularly rewarding.

Outside of work, I am committed to maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.  I am a keen runner, regularly participating in local fun runs, including two half marathon’s in the past two years. After recently retiring from playing basketball and netball, I am now also dedicated to Yoga fit as part of my regular fitness regime. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, particularly my two busy daughters and being involved as “project manager” in the ongoing renovation of our family home.