Department Head of the Year - Jason Fischer
It All Adds Up to Success
Australia’s Department Head of the Year, Mr Jason Fischer, is achieving extraordinary results overseeing one of the nation’s largest school Mathematics Departments. But just as important to him is keeping staff motivated and students engaged with their studies.
Managing more than 80 staff across multiple campuses, Mr Fischer ensures that structures are uniform and that students enjoy and excel in Mathematics.
Since taking over in 2012, he has enhanced teaching standards and curriculum quality, while keeping parents and the school community informed about his programs and student results.
Under his dynamic leadership and collaborative efforts, Haileybury’s Mathematics Department has gone to another level while keeping teachers motivated and parents connected.
This progressive approach sees teaching enhanced by visiting or ‘video zooming’ each campus for weekly updates, and student results centrally stored for analysis.
Maths resources with a short ‘shelf life’ are avoided, and Mr Fischer holds resource-building workshops with Haileybury teachers and outside presenters.
Engaging students in Mathematics can be a challenge, so he has also worked hard on this.
He has nurtured a collaborative culture and programs like popular daily ‘Maths Help’ sessions where teachers and students eat their lunch together while working on their subject. In 2018, ex-students were employed to help, and after-school drop-in sessions were introduced.
Year 9 students combine social development with Mathematics. They study a unit on ‘Shine Cambodia’, which sees them focus on gaining an understanding of that country, area and the people for whom Haileybury raises money to support a local village school.
All these efforts have led to exceptional NAPLAN and VCE results. In 2018, 36 per cent of Further Mathematics students, 48 per cent of Mathematical Methods students (after scaling) and 68 per cent of Specialist Mathematics students (after scaling) achieved a study score of 40 or more.
The average scaled study score was 39 for Methods 3 and 4 and 43 for Specialist Mathematics.
Mr Fischer is passionate about his school, Mathematics, the teachers and students.
“I work hard, love my vocation and fully appreciate the opportunity and autonomy that Haileybury has given me so that I can give my all to my department,” he says.
“I am proud of the results our students achieve in Mathematics. This award has enabled me to reflect upon how blessed I am to run a department that makes a difference to my staff and the students.”