DR. SUSAN GIBNEY
Director, Blackrock Education Centre
Dr Susan Gibney is currently Director of Blackrock Education Centre, on secondment from her role as Principal Teacher of Queen of Angels PS, Sandyford, Dublin. On her appointment as Principal in Queen of Angels PS in 2008, Susan looked for an intervention that would make a difference in her school by seeking to remove the barriers to learning, and helping her teachers to more successfully engage their children in their teaching and learning. Thus began her interest in, and her passion for, nurture and nurturing interventions.
Susan began her career as a primary school teacher and has taught in a number of schools in Dublin, London and the Sultanate of Oman. Susan’s PhD explores another passion of hers – parental involvement – and is entitled ‘Parental Involvement in Primary Education – Rhetoric or Reality’.
Susan has worked closely with NurtureUK over the last two years and has overseen the growth of nurture interventions in schools in Ireland. Susan has been appointed NurtureUK’s Ambassador for Nurture in Ireland and, in collaboration with the network of 21 Education Support Centres in Ireland (ESCI), has co-ordinated and delivered professional development on nurture for schools all over Ireland. She is currently working with UCD to develop an innovative Modular Masters Programme and with Dr. Seaneen Sloan in UCD, to conduct research on Nurture Groups in Ireland.
Susan is an associate member of the Leadership Team in PDST facilitating courses for newly-appointed principals and deputy principals. She is also an associate member of CSL facilitating training for experienced principals to train as mentors for newly appointed principals.
Susan’s presentation will explain the concept of Nurture Groups and Nurturing schools which are founded on evidence-based practices and offer short-term, inclusive, focused interventions that work in the long term. Nurture groups support young people in all settings. Nurturing Schools are an extension of the principles of Nurture Groups into the whole school, where all children are nurtured by all staff.