Maddie Witter, Principal
Welcome to Glen Iris Primary School, or GIPS as we are affectionately known.

GIPS is a special place where children, families and staff come together to aim high. Our learning program is differentiated, engaging, and supportive. At GIPS, we foster deep thinking, creativity, collaboration, and independence across all classes. Our aim is to nurture and develop children to become resilient and adaptable, with a lifelong love of learning and the skills and attitudes necessary to function successfully in a sustainable global society.

I am the proud principal of Glen Iris Primary School, a special place where I have the honour of collaborating with our staff, students, and family community. As the author of Reading Without Limits: Teaching Strategies to Build Independent Reading for Life and co-author of The Berry Street Education Model, the largest school wellbeing model in Australia, I bring a range of experiences and skills to our wonderful school.


So what makes GIPS special? First, it’s the learning.

We have a deeply embedded pedagogical model from Prep to Year 6. Teachers start their lessons with a hook or positive primer to help students engage with the learning. Then, they do explicit teaching of a skill or strategy. As students move off to differentiated work, teachers themselves differentiate by working with small groups and then conferencing one to one with students before bringing students back to reflect at the end of class. This consistent, predictable routine is embedded across all classes and year level groups.

Data drives everything here at GIPS, and it is used so teachers can continually measure the progress of their students. Teachers spend dedicated time each week analysing all student data and then discussing in teacher teams how that data will impact their explicit teaching, small group instruction, and one to one conferencing. We place great emphasis on reading, writing and mathematics at GIPS. Our motto is “Aim High”, and thus we have very high expectations for our learners and their developmental growth.


Wellbeing must be embedded into all learning, because safe, happy, and healthy children learn better. At GIPS, we use a range of wellbeing tools to support our students to learn the skills and strategies they need to have positive mental health including Resilience Project, the Berry Street Education Model, Life Education, Buddies, and Respectful Relationships. These programs help our students build and maintain harmonious relationships. Our shared school values - Empathy, Honesty, Resilience, Gratitude and Respect- are central to our community. One tradition that GIPS has held for many years is a morning tea where students who demonstrate excellence in our school values share a morning tea with us as a principal team. It’s a time-honoured tradition.

What also makes us special is our community.

At GIPS, we don’t have school captains. Every single Year 6 student has a leadership position known as Student Action Leadership Team (SALT), and together as a community they help drive school improvement. Students work in teams, such as the Promotions Team and Wellbeing Team. These are not token positions. As a principal team, we work side by side with our student leaders and they are highly valued members of our School Improvement Team.

Family partnerships

Family involvement at GIPS is critical to our success. Whether that’s volunteering to be on one of our important teams like School Council or the Parent Association, helping out as a Class Helper or Working Bee Volunteer, or attending our fortnightly assemblies, families are encouraged to be involved with us at GIPS. We strongly encourage families to connect with us through Fireside Chats with Maddie. All of our staff will be outside their classrooms for ten minutes at the end of each day for those important conversations you want to have. Your feedback is strongly valued and you can reach out to us at glen.iris.ps@education.vic.gov.au or at (03) 9885 3624 if you want to connect.

Our team

Our staff are fantastic. They deeply care about continuous improvement, your child, this school, and each other. We place great emphasis on our staff team and value their commitment, enthusiasm and expertise when it comes to helping ensure our students have the very best possible education. Please check out our Annual Report on this website to see how our data is tracking compared to other schools- this is because we have the very best staff around.

We look forward to getting to know you and your children here at GIPS.

Maddie Witter (Principal) and Debbie McDermott (Assistant Principal)

Aim high!

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