Students learn science from the best at Table Cape Primary Tue 10 July 2012 Paul O'Halloran Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Skills The Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Skills, Paul O'Halloran, today praised the contribution of one of the nation's leading science teachers, Michael Van Der Ploeg from Table Cape Primary School. Mr Van der Ploeg recently won the Science Teacher of the Year Award at the 2012 BHP Billiton Science Awards and was this morning joined by Mr O'Halloran for a science class at Table Cape Primary. "Michael is a man of tremendous skill, and to be awarded such a prestigious national accolade is testament to both his knowledge and his passion for teaching," Mr O'Halloran said. "To be peer assessed as an exemplary teacher of science is fantastic and then to have the confidence of a national constituted review process is a fantastic achievement. "It's also a great boon for Table Cape Primary to be able to boast they have a national leader in science teaching at their school." Table Cape Primary School Principal, Andrew Woodard said the school has a systematic approach to staff professional learning and the plan is to develop other areas of specialism in teaching staff to ultimately develop a managed elective program that adds breadth and depth to the core curriculum. "The school is attracting students interested in science and maintaining a high level of interest in the Chemistry strand of the new Australian Curriculum" he said. Mr Van Der Ploeg said that it was an honour to receive personal recognition from both my peers in Tasmania and to be honoured nationally. "Ultimately the real appeal as a teacher is to capitalise on the natural curiosity of children, especially in the field of science," he said. "Table Cape Primary students have won four national awards and, as well as being finalists, they've also received many highly commended acknowledgements. "