From our Leadership Team

Learning: the key to our future

We are located on the LeFevre Peninsula, just 300 metres from the beach in the western suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. We cater for 5 – 12 year-olds (Reception to Year 6) in a healthy, caring environment. Approximately 430 students currently attend our school.

The school has a proud history, and many current students are second or third generation attendees of Largs Bay School. We are proud of our past as well as being confident of the future. In 2024 the school will celebrate its centenary.


Largs Bay School offers students a caring and nurturing learning environment. Our dedicated and experienced teachers provide a positive and enriching program, appreciating the individual needs and interests of each child.

We are committed to providing a learning environment equipping all students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become active members of our society.

Our values of respect, responsibility and persistence provide the basis for all we do at Largs Bay School.

We are committed to excellence in learning, caring for people and for the environment.

From the Largs Bay School, Leadership Team 

Our leadership Team

John Burns – Principal

John began his career as a Physical Education specialist and upper primary classroom teacher. He then served as a Principal in the South East of SA for seven years. 

He served as a Head of School / Executive Principal for nineteen years in International Schools, leading Reception to Year 12 schools, from 150 to 900 students. 

After nineteen years of working internationally, John returned home to Adelaide with his family to end 2021, taking up the position of Principal at East Torrens Primary School in 2022.

John looks forward to serving the Largs Bay School community. He enjoys being part of schools with a dynamic vision, inspiring values and a clear site improvement plan. He also enjoys communities where students are proud of their school, their personal development and taking action in the world around them.

Other Experience: 

–   John has been an Executive Board Member for International Baccalaureate (IB) World Heads Council.

–   He served as National Director / Chairperson for the Australian Chamber of Commerce (AUSCHAM) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

–   He serves as a Council of International Schools (CIS) Accreditation Team Member and Chairperson.

South Australian Experience

–   Principal, Largs Bay School, Adelaide, SA (2023)

–   Principal, East Torrens Primary School, Adelaide, SA (2022)

–   Principal, Glencoe Central Primary School, South Australia (1998 – 2001)

–   Principal, Tarpeena Primary School, South Australia, (1994 – 1997)

International Experience

–   Head of School, International School of Paris, France (2018 – 2021)

–   Head of School, Pechersk School International, Kyiv, Ukraine (2013 – 2018)

–   Head of School, Australian International School Saigon, Vietnam (2007 – 2013)

–   Head of School , Medan International School, North Sumatra, Indonesia (2002 – 2007)

Teaching Experience

–   Primary School – Classroom teacher, Physical Education specialist

–   Middle School – English, Humanities, Information Technology, EALD


Helen Dunlop – Principal

My name is Helen Dunlop and I feel incredibly honoured and privileged to serve as principal of this wonderful school.

As an educator and a parent, I understand the importance of the decision when choosing a school for your child.  We all want our children to be happy, capable, resilient and respected citizens of the world, and to have the confidence and enthusiasm to be the best they can be.

Largs Bay School is the place where this happens, in a welcoming and inclusive environment, focusing on high standards we set, and the exciting opportunities we provide for our young learners.

Situated on beautiful Kaurna country, we are surrounded by the ocean, beaches and pine trees of Largs Bay.

At Largs Bay School all learners are at the centre of everything we do, and underpinning our relentless focus on student achievement are the core values of Respect, Responsibility and Persistence.

These values are the foundation to developing student’s citizenship capability and the skills and attributes required for active participation in our global and interconnected society.

With a strong focus on early literacy, reading, writing, maths and wellbeing, our expert teachers continually strive to maximise the potential of every student by utilising the best evidence-based approaches to assessment, teaching and intervention.

The diverse range of learning activities offered by our professional teaching and support staff acknowledges the different learning styles, experiences and potential barriers of the children in their care.  Our ability to adapt and tailor our programs, ensures that each student is able to confidently explore their interests, fully supported and encouraged at every turn.

LBS continues to be an integral part of growing this wonderful community, and we believe children’s education is best served by developing and maintaining a strong partnership between home and school.  We work closely with families to have the best understanding of each student, we regularly communicate using phone calls, face to face conversations, e-mails, Facebook pages, SeeSaw, Audiri and newsletters.

I encourage you to explore our website and contact us for a Principal tour to see our school in action, and to extend your understanding of our proud school community working with families and students.

We look forward to caring for your children and maximizing their unique potential at Largs Bay School.   Thank you.


Hamish Fletcher - Deputy Principal

Profile coming soon.

Karen Smith – Student Wellbeing Leader

Karen Smith is our Student Wellbeing Leader. Karen has been a teacher for over 25 years and a Student Wellbeing Leader for 7. She has three adult children. Karen has a Graduate Diploma in psychology and has many years of experience with students who require extra emotional and social support. Karen works with students individually, in small groups and whole classes on programmes that promote our school values of Respect, Responsibility and Persistence.

She believes that behaviour needs to be taught like the rest of the curriculum and that all children can be successful members of the Largs Bay community.