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2009 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools > 2006 Awards > 2006 Regional Awards winners >

Far North Queensland

Kuranda District State School
FAFT - Families as First Teachers
The Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early Phase of Learning

Kuranda District State High School's FAFT (Families as First Teachers) program works with parents, grandparents and carers to develop the skills and confidence to help their children learn now and in the future.

FAFT links learning techniques that work effectively at school with Indigenous parenting and learning styles. Some families are unable to attend the school, so participants engage in weekly early literacy and numeracy workshops held in the homes of Indigenous families.

Productive partnerships with community, business, industry and government agencies have resulted from the program, with Kuranda community stakeholders providing around $30,000 in financial and in-kind support.

Regular contact with families and parents in the community, increased attendance at parent workshops and stronger links with Community Health workers are also among the outcomes.

Incidents of negative behaviour have been reduced by 74 percent in the past two years and preschool enrolments have increased.

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Bentley Park College
Computer Games: Recharge for cross curriculum
The RACQ Showcase Award for Excellence in the Senior Phase of Learning

Games design and development is a thriving new industry and is the central focus of Bentley Park College's program, Computer Games: Recharge for cross curriculum.

As part of their multimedia studies, students in the Information Technology Systems course build 3D and 2D worlds and objects and incorporate them into games engines. Projects have included a re-creation of buildings in Cairns 50 years ago and a reading game prototype for boys, created in conjunction with the Books for Boys program.

Using the appeal of computer games to inspire students' learning has proved so successful, the project has recently expanded with students using games skills in subjects such as film and television, media studies and music.

The program is supported by professional development for teachers in multimedia and strong links with the Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education. Bentley Park College will host a Games in Learning workshop prior to the Australian Computers in Education Conference, to be held in Cairns in October.

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Badu Island State School
YCDI - You Can Do It ! The Badu Island Way to Success
The Media Monitors Showcase Award for Excellence in the Inclusive Education

You Can Do It! (YCDI!) is achieving outstanding results in student behaviour at Badu Island State School.

Prior to this program, declining behaviour standards were disrupting learning and teaching. After extensive investigation and consultation with staff and the local community, YCDI! was implemented in 2003.

A comprehensive professional development program for staff, the creation of a resource base and substantial community engagement, including a parent initiative, have acted as the key drivers for the program.

An array of strategies is used to embed Island culture in the YCDI! program. Traditional symbols and language reinforce the Foundations for Success - getting along, organisation, persistence and confidence.

Fostering social and emotional well-being and achievement has made a significant difference to behaviour, attendance, motivation, school climate and learning outcomes.

There has been a dramatic decline in disruptive student behaviour. Referrals for inappropriate behaviour dropped by 50 percent between 2004 and 2005, with this trend continuing in 2006.

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Horn Island State School
Confident, Clever and Caring
The Media Monitors Showcase Award for Excellence in the Inclusive Education

Horn Island State School is building a reputation within the local community for pursuing academic excellence and assuring the best in educational service.

The school's new vision 'Confident, Clever and Caring' is producing a range of outcomes in terms of student behaviour, community partnerships and skills development for staff. Horn Island State School is a place where students, staff, parents and community want to be.

The school has created a culture of high expectation, where students are encouraged to see every minute at school as a valuable learning opportunity.

The professional development of teachers is seen as a critical factor in achieving the school's new vision, with a well-trained and empowered workforce able to drive the change process at Horn Island State School. Community partnerships are involving parents in volunteer programs in the classroom and reinforcing the value of education in the community.

There has been a dramatic improvement in the incidence of student disciplinary absences, with no suspensions recorded last year, compared to 10 in 2004. Student attendance almost doubled over the past year, with absence rates decreasing from a total of 843.5 days in Term 2, 2005, to 450.5 days in Term 4, 2005.

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Trinity Bay State High School
Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Today
The Queensland University of Technology Showcase Award for Excellence in Leadership

Trinity Bay State High School strives to empower students to make a difference through its long-running leadership program, Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Today.

Over the program's six-year history, participating students have not only boosted pride in the school and local community, they have raised money for a range of charities and led construction projects to improve school surroundings.

Open to students in Years 8 to 12, the program develops 30 new student leaders each year. They are trained in a range of areas, including public speaking, negotiation, goal-setting and networking.

Each year, 30 new leaders focus on fundraising, public relations, lifting school spirit and supporting charitable efforts. From raising enough money for an African orphanage to buy four acres of land for crops, to building a fence and bus shelter near the school, these young leaders are leaving lasting legacies.

The leadership program offers students valuable work experience and new pathways to employment, in addition to fostering partnerships with community organisations and businesses, who are strong supporters of each year's leadership group.

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Malanda State High School
A Place to Excel
The Showcase Award for Excellence in Community or Industry Partnerships

Celebrating academic excellence and giving every student the opportunity to achieve lies at the heart of Malanda State High School's philosophy for learning. Over the past seven years, the school has worked to refine its curriculum to enable students to plan individual courses of study to suit their unique needs.

Malanda State High's dynamic approach to academic excellence is achieving outstanding results, with the school's Queensland Core Skills Test mean rising well above state levels in 2004 and 2005.

Fourteen percent of eligible Year 12 students received an OP1 or OP2 last year. Malanda State High School's disciplinary absences are the lowest in the district.

The school has developed an award-winning Middle Phase program alongside other Education and Training Reforms for the Future initiatives such as senior schooling and vocational pathways programs and a flexible timetable to accommodate traineeships.

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Kowanyama State School
Be Strong,
Be Safe, Be Cool
The Showcase Award for Excellence in Community or Industry Partnerships

'Be Strong, Be Safe, Be Cool' - this is the motto of the Kowanyama Youth Crime Prevention Program, a joint initiative between Kowanyama State School and the Kowanyama Justice Group.

The program targets secondary students in a bid to boost attendance rates, improve behaviour and ultimately lead to the development of a positive self-image for the young people of Kowanyama.

Delivered by high-profile Kowanyama woman Tania Major, who recently gained a degree in criminology, the Youth Crime Prevention Program features an innovative use of community resources, with partnerships a key focus.

The Kiddy Cop Program sees students trained in junior community policing techniques and working alongside Kowanyama Community Police. Students are also collaborating with Elders on a community oral history project.

As part of the Youth Crime Prevention Program, secondary students established a public forum on the issue of petrol-sniffing, attracting major stakeholders from throughout Kowanyama and the Cape.

In addition, attendance rates for senior students have almost doubled to 85 percent since last year.

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Woree State High School
JCU Mathematics and Science Excellence Program
The Showcase Award for Excellence in Community or Industry Partnerships

Woree State High School's low-cost extracurricular maths and science program is inspiring students from the middle phase of learning to consider tertiary studies following Year 12.

Developed by the school and run in conjunction with James Cook University , the Mathematics and Science Excellence Program is a once-weekly, after-school course that runs for eight weeks in the school term. It is open to all Cairns school students from Years 5 to 10 who enjoy mathematics and science.

Innovative activities, such as using speed guns to explore physics principles, are captivating students from around 30 local schools, with more than 340 paid enrolments demonstrating the intense interest in the program.

The Mathematics and Science Excellence Program has strengthened community partnerships, with the establishment of the Woree Community Learning Centre, and expanded pathways to further study.

In a recent survey, parents of students involved in the program indicated a very high level of satisfaction, with 76 percent indicating their children were considering tertiary study thanks to the program.

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