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

Sunshine Coast

Beerwah State High School
Get the Edge
The RACQ Showcase Award for Excellence in the Senior Phase of Learning

'The Edge' is Beerwah High School's flexible and individualised approach to senior pathways. Through the initiative, each student designs a senior schooling program that meets their individual needs.

Features of 'The Edge' include comprehensive career planning, strong industry partnerships, an integrated approach to vocational education and training and flexible and alternative timetabling.

The program has boosted the range of pathways to employment and further education and training, giving Beerwah State High School students a competitive edge.

As a result of the program, 93 percent of Beerwah State High graduates have moved successfully from school to work, training or tertiary studies. A record 125 school-based apprenticeships and traineeships were in place last year - an increase of 60 percent since the program was introduced in 1998.

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Maroochydore State High School
No Dole for Us
Senior Phase of Learning

Maroochydore State High School is helping its Year 10 students make positive decisions about their future work and study options through the No Dole program.

Maroochydore State High School was the first school in south-east Queensland to commit to the No Dole program in 2004.

Established by the Beacon Foundation, a national not-for-profit organisation, the program builds partnerships between schools, local businesses, government agencies and training organisations to increase work and training options for students.

Three-hundred Maroochydore State High School students signed the No Dole pledge in 2004 and again in 2005.

Following the launch of the No Dole program, the school recorded a six-percent increase in total academic outcomes for all Year 10 students in 2004 and 2005. Ninety-nine percent of students from Maroochydore's 2005 Year 10 class are either in full-time employment, training or continuing their studies at school.

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Pomona State School
Science Busters in Action
The Queensland University of Technology Showcase Award for Excellence in Leadership

Science Busters in Action is inspiring an enthusiasm for science and discovery in all students at Pomona State School and ensuring the school's position as a leader in science education.

The program began in 2004 with a small group of gifted and interested science learners from Years 6 and 7 who met with a teacher once a week to experiment with ideas and develop innovations.

Science Busters in Action has turned into a major curriculum push involving all teachers and year levels in the school.

The school has won two Education Queensland Doherty Awards for its innovative science program. The teacher in charge of the project has been invited by the Federal Department of Science, Education and Training to undertake specialist training as a science learning facilitator and facilitate regional workshops for educators. Pomona has also been invited to apply for an Australian Academy of Science Award.

The program also facilitated a partnership based on a number of activities with Noosa Shire Council, which has resulted in $23,000 of environmentally sustainable enhancements to the school grounds.

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Caloundra State High School
The Creative Connection
The Courier-Mail Showcase Award for Excellence in Innovation

Caloundra State High School is leading Australia in performing arts education, thanks to a range of innovative arts practices for a diverse range of students.

Recognised nationally for their Performance Excellence Program, the school's rich learning experiences are transforming music, dance, drama and technical production from ordinary subjects to extraordinary opportunities.

Established in 1997, the program currently engages more than 200 students in real-life learning activities, such as recording a compilation CD, participating in musicals, competing in eisteddfods and working with younger students.

Year 7 students join their Caloundra State High counterparts from Years 8 and 9 in a weekly extension program, while senior students mentor the group.

Statistics from 2005 show 50 percent of Caloundra State High students who received an OP score between 1 and 4 were also studying performing arts. Caloundra State High has won acclaim for the program, with an Australian Government National Award for Quality Schooling Excellence in the school improvement category.

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Sunshine Coast Schools Cluster
Learning Engagement Online
The Courier-Mail Showcase Award for Excellence in Innovation

The Learning Engagement Online (LEO) program has been developed in the Sunshine Coast South District to help students experiencing behavioural difficulties in the classroom to re-engage with learning.

Established by the Sunshine Coast Cluster of schools in 2004, the LEO initiative aims to boost student achievement by ensuring the curriculum is delivered in a way that meets their individual needs. The program covers 15 primary and secondary schools.

Supportive relationships with mentors, parents and specialist and classroom teachers enable students to develop skills to manage their behaviour and become independent, cooperative learners.

Each week, student groups participate in three 45-minute information and communication technology lessons - two online and one offline. During offline lessons, LEO students act as mentors for invited classmates, teaching them technology skills from the week's online lessons, establishing them as empowered, active learners.

In a survey conducted late last year, teachers reported that 47-percent of students had significantly improved their behaviour as a result of the program. Teachers also reported a 43-percent improvement in students' levels of engagement with learning in the classroom. Eighty-three percent of students indicated significant improvements in their technology skills.

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Redcliffe State High School
Talobilla Dreaming
The Showcase Award for Excellence in Community or Industry Partnerships

Redcliffe State High School's Talobilla Dreaming project uses community partnerships to help Indigenous students achieve academic, social and personal success.

Building relationships between Redcliffe State High, Indigenous parents and the local community is the key to the success of this program, which was established in 2004.

Community organisations play a vital role, with partners including TAFE, Department of Employment and Training, Queensland Police, Department of Communities, Centrelink, Caboolture Youth Justice, Redcliffe City Council, Abused Child Trust, Queensland University of Technology and QUT's Oodgeroo Unit.

The program delivers learning modules to build students' strengths in teamwork, training and work planning, cultural identity and dealing with conflict.

After undertaking certificate qualifications in literacy skills, students may undertake further studies through the school, university programs or registered training organisations. Mentors and teacher aides assist and encourage students.

Redcliffe State High School's retention rate before the program was around 32 percent. Following the introduction of the Talobilla program, this now stands at 80 percent. Four Talobilla students are studying university subjects at QUT, while completing Year 12, while another four are completing a Certificate II in Health and Recreation at TAFE after completing a Certificate III in Eco Tourism.

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