Our schools acknowledged with regional awards
FOUR Gladstone schools have been recognised in the 2018 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools in the Regional Awards category.
The annual awards, by the Queensland Government acknowledged state schools improving student outcomes.
Ambrose State School picked up a commendation for its Early Preneur Program.
Principal Andrew Collis said the school's staff felt "very privileged" and excited to have been recognised for their work on the pilot program which only started this year.
The program, sponsored by APLNG and ANZ Bank and facilitated by not-for profit Start-up Gladstone has given students the opportunity to design, build, market and sell their own products to raise money for the school.
"It teaches them financial literacy.
"It's huge, learning about running a small business and what it entails," Mr Collis said.
By the end of the year all students at Ambrose State will have had the chance to design their own products and services ranging from chicken feeders and food products to bath bombs and lip gloss.
Mr Collis said other local schools have expressed interest in the idea, as well as schools in Sydney and Melbourne.
The long-term goal was to see the program included in the national curriculum.
Agnes Water State School picked up a commendation for excellence in early and primary schooling and principal, Trevor Buchanan, received a commendation for Principal of the Year.
"It's fantastic, I feel a bit guilty about it, there are so many principals who do an awesome amount in their school," he said.
"The successes would only happen because of the staff as a whole from teachers through to cleaners."
Mr Buchanan said despite the school being small and regionally located it nonetheless aimed for excellence.
It offers mental health programs for students and opportunities for children to engage in a range of activities beyond traditional sporting ones. The school has also worked hard to engage parents.
Mr Buchanan said there's proof the school's new approaches are working: Parent engagement has increased from about 10 per cent to about 35 per cent and in some areas Department of Education school opinion data has improved by more than 30 per cent.
Rosella Park School won the award for "excellence in inclusive education".
Principal Kate Russ said staff were "ecstatic" when they heard the news.
"We have lessons taught weekly across the school around positive behaviour," Ms Russ said.
"We help the students understand green choices and red choices (good and bad decisions)."
Ms Russ said she had noticed an increase in students making positive choices as a result of the program.
Toolooa State High School received a commendation for State School of the Year for its continuous improvement.
Bryan Townsend, deputy principal said the school had worked really hard on raising student expectations and literacy.
"Everyone is very very focussed on improving outcomes for our students.
"Everyone wants our kids to achieve high quality outcomes," he said.