Awards acknowledge Catholic schools and colleges for system-leading initiatives in Learning, Engagement, Accountability and Discipleship

Seven Catholic schools and colleges recently collected LEAD Awards for Excellence, in recognition of outstanding work in the areas of CEWA's strategic direction.

State Education Minister Peter Collier presented the Awards, in the categories of Learning, Engagement, Accountability and Discipleship, at the Catholic Schools Staff Breakfast, which was attended by more than 360 CEWA staff members in August.

Three LEAD Awards for the category of learning were given this year, highlighting examples of initiatives that enabled quality learning experiences for different student groups.

Iona Presentation Primary School's Makerspace and Robotics Program received a LEAD Award for Learning, for engaging student's from Pre-Primary through to Year 6 in computational thinking, problem solving and design skills. The Program is run in collaboration with Curtin University, and students connect with female pre-service science teachers as well as engineering students. So far students in the Program have programmed animal robots as characters in stories, as well as designing video games.

 

Mercy College's K-12 Enrichment Centre was also awarded, for bringing staff from different learning areas together to provide both support and extension, ensuring all students have opportunities to flourish. The Centre uses testing to identify student need in Literacy skill development, and works with specific groups in response.

St Norbert College also picked up an Award in the Learning category for their Mathematics Workshops. The Workshops promote improvement for all students from Years 7 through 12, no matter their level or grade, with a strong focus on algebra and problem solving. Along with the Workshops for College students, a 'Boot Camp' was held in 2015 for local Year 6 students, providing opportunity for students to form positive connections with the College before the transition to secondary school.

St Simon Peter Catholic Primary School and Mater Dei College both received LEAD Awards in the category of Engagement, for use of the KidsMatter framework, and Sorry Day Performance respectively.

St Simon Peter CPS adopted the KidsMatter framework as a pilot school in 2007, and since then have been using it strengthen relationships with students and better support social and emotional development and mental health. The services that are part of this program also extend to staff and parents.

Mater Dei College's Sorry Day Performance saw many hours of rehearsal and preparation culminate in a story incorporating spoken narrative, music and original artwork, given at the College on Sorry Day and also at the NCEC Conference in June. The performance was a powerful work intended to educate audiences about past hurts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples and inspire ongoing reconciliation.

Two Catholic colleges were also recognised with Awards in the Discipleship category, Santa Maria College for their Faith in Action program, and Lumen Christi College for the Lumen Link.

Santa Maria's Faith in Action program helped students to increase their awareness of levels of disadvantage at local and global levels. It also provided them with opportunities to respond by living out the charisms of Catherine McAuley and the Mercy sisters in community service.

The Lumen Link is an ongoing long-term initiative that enables students and staff to support the work of the Matrix Mission organisation in Southern India. The College's work with the Mission first began in 2004, and now includes biannual visits to the Mission's orphanage, and the 'adoption' of children at the orphanage to support their education and their local community.

In addition to the seven LEAD Awards for Excellence, a number of LEAD Awards of Merit were presented.

St Andrew's Catholic Primary School's Implementing the Seven Keys to Comprehension earned a Merit Award in the category of Learning. St Anthony's School (Greenmount) and Prendiville Catholic College won Merit Awards in the category of Engagement for the Kids Connect and aCross the World projects respectively, and St Anthony's School (Waneroo) were presented with a Merit Award in the Accountability category for St Anthony's School Instructional Walks.