Awards and Achievements


​​2021 Showcase Awards For Excellence in Schools WINNER 

We are extremely proud to announce that Coorparoo State School has received the highest accolade from the Department of Education (Metropolitan Region) in winning the 2021 Bevan Brennan - Every Child Needs a Champion Showcase Award for Excellence in Schools. 

Our showcase submission highlighted the work that has been done over many years in developing and implementing schoolwide expectations of SOAR and more recently Building Coorparoo Character. Our submission detailed our Curiosity and Powerful Learning journey, our school wide student wellbeing strategy and the work of our Whole Child Learning Supports Team. 

Thanks go to all members of our CSS staff for investing in this important work in our school to ensure that at Coorparoo "Every child has a champion". This is a recognition of our whole school culture, and while we will take time to be proud of what we do, we will continue daily in our work of being a champion for every one of our children. 

This award recognises CSS as an outstanding state school team who has implemented a whole-school approach to nurture and maximise students' social, emotional and/or physical wellbeing that has resulted in improved learning outcomes. 

Our submission demonstrated positive outcomes and measurable improvement for students, through the three domains of practice of the department's Student Learning and Wellbeing Framework:

•            creating safe, supportive and inclusive environments

•            building the capability of staff, students and the school community

•            developing strong systems for early intervention. 

The award promotes the Student Learning and Wellbeing Framework, the department's approach to student learning and wellbeing across the whole school.

​Bevan Brennan

Bevan Brennan dedicated 4 decades to the advancement of education in Queensland, from classrooms where he taught and schools where he led as a principal, to regional offices and central office as Assistant Director-General. Bevan led an extensive portfolio focused on supporting student wellbeing and protection, disengaged youth and parent and community engagement. He had deep empathy for those in greatest need, especially students, and unwavering willingness to support and expand opportunities for all students to reach their potential. His commitment to a culture of achievement and high expectations in all state schools is a wonderful part of his legacy. 

Here is an excerpt from our winning submission: “Coorparoo State School: Where every child has a champion" 

“In education, wellbeing is important for two reasons. The first is the recognition that schooling should not just be about academic outcomes but that it is about the wellbeing of the 'whole child'; the second is that students who have higher levels of wellbeing tend to have better cognitive outcomes at school." Literature review: Student wellbeing, Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, Sydney, 2015. 

Whole Child Learning Supports are a defining feature of Coorparoo State School (CSS), where a long-term commitment to safe, supportive and inclusive environments; staff, student and community capability; and strong systems for early intervention is both intentional and evidence based. Collectively and holistically, Whole Child Learning Supports (WCLS) remains as one of five defined school improvement priorities (CSS Strategic Plan 2016-Current), ensuring that at Coorparoo State School, every child has a champion. 

Championing for all children is clearly the purpose of the WCLS team and our school's Student Wellbeing Strategy. With a vision to create school wide learning communities that promote student wellbeing, safety, and positive relationships that will allow all students to reach their full potential, the CSS Student Wellbeing Strategy is guided by the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework (Student Wellbeing Hub), Student Learning and Wellbeing Framework (Queensland Department of Education), Acting Compatibly with Human Rights (Queensland Human Rights Commission) and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (National Principles)

A belief that all students are capable of learning and participating successfully is the driver behind WCLS being a strategic improvement. Dismissed is the notion of support for only those with academic deficiencies, or for those with verified needs. Our strategy embraces and invests in the notion of 'all students, all day, every day' - with student wellbeing remaining at the forefront. 

The WCLS team (consisting of Guidance Officer, Special Education Program (SEP) Managers, Heads Of Curriculum (English & Mathematics), Head Of Student Supports, Support Teacher Literacy & Numeracy, Speech Language Pathologist, School leadership and class teachers) maintains a carefully tiered model of support systems. These include explicit 5 week learning sprints targeting academic growth, structured and supervised environments targeting social development, student mentor programs targeted towards personal growth, student leadership opportunities that are explicit in developing public spirit and culturally specific events that foster identity and agency. The WCLS team supported by a student wellbeing 'action team' (comprising leadership team, class teachers, support staff, teacher aides and parent representatives) also enacts additional support provisions in collaboration with families and remains an integral conduit between home and school. 

Complementing existing school wide policies and programs, the CSS Student Wellbeing Strategy is characterised by precise programming (aligned with existing curriculum expectations), regular sessions (building student capacity), lessons taught by the classroom teacher (building teacher capacity), universal interventions that raise awareness (building the whole community), 1:1 through to whole class delivery (building safe supportive settings) and SEL opportunities matched to the developmental stage of each student (building inclusivity).      

Clearly defining the characteristics of a kind, curious and resilient learner through the Building Coorparoo Character (BCC) framework in 2017, and maintaining this as a school wide strategy ever since, has also meant that the whole school and not just the WCLS team, now knows what it looks like to educate the 'whole' child' – through respectful, safe, relationship based and equitable learning settings that focus on teaching and practicing social, emotional and cognitive skills and embedding these into academic learning. 

Simply put, BCC is a process, not a script or a curriculum. It is a school wide approach to student wellbeing. 

Aligned within the Australian Curriculum's Intercultural, Critical & Creative, Ethical and Personal & Social General Capabilities (ACARA), BCC also matches all layers of existing expectations and requirements of current Learning and Wellbeing, Positive Behaviour For Learning (PBL) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) frameworks. BCC has become an integral layer within our school's narrative around whole child wellbeing, and just as we have done with our schoolwide PBL expectations of 'SOAR' (Be safe, organised, an active learner, responsible), we have created deeply personalised and valuable teaching and learning opportunities for all students. 

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) impact map on the estimated effects of the interventions on student academic and wellbeing outcomes (Evidence for Learning, SVA 2020: updated) serves as the most accurate guide for the development and implementation of this whole of community strategy. While directly quantifying academic gains against participation in schoolwide wellbeing initiatives since 2017 is problematic, we believe student wellbeing is improving through the development of social, emotional and cognitive habits. Parent, student and staff confidence is high and engagement and academic data remains impressive:

English, Maths, Science, Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), enrolment, attendance, behaviour and confidence all reside within the highest category on 2017-2020 Headline Indicator reports (Metropolitan Region). 

A central tenet to the design, success and sustainability of this strategy are the compelling narratives offered towards our school wide approaches to both positive behaviours for learning (SOAR: Be safe, organised, an active learner, responsible, 2012 – current) and social-emotional-intellectual growth (Building Coorparoo Character, 2017 - current): 

  • School Opinion Survey Highlights reports 2017-2019, “Most Positive Items" include 'my child feels safe at this school', 'my child likes being at this school', 'my teachers expect me to do my best' and 'my teachers motivate me to learn'. 
  • The 2020 Education Improvement Branch School Review Report stated, “The school's governance model is articulated as 'we are united in a common goal to maximise the potential of all children…and encourage them to be kind, curious and resilient'. The school actions this through the framework of Building Coorparoo Character and aligns aspects of the Australian Curriculum and the school's behaviour plan. Parents articulate their appreciation for the holistic approach," and, “Staff…express commitment to the holistic approach. Teachers and teacher aides identify ways they encourage pupils and meet the diverse needs of students. Teachers and parents express appreciation for the positive impact that consistent practices in relation to SOAR and Building Coorparoo Character are having upon student's belief in their own capability to be successful." Further, “Students enjoy participation in … and the significant avenues for student voice and participation."  

Needing to also garner the student voice perspective, Student Perception and Student Engagement Surveys were administered in both 2017 and 2020. Based on the Panorama Student Survey (Panorama Education/Harvard School of Education) these were designed to assess student expectations and relationships and also their academic, social and intellectual engagement within and beyond the classroom. Year 4-6 student responses (160 students in 2020), provided evidence of a highly effective system wide approach to student wellbeing, and indicated areas to be further refined. Sample responses included: 

  • 'If you came back to visit class three years from now, how excited would your teacher be to see you?' 99.3% responded positively.
  •  'School is helping me become the person I want to be', and 'I feel I am being well prepared for life after school', 91.6% responded positively.
  • 'If you walked into class upset, how concerned would your teacher be?' 97% responded positively.
  • 'How respectful are the teachers towards you?'  and 'How connected do you feel to your                           teachers?' 99% responded positively.
  • 'Overall, how high are your teachers' expectations of you?' 100% responded positively. 

Featured within the school's improvement cycle, budgetary allocations for 'safe and supportive school environments' have increased from $3500 in 2017 to $20000 in 2021. Since 2017, $63000 has been allocated to this work with frequent and structured whole staff professional learning opportunities, a teacher release model for year level leaders to lead this work with their teams, and visual and physical artefacts explicit in their wellbeing messages being key priorities. Differentiated support programs in reading (all Prep to Year 3 students), additional teacher aide time and SEP allocations are all additional school funded initiatives. 

“Wellbeing is a complex synthesis of factors that influence happiness or satisfaction within our lives". Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017 and by adopting an 'explain, model, rehearse and review' model with our students, all staff (champions) are providing opportunities for the knowledge and the skills to become routine habits of action. 

While the narratives of success are celebrated, CSS remains committed to embedding an understanding of wellbeing, mental health and resilience in all staff, students and families. CSS still has as its most defining moral imperative the ongoing obligation towards Article 29 ('Aims of Education') of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Last reviewed 22 April 2022
Last updated 22 April 2022