CCSP is proud to announce The Outback Immersion Program conceived by St Mary’s Catholic School, Wellington as the recipient of the 2021 Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award for Family, School and Community Partnerships for Learning.
Congratulations St Mary's Catholic School Wellington
The Outback Immersion Program demonstrates exemplary practice in building partnerships between home and school to enhance the learning outcomes of students.
In addition to St Mary’s Catholic School, Wellington being awarded First Place in the 2021 Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award, the judging panel recognised three more school communities for their achievements in building partnerships between home and school to enrich the learning outcomes for students.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Primary School Forestville, received a Highly Commended Award for the Kitchen Garden Program that, with parent/carer participation, created a hands-on practical initiative to teach students about gardening, growing their own food, sustainability and recycling.
The community of Mother Teresa School, Harrison ACT was acknowledged as a Finalist for their Mini Maths Mornings – a program to deepen parents/carers understanding of maths and show ways to improve numeracy through play at home.
A joint submission from Six Upper Hunter Catholic Schools was also a Finalist for their innovative Where There’s A Will initiative - an ongoing partnership with a local not-for-profit organisation, Where There’s A Will, to build capacity of staff, students and families to improve personal wellbeing and support the positive wellbeing of others.
In congratulating all entrants from the 2021 award, CCSP Executive Director, Peter Grace praised the efforts of all school communities that develop genuinely collaborative partnerships to improve student learning outcomes. “It is great to see parent-teacher-community relationships being strengthened to give our children and young people a greater sense of connectedness and belonging. This enables them to thrive in terms of both their learning and their wellbeing.”
The Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award for Family, School and Community Partnerships for Learning
Throughout his long and distinguished career as an educator, leader and advocate, Roger O’Sullivan made an extraordinary contribution to Catholic education in Australia.
As the first executive officer of the Council of Catholic School Parents, Roger built a strong foundation for the voice of parents and carers in Catholic education. In 2014, the Roger O’Sullivan Award was created to recognise and celebrate the myriad of ways that Catholic schools, families and communities work together to enhance student learning.
After Roger entered eternal life in 2015, the award was renamed The Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award for Family, School and Community Partnerships for Learning as a testament to his legacy.
The annual Roger O'Sullivan Memorial Award for Family, School and Community Partnerships for Learning is for a school community that can show exemplary practice in family-school partnerships that has led to enhanced student outcomes.
St Joseph’s Primary School, Uralla is the recipient of the 2020 Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award.
You can watch a short video about the project.
The genesis of the “St Joseph’s School Sheep Manure Business and School Garden Project” was in 2016 after the school identified a need to further support students’ learning needs by involving them in a practical yet meaningful project.
This genuinely collaborative community partnership is an excellent example of parent engagement benefiting student outcomes. Parents and Parishioners assist the project by sourcing shearing sheds for collection of manure and assisting with deliveries.
Mary Hull, teacher St Joseph’s Primary School Uralla, said “The sheep manure business has been a valuable learning tool. It connects the participating students to the community, the students have learnt how to express themselves in phone calls, conversations and letters of thanks. Most of all, it has contributed to their self-esteem and value of self-worth in being able to delve into a real-life project.”
In recognition of the high standard of submissions the judging panel recommended two new awards.
Congratulations to St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton recipient of the Highly Commended Award and St Joseph’s Primary School, Laurieton an Encouragement Award.
In 2019, the community of Mary Help of Christians Primary School, Sawtell, was the recipient of the award for their “Family Art Nights” initiative.
The school initiated its “Family Art Nights” with a goal of building community by connecting school families with each other, bringing them together by using art and food as a platform for conversation. Held in the winter months, the school found that these nights highlighted the value of family and the importance of spending time together, as well as being an avenue for parents to spend one-on-one time with their child. When the Nights were first introduced, the school was overwhelmed by the response from its families, with one of the very pleasing features being the participation of many fathers.
In 2018, the Award recipient was the community of St Philomena's Primary School, Bathurst for "The St Philomena's Student Engagement Project"
Based on the philosophy that student engagement is the gateway to learning, in 2018 St Philomena’s developed a whole-school approach to improving student engagement. The impact of the project was significant in creating a more settled environment for students, with the majority of parents reporting that they had noticed an improvement in their child’s engagement in their learning.
Other recipients have included St Bernard’s Primary School Batehaven for 'The Outdoor Tinkering Studio and Markerspace' and St Raphael’s Catholic School Cowra for the 'St Raphael’s Productive Food Garden'.