North Keppel Island EEC:
P&C of the Month for January 2019
North Keppel Island Environmental Education Centre received the “Inspiring P&C” Award, sponsored by YMCA OSHC, in the 2018 P&C of the Year Awards.
Because an environmental education centre (EEC) has no permanent students, the P&C is comprised of interested community members and teachers, rather than parents.
North Keppel EEC’s P&C operates on a weekend roster system, with volunteers travelling to the island to complete many and varied tasks to assist the school and maintain the natural amenity of the island, such as beach restoration and site maintenance. Volunteers are usually limited to a few each weekend, and occasionally a larger group is organised for more major projects.
P&C members (currently 52) have varied backgrounds and experiences but their common goals are to foster and nurture the natural amenity of North Keppel Island and provide assistance to the EEC to continue their environmental education of visiting students. Individual skills are utilised in different ways at the Centre e.g. organising guest speakers for students, or in one case the publication of the history of North Keppel Island.
Principal Roger Searl said, “The P&C extends the NKIEEC operation in the local community by being a community resource to build capacity in the understanding and implementation of sustainable development.”
“The contribution of the P&C to grounds work and maintenance is significant and provides a cost benefit. Winning of funding grants enables the acquisition of equipment, building extensions and other items that would not have otherwise been possible.”
Upper Brookfield State School:
P&C of the Month for December 2018
Upper Brookfield State School P&C was a Metro North Area entrant in the 2018 Awards.
Upper Brookfield State School is a small school with only 23 families making up the parent body. Currently there are 17 families represented by a parent P&C member, making 73% of the total parent body. The school’s mantra sits around the concept of Nurture the Nest: nurture self, nurture others, nurture the environment. The P&C’s involvement reflects the nurturing sense of community which is central to the school.
The school has a number of students with high needs and these families are both welcomed and supported by the P&C. Issues relating to inclusion – social events, sport, after school activities – are discussed with the need to nurture these families.
The P&C provides improved services to families and students both through direct funding and skills. In a small school it is a challenge to do this but its record speaks for itself.
School Principal, Aaron McDonnell, said “Arriving at Upper Brookfield State School at the beginning of 2018 it was immediately apparent that there is a close bond between the school, the P&C and the wider community. In a short walk around the school site, the physical thumbprint of the work of the P&C over a lengthy and sustained period of time is impossible to miss. The most eye-catching features are the beautiful grounds and the facilities that have only been possible due to the support and work of the P&C. From playgrounds, tennis courts, sitting areas, landscaping, gardens, pathways, sandpits and shade structures, the combined total input of the P&C has ensured that our students attend a school with a warm, engaging and aesthetically pleasing environment.”
Bulimba State School:
P&C of the Month for November 2018
Bulimba State School P&C was the Metro South Area winner in the 2018 P&C of the Year Awards.
The P&C has continued to focus on school and community engagement by organising events which not only raise funds for the school, but encourage wide participation from sponsors and attendees, such as the Inflatable Games, trivia night and the inaugural “Bulimba Burn and Christmas Markets”.
The P&C successfully secured sponsorship from a local business to enable us to invite Rebecca Sparrow to our school to deliver three sessions on “Our kids and the digital world”. The school was able to offer the sessions free-of-charge to Years 5 and 6 students, teachers, and a community forum in the evening. The invitation to attend was sent out to many other schools and organisations, with over 120 people participating in the evening session.
The P&C, school leadership team and parent volunteers, in conjunction with the State Government, have been working tirelessly to build a new pool facility at the school and have completed the design phase.
Principal Michael Zeuschner said “The Bulimba State School P&C Association has provided effective, responsive, consultative and planned support of our school in the areas of learning, infrastructure, services and community development.
Learning has been enhanced at our school through the P&C financial support and community engagement strategy. An example of this is the P&C STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) Sub-Committee, with the school, has been able to provide a range of in school and out-of-school hours digital technology sessions and entrepreneurial programs for students.”
Bell State School:
P&C of the Month for October 2018
Bell State School P&C was the Darling Downs South West Area winner in the 2018 P&C of the Year Awards.
In their nomination, the P&C said that they were “proud to be one of the four pillars that provides a firm foundation for the 85 students of our wonderful school. We join staff, the Student Council and the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) team to support our students to meet the school expectation to be Safe, Respectful and Active Learners.”
The P&C’s three-year business plan details projects such as an enhanced library/resource centre; active after-school programs; enhanced IT resourcing; enabling opportunities for learning; and becoming an e-kindy school. The P&C also runs major fundraisers/community events such as the Bell Triathlon which attracted 145 entrants in its first year, the Bell Bunya Trail Bike Ride and the Bell Community Christmas Party.
The school’s principal said, “The Bell State School P&C committee plays a very important and active role in our school … The hard work of the committee and volunteers allows all of our students to participate in events that require a significant amount of travel at a subsidised rate. Being in a small rural community, it’s vital that our students get the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of experiences through camps and excursions and the hard work and support of our P&C allows us to do that.”
Strathpine West State School:
P&C of the Month for September 2018
Strathpine West State School P&C were a North Coast entrant in the 2017 P&C of the Year Awards.
The School Principal said “The SWSS P&C Executive are an extraordinary group of individuals who work together as a team to lead the school parent community. They all have full-time employment, yet are able to find time to run the Outside School Hours Care program and organise and manage a range of events to support the family-oriented culture of the school.”
“Another feature of note is that the P&C executive team have built sustainability in their team. At the beginning of 2017 two executive members moved on and the P&C functioning has been seamless. The P&C executive are supported by a dynamic group of parents who work extremely hard to ensure the parent voice is heard and supported across the school.”
The P&C have provided facility enhancements and this year are committed to air conditioning the school. I have always found them to be supportive of me personally and absolutely committed to the supporting the students and families of the school.”
- Christmas concert and fireworks
- beautifying the front of the school – removing trees and bushes, building a new bus shelter shed and fence
- providing financial resources for the purchase of robotics equipment and school curriculum resources for students
- running the school shop (canteen and uniform)
- facility enhancements e.g. air conditioning all classrooms
- communicating with the parent community through the SWSS P&C Facebook page.
The Caves State School:
P&C of the Month for August 2018
The Caves SS P&C was the Central Queensland Area winner in the 2017 P&C of the Year Awards.
The Caves State School is a small semi-rural school with 61 families whose like-minded goal is for the foundation, education and safety not only of their child, but for the children in the whole school community. The school has an enrolment of 90 children, allowing the P&C to work closely with parents, keeping them regularly informed and up-to-date. The P&C has 35 members, which is an incredible effort for such a small school.
The P&C said “Our school has a very positive and friendly environment where our parents and school community are encouraged to openly voice their thoughts and ideas without fear of ridicule or judgement. This allows the P&C to work closely with staff and parents to foster a safe and supportive school community with one mutual goal; to nurture our children’s education today to help them become engaged and active members of our community tomorrow. We believe it takes a village to educate a child, and our parents and wider school community are an integral part of that.”
In their nomination form, the Principal said “Our P&C is invaluable. Without it, the connection between parents and the school would not be as good or effective. The Caves State School P&C works tirelessly to contribute to the school in many ways including but not limited to, financially, socially and with the curriculum. They also support our extra-curricular programmes.”
Mooloolaba State School:
P&C of the Month for July 2018
Mooloolaba SS were the North Coast winners and State P&C of the Year for 2017.
In their nomination, the P&C said “Collaboration and communication is the essential foundation to the success at MSS. We have a strong core of volunteers heading the executive committee, each with invaluable skill sets in different areas. We try to spread the workload and have different executives overseeing the different parts of the association i.e. OSHC and tuckshop. Each month the executives come together to discuss matters pertaining to their areas and brainstorm ways to move forward. Following this meeting the P&C President and the Principal meet to discuss these matters and school topics affecting parents and students. They also meet with a grants writer each term to discuss grant opportunities.”
“Important school matters are always communicated with the P&C and to the school community through both the school and P&C newsletters. Parents are always informed of and invited to attend our P&C meetings. If they are unable to attend, we welcome ideas, suggestions and feedback via the Class Rep system.”
Principal, John Turner, said “The dedication of Mooloolaba SS P&C Association is exemplary. The P&C consistently demonstrates outstanding care and support for both our school and our community. Greatly improved communication between parents, teachers, school administration and the school community, has further supported the effectiveness of school operations and these vital partnerships.”
“Strengthened support for the school with greater success in fundraising activities and community engagement, has directly resulted in increased resourcing for facilities and equipment leading to improved learning outcomes and pastoral care for our students.”
Atherton State High School:
P&C of the Month for June 2018
Atherton SHS P&C were a Far North Queensland entrant in the 2017 Awards.
In their nomination, the P&C stated that their engagement with the school community “begins early and is delivered on multiple fronts.”
“The P&C engages strongly with all transition events helping new students and parents orient to Atherton High. This includes presentations at transition evenings, school tours and providing resources in partnership with the school, for example, an information sheet on BYOX.”
The P&C also engages with the teachers and staff before the school year begins: “We present an interactive talk communicating the aspirations and expectations the community has of their school, their gratitude for the work teachers do and their desire to interact at all opportunities.”
In 2016/17, the P&C and the school collaborated on two new initiatives to enhance engagement – offering Zoom videoconferencing and encouraging and supporting development of a “Parent Masterclass”, a well-attended program that outlined how parents can best support their students in their learning.
According to the Principal, “the P&C is actively engaged in providing authentic feedback about the school’s strategic planning”.
“Through the development of a mature, honest and trusting relationship, the P&C provide real feedback which I can use to address issues.”
Magnetic Island State School:
P&C of the Month for May 2018
Magnetic Island SS P&C were the North Queensland Area winners in the 2017 Awards.
The P&C has developed a 5-year strategic plan with a clear vision for the school to provide “a positive, supportive and functioning school community that empowers children, teachers, parents and community members to contribute to the social fabric of the school …”
Key outcomes that the P&C has achieved in the first year of the strategic plan include:
- implementing a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program
- establishing a propagation and nursery area for growing plants
- installing a sensory “happy reading space”
- maths tuition for parents to help them support their children with homework.
P&C funds, including several grants, have been directed towards iPads and laptops, prep hats, bikes (for bike safety), and sports equipment and shirts for the rugby team, among other things.
The P&C has also increased the number of meetings they hold, going from the minimum of six meetings a year to monthly and, as a result, increasing the number of active members significantly.
“The Magnetic Island School P&C are very passionate and have worked very diligently to foster community support and look for creative ways to fundraise outside of the direct school population as well as within the school community”, the Principal said. “Magnetic Island State School is achieving great results and this is directly related to the great partnership between the school and P&C.”
Everton Park State School:
P&C of the Month for April 2018
Everton Park State School P&C were the Metro North Area winners in the 2017 P&C of the Year Awards.
The P&C is proud of the close-knit community at the school and its extremely engaged parent group. Their P&C meetings are a positive environment, where all attendees are encouraged to speak with candour.
P&C funds have been used to provide a POS system in the uniform shop, lunchtime games for Prep students, safety upgrades for the Special Ed Unit and art club resources. A substantial annual contribution is made for the school’s ongoing IT infrastructure improvement plan and a large grant was secured for a new music room.
Consistency in the P&C executive team has helped the school community and the P&C deal with the challenges of working with several principals over recent years. The executive team meets with the principal a week prior to each P&C meeting to discuss any current matters. This ensures that at the P&C meeting there is consensus on shared objectives and shows attendees there is clarity of strategy.
St Lawrence State School:
P&C of the Month for March 2018
St Lawrence State School P&C were a Central Queensland entrant in the 2017 P&C of the Year Awards. St Lawrence is a small school of fewer than 10 students.
The P&C is a key driver in the annual Xmas Fair, which is the largest event on the town’s calendar, with 150-200 people attending. P&C volunteers provide catering for many school and town events and host movie nights for the whole community. The P&C even held a sausage sizzle in Sarina, 1.5 hours’ drive from St Lawrence.
The new uniform implemented by the P&C has lifted standards and expectations within the school, and they have also introduced a new tuckshop menu, with a knife and fork meal each Thursday. The P&C provides support so that all students at the school have the opportunity to attend school camps with a cluster of other small schools across Central Queensland.
Principal James Morley said “The P&C have always been very dedicated and enthusiastic in providing opportunities for our school community to build and improve”.
Coomera Rivers State School:
P&C of the Month for February 2018
Coomera Rivers State School P&C were the South East Area winners in the 2017 Awards.
In 2017, Coomera Rivers State School was the second-largest primary school in the Queensland public system (Prep–Year 6) with just under 1400 students enrolled.
The P&C is very proud of its “army” of around 150 regular volunteers, plus a further 100 who work from home. All volunteers are inducted annually in child protection, school safety and behaviour in and around the school.
The P&C co-ordinates production of an annual school yearbook, conducts a biennial Community Fair, assists with a mammoth Christmas concert attended by more than 4000 people and celebrates each term with a Principal’s Breakfast for school families.
They also hold a range of parent forums on supporting student learning, run a buy-swap-sell Facebook page where families can buy and sell school items, and hold an annual trivia or bingo night for adults including baby-sitting.
Trinity Beach State School:
P&C of the Month for February 2018
Trinity Beach State School P&C (Tropical North Learning Academy) were the Far North Queensland Area winners in the 2017 P&C of the Year Awards.
The P&C works closely with the school principal and staff to enhance the learning and social environment for all students at the school. They actively contribute to educational programs, funding of projects and improvements within the school.
The P&C acknowledges that not all volunteers and supporters are interested in attending meetings and running events, and pride themselves on offering a variety of opportunities to allow the community to contribute.
In 2012, the P&C (in collaboration with the school leadership team and parents) developed its first strategic plan, which has provided long-term direction and focus and has improved systems and operations to ensure that P&C businesses are profitable.
The school principal said “Trinity Beach SS has been extremely fortunate to have passionate, professional, long-term P&C members who have worked tirelessly to improve outcomes and provide greater opportunity for our students, staff and families”.
The P&Cs below were are featured in our 2017 Queensland P&C Calendar, produced and sponsored by advancedlife school photography and print specialists.
Ipswich West State School:
P&C of the Month for November 2017
Ipswich West State School P&C were the Metro South Area Winners in 2016.
‘As a newly formed P&C (2016) with all new executive members, we connect with and engage parents, carers and the wider community, support and provide activities for students to have an interesting and fulfilling school life, and raise funds for school activities and improvement projects through a range of community activities and events.’
According to Principal Cate Whiting, ‘The P&C Association plays a vital role in ensuring school community satisfaction with our school and that our students have an active, fulfilling school life by providing input into school strategic planning and daily operations; organising engaging, memorable school experiences; creating a sense of community through parent and carer contact and events; representing parents, carers and the wider community; and providing financial support and resources to enhance our school.’
Toowoomba State High School:
P&C of the Month for October 2017
Toowoomba State High School P&C were the Darling Downs South West Area winners in the 2016 P&C of the Year Awards.
In their nomination, they told us that the P&C had been focussing on parent engagement, with strategies aimed at providing a welcoming environment and increasing communication. The P&C ensures that all new families receive a welcome folder which includes P&C contact details, information on volunteering opportunities, canteen menu and a fridge-magnet calendar. A parent lounge has been established, and the P&C operates a ‘parent tent’ at swimming and athletics carnivals, where P&C members greet parents and offer refreshments throughout the day.
The school’s Principal said that the P&C is a valued part of the Toowoomba SHS school community.
‘Our P&C support staff and students through a variety of activities and are strong and active advocates for school facilities. Their dedication to and support of our school is greatly appreciated and valued.’
Mango Hill State School:
P&C of the Month for September 2017
Mango Hill SS P&C were North Coast Area entrants in the 2016 Awards.
Their most successful fundraising and community event is an annual Mud Run. This event is a 2km obstacle course which, while designed for children, is open to all members of the public and is not restricted to people from the school. In 2016, participants were aged from 6 years old to over 60 and came from as far away as the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The event encourages community participation through sponsorship packages, food vending, entertainment, market stalls and of course participation in the event itself.
2016 P&C President Marcus Toyne said, ‘We also cross into the ‘mud runners’ community with Obstacle Racers Australia supporting our event through their website, event calendar and regular newsletter. This has our little school event sitting beside events such as The Stampede, Tough Mudder and Spartan Race. Since our first event in 2015, we have noticed an increase in these events running child-friendly versions and are proud to know we were among the first.’
Principal Tracy Egan said, ‘Mango Hill State School P&C Association is a vibrant, hard-working group who have played a vital role in the establishment of the school. As a new school which opened in 2012, the P&C have played a meaningful role in the school’s decision making regarding a wide range of issues, policies and operational matters. The beliefs, expectations and experiences of the parents has been a powerful influence on the direction and values of the school. They promote effective communication with the community and promote high expectations for student learning and development.’
Mount Samson State School:
P&C of the Month for August 2017
Mount Samson SS P&C were the North Coast Area winners in 2016.
In their nomination, the P&C said, ‘MSSS P&C actively promotes our community spirit. In our small school, we have 42 P&C general members with around one-third attending meetings. In addition, we have wonderful volunteers assisting in the classrooms, tuckshop and at school events, as well as running our uniform shop.’
Principal Angela Bell said ‘Perhaps the most vital role of the P&C in our school is their proven ability to think strategically and proactively to develop productive partnerships across the community. Through garnering business support as well as raising awareness of our school and its culture, Mount Samson is able to grow and thrive while achieving excellent academic outcomes. The P&C is heavily involved in daily in operations and works collaboratively with the Principal to discuss progress and concepts to further promote and better our school as a whole.’
McDowall State School:
P&C of the Month for July 2017
McDowall SS P&C were Metro North Area winners and overall state winners in the 2016 P&C of the Year Awards. Their nomination highlighted the emphasis that the P&C places on developing connections within the school community.
2016 P&C President Soraya Bews said, ‘We believe having our school families involved in the classroom or at P&C activities will allow them to more freely connect with our teachers, our Principal, and the school. We find that the more invested our families are, the more they take part in their child’s learning experience, which greatly benefits our children by improving their educational outcomes, and which in turn strengthens our entire community.’
‘We are always looking for ways to improve what we do and when we identified that our volunteers were being over stretched, we adjusted our fundraising model to reduce volunteer demand and fatigue, resulting in improved volunteer retention’, Soraya said.
Surfers Paradise State School:
P&C of the Month for June 2017
Surfers Paradise SS P&C were the South East Area winners in the 2016 P&C of the Year Awards. The P&C have actively encouraged participation of parents within school fundraising activities, school sporting events and at P&C meetings. An increase in parent support for the school has largely come from the establishment of a clear and open communication channels and a willingness to listen and share by school leaders and the P&C. The P&C acknowledge that the future success of the school is intimately tied to the interaction of parents and the community.
Longreach School of Distance Education:
P&C of the Month for May 2017
The P&C at the Longreach School of Distance Education are different to most P&Cs – they represent 70 geographically isolated families and 133 students who live across the expanse of Queensland’s outback.
Monthly meetings are conducted the way lessons are taught: over the phone, with 25-30% of families represented at each meeting. The P&C is structured to provide opportunities for as many people as possible to participate in decisions and discussion.
The school’s principal said, ‘The P&C are very proud of our school and are happy to share that pride through the efforts of the LSODE P&C Tourism subcommittee. The Tourism program is run voluntarily by P&C members and all funds raised are put back into the school. Recently this has included a new reading scheme, playground equipment, shade for play areas, camps and the successful Beds for Bush Kids campaign.’
‘Every action of the P&C is about improving the school – its facilities and resources, its operations (both strategic and operational) and importantly the school culture. This is for the benefit of the students currently enrolled and to leave a legacy for future families.’
P&C of the Month for April 2017
Denison SS P&C were the Central Area winners in the 2016 P&C of the Year Awards. In their nomination for the Awards, the school Principal said “Denison State School is very fortunate to have a very active P&C. All members of the school community are actively encouraged to make whatever contribution they can to the organisation and/or holding of events that enable the P&C to support the school. School community members support the P&C in an array of ways. Whether it is through the supply of donations, time, services or equipment all involvement is harnessed to ensure positive outcomes for the school and the children it serves.”
The P&C told us that they have more than doubled the number of P&C members over the last 18 months.
“We have built these friendships and working partnerships by:
- chatting with parents at pickup/drop off times about the school & events
- encouraging them to help out with ‘something they are good at’ opposed to something they know nothing about
- thanking them continuously through social media and personal thanks
- evoking a positive, physical presence at weekly parades and award ceremonies
- communicating to parents and teachers via school newsletter, social media, verbal communication and email.
Our relationship with the teachers and staff has grown and they support us in everything we do. They assist us wherever possible in our events and we return the favour with parental classroom support or teaching and learning resources.”
Chelona SS: P&C of the Month for March 2017
Chelona State School P&C were entrants in the 2016 P&C of the Year Awards. As part of their nomination for the Awards, the P&C told us:
Chelona State School is a small rural school situated about 15 km south of Mackay, set in a farming district. Currently there are approximately 90 children attending the school.
Chelona P&C has a very high number of parents involved in the P&C for a small school, with between 10 and 20 people attending monthly P&C meetings.
Chelona SS and the P&C pride themselves on community engagement, with activities including:
- Science Fair
- Nebo Rodeo fundraising event
- Inter-school sports events
- Big Board fundraising event
- School Awards and Xmas Party.
Principal Tonimaree Brown said “The Chelona SS P&C are absolutely phenomenal! We work so closely for our students’ wellbeing and academic outcomes and I’m privileged to be part of such an amazingly dynamic team.” According to the Principal, the P&C helped raise nearly $30000 through major fundraisers in the past 18 months.
Healy SS: P&C of the Month for February 2017
Healy State School P&C was awarded P&C of the Year for the North Queensland Area in 2016. Healy is a school of around 160 students in Mt Isa.
Principal David Hardy said “I feel extremely honoured to work alongside the dedicated and passionate members of our P&C”.
Some of the ways that the P&C contributes to the school are:
- weekly breakfast club
- weekly tuckshop
- fundraising through student discos, Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day stalls
- organising regular working bees to maintain the school grounds
- providing tokens of appreciation to staff (baked goods and notes of appreciation)
- consistent appearances at assembly, sports days and special events
- catering special events.
The P&C puts a strong focus on engaging parents and caregivers to be involved in any way they can. They believe that they will inspire more volunteers by recognising and valuing parents, caregivers and staff.
Malanda SS: P&C of the Month for January 2017
Malanda State School P&C was awarded P&C of the Year for the Far North Queensland Area in 2016. Malanda is a school of around 330 students on the Atherton Tableland.
The P&C actively looks for new & better ways to engage the school community. They have reviewed past activities and events and implemented new stategies to involve a broader cross section of the community through online registrations for volunteers, online tuckshop, google docs for ease of involvement for busy parents.
The P&C has found that by using new technologies, they have attracted new volunteers to help out with events and believe they are attracting more people to events through better information sharing via a Facebook page.
Principal Mark Allen said, “The relationship between the school and the community is incredibly strong, with genuine transparency of communication between the Principal and the P&C President.”