Browns Plains State High Awarded for State Excellence
Principal Ben Ward, Dean of Students Megan Armbruster, Deputy Principal Venesa Comino

Browns Plains State High Awarded for State Excellence

Browns Plains State High School was presented with the QSuper Showcase Award at the annual 2021 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools last week, for state excellence in secondary years. 

Qsuper’s Chief Financial Officer John Seccombe made the announcement that Browns Plains High School won their sponsored excellence award, during the virtual presentation on November 5, hosted by the Queensland Department of Education.

Deputy Principal Venesa Comino says she and her fellow staff from the school were ecstatic when Mr Seccombe announced their school as the winners, beating Morayfield High School. 

There was dancing in the hallways when we found out. We were watching online, celebrating and sending lots of messages to each other and hi-fiving,” Deputy Comino said. 

“It was very affirming.” 

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The moment Browns Plains State High School were announced as the winners

The school was affirmed for the results of their Attitude to Learning Program (ATL) designed to encourage students to take ownership of their own learning with an emphasis on respect, positive reinforcement and early intervention.

It’s an engagement program that records students and provides inspiration for students to do well when they are engaged at school, particularly in the classroom,” Deputy Comino said.

They can get a score from plus three to minus three depending on how engaged they are in class.

“We wanted to make sure that students were optimally engaged in class and we wanted to provide a system that rewards them for that.”

Deputy Comino says the ATL program has had a tangible positive impact on the students’ learning process so she knew it would make a strong case for the award. 

“The level of engagement that comes through in ATL really shows you what can be achieved and is being achieved at this school,” Deputy Comino said.

“We knew that we had made extremely strong gains in behaviour outcomes, academic outcomes and overall engagement outcomes through the data so we knew we were a strong contender to put in a strong submission and it would be very competitive,” Deputy Comino said.

Dean of Students Anton Lombardo says since the ATL program was implemented at the school in 2018, there has been a particularly noteworthy increase in student academic performance. 

“We have an award here we call the diamond award. Those are for our students exceeding quite well here at our school. So the criteria for that means they need to get five A’s in their academic subjects, and 10 excellences across their effort and behaviour,” Dean Lombardo said.

“In 2018, before the program was implemented, we had 25 students across the school receiving that award. Since the program was implemented we’ve had 42 students receive those awards.”

Deputy Comino wants to say thanks to all staff, students and people who took the ATL on board and rolled with it. 

“We’d certainly like to thank Q-Super for sponsoring the award. In particular we need to recognise our principal Blair Hanna, our deans of students Megan and Anton and all of the teachers in the school that have pulled together as one whole team to move forward in the same direction,” Deputy Comino said.

“When the ATL was created it was certainly not made mandatory for everyone to take up but everyone has taken that up and assigned those points every lesson. 

“It’s just part of the school’s culture now, so everybody needs to be thanked.”

Browns Plains State High also produces astounding Naplan results with over 97 percent of Year Seven and Nine students achieving above the national minimum standard.