Ann D Clark Award

Applications closed. Congratulations to our winners!

Ann D Clark Award

Every day educators in the Parramatta Diocese demonstrate inspired leadership, making a positive impact on their students’ lives above and beyond the curriculum.

These initiatives change lives. They set the foundations for learning and increase wellbeing for children requiring the most assistance, helping them feel safe and supported in the school environment. 

Together with the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) and in the spirit of Ann D Clark, we wanted to recognise these projects with three $2,500 awards.

The 2019 Ann D Clark award winners are:

St Agnes Catholic High School, Rooty Hill - ‘Wellbeing Program’

The 6-tier program was implemented to address the mental health needs of students at the school. It has been successful in increasing the student’s sense of belonging and connection to others, while also helping them ‘connect back’ with their families and communities. Features include:

  • ‘Our Place’, a wellbeing space offering mindful multi-sensory approaches to refocusing and de-escalating the effects of trauma, depression and anxiety.
  • ‘Lunch Club’ for students and educators to model healthy eating.
  • ’Youth Frontiers’ mentoring program connecting indigenous students with local elders.

The program also offers a ‘Technology Crew’ lunch group, ‘Girls Resilience Group’ with the skills learned in turn being used in a new Big Sister mentoring program and a ‘Homework Club’ for students including those who have limited support at home.

St Finbar’s Primary School, Glenbrook - 'Learning Through Play'

Using children’s innate learning styles, the program challenges Stage 1 students to make sense of the world, learn and address conflicts through play.

The holistic program integrates cognitive, relationship and sensory experiences though seven zones, individually selected by students, which include dramatic play, construction, collage, science and nature, writing, reading and numbers.

Since the program was introduced positive impacts include:

  • 83% decrease in behavioural incidents.
  • Reduced emotional check-ins with students.
  • Inclusiveness for neuro-diverse students.
  • 2 band literacy increase in the most vulnerable students.

St Joseph’s Primary School, Kingswood - 'Shared Vision for Attendance'

With the need to improve attendance rates, St Joseph’s introduced a whole of school community approach. Tailored for each student’s needs, the program called on caregivers to help ensure good attendance and the children also rose to the challenge.

The positive changes were a result of:

  • Engaging an Attendance and Family Liaison Officer.
  • Rewarding attendance with praise, trophies, certificates and treats.
  • Positive praise for caregivers, and follow up calls if students are absent.
  • Each morning students are greeted with a smile and ‘thank you’ and surprise random morning activities to make school exciting, and much more.

Since the program was introduced, there has been an improvement in Naplan results, behaviour, safety and a more than 20% increase in attendance rates over the past four years.

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta logo

These schools will use their $2,500 award to undertake further training, upskill other staff and acquire further resources for their projects.