Higher school attendance leads to better outcomes for students, and for two hard-working North Queensland schools it also leads to the title and spoils of Try for 5! school attendance challenge winners!
Bloomfield River State School and Heatley State School have proven to be leaders when it comes to improving school attendance, announced as 2021 Cowboys Try for 5! challenge winners and the proud new owners of a framed, team-signed Cowboys jersey.
Both schools topped their challenge leaderboards, at the end of a long school year which saw students, families and schools continue to face some unique challenges.
While prizes were awarded to individuals and families during the challenge year, the major end-of-year jersey prize is presented to the schools that achieve the highest improved attendance rates to hang proudly in their halls.
The change in average attendance compared to their average attendance for the previous year for each participating challenge school was measured and tracked on a leaderboard week by week, term by term, to find the overall annual winners.
Two in a row for Heatley
It’s the second consecutive year that Heatley State School has won their challenge, supported by Aon.
Their jersey was presented by North Queensland Toyota Gold Star Romy Teitzel, as a further reward for students who put in a massive effort to take first place.
Aon client executive Sam Hoare, who was also on hand to help hand over the jersey, said the Try for 5! message reflects their values and beliefs of being the best version of yourself.
“We connect with the Try for 5! program due to its meaningful outcomes of increasing school attendance in our community,” he said.
“To always attend school, get the rewards and be the best version of themselves in any career you choose.
“It’s about seeing the smiles on all the children’s faces, and also helping them to realise that if you want something bad enough that you have to work at it every day.”
Heatley State School took the title over Townsville West State School (2nd) and Wulguru State School (3rd) in the Aon Challenge.
Bloomfield River wins FNQ honours
Meanwhile, in Far North Queensland, Bloomfield River State School came home strong to take out their challenge, supported by the Australian Government and Regional Express (REX).
Former Cowboy Gavin Cooper presented their framed jersey for a well-deserved win!
Bloomfield River finished ahead of Western Cape College – Mapoon (2nd) and Cairns West State School (3rd).
School attendance is a community effort
The Cowboys Try for 5! program is designed to address short and long-term impacts of students missing foundation learning in their primary years through poor school attendance.
The program rewards individuals, families and schools for their attendance record during the challenge period and engages school communities using club ambassadors.
Cowboys Chief Community & Government Relations Manager Fiona Pelling commended all 15 challenge schools for their participation and effort in the program through 2021.
“The last couple of years have presented significant challenges for a lot of people, so to see that students are still being inspired to get up and get to school five days per week is encouraging to all of us,” she said.
We know that going to school is key in getting a good education and having a brighter future, and it’s great to be able to use rewards and incentives to show that making the effort can reap rewards through all stages of life.
“This is a program that requires buy-in not only from students, but also parents and teachers to encourage them to aim high and try for five days per week, and we thank the whole community for their support in getting these kids through the school gates every day.”
The Try for 5! program is partnering with 14 schools across North Queensland in 2022 with the support of the Australian Government and Regional Express (REX).
2022 Try for 5! schools:
- Balaclava State School
- Bloomfield River State School
- Cairns West State School
- Cooktown State School
- Garbutt State School
- Heatley State School
- Townsville West State School
- Townview State School
- Vincent State School
- Western Cape College – Weipa
- Western Cape College – Mapoon
- Woree State School
- Wulguru State School
- White Rock State School