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Annual School Report (2013)

St Patrick's Primary School, Parramatta

Villiers Street, Parramatta NSW 2150
Principal: Miss Bernadette Fabri
Phone: 9630 1421
Fax: 9683 1910
Email: stpatricksparra@parra.catholic.edu.au
Website: http://www.stpatsparra.catholic.edu.au

Introduction

About the Annual School Report

St Patrick's Primary School is registered by the Board of Studies (New South Walesas a member of the Catholic system of schools in the Diocese of Parramatta.

The Annual School Report provides parents and the wider school community with fair, accurate and objective information about various aspects of school performance and development. The Report describes achievement of school development priorities in 2013 and gives information about 2014 priorities.

This Report is a legislative requirement under the Schools Assistance Act, 2008.

The information in this Report is complemented by the school website where other school publications and newsletters can be viewed or obtained from the school


Message from key school bodies

Principal

I am proud to present to you the 2013 Annual School Report for St Patrick's Primary School, Parramatta.

Children, parents, staff and pastors work together to make St Patrick's Primary School a welcoming and Christ-centred communityThe staff are committed to the provision of quality education and opportunities for all children in our care

Our vision is to be a child centred faith community within an innovative interactive learning environment. Our mission is to live out the gospel values in a visibly Catholic tradition; nurture students for Christian leadership; create a range of learning experiences which allow children to progress at their own level; assist our students to develop into independent thinkers with a deep sense of responsibility and justice; lead each individual toward reaching his or her potential; and generate a sense of community and compassion in which all experience belonging.

The school motto, Sub Tuum Praesidium, continues the Mercy tradition and forms a link with other Mercy schools.

Parent body

The school has an inviting and welcoming culture that enables parents to be involved in the daily life of the school by assisting in a variety of ways including:

  • classroom activities, small group support, in the library, gross motor activities, excursions, sporting and social events
  • working together in community groups such as fundraising, discos and social activities
  • attendance at parent forums held each term, focusing on issues relevant to the children, the school, and curriculum 
  • participating in parent training courses aimed at helping in the classroom in numeracy and literacy
  • attendance at masses, liturgies, assemblies, open days and student performances

We are kept informed by letters with details of special or important events, a weekly newsletter, class term newsletters and the school website. Student progress has been discussed through individual parent and teacher meetings and student-led parent and teacher conferences.

Student body

We have had many opportunities at St Patrick's Primary School to develop leadership skills through our involvement in the Student Council, Sports Council and Library Council. We contributed to the school by running assemblies; being good role models and supporting younger students; assisting teachers; welcoming visitors; representing our school; and organising activities like the handball competition and our Gala Day. We looked after the school gardens and kept our school environment safe. We participated in leading the Angelus, prayer at the end of each day and contributed as altar servers at mass. Many students belonged to the school choir, leading the singing at mass and performing at the local nursing home. We were also involved as a grade in a visit to the local nursing home.


Who we are

History of school

St Patrick's Primary School evolved from the first Catholic school in Australia, established by Father Therry in Hunter Street, Parramatta in 1820. In 1837 the school was relocated next to St Patrick’s Church. 

In 1874 the girls and younger boys were separated and taught in a building opposite the church when the Marist Brothers took responsibility for the older boys. The Sisters of Mercy from North Sydney, taught at the school from 1874 until 1888 when the Sisters of Mercy from Callan, Ireland, became responsible.

The school moved to a new building erected at the corner of Villiers and Ross Streets in 1926. The senior girls later moved to Westmead in 1966 to form Catherine McAuley Girls' High School. The primary school remained at the present site. The Sisters of Mercy handed the responsibility for the school to a lay principal in 1985.  

Since 2001 additional classrooms have been constructed and the remainder of the school, including the library and administration area, has been refurbished. Further improvements were made to a number of classrooms in 2009 through the Federal Government's Building the Education Revolution BER) program and a multi-purpose school hall was completed during 2010.

Location/drawing area

The school is located in Parramatta close to the business centre and draws on students from Parramatta, parts of North Parramatta and Oatlands. A number of Catholic families working in the Parramatta area also access the school. The school serves the parish of St Patrick's Cathedral. There are currently fourteen classes of boys and girls from Kindergarten to Year 6 and over 90 per cent of students come from a non-English speaking background.

Enrolment policy

St Patrick's Primary School follows the Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) document, Enrolment Procedures in Parramatta Catholic Systemic Schools, January 2002. This document can be obtained from the school office or is available on the CEDP website http://www.parra.catholic.edu.au/policy-central

Current and previous years' student enrolments

Year Boys Girls Total
2011                197                  212                409
2012                197                  222                419
2013                 193                  226                419

As our school is in a growing area, applications for limited vacancies in the lower grades are increasing as new families move into the area.  It is projected that this trend will continue in the future.

Characteristics of the student body

The table below shows the number of students in each of the categories listed.

Language Backgrounds other than English (LBOTE)* Student with Disabilities (SWD)* Indigenous
                    362                    10                    nil

School review and development

Annual school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority  Steps taken to achieve the priority Status of the priority (Achieved, not yet achieved, Ongoing, no longer a priority)
Our first priority was to continue developing students' mathematical learning and understanding. 
This priority was chosen derived from system goals and to continue improving student outcomes.
  • use of Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) strategies    
Achieved and ongoing
Our second priority was to to improve students' literal and inferential comprehension of text.  As above
  • using data to identify student needs, tracking progress and implementing appropriate strategies
 Achieved and ongoing
Our third priority was to build upon student and staff learning and understanding of prayer and spirituality.
As above 
  • professional learning through reading, analysis and reflection
  • the whole school praying the Angelus each day
Achieved and ongoing
Our fourth priority was to continue professional learning opportunities for all teachers to build upon effective teaching practice.
 As above
  • professional learning by team teaching, observation and critiquing peers  
  • professional reading and reflection
 Ongoing

Projected school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority
Steps to be taken to achieve the priority
Our first priority will be to continue developing staff understanding and use of Extending Mathematics Understanding approach to the teaching of Mathematics.
This priority was chosen as a result of being part of the Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta, initiative, Extending Mathematics Understanding program.
  • developing numeracy blocks from Kindergarten to Year 6 
  • investigating student data through the tracking and interpretation of student growth points
  • developing data walls using the data.
  • staff meetings to facilitate professional development of staff in this Key Learning Area
Our second priority will be to develop further the implementation of effective literacy strategies across all grades.
This priority was chosen as a result of the Diocesan Strategic Intent to improve student outcomes. 
  • implementation of a 100 minute literacy block across all grades
  • the implementation of the Diocesan Focus 160 strategies for literacy
  • the professional development of staff in the areas of literacy
  • the implementation of the English National Curriculum
Our third priority will be the formation of students and staff in the area of scripture.
This priority was chosen as a result of the Diocesan Strategic Intent to improve student outcomes.
  • professional development of staff in the effective use of theological background resources in units of work
  • the use of 'word walls' in the teaching of Religious Education
Our fourth priority will be to develop the use of Information and communication technology to support the teaching and learning process.
This priority was chosen as a result of the Diocesan Strategic Intent to improve student outcomes
  • the review of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) resources in the school
  • professional development of staff in the area of ICT and its use to support the teaching/learning cycle

Catholic identity

Prayer, liturgical life and faith experiences

Major events included:
  • significant celebrations such as masses celebrating the beginning of the school year, Ash Wednesday, Mothers Day, Feast of the Assumption, Fathers Day and End of Year Thanksgiving
  • liturgical celebrations during Catholic Schools Week, Holy Week, St Patrick's Feast Day, Sacred Heart Feast Day, ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, Advent and Christmas
  • student involvement, with music led by the choir and the whole-school community invited to each event 
  • Year 6 Retreat Day 
  • nursing home visits
  • daily class and weekly whole-school prayer to St Mary MacKillop for the recovery of a critically ill student

Weekly events included:

  • class attendance at parish masses
  • Reconciliation and grade liturgies
  • Monday morning assembly and prayer with parents and all students
  • end of day prayer led by student leaders
  • Friday school prayer at assembly led by individual classes using music, drama and dance
  • daily class prayer with students encouraged to contribute or organise the prayer
  • weekly staff prayer with each staff member invited to participate and to prepare prayer or a spiritual reflection
  • staff spiritual reflection day
  • classroom prayer focus
  • school foyer prayer focus with emphasis on liturgical seasons and saints' days
  • daily whole school praying the Angelus led by senior students

Social justice

Social justice initiatives included supporting the St Vincent de Paul Society through their Winter Appeal and with donations at the end of year; participating in the Lenten Appeal Project Compassion and other Caritas fundraising; choir and Year 6 visits to the local nursing home; and fundraisers for the Phiillipines Appeal and the Mountains Bushfire Appeal.

School, home and parish partnerships

School, home and parish partnerships were evident in: 

  • the involvement of parents and clergy in significant celebrations and special masses
  • weekly visits to classes by the school chaplain
  • class attendance at parish masses weekly; Reconciliation (Years 3 to 6)
  • students (Years 5 and 6) trained as altar servers for school and parish masses
  • after school youth group run by the school chaplain weekly (Years 5 and 6)
  • staff attendance at Confirmation, First Communion and graduation
  • support for the parish Sacramental program and links with the parish Sacramental coordinator
  • clergy and parent attendance at liturgies

Parents were involved in: 

  • completion of child protection training and training for classroom assistance
  • small group reading and sporting events
  • excursions
  • attendance at school functions and student performances
  • supporting social justice initiatives
  • working together fundraising for Mothers Day and Fathers Day
  • social activities, family discos, morning teas
  • organising a barbecue lunch at the school athletics carnival
  • parent attendance and participation at parent forums
  • parent/student/teacher goal setting meetings at the beginning of the year
  • student led conferences with parents and teachers as well as individual parent and teacher meetings during the year

Religious Education

Religious Education

The school follows the Sharing Our Story program of the Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta, and completes all units of work outlined in it. During the year they included:

  • Early Stage 1:  'God Loves Me' and 'God is our Creator'
  • Stage 1: 'Jesus is With Us' and 'Senses: A Gift from God'
  • Stage 2: 'Reaching Out' and 'The Bible: A Special Book'
  • Stage 3: 'Parables of Jesus' and 'Servant Leadership'

Religious Education is not confined to the Sharing Our Story program. Faith experiences are offered to students through many avenues, including: 

  • whole-school prayers, daily prayer in the classroom and end of day school prayer
  • class liturgies each Friday at whole-school assembly
  • primary students’ participation in Reconciliation liturgies and parish masses
  • whole-school liturgies during Holy week, St Patrick's feast day, Advent and Christmas
  • Year 6 Retreat program
  • memorial services such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day
  • social justice initiatives
  • visiting local nursing homes
  • support for the Lenten Appeal, Caritas and St Vincent de Paul Society

Professional learning of staff in Religious Education

One of our priorities for 2013 was to provide teachers with opportunities to deepen their knowledge and understanding of prayer and spirituality. They were engaged in professional learning sessions throughout the year which included an analysis of the Angelus prayer; reflection on the Gospel of Luke; and proceedings and implications arising from the second Vatican Council.

Opportunities were provided for teachers to:

  • facilitate prayer and spiritual reflections
  • administrate Religious Literacy Assessments
  • mark Part B
  • analyse results of Religious Literacy Assessments and implications for future planning

Learning and teaching

National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2013

Students in Year 3 and Year 5 across Australia participated in National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in May 2013. The purpose of this test is to provide information to parents and teachers about the achievements of students in aspects of Literacy and aspects of Numeracy. The test provides a measure of the students’ performance against established standards and against other students in Australia. Each year the results are analysed by the school to inform teaching with a view to improving student performance.

The Commonwealth Government sets minimum acceptable standards for literacy, numeracy, reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling at particular ages. These are referred to as national minimum standards. Band 2 is the minimum standard for Year 3 and band 4 is the minimum standard for Year 5. Student performance in NAPLAN in our school is compared to these standards. The percentages of students achieving at or above these national minimum standards, and the percentages of students in the top three bands are reported in the table below.

 % of students at or above national minimum standard% of students in top three bands
 SchoolAustraliaSchoolAustralia
Year 3:    
Literacy100.00 95.00 94.74 71.70
Numeracy100.00 95.80 85.96 62.00
Reading98.20 95.30 78.95 69.30
Writing100.00 95.00 96.49 75.40
Grammar and Punctuation100.00 95.30 92.98 73.40
Spelling100.00 93.90 84.21 67.40
Year 5:    
Literacy100.00 94.00 85.71 58.17
Numeracy98.20 93.40 69.64 51.70
Reading100.00 96.20 89.29 62.80
Writing100.00 91.70 78.57 51.90
Grammar and Punctuation100.00 94.80 87.50 61.50
Spelling100.00 93.10 83.93 58.30

Our students have achieved at a higher percentage level than the state and national average in all areas and have consistently performed above the state and national average for a number of years. Continuous focus on improving literacy and numeracy skills has enabled our mainly multicultural student body to attain pleasing Literacy and Numeracy results. 

Success in both Year 3 and Year 5 included a higher percentage of students than the state and national average in the two top bands in every area.

Year 3 achieved significant results in writing with 84.2% in the two top bands, in grammar and punctuation 80.7% and 75.4% and also in the two top bands in Literacy.

Year 5 achieved 71.4% in the two top bands in spelling and 64.3% in the two top bands in grammar and punctuation.

School curriculum

Board of Studies Key Learning Areas (KLAs) of EnglishMathematicsHuman Society and Its Environment (HSIE); Science and TechnologyCreative Artsand Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) are taught, as well as Religious Education.

Additional programs include:

  • support for children with a range of special needs and an individual plan (IP) to address their needs
  • literacy and numeracy support to provide opportunities for students to develop according to ability 
This allows a number of Language Backgrounds Other Than English (LBOTE) students, and students not supported by Special Learning Needs (SLN) programs, to succeed in small group teaching and learning.
  • cooperative teaching programs with teacher and librarian partnerships integrating information and computer skills with literature and the key learning area of HSIE
  • music involving the choir and a whole-school program 
  • Life Education - an external program
  • Physical Education programs:
    • Gross Motor program for Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2
    • physical education skills development for all students
    • an external Gymnastics program taught by skilled teachers to all students
    • Cricket NSW Skills program for all students
    • an external Dance program taught by skilled teachers to all students 

Kindergarten Orientation program:

Children met the Kindergarten teachers and participated in a variety of activities over a two week period in November before enrolment. Parents were invited to an initial information meeting with a follow up meeting early in term 1 this year.

Liaison with feeder high schools:

  • Years 5 and 6 students visited feeder high schools
  • feeder high school staff and Year 7 students visited St Patrick's Primary School  
  • links were established with Year 7 coordinators and learning support teachers to facilitate transition to high school for high needs students

Students with specific needs entering Kindergarten and other grades:

  • Individual Plans (IP) were developed in collaboration with the parents, class teachers, and the learning support teacher.
  • The child was supported in class by the learning support teacher, class teacher and teachers aide.

The school has been involved in a number of co-curricular activities. These include: 

  • International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) in Mathematics, English, Science, and computer skills
  • Year 6 Maths Olympiad
  • 'Labs on Legs' incursions
  • Voice of Youth
  • Zone and Diocesan swimming, cross country and athletics carnivals
  • Milo Cricket competition
  • Our Lady of Mercy College drama presentations
  • various excursions linked to curriculum units such as Forestry Commission and Parliament House

Initiatives to promote respect and responsibility

Our Student Management policy promotes respect, responsibility, cooperation and caring, and all students are challenged to strive in the following areas:

  • Honour ribbons are presented each week, focusing on these four valuesgospel values and Australian school values.
  • Values are promoted on a display board and beatitudes on posters.
  • 'Never give up, Encouraging other, Do your  best' (NED) awards were presented each week to children who 'never gave up', 'encouraged others' or 'did their best'.
  • At the end of each term citizenship awards were presented.
  • 'Faith in Actionencourages individual and grade support for various charities, teaching the children to relate to others in need and become involved in community service.
  • Senior students 'buddy' with younger students to support them and provide good role models.
  • Senior students also have a variety of responsibilities through membership of the school student council, sports council, library council, environment and communication teams

Parent satisfaction with the school

During 2013, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta engaged insight SRC to conduct the Quality Catholic Schooling (QCS) survey to provide feedback from parents, students and staff about our school. This survey will be conducted annually.

The QCS data collected and reported showed that our parents highly valued Catholic Culture and parish involvement. There was a positive relationship between parent and student perceptions of importance, opportunity, and compassion.

Approval was high for community engagement, reporting, school improvement, learning focus, stimulating learning, student motivation and student connectedness to peers.

Student satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that the students gave Catholic culture high importance. This reflected a positive relationship between student, parent and staff perceptions of importance, opportunity, compassion and parish involvement.

Student motivation remained in the top 25% and was a strong factor in student attitudes. Connectedness to school, teacher empathy, purposeful teaching, and stimulating learning and learning confidence were positive.

Teacher satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that Catholic Culture including parish involvement, opportunity, compassion and importance were rated highly by the staff indicating a positive relationship with parent and student perceptions. 

They ranked our school as having supportive leadership with a balance between empathy and clarity.

They were energized and passionate about their work individually, with commitment and motivation. Curriculum processes and student motivation were perceived as strengths.

Workforce composition

Category
Number of Staff
Number of teachers who hold teaching qualifications from a higher education institution within Australia or as recognised by AEI-NOOSR*.
 26
Number of teachers who have a bachelor degree from a higher education institution within Australian or within AEI-NOOSR* guidelines but lacking formal teacher qualifications.
 0
Number of teachers who do not have qualifications as above but have relevant successful teaching experience or appropriate knowledge relevant to their teaching context.
 0
Number of teachers accredited to teach Religious Education
 23
Number of teachers currently undertaking accreditation to teach Religious Education
 1
Number of non-teaching staff (includes teachers aides)
 4
Percentage of teacher who are Indigenous  0

*Australian Education International - National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition

Professional learning

Professional learning undertaken by staff in 2013 included:

  • EMU - trends from Mathematical Assessment Inventory (MAI) testing and coding, benchmark, tracking, and data
  • EMU strategies for multiplication and addition
  • Australian National Curriculum - English theory and action
  • Australian National Curriculum - Mathematics
  • certification of Higher Levels of Accreditation
  • Primary Connections - Science
  • Numeracy Block - criteria for success
  • Literacy Block
  • Running Records - analysis
  • case management implementation
  • Putting FACES on the Data
  • interpreting Progressive Achievement Tests in Reading (PATR) Data
  • interpreting and analysing QCS data 
  • resourcing for the Australian curriculum
  • Google apps for education
  • workplace health and safety
  • child protection training
  • budget preparation
  • anaphylaxis management
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation 
  • building digital collections

Teacher attendance and retention rates

Teacher attendance

The average teacher attendance for 2013 was 93.38%.

Teacher retention

Of the 2013 teaching staff, 100%  were retained from 2012.

Student attendance rates

Percentage of student attendance by Year level and school average:

Kindergarten Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 School Average
 96.75  96.96  96.92  96.84  96.75  95.67  96.80  96.67

Managing non-attendance

Regular attendance at school is essential if students are to maximise their potential. Schools, in partnership with parents and guardians, are responsible for promoting the regular attendance of students. The compulsory schooling age is 6 to 17. Parents and guardians are legally responsible for the regular attendance of their children, explaining the absences of their children in writing within seven days to the school, and taking measures to resolve attendance issues involving their children. School staff, as part of their duty of care, monitor part or whole day absences. They maintain accurate records of student attendance, follow up unexplained absences through written and verbal communication, implement programs and practices to address attendance issues when they arise, and provide clear information to students and parents regarding attendance requirements and the consequences of unsatisfactory attendance. The principal or their delegate may grant permission for late arrival at school or early departure from school, leave, or exemption from attendance only in individual cases, on written request from parents and guardians. The principal/delegate will undertake all reasonable measures to contact parents promptly if an unexplained absence occurs. If truancy is suspected, the principal will contact the parents/guardians to ascertain the reason for the absence. If a satisfactory response is not received, the matter will be referred to Catholic Education Office staff for follow up.

Pastoral care of students

Student welfare, discipline and anti-bullying policies and pastoral care

The school has a Student Management policy and practice and an Anti-bullying policy that together create an atmosphere of total care within our school community

They include:

  • pastoral care of children
  • a positive approach to the management of children
  • procedural fairness and natural justice as a basic right
  • support of parents in their role as primary educators of their children
  • strategies for children to address any attempted bullying 
  • empowering children to be responsible for their own behaviour and actions; to be able to identify inappropriate behaviour; make positive choices and modify actions
  • a statement on Student Rights and Responsibilities

The policies and processes aim to:

  • develop happy, confident, self-directed children able to deal with life's challenges
  • create a strong school identity where the individuality and diversity that each child brings is valued
  • provide an environment where pastoral care and Christian values are nurtured
  • teach children to be responsible, respectful, caring and cooperative
  • change unacceptable behaviour to positive actions  
  • create an awareness of the relationship between each child's rights and responsibility to others

The success of our policies is evidenced by the low level of serious behaviour problems and the willingness of the children to support the few with challenging behavioursParents are engaged in discussion of this policy at parent forums.

There has been no change in the policies and practices in the past year.

The full text of student management and pastoral care policies can be obtained from the school office.

Complaints and grievances policy

The school has formal written protocols in place to address complaints and grievances. These protocols are in line with the Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta Complaint Handling policy. A copy of the school policy is available from the school office or is available on the CEDP website http://www.parra.catholic.edu.au/policy-central. There were no changes to the policy during this year.

Financial statement

School recurrent and capital income

School recurrent and capital income

In 2013 St Patrick's Primary School received $81,958.00 as interest subsidy.

Our school community is appreciative of the support it received from the NSW State Government under the Interest Subsidy Scheme and looks forward to the implementation of the Building Grants Assistance Scheme as these are of vital importance to the ongoing wellbeing of this school.

Fees relate to diocesan and school based fees, excursions and other private income from fundraisers.

State relates to State Recurrent Grants including per capita funding, interest subsidy and special purpose grants.

Commonwealth relates to Commonwealth Recurrent Grants including per capita funding and special purpose grants.

Capital relates to Government Capital Grants including monies received under the Building Education Revolution.

Other refers to Other Capital Income including drawdowns from the Diocesan School Building Fund to fund Capital Expenditure.

School recurrent and capital expenditure

School recurrent and capital expenditure

Salary refers to the total of all Salaries, allowances and related expenses such as superannuation, workers compensation and leave.

Non-Salary refers to all other Non-Salary Recurrent Expenses.

Capital refers to Non-Recurrent Capital Expenditure including School Buildings, Furniture and Equipment.


 
   
  
  
   
  
 

Policies

St Patrick's Primary has a number of school-based policies and procedures that govern various aspects of our School life. These provide the framework within which we operate.

The Catholic Education Office, Parramatta Diocese also provides advice and recommendations on educational and administrative policies and priorities, and monitors policy implementation.

Policies

  • St Patrick's Primary has a number of school-based policies and procedures that govern various aspects of our School life. These provide the framework within which we operate.

    The Catholic Education Office, Parramatta Diocese also provides advice and recommendations on educational and administrative policies and priorities, and monitors policy implementation.

  • View Policies
 
   
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