1 ST MARY S MEMORIAL SCHOOL Glenelg, South Australia 2017 SCHOOL ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY
2 ST MARY S MEMORIAL SCHOOL St Mary s Memorial is a Reception to Year 5 Catholic parish school in Glenelg. The school can be traced back to 1869 and was run for some thirty-four years by the Sisters of St Joseph. The Dominican s took over the conduct of the school in 1903 and remained until the appointment of the first lay principal in St Mary s Memorial School s philosophy draws on the rich tradition of both the Josephite and the Dominican Sisters with its deep respect for the uniqueness of the individual child, and its emphasis on justice and equity with all that this means for programs and pedagogical style. The majority of our students continue their education at Marymount and Sacred Heart Middle Colleges. Some students go to Cabra, St Mary s (Franklin Street/City) and St Aloysius Colleges. Today, more than ever, there is a growing awareness of the need for education that is grounded in values and explicitly teaches wellbeing skills. In times of rapid change, our school is providing students with education which will empower them to take their place in the world as spiritual, moral, well integrated persons. St Mary s Memorial School offers a 'values added' education and our curriculum teaches values generating fundamental attitudes of respect and courtesy to each other and a sense of responsibility to oneself, others and the school community. St Mary s Memorial School strives to promote positive attitudes and prepare students for a life of purpose, fulfilment and meaning. Today, St Mary s Memorial offers broad learning experiences for all students; which includes specialist teachers in The Arts (Visual Art, Dance, Drama and Music), Science, LOTE-Japanese, Physical Education and Research Based Learning. St Mary s Memorial School is also investing energy, time and resources to develop a whole school Wellbeing Program based on the science of Positive Psychology. We believe that the wellbeing of each student is vital for their personal and academic success. This is central to our school s mission to enable each student to be the best they can be throughout life. St Mary's Memorial School is a Catholic school within the Dominican tradition of teaching and spiritual ideals. Our school is a place where God is named and recognized and gospel values are lived. Each member of the school community shows the presence of Jesus in our world through growth in love and a search for knowledge. Our school emphasises the importance of growing in faith and in our response to community needs. This involves a reciprocal commitment of children, parents, staff and parish community. Our vision is to - educate; be a welcoming Christian community; to provide contemporary and transformational educational experiences that also promote wellbeing; and where all students flourish. As a result we strive to - foster a safe, caring and happy learning environment in which children are challenged to achieve their full potential in the spirit of Jesus within the Catholic tradition; provide a continuing, holistic education striving for excellence in spiritual, academic, social and physical development; enable every student to be the best they can be throughout their life; invite families to join with staff to educate for participation in Church and world communities, in an atmosphere of belonging, where individuality is respected and justice and equity encouraged; prepare children for the challenges at and beyond their education at St Mary's Memorial School. LEARNING St Mary s Memorial school has a strong emphasis on Literacy and Numeracy, enhanced through the use of Information Communication Technologies. We offer a comprehensive education with enormous breadth, and one that promotes values, wellbeing and builds character.
3 As a learning community, we believe that the best environment for learning exists where a sense of belonging is valued, where excellence in effort and achievement is recognised and where students develop independent learning skills and take full advantage of educational opportunities. At St Mary's Memorial we aim to do this by - guiding and supporting the total development of the individual student, religious, social, emotional, intellectual, physical, aesthetic and spiritual; promoting a deep sense of appreciation of and responsibility for the natural environment; providing a curriculum which is inclusive, comprehensive and challenging; promoting critical and creative thinking; developing skills in responsible decision-making; utilising strategies of teaching and learning which empower the learner; providing a safe and stimulating physical environment conducive to maximising student learning; encouraging the personal and professional growth of the staff and promoting sharing of ideas and talents; cultivating the skills necessary for finding personal meaning and leading a productive life as a community member. Staff are committed to - providing a stimulating and challenging curriculum which links faith and culture; promoting our school as a place of learning and excellence; achieving continuous improvement in student learning outcomes; creating opportunities to apply new learning; measurable educational goals for students identified as underachieving; making creative use of available resources; embracing the privilege and challenge of teaching in a Catholic school. Curriculum planning is continuous and evolves from the Australian Curriculum, National Initiatives, System Initiatives and priorities within St Mary's Memorial School. The school challenges each student to create - individual performance targets for literacy and numeracy; a personal relationship with Jesus; a love of learning and of life; respectful relationships that will enhance community life; a world that embraces justice and equity; a respect for the environment; confidence embracing their life at and beyond St Mary s Memorial School. Bearing in mind our school vision and philosophy, it is the policy of this school to maintain a high quality of learning for all students. In order to do this we will provide a range of learning experiences, which will - assist students to improve their own learning; promote excellence in learning; develop their self-esteem, confidence and independence; develop competence in basis skills. The assumptions about student learning, which underlie these guidelines, are that - all students are capable of learning; curriculum, which is comprehensive, will extend and develop the abilities of each student; learning can be fostered best in a socially supportive environment, which promotes success for every student; students come from different backgrounds and learn at different rates and in different ways; student self-esteem and confidence are central to student learning; students need regular feedback about their learning performance in order to improve their learning. In all classes there are students of differing ability. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all students by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies, such as - setting common tasks that are open-ended and can have a variety of results; setting tasks of increasing difficulty where not all children complete all tasks; grouping children by ability and setting different tasks for each group; providing a range of challenges through the provision of different resources;
4 using additional adults to support the work of individual children or small groups. Each learning experience in the different learning areas is focused on giving every child the support they require, whatever their needs, abilities, background or circumstances. As such these outcomes tie in closely with the emerging emphasis on individual/personalised learning. An individual/personalised approach to learning supports students by - Tailoring learning to the needs, interests and aspirations of each individual learner; Tackling barriers to learning and allowing each student to achieve their potential.
5 PRINCIPAL S REPORT 2017 was a very exciting and successful year which provided many different learning opportunities to our students. Throughout the year we explored how we, as a learning community, can build responsible and independent learners who have input into their learning opportunities. We focused on the following questions - How do we ensure that our students are at the centre of everything we say and do? How can we help our students to be more engaged for their learning and wellbeing. With those questions in mind, this Annual Report provides a brief outline of some of our achievements in We began the 2017 school year with 269 students across Reception to Year 5. Forty nine new Reception students and two students between Year 1 to Year 5 joined our school community. STAFF DIMENSION Staffing Initially, there were some staff changes that were made before students returned to school changes that were completely out of our control. Ms Kate Brereton was replaced by Mr Ben Williams; who was appointed to the Year 1 teaching position. Parents in the Year 1 class were originally informed that Ms Claudia Howell would be their child s class teacher (in 2016); however, the decision was made to relocate Claudia into the Year 2 class (where Kate was teaching) due the number of students with targeted special learning needs. Mrs Laura Harris, was also appointed to St Mary s Memorial School to teach in the Year 3/4 class. Laura was teaching at St Augustine s Catholic Parish School, Salisbury for the previous two years. Laura comes with a sound background in Positive Education. Mr David Anderson was appointed as a part-time Curriculum Education Support Officer, working predominantly across the Year 4/5 classes; supporting two CESA funded special learning needs students, as well as other students. Staff Days The three mandated staff days before the students returned to school were targeted to set the staff up to experience another successful learn. The essential and required Administration Staff Meeting began the first staff day, when all staff members were presented with the following information and documentation Staff Procedures Handbook; Supervision Policy and Procedures; Protective Practices For School Staff In Their Interactions With Students; Work Health and Safety Issues such as Code of Conduct, Stress Management, Risk Assessments, Hazardous Situations & Reporting, Manual Handling and Voice Management; Curriculum information focus; etc. On the second day, two Dominican Sisters from Cabra, presented the Dominican Charism; a refresher for some staff members; an introduction for others. St Mary s Memorial School was associated with the Dominican congregation for many years; and therefore, our school values emanate from the charism of the religious congregation. The morning presentation was opportunity to conceptualise our core values in terms of the Dominican charism; to strengthen our distinctive Catholic identity. We acknowledged that as a staff and school we need to better identify, nurture and promote our unique charism to ensure that future generations also recognise the characteristics and continue to value what make St Mary s Memorial School a Catholic school. The experience also proved to be a valuable history lesson regarding the Dominicans in Glenelg. The teaching staff then participated in a session that focused on Growth Mindset and Mathematics. We further investigated the impact that Maths Anxiety has on the lives of some adults and students. Growth Mindset Mathematics is an approach to teaching mathematics which believes that mindset is more important than initial ability in determining the progress made by students in their mathematical understanding. Fundamentally, all students can learn and be successful in mathematics. Students need to have a growth mindset where they value mistakes and see them as opportunities for brain growth and learning. We continued to explore this area throughout the school year. On the third day, Ash Manuel from Growing With Gratitude presented his program that was developed locally; and that supports our whole school endeavour to develop a positive culture. (Gratitude is one of the important Character Strengths that individuals need to develop in order to develop happiness within themselves and others.) The program is linked with the Australian Curriculum (ACARA): Health and PE and the Personal, Social and Physical Education Scope & Sequence (PSPE) and also follows the PERMA guidelines. The afternoon session was specifically designed for staff wellbeing. Using the PERMA model; focusing on accomplishment, the staff engaged with Mark Archer from the local Guardian Bakery to make their own loaf of bread. It was a great opportunity to learn from a craftsman how to make something for yourself using very basic ingredients. The experience was cathartic; having to continually knead and manipulate what was essentially a living substance.
6 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION DIMENSION Religious education at St Mary s Memorial is not confined to Religious Education teaching and learning experiences. Christ is at the centre of all of our endeavours. As a learning community joined together in faith we aim to bear witness to Christ s vision and values in all aspects of school life. In doing so, we extend our formal religious education to include Class Mass at Church and Whole School Liturgies. With the support Mrs Judy James (Religious Education Coordinator) classroom teachers have prepared and participated in some inspiring and thought-provoking liturgies throughout the year. Special thanks to Father Anthony Kain for his spiritual guidance and nurturing disposition. The reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation was a highlight in the lives of many of our students. A great deal of preparation preceded the reception of these sacraments. Special thanks to the Parish Team for facilitating and supporting our students and their families. A major focus of our Religious Education professional learning this year has been the faith formation of the staff. The staff have attended reflection days which have been designed to both inform and nurture their personal faith. The professional learning days included opportunities for personal reflection in combination with small group discussions. Staff Religious Education Professional Learning days included - Catholic Spirituality and Positive Psychology which was facilitated by Julian Kluge CESA Religious Education Consultant. Initially, Julian posed the poignant question: Does our work in positive psychology and education connect with Religious Education or does it just float as a separate entity? Throughout the day, he worked with the staff to connect the dots and revealed how Jesus is at the very core of positive education. Positive psychology is grounded in free will and God s Grace. Our happiness is grounded in the good of the community; the harmony in relationships. The heart of the Tradition is what makes us human. It is our responsibility to talk God when we talk character strengths, positive relationships/ emotions, and growth mindsets. The result is: Flow and Flourishing in a Faith context. The concept of Flow sits inside the Gospels. The concept of Flourishing celebrates our God-given talents. Julian brought the day to close with Christian meditation, relating the benefits of mindfulness and letting Silence be a power. Dominican Spirituality facilitated by Annette Jarratt, a Faith Formation CESA consultant was the second day, later in the school year. Annette was a past student at St Mary s Memorial and continued her education at Cabra Dominican. She is very passionate about the Dominican order and this passion was evident throughout the day, as she talked about Saint Dominic, his life and his contemplative life-style. Annette has travelled the paths of Dominic, and the staff were taken (by power-point) to France and Spain, seeing the house where Dominic lived and the first monastery he set-up for his Order of Preachers. YEAR 4/5 CHRISTMAS MARKET OF HOPE Using real-world examples and tackling real-world problems as teaching strategies in the classroom can make learning about important issues more meaningful to students, and it can help spark excitement in learning. There is research to support the value of authenticity when students are engaged in teaching strategies that use real-world problems and scenarios. Not only does it make it more meaningful for students, but they become engaged in learning and become more aware of the choices they make in society. On that foundation, Mr Mark Nelson and Mr Ben Regester gave their Year 4/5 students (and the Year 4 students from Mrs Laura Harris and Mrs Julie Pike s classes) the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to a real-world challenge/conundrum raising funds for chosen charitable associations. There were many ways that the students could have approached this; at first looking at the local environment and government, and diving into any of the associated problems that they could identify. Students eventually chose to be proactive and make a difference this Christmas; making and collecting goods to sell to the wider school community (and hopefully beyond too). The Christmas Market of Hope was a collective decision; the funds would then be distributed amongst a variety of charity groups (including the Progeria Research Foundation). By taking a closer look at each of the groups that were identified as recipients of the money raised, students were being engaged in topics that affect, and matter to them. Bringing real-world experiences into the classroom is a great way to give students a memorable experience that they can always take with them. One of the principle learning intentions was to create an authentic experience that would help students engage in their learning more. Students were all actively involved in designing a product, researching the chosen charity, running a business (the stall at the market) which included managing a budget and money, and helping those less fortunate. The students collected $3,000 that was then divided and allocated to the charity groups. When the classrooms eventually returned to their blissful conventional state, the students would reflect and evaluate the complete experience.
7 Special thanks to the Parents and Friend Committee, who graciously supported the teachers and students in this endeavour. Their assistance on the afternoon/evening of the event greatly contributed to the overall success of the market. CURRICULUM DIMENSION Literacy Spelling Mrs Cathy Regester facilitated a number of whole staff and Year level group information sessions to implement the Words Their Way program across all Year levels (a word study guideline for phonics, vocabulary and spelling instruction). It is a developmental spelling program which has students work with level-appropriate word sorts in order to improve their understanding of the written language. Word sorts are simply a set of words which fall into certain spelling, sound, or semantic categories. One of the keys to the Words Their Way program is the fact that students are given the task of making sense of words on their own terms. Like scientists or detectives, the students are looking for patterns in spelling and sound in order to categorize words. Words Their Way does not teach spelling rules which we all know have so many exceptions in English. It instead offers opportunities for hands-on, developmentally appropriate word work which leads to a greater understanding of our spelling system. Essentially, the Words their Way program is a hands-on / students learn as they do approach which has demonstrated (from research and feedback) great results for a students of all levels of ability. Research has also shown that a spelling program that does not differentiate at all, and where every student is given the same spelling list words and test each week does not work. While using Words Their Way has combined phonics and spelling into one and also allows differentiation in the classroom.at their level and pace! Numeracy Mathematics and Growth Mindset Students with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence or ability is an unchangeable entity; while those with a growth mindset think of intelligence or ability as a malleable quality that can be incrementally developed through effort. Students with a fixed mindset think that intelligent people excel at schoolwork effortlessly. When schoolwork becomes difficult, students with a fixed mindset often struggle, or give up. In some cases, these students are reluctant to make an effort because they do not think they can improve their learning. In other cases, students can think that making an effort implies that they are not intelligent and that effort makes them look foolish! In contrast, students with a growth mindset believe that with effort they can improve their learning and intelligence over time. When faced with a challenge, or indeed when failing a task, students with a growth mindset increase their effort in order to improve and complete the task successfully. Many students have a fixed mindset about mathematics. It is a learning area that is often perceived as difficult even the realm of geniuses! Mathematical knowledge is seen as unquestionable, thereby creating its status as the ultimate intelligence test. These powerful beliefs make it difficult for some students to define themselves as good at mathematics, and understandably students can come to believe that they do not have what it takes! From our previous work on Growth Mindsets, the staff discussed, explored and developed a common understanding that we will intentionally work towards, regularly reviewing and reporting. The common understanding and message each class teacher will explicitly develop with their students is that - Mathematics classrooms should be places where students believe: Everyone can do well in mathematics; Mathematics problems can be solved with many different insights and methods; Mistakes are valuable, they encourage brain growth and learning; Mathematics will help them in their lives, not because they will see the same types of problems in the real world but because they are learning to think quantitatively and abstractly and developing in inquiry relationship with math. This will be accomplished by ensuring that every mathematics classrooms will be places where students: Develop an inquiry relationship with mathematics, approaching math with curiosity, courage, confidence & intuition; Talk to each other and the teachers about ideas Why did I choose this method? Does it work with other cases? How is the method similar or different to methods other people used?; Work on mathematics tasks that can be solved in different ways and/or with different solutions; Work on mathematics tasks with a low entry point but a very high ceiling so that students are constantly challenged and working at the highest and most appropriate level for them ;
8 Work on mathematics tasks that are complex, involve more than one method or area of mathematics, and that often, but not always, represent real world problems and applications; Are given growth mindset messages at all times, through the ways they are grouped together, the tasks they work on, the messages they hear, and the assessment and grading; Are assessed formatively to inform learning not summatively to give a rank with their peers. Students should regularly receive diagnostic feedback on their work, instead of grades or scores. Summative assessments are best used at the end of courses. Teachers are more conscious of communicating positive expectations to students by using highly emotive language/ encouraging words. It is easy to do this with students who appear motivated, who learn easily, or who are quick. But it is even more important to communicate positive beliefs and expectations to students who are take time to grasp concepts and skills, appear unmotivated, or struggle. We are conscious that it is also important to realize that the speed at which students appear to grasp skills and concepts is not indicative of their mathematics potential. As hard as it is, it is important to not have any preconceptions about who will work well on a mathematical task in advance of their getting the task. Some students give the impression that mathematics is a constant struggle for them, and they may ask a lot of questions or keep saying they are stuck; but often they are just hiding their mathematics potential and are likely to be suffering from a fixed mindset. Some students have had unpleasant mathematical experiences and messages from a young age, or have not received opportunities for brain growth and learning that other students have, so they are at lower levels than other students. Nevertheless, this does not mean they cannot succeed with good mathematics teaching, positive messages, and, perhaps most important, high expectations from their teacher. From our work together as a staff we agree on the following principles regarding Mathematics and Growth Mindset First of all, we say there's no such thing as a math person. Everybody can grow and change their brains and learn any level of math. In addition, this myth that people are born with the math brain is very important to get rid of. It is important from the first day of the school year; and at the beginning of every Mathematics lesson to explicitly verbalise that everyone is capable of doing math. We need to encourage parents to share positive experiences about maths; and discourage parents from saying they were never good at maths when they were at school! Students need to be consistently reminded that mistakes are an essential part of the learning process; that it is through the mistakes we make that the greatest learning occurs. Mistakes actually do amazing things in your brain and when you make a mistake, synapses fire in the brain more than if you get it right. There's brain strengthening, brain growth all sorts of good things are happening when you make mistakes in the brain. So mistakes are very important! We need to regularly model mistakes ; explicitly showing students how we work through them (metacognitive behaviour). The way we plan and present our mathematic lessons and/or the tasks is an important component to consider; especially if it is a growth mindset we also trying to develop and foster. There need to be more open-ended tasks that allow students to work together, to manipulate and trial what they already know to answer challenging tasks. We need to have fewer numeracy tasks that require speedy answers; especially in whole class question and answer sessions.being mindful of what this is telling the less confident students. It is very difficult to have a growth mindset and to believe that you can grow or learn if you are constantly given short, closed questions with a right or wrong answer. Instead, giving visual problems that provoke discussion and have multiple ways they could be solved. Move away from placing students into ability groups, even if they have innocuous names such as the red and blue groups; students will know, and their mindsets will become more fixed. Instead, mixed ability grouping can work if the tasks are open-ended and what Boaler calls low-floor/highceiling tasks that allow every student to participate, while allowing lots of space within the task for students to grow in their thinking. Our language is also a vital component in developing a growth mindset in mathematics our questions; our modelling; our feedback..all needs to be positive and reassuring Mathematics assessment was another area that required further discussion; especially if we are endeavouring to change student s mindsets. Presently, we get our data on whether students have grasped the skills and concepts in mathematics lessons, or in classes in general, from timed assessment tasks/tests. However, the research information from Stanford University (Jo Boaler) suggests that teachers always know how well their students are doing from daily contact/feedback; therefore, there really isn t a need to test them. That, if we
9 asked a teacher to provide a synopsis of a student s progress, they could easily write down what the student knows and can do. The students themselves can complete self-assessments that tell if their understanding is strong or not. They can do that with extreme reliability. Students can show their understanding via assignment/project work that tells us about what they know and can do. In addition, most tests used, do not assess what's really important. They may assess whether a student can perform computation quickly but that's the one thing computers do and we don't need humans for! Furthermore, research clearly demonstrates that students who memorize are the lowest-achieving students in the world. Inside each country, they are the lowest-achieving students. And every country with high levels of memorizers is a low-achieving country. Therefore, that isn't how students become successful in mathematics. Students become successful by seeing that there are just a few big ideas in mathematics that they need to link together and think about in depth. Once they have understood the core ideas in mathematics, everything comes together. Homework Policy and Procedure The homework debate is often split along the lines of primary school compared with secondary school. Contemporary education researcher Professor John Hattie, who has ranked various influences on student learning and achievement, found that homework in primary schools has a negligible effect (most homework set has little to no impact on a student s overall learning). However, it makes a bigger difference in secondary schools. His explanation is that students in secondary schools are often given tasks that reinforce key skills learned in the classroom that day, whereas primary students may be asked to complete separate assignments. So homework can be effective when it s the right type of homework. As a staff, we believe children (and families) need plenty of free time to relax, explore, create, imagine, cook, read, exercise and pursue their own interests and hobbies after school and on weekends. Maintaining a calm, positive family environment around purposeful practice is important. Ideally the compulsory literacy and numeracy sections of the homework will be completed by all students. We do not want children to feel that they have failed, or that they are to worry about returning to school with work unfinished if they have genuinely done their best. Every child is different and parents are trusted to be a wise and discerning observer at homework time, in order to support, challenge and know when it is time to stop! Therefore, the staff had developed some expectations are that all students will Practice literacy skills such as Reading, sight words, spelling words, etc.; Activities that reinforce numeracy skills through games, Maths puzzles, real life maths such as shopping and cooking; Gathering resources, collecting project/assignment material across all Key Learning Areas; Prepare and practice their Sharing/News topic presentation; Outdoor activities and games such as playing with a ball, skipping, etc.; Preparing for the next day, for example, readers, lunchbox, notes, library bag to encourage organisation skills; Informal learning activities such as talking, playing and other experiences that will broaden their understanding of the world in an enjoyable way. Gathering data by various methods, for example, interviews, surveys; Open ended learning activities that involve choice and cater for individual learning styles; Religious Education learning activities, for example, Sacramental Home Program. Special Education In 2017, sixteen students (from Reception to Year 5) met the required Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) criteria for Special Education funding. Class teachers prepared Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for those students in their class whom receive financial support under the Special Education Funded program. Although class teachers differentiate the teaching and learning experiences for all students in their class environment; some of our students (specifically the funded students) require greater differentiation. It is also a requirement in the accountability procedures for funding. Therefore, a separate IEP that clearly documents the annual objectives; short term goals; teaching strategies; and support strategies is designed in collaboration between Mrs Cathy Regester (Special Education Coordinator), the class teacher and the curriculum education support officer. The IEP is shared with the parents of the students (who may also require a copy to support their NDIS funding) at Special Education review meetings.
10 Robotics (STEM) With the wonderful support of our Parents and Friends Committee, we have upgraded our Robotics and Lego resources. Senior students were exploring coding - in the simplest of terms. It is a language that tells a computer device what you want it to do, which involves typing in step-by-step commands for the computer to follow. Computers are not clever things, however they are very obedient. They will do exactly what you want them to do, so long as you tell them how to do it correctly. Learning to code has been likened to learning a foreign language, or perhaps more specifically a family of foreign languages. Code powers our digital world. Every website, smartphone app, computer program, calculator and even microwave relies on code in order to operate. This makes coders the architects and builders of the digital age. Our STEM program allows students to be involved in a fun and engaging hands-on learning environment. The activities engage a diverse range of students and serve as a hook for building interest and enthusiasm across all STEM-related areas. The lego robotics work equally well across a range academic abilities, including extending gifted and talented students, increasing the engagement of students who may be otherwise disenchanted with school, and building the social skills of students who struggle with teamwork. Students need to learn how to solve problems, how to be flexible and how to adapt to change. It is encouraging students to try new things and learn from failure, rather than fearing or avoiding it. WELLBEING DIMENSION Religious Education and Positive Education Mrs Judy James, Religious Education Coordinator prepared and presented to the teachers a resource folder that ingeniously connects some of the positive education principles and components such as Character Strengths and PERMA with the St Mary s Memorial School charism. Judy managed to bring together each of the 24 character strengths with the life and teachings of St Dominic, the school Patron Saint. She also dissected each component of PERMA and again associated each one with an aspect of St Dominic. The Learning Pit This was a concept that we discussed as staff and class teachers were encouraged to use alongside growth mindset with their students. The learning pit promotes challenge, conversation and a growth mindset. It provides a frame of reference for students and staff to talk about learning. It also supports with planning, reviewing and metacognition. Students are said to be in the pit when they are in a state of cognitive conflict. That is to say when learners have two or more ideas that make sense to them but which on reflection, are in conflict with each other. By developing metacognitive skills students are able to recognise when learning is difficult, it is similar to being in the pit. More importantly, they can articulate what skills and strategies they need to use to get out of the pit. Therefore, the learning pit is a way for children to understand what learning feels like and it also allows teachers to explicitly teach children strategies so they know how to deal with learning when it becomes difficult. The children recognise that learning can be frustrating and challenging; however, the sense of accomplishment once they come out of 'The Pit' is rewarding. The greatest learning happens while students are in the pit, for they use all the strategies they have been taught to solve the challenge and climb out of the pit. The reason why using the Learning Pit analogy is so important is that it gives students control over their own learning. They are not victims sitting at their desks waiting for teachers to give them the next lesson of "sit and get". It's not about the script or the time on task. It's about moving forward and knowing where to go to next. Learning, when done with the pit analogy involved, puts students in the driver's seat. It helps students to persevere, inquire, collaborate, and achieve a learning eureka! ADMINISTRATIVE DIMENSION School Open Night At St Mary s Memorial School, we had planned a number of different school based activities throughout Week 3 that recognized the South Australian Catholic Schools Catholic Education Week in Term 2. This was a great opportunity for school community to showcase to the wider communities the opportunities that Catholic schools provide. The main aim of the event (which has become an annual feature) is to build community awareness about the strengths and distinctiveness of Catholic schools in our state. An invitation was extended to existing families; families who have enrolled their children for 2018 and 2019; and the wider community. Invitations were extended to the families who send their children to the local kindergartens and early learning centres. We encouraged our families to visit other Year levels and Specialists Learning areas (e.g., The Arts, Science, Japanese, Physical Education, etc) to view some of the fantastic teaching and learning experiences.
11 It was a very informal evening. Teachers across all year levels, including Specialist Teachers provided samples of student work on tables; and were available to answer pertinent questions regarding teaching and learning in their area. Senior students from the Year 3/4 and Year 4/5 Classes volunteered to be present during the Open Night; to demonstrate STEM learning experiences and/or escort/guide new families around the school. We believe our senior students are our best ambassadors; their contribution was a significant one during this experience. Master Plan Process A Master Plan Brief was prepared and submitted to CESA Infrastructure, Planning and Development (IPAD) in Term1, 2017 which provided information regarding a brief overview of our school community; the vision for community and learning; design implications and principles; enrolment projections and project details. The brief included the top five priorities for the St Mary s Memorial School site an elevator/lift for duty of care/disability access/work, Health and Safety reasons; playground space outdoor play/social spaces; a minimum of four new learning spaces to accommodate the Year 6 cohort and specialist areas to support the students; refurbishment of existing learning spaces to accommodate the Year 6 cohort; extra toilet facilities to accommodate extra students on the school site. It was explicitly stated that capital development needs to begin as soon as possible to meet the CESA mandate; that is, accommodating Year 6 students in January/February No consideration regarding staging had been made due to the brief timeline. Disruption to the current school site was acknowledged and will be inevitable; however, in the long term, the capital development will meet the growing enrolment trend. The Master Plan Brief also draws attention for our need to acquire property from the Glenelg Parish and Archdiocesan Church Office on our western border (adjacent to the Robert Rice playground). Both CESA and the Glenelg Parish are aware that it has become a component of the Master Plan. The Master Plan Brief was then sent to five CESA nominated and appropriated Architects (personnel/ companies who have experience working within the educational sector). The five Architects who were invited to submit a tender to develop a Master Plan were Swanbury Penglase (CBC Colleges; Holy Family, Parafield Gardens; St Francis de Sales) Peter Moeck Architect (All Saints, Seaford; Loreto College; Our Lady of Hope; St Pius X) Russell & Yelland (currently working with Stella Maris, Seacombe Gardens; St John Bosco) Phillips Pilkington (Wilderness College; St David s, Tea Tree Gully; St Columba College) Detail Studio (currently working with Christ the King School, Warradale; Glenelg Primary School) The director of each of the Architecture Firms participated in a walk-through of the existing school site. They had a sound understanding of our educational and wellbeing needs. Their proposals and fee submissions were presented, and Mr Magan Schaefer (School Board Chairperson), Peter Smith (CESA - IPAD) and I shortlisted using a generic template with specific criteria price; timelines; methodology/ innovation; previous experience and conformance with the brief. Except for one submission, four of the Architect s fees are very similar. Peter Moeck Architect was commissioned to prepare the Master Plan as promptly as possible. Peter Moeck met with the staff, parent and student representatives to gather data regarding what is working well; what needs to be changed; and what would each stakeholder would like to see regarding capital development in the future. The School Master Plan was finalised (August 9, 2017) and included four different design briefs. The Master Plan was submitted to the CESA IPAD again, where the overall design and the information supporting the need for development on the school site was accepted. The next group, the Finance and Infrastructure Standing Committee (FISC) also supported the Master Plan; acknowledging that Stages 1 and 2 would need to occur together. Peter Moeck (Architect) and myself, were also invited to present the Master Plan to the Archdiocese Design Review Panel (DPR). During the thirty minute presentation, Peter outlined the process undertaken in reaching the final design; as well as the specific design features of the overall plan. I spoke about the school s educational and physical needs; and specifically about the need to work towards having both Stages 1 and 2 completed together. Peter Moeck explained the four different design briefs that had eventually evolved into the fourth option. I explained that for both playground space reasons, we needed to build Stages 1 and 2 concurrently, which required a substantial loan. In addition, I explained that due to the amount of money our school was seeking
12 to complete Stages 1 and 2, we could not approach the Glenelg Parish to purchase the property at this stage; but that it would be earmarked for future acquisition. Our Master Plan was then submitted to the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools (SACCS) for final approval; which was granted. SACCS determines the overall policies that guide Catholic schools. It is the authorised body for contracts and agreements with the Commonwealth and State Governments in matter of funding and the establishment and development of schools. Peter Moeck was then commissioned to take on the responsibility to design the final building plans and oversee the project. Peter has engaged with a number of different consultants (Electrical, Traffic, Soil, structural and building services, etc). Our Development Application is presently in the hands of the Holdfast Bay Council who were seeking feedback from local resident. There have also been minor changes suggested and adopted in relation to the building design. Therefore, the design of the building and the costing for the project is yet to be finalised. According to the architects program (schedule), Tender negotiations and CESA approval will occur in the first week of June, The expectation (according to the program) for completion of the three storey building is the first week in December, THANK YOU On behalf of the staff, I would like to sincerely thank all St Mary s Memorial School families for the genuine support, encouragement, time, care, patience, kindness, good role modelling, understanding, generosity, humour, forgiveness, wisdom and love you have showered your children with throughout the year - every child needs these things in abundance in order to grow up feeling safe, secure, loved and valued, as well as empowered to discover more about themselves, so they can move out confidently into the world beyond. I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the parents for your most wonderful support of our hardworking and dedicated staff (they are an amazing group of people.i am very much indebted to their fantastic work in and out of the classroom); the P&F Committee; the School Board and the School Leadership Team throughout the year. You have done this in a variety of ways, including working in close partnership with us by trusting, listening, seeking clarification, helping out and steering clear of any negative put-downs, gossip or unconstructive criticism; speaking to and speaking about others in a respectful, just, considerate and friendly way; not speaking about staff or others in front of your children - especially if it is about a matter that they should not be privy to, as this can place them in a very difficult position and can be stressful and confusing for them; supporting P&F initiatives (especially, the wonderful Principal s Ball ) and encouraging and thanking them for their efforts; being a positive influence in our community - thinking the best not the worst; treating all community members with respect, understanding and empathy; sending an , letter, note, card, or giving a personal vote of thanks and appreciation. We have a very strong, cohesive and positive school community that is continuing to grow in many different and exciting ways. The more we continue to hold on to our faith, build on our strengths, develop and grow as persons, encourage and support one another without judgment, the more potential we have for realising our dreams as individuals and as a community! Nat Izzo Principal
13 SCHOOL COMMUNITY REPORT SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRPERSON There have been two significant announcements this year which have set St Mary s Memorial school on a new and exciting pathway into the future. They will transform the outward appearance of the school, while continuing to strengthen the heart and purpose of the school. The first announcement released by the Catholic Education office earlier in the year, specified that that all South West region schools would offer educational opportunities for children in Reception to Year 6 from From this point, the school swiftly commenced the process of establishing a Masterplan looking forward to the needs of our school community over the following 5-10 years. Through consultation with students, parents and staff, it was clearly identified what current school attributes were important to remain, however another integral part of the process allowed contributors to dream about what the school could look like and offer children in years to come. Peter Moeck architects undertook a comprehensive consultation process, commenced the creation a Masterplan that addressed the design brief while incorporating ideas raised by the St Mary s Memorial School community. In Term 2, the school community became aware that Nat had reached his 12 year tenure. CESA set in motion another consultation process with the students, parents and staff at SMM to establish a school description and Principal specification for the position advertised in Term 3. After a thorough panel selection and interview process, Nat Izzo was offered and accepted the Principal position, of which the school community expressed a high level of relief and excitement about the next stage of our journey as a school community. There were a number of new parents who joined the School Board and Parents and Friends committee this year. Their experience, ideas, insights and diverse perspectives have been invaluable when discussing a range of school related issues throughout the year. We have appreciated their desire to enhance a vibrant learning environment for the students and staff, while continuing building a flourishing community beyond the classroom. With the introduction of Digital Technologies in the Australian Curriculum, the school has purchased a range of new equipment; such as Spheros; for the purposes of developing student coding and programming skills. It is integral with the introduction of new curriculum, a strong emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the introduction of Year 6 in 2019, that the school continues to provide every opportunity for students to develop essential skills in these areas. It will continue to be a focus for the School Board, to provide students and staff access to the necessary equipment and learning opportunities to effectively prepare students with the skills they require for life and the workforce of the future. Throughout this year the School Board have made an intentional effort in all our decision making to focus on the current and future needs of the school. Our immediate focus for 2017 has been to pay off residual debt, the development of a masterplan and further design work for the extension and refurbishment of the school. In 2018 our focus will be the timely commencement for the construction of new buildings, demolition of the old and re-establishment of play space ready for the 2019 school year. The School Board will work closely with Nat to ensure school enrolment numbers remain strong and sustainable, while maintaining excellent teaching and learning outcomes for students Looking forward, we intend to acquire land on Milton Street from the Catholic Church. Earlier this year representatives from school, School Board and CESA met with the Glenelg Parish Finance committee, to discuss the acquisition following the approval to purchase from the Catholic Church Office. From these discussions both parties have agreed to an impartial land evaluation process, and agreement toward fair and equitable negotiations going forward. As part of the building process to accommodate Year 6, the School Board are focussed on the acquisition of the land over the next 3-5 year period. As set out in the Master Plan Design, this land will be used as an additional learning breakout space and for nature play. Positive Education has been another significant aspect of school life at St Mary s Memorial throughout this year. As a parent I have appreciated how the staff and students have collectively approached their learning through developing a growth mindset. With a Positive Education focus not only at St Mary s Memorial school, but also a focus at the Tier 2 schools in the South West region, our children will continue to have these values instilled with them throughout their education and the learning outcomes as a result will be exponential. We
14 value the time allocation; by school leadership; for staff Professional development in this key area of our children s education. The Board would like to acknowledge and thank Principal Nat Izzo, his administration and teaching staff for their dedication to developing academically strong, emotionally secure individuals who acknowledge the value of serving others through their example of Christ. The Board would also like to acknowledge the efforts of all St Mary s Memorial Parents and Friends who contribute significantly to the school community through the Parents and Friends Committee, parent helpers, canteen and uniform shop volunteers and those who contribute to fundraising and community building activities throughout the year. May God bless your families as you enjoy the Christmas season together and we look forward to the exciting developments at St Mary s Memorial school throughout If you are interested in joining the School Board or other committees in the life of the school, please don t hesitate to speak to Nat or myself about the contribution you can make. Magan Schaefer School Board Chairperson
15 PARENTS & FRIENDS COMMITTEE Like many I am sure, every January I view the New Year s calendar as having unlimited possibilities; time for all eventualities and mysteries still to be revealed. By February I realise that my dreams are peppered with family and work commitments and the unknown is subject to everyone else s requirements. Parents and Friends Committee is very like that. We start the year with an open calendar and then start putting in the certainties those annual expectations, existing school agenda and the possibilities with potential. By the end we are looking at a very busy schedule. Thank goodness Parents and Friends are a team of organised, dedicated and enthusiastic people. This year we have been blessed with some supremely committed members who have brought their individual talents to the team. These talents range from being able to use Facebook effectively, to designing marketing materials, coming up with ideas, crafts, running stalls, baking wonderful treats, obtaining prizes and gifts, buying bargain coffee and making coffee, doing the finances and committee administration, Woolworths Earn and Learn, Community Lottery and the huge tasks of organising discos and balls and of course being Master of Ceremonies. All of this investment in the calendar of St Mary s Memorial is crucial to the success of the Parents and Friends. However the most important thing we are given is time. Every individual who spends an hour in the Tuck Shop, putting up their hand for Grandparents Day, making cheese toasties and hot dogs, buying Community Lottery tickets are helping Parents and Friends fund projects for the children. The money raised is used for things the school would not necessarily be able to invest in. The staff decide the funding priorities, Parents and Friends are simply the mechanism for raising the funds. For the last two years the priority has been STEM equipment. Without doubt every child in the school has benefited from this equipment. The fact our children are doing something many of us would not be able to attempt is wondrous. It is a huge source of pride we are enabling our children to keep up with technological advancements in line with even the most expensive private schools. Well done parents!! 2018 is going to be a big year for St Mary s Memorial and we will have lots of challenges and changes. To prepare for the next phase of our wonderful school we are going to need to have the best Parents and Friends possible. This is the time for those who have wanted to join to actually do it! Bring yourselves along to one meeting and you will never look back. Samantha Tantum Chairperson
16 STAFF INFORMATION STAFFING Staff Composition Female FTE Equivalent) (Full Time TEACHING STAFF SUPPORT STAFF 5 0 Female PT (Part-Time) 8 (4.6) 13 (7.99) Male FTE 5 0 Male PT 0 2 (0.78) TOTAL Teacher Qualifications BACHELOR DEGREE - Applied Psychology - Education - Arts - Special Education - Science - Health Science GRADUATE CERTIFICATE - Catholic Education - Health Promotion - Education Professional Practices GRADUATE DIPLOMA - Social Science - Business Systems - Religious Education DIPLOMA - Teaching 9 MASTERS DEGREE - Special Education - Education Psychology - Theology - Education Staff Retention In 2017, two new staff members were appointed. Mrs Laura Harris and Mr Benjamin Williams were appointed as full time Class Teachers. Both appointments were replacing two contract positions that were 1 1o
17 STUDENT INFORMATION Enrolments by Year Levels YEAR LEVEL BOYS GIRLS TOTAL Reception Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 TOTAL Student Attendance Student attendance is consistently high. Long-standing periods of non-attendance transpire from time to time where students travel overseas. Additionally, any non-attendance across the school occurs during Terms 2 and 3, is predominately due to annual winter illnesses. YEAR LEVELS TERM 1 TERM 2 TERM 3 TERM 4 Reception Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Average Management of Student Non-Attendance The school requests all parents to advise if students will be absent for any reason. This can be done in person, via phone, or by leaving a message on the school answering machine. If the school has not been advised of a student absent by 9:30 am the parents are contacted by Administrative Staff to ascertain the reason for the absence.
18 Parents are expected to provide a brief note with an explanation regarding their child s absence to the class teacher when returning to school. For longer term absences, the school request that parents advise, in writing, details of the extended absence, including dates and the duration. Unsatisfactory reasons for absences are referred directly to the Principal who will follow up with families accordingly. Post School Destinations Sacred Heart College Middle School, Mitchell Park Marymount College, Hove Mercedes College, Springfield Westminster College, Marion Immanuel College, Novar Gardens St Mary s College, Adelaide St Aloysius College, Adelaide
19 NAPLAN INFORMATION SUMMARY OF NAPLAN RESULTS 2017 Number of Year 3 Students 47. Results for Year 3 are reported across the range of Band 1 to Band 6; with Band 2 representing the National Minimum standard for this Year level. Reading Band 1-2 Band 2-0 Band 3-5 Band 4-14 Band 5-8 Band 6-16 Writing Band 1-0 Band 2-0 Band 3-6 Band 4-13 Band 5-19 Band 6-6 Spelling Band 1-0 Band 2-4 Band 3-6 Band 4-10 Band 5-12 Band 6-12 Grammar & Punctuation Band 1-1 Band 2-2 Band 3-4 Band 4-7 Band 5-13 Band 6-17 Numeracy Band 1-2 Band 2-2 Band 3-8 Band 4-15 Band 5-8 Band 6-9 Absent - 2 Absent - 3 Absent - 3 Absent - 3 Absent - 3 Four Year 3 student did not achieve the National Minimum benchmark across 3 Learning Areas. St Mary s Memorial Year 3 school mean scores proficiency band and percentage of students who achieved at or above the National Minimum Standard. Component Mean Score Mean Scores as Proficiency Band % of Students who achieved the National Minimum Standard Reading Writing Spelling Grammar & Punctuation Numeracy Number of Year 5 students 31. Results for Year 5 are reported across the range of Band 3 to Band 8; with Band 4 representing the National Minimum standard for this Year level. Reading Band 3-0 Band 4-0 Band 5-3 Band 6-6 Band 7-8 Band 8-13 Writing Band 3-0 Band 4-1 Band 5-7 Band 6-12 Band 7-8 Band 8-2 Spelling Band 3-0 Band 4-1 Band 5-4 Band 6-8 Band 7-14 Band 8-3 Grammar & Punctuation Band 3-0 Band 4-2 Band 5-3 Band 6-10 Band 7-9 Band 8-6 Numeracy Band 3-0 Band 4-0 Band 5-4 Band 6-6 Band 7-10 Band 8-11 Absent - 1 Absent - 1 Absent - 1 Absent - 1 All Year 5 students achieved the National Minimum benchmark across all learning areas. St Mary s Memorial Year 5 school mean scores proficiency band and percentage of students who achieved at or above the National Minimum Standard.
20 Component Mean Score Mean Scores as Proficiency Band % of Students who achieved the National Minimum Standard Reading Writing Spelling Grammar & Punctuation Numeracy The Estimated Standardised Student Progress between 2015 and 2017 regarding Literacy and Numeracy. Progress Literacy Numeracy School All Students School All Students Low 14% 25% 3% 25% Medium 45% 50% 45% 50% Upper 41% 25% 52% 25% The table above provides information regarding student progress between test - low; medium/ average; upper/high when compared with students of similar ability. Students Not Meeting the National Minimum Standard These students are monitored closely throughout these years under the guidance of the Leadership Team (which includes the School Special Education Coordinator) who assists teachers in planning and implementing strategies into their teaching and learning programs and classrooms. Students who fall below the benchmark have usually been previously identified through the school s on-going assessment program and are already on adjusted/modified learning programs, which will include Curriculum Education Support Office (ESO) support. Special Education The St Mary s Memorial School staff confidently acknowledges their responsibility to make the appropriate adjustments for all students; including the high achieving students. Regarding high achieving students, teachers set the teaching and learning experiences at a level, pace, degree of abstraction and complexity beyond learning expectations for their age peers. Teachers cater for high achieving students specific learning needs through a differentiated curriculum, enrichment and learning area acceleration. Teacher s are also aware that some students will experience learning difficulties for a range of reasons; for example, a disability, transience or missed schooling due to illness. Teachers identify and respond to all learning needs regardless of cause, through on-going intervention, monitoring and assessment of student progress. Teachers support students use using differentiated teaching practices; where necessary, focused and intensive teaching; and assistive technology. Differentiated instruction refers to teaching that is adapted to take into account the range of individual differences and needs of students in any one classroom. It comprises of planned modifications to the learning area, teaching structures, and teaching practices in combination to ensure that the instruction is relevant, flexible and responsive; leading to successful achievement, and the development of students as self-regulated learners alongside their peers. Sometimes this approach is referred to as multi-level instruction. Differentiation involves adaptations to one or more of the three components, that is, content, process and product. The intention of providing differentiation in teaching practices is to have all students engaged and participating in constructive and positive work learning tasks that are challenging, meaningful and engaging. Depending on the students learning needs, teaching practices can include individualized instruction, problem-solving assignments, and small group work. When students need special accommodations in order to take a rest, special education support staff ensure that the appropriate ones are provided, such as having the questions read orally or providing extra time to complete an assessment.
21 Teachers develop Individual Education Plans (IEP) for specific students students identified and funded according to the CESA Special Education Targeted criteria. The IEP sets personalised goals for each student and is tailored to the student s individual needs and ability. Teachers work closely with parents to inform them of their child s progress and suggest techniques to promote and consolidate learning at home. They are involved in the students behavioural, social, and academic development, helping the students develop emotionally, feel comfortable in social situations, and be aware of socially acceptable behaviour. Teachers communicate and work together with parents, social workers, school psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists.
22 STUDENT, PARENT AND STAFF SATISFACTION The opinions and ideas of parents, students and teachers are valued and sought. Their suggestions are incorporated into planning for and achieving improved outcomes for students. This year, a variety of processes have been used to gain information about the level of satisfaction with St Mary s Memorial School from students, parents, and staff. Parent Satisfaction Parents were invited to share their level of satisfaction in two specific areas School Uniform and School Camps. SCHOOL UNIFORM Overall, from a possible 190 responses only 63 families provided feedback. The majority of families agreed that the current school uniform promotes identity and belonging. They were also appreciative that the school uniform minimised competition over clothing. When they were asked was the uniform for parents, school, students or the community; families chose several items, but the majority believed it was for the students and then the school. Regarding the appearance and function of the boy s summer and winter uniform, the majority of parents were satisfied. Regarding the appearance of the girl s summer and winter uniform, the majority of parents were satisfied. However, there was significant number of parents who were not fully satisfied with the function of the girl s summer and winter uniform; but in general, there were still more that were happy to maintain the status quo. Some of the comments that parents shared, included Summer and winter uniform very smart; but for young children it can be restrictive. Maybe implement that R-2 students just wear sports uniform Keep the formal uniform for the Upper Primary. Formal uniform may be uncomfortable or hinder activity; however, it builds resilience, character and should provide students with a sense of pride. Also sets up students to understand the relevance of a uniform as they move through life with all the challenges it throws our way. Allowing girls choice of skirt/dress is old fashion and promotes gender limitations. Females pants and shorts; just like the males. This encourages them to play and develop without restrictions. I m passionate about correct uniform it s not conformity; it s about a sense of belonging and community. And those who choose to flaunt it, do not respect it and what it represents. The uniform at SMM contributed in our choice of schools; it looks smart. Wouldn t like to see the sports uniform replace the formal school uniform. Should wear the same as Marymount/Sacred Heart financial perspective and inclusion across all tiers. SCHOOL CAMP There were 55 responses from families with students in Year 3 to 5. All families agreed that off school site outdoor learning opportunities, such as Zoo Snoozes and Camps are valuable learning experiences for students. An overwhelming majority believe that Year 6 students should participate in a school camp every year. When they were asked to consider what parents thought were the main positive outcomes from participating in a school camp experience, the majority of responses indicated (in order of preferences) developing independence; building social skills; developing friendships/new relationships; developing leadership skills; real life links to the curriculum; allowing opportunities for students to excel in non-academic activities; opportunities for beyond routine school life; making positive connections with the staff; and link to work completed in the classroom. When parents were asked to consider the main difficulties related to students participating/attending a school camp, the three common concerns identified by families were cost; child s anxiety/homesickness; and the child s level of maturity/dependence. Reflecting back on their own school camp experiences, parents responded to what they believed contributed to a successful school camp experience. The majority of response indicated that it was the comradeship and structured activities that they remembered most. The food and accommodation were the next most memorable aspects of their school camp memories.
23 Student Satisfaction Survey results indicate the student satisfaction levels are strong based on - Care - Unanimous positive student satisfaction response regarding the way teachers treat students when they require help. Control - Positive response regarding that everyone in the class knows what they should be doing and learning. Clarity - The majority of students expressed satisfaction regarding that teachers explain things in an orderly way; and that students receive effective feedback. Challenge - Majority of students agree that they are pushed to work hard; that their teachers accept nothing less than their full effort; and that they supported when they make mistakes. Captivating - All students were positive in their response regarding that school work is interesting. Confer - The majority of students expressed that they were satisfied with the level of teacher follow-up; the learning intentions; and the opportunity to share their ideas about class work. Consolidating - Overall, positive responses; however, most students felt that their teacher could be summarizing what they learn more effectively; and that some of the feedback they receive requires further elaboration. Learning - All students expressed a strong desire to want to learn; that they enjoyed participating in class. Staff Satisfaction: The aim of the survey was to identify the main areas and causes of potential stress in the school/work environment; so that any possible risks to health, safety and wellbeing can be reduced. Key findings All the staff are satisfied with their job, and they believe that their workload is just right. They know what their job description and duties are. They believe they have adequate resources to be able to do their job. The staff are aware of their character strengths; and they believe they work with a growth mindset. All staff agree that the health, safety and welfare of the staff is a priority within the school. They are satisfied with the level of involvement in the decision making processes. Staff is satisfied with the opportunities of giving and receiving feedback from their colleagues. They are satisfied with the overall management structure of the school. Although, the majority of the staff expressed satisfaction across all areas in the survey, there were some aspects that leadership will follow-up in the new school year, regarding Communication methods amongst colleagues; Feedback from leadership; Opportunities for personal mindfulness.
24 SCHOOL FINANCES St Mary s Memorial School recorded a surplus (on a cash basis) of $278,292 for the year. The surplus is comparable to the previous year surplus of $276,534, this balance is primarily attributed to additional income from an increase in student numbers and conservative spending during the year. Total loan balance of $167,833 at the beginning paid down to zero balance in preparation for proposed capital works. The Board is aiming to ensure the school is in a position to expand the school facilities and redevelop classrooms and resources to cater for year 6 students in As well as paying out all loan balances, the surplus income has been used to pay for initial invoices relating to the school s master plan and capital works development. The school s cash position improved significantly compared to the closing cash position of the previous year increasing from $766,222 at the beginning of the year to $1,113,298 at the end of the year. Total capital expenditure for the year was minimal ($59,439) as significant capital expenditure was deferred in 2017 pending decisions regarding the St Mary s Memorial School Master Plan and the possibility of expanding the grounds as part of the forecasted capital works. Financial Statements Detail (NB: All financial details below are presented on a cash basis and are based on unaudited figures) Summary Per Student The table below details the income and expenditure per student for the last two years: Income & Expenditure Per Student % Inc $000 $000 Income % Expenditure % Ave Student Nos % The increase in income is due to an increase in school fees as student numbers did not increase overall for the full year. A nominal reduction in expenditure has been noted. Income % Inc $000 $000 Commonwealth Grants 1, , % Parental Contributions % State Govt Grants % Other incl CEO % Interest % 3, , % Commonwealth and State Government Grants The government funding allocations once again represent a combination of government indexed changes and the average number of students that attended the school in comparison to the 2016 year. State government special education funding increased in 2017 due to additional needs of students.
25 Parental Contributions The increase in parental contributions is primarily due to camp fees being collected in 2017 but not in 2016, as the year 4/5 camp is held every second year. This was offset by a small increase in other fee income, due to the number of students attending the School. As in prior years, the annual fee increase was kept to the minimum level possible. Other (including CEO and Trading Accounts) Other income, including CEO further decreased in 2017 due to the cessation of reimbursements of salaries for teachers seconded to other schools. Net Trading Accounts (Included in Other) Trading accounts cover the canteen and OSHC. The School s objective is to run all trading activities on a breakeven basis. Overall the OSHC service inclusive of vacation care recorded a small loss of $3,436. Interest Interest income was substantially higher than in the prior year, due to the higher cash balances maintained throughout the year. The graph below shows the relative percentages of how the school income is generated. Income Sources Other incl CEO Interest 0.3% 2.6% State Govt Grants 11.6% Parental Contributions 28.9% Commonwealt h Grants 56.5% Approximately 68% of revenue was received by way of commonwealth and state government funding. School fees comprise 29% of total revenue, with the balance being provided through the Catholic Education Office funding and reimbursements and small contribution from interest. Expenditure % Inc $000 $000 Tuition Costs 2, , % Loan Repayments % Admin Costs % Capital Expenditure % Interest Paid % 3, , %
26 Tuition Costs A total of $2,295.6 million was spent on tuition expenditure in 2017, an increase of 5.1% from the previous year. The largest component of this cost is wages and salaries, which were backdated and increased due to a renegotiated enterprise agreement. The second being the 4/5 student camp. Admin Costs A total of $497,300 was spent on administration expenditure in 2017, a decrease of 1% over This is in line with student numbers and conservative administration spending. Interest Paid Interest paid decreased to $2,400 for the year down from $14,500 in the previous year. The decrease in interest costs is consistent with the reduction of loan debts. Loan Repayments The School s one remaining with a balance of $167,883 as at the 31 December 2016 was finalised in Capital Expenditure Capital expenditure was limited during the year to payment of school loan and initial costs for capital works in preparation for St Mary s Memorial School to commence providing for year 6 students. The graph below shows how the School applied funds in Expenditure Tuition Costs 76.0% Loan Repayments 5.6% Admin Costs 16.5% Capital Expenditure 2.0% Interest Paid 0.1% 2018 Annual Budget The Board s financial goals continue to be: to ensure we are in a position to develop the school, meet changing requirements (eg year 6 students) and provide modern facilities and resources for students and staff; and to ensure we are in a financial position to maintain staffing levels above the benchmark to ensure the best possible support and learning environment for our students. The 2018 budget is scheduled to be a deficit as the school will be contributing an estimated amount of $500,000 from funds at bank to assist with the project and will also take on substantial capital loans to complete the forecasted building works. Thank You Thank you to the School s Finance Officer, Jenni Ashfield, who provides ongoing support and assistance to the Treasurer. Chris Dickenson School Board Treasurer