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St Thomas More Primary School Mt Eliza 2008 Annual Report to the

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					St. Thomas More Primary School
Mt. Eliza




2008 Annual Report to the Community
     Registered School Number: 1822
             313 Canadian Bay Road
             Mt. Eliza 3930
             Ph: 03 9787 7788
                                          St. Thomas More Primary School
                      2008 Annual Report to the School Community




                           313 Canadian Bay Road
Address:                   Mt. Eliza 3930


                           Mrs. Pat McConvill
Principal:

                           Father Laurie Pearson
Parish Priest:

                           Mr. Chris Young
School Board Chair:

                           03 9787 7788
Telephone:

                           stmmtlza@stmmtlza.catholic.edu.au
Email:

                           www.stmmtlza.catholic.edu.au
Website:




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                                                       St. Thomas More Primary School
                                   2008 Annual Report to the School Community



Our School Vision
Following the example of our patron, St. Thomas More, we believe our school should
be a place where we encourage loyalty and faith:

   •   All members of the community are encouraged to respect each other’s
       differences of opinions, beliefs and customs
   •   As part of a Parish family, each member experiences hope, justice, faith, peace
       and reconciliation.
   •   Values are communicated through the interpersonal and sincere relationships of
       its members.
   •   Working in co-operation, school and parish groups model the gospel message,
       in the common mission of service to God.
   •   In recognition of parents, as the child’s first and most influential educators of
       faith, together, we continue the faith journey in the teaching of the beliefs and
       traditions of the Catholic Church.
   •   We develop students who are responsible and inner directed, capable of
       choosing freely in accordance with their conscience.
   •   The dignity of each child is respected, and the curriculum recognises that each
       child, created and loved by God, is unique.
   •   Policies and programs are designed to be stimulating and challenging to
       provide quality experiences and outcomes in order that each child achieves
       his/her full potential.
   •   We provide a happy, safe and stimulating learning environment.
   •   In joint partnership, parents and teachers form and implement policies that have
       as their focus, the development of the whole child as an individual.
   •   Current policies and programs are constantly monitored and evaluated in the
       light of changing needs.
   •   There is an ongoing commitment to excellence in education.




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                                                             St. Thomas More Primary School
                                       2008 Annual Report to the School Community



School Overview
St. Thomas More’s Parish Primary School is situated on a twenty-three acre site, in an
attractive, rural setting in Canadian Bay Road, Mt. Eliza. It was originally opened in June 1981
with 126 students from the parishes of St. Macartan’s, Mornington and St. Francis Xavier’s in
Frankston. Father Laurie Pearson was appointed as parish priest in January 2001 and
currently provides guidance and pastoral care to over 1000 Catholic families in the Mt. Eliza
community.

The school population has grown steadily from the original 126 in 1981, to 324 students at the
beginning of 2009. These children from 210 families are mostly of Anglo-Saxon descent and
the school has a high socio-economic index rating of 111, establishing it as a community of
children with high educational advantage. The school is committed to the teaching of the
Catholic faith and to the provision of quality programs, which foster the full and balanced
development of each child.

In 2009, the school has 13 grades with 24 teaching and non-teaching staff, who are highly
skilled and dedicated to the ethos of Catholic education. Co-operation, respect and shared
responsibility are values fostered throughout the school. The most important learning area is
Religious Education, which is reflected in all of the other teaching programs. As directed by the
Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, this program, taught throughout the school, has as its
major teaching resource, the graded texts, ‘To Know, Worship and Love’.

At St. Thomas More’s we recognise that parents are the first and most influential educators in
the faith of their children. In partnership, we strive to continue their faith journey through the
teaching of the traditions and beliefs of the Catholic Church. Parents are encouraged to take
responsibility for their children’s faith education, through events and activities which involve
family participation and opportunities for liturgical celebration.

The teaching programs at St. Thomas More’s have been based on the Victorian Essential
Learning Standards. The curriculum is comprehensive and acknowledges the individuality of
each child in terms of experience, readiness and ability. Specialist areas include Music, Art,
Physical Education, Library, Technology and LOTE programs. Reading Recovery and a
Perceptual Motor Program are also provided for children in the junior school. The teaching
philosophy is based on the acceptance of developmental differences and the structure of the
classes reflects a multi-age approach.

St. Thomas More’s is an open, friendly school. Parents are encouraged to participate in their
child’s educational programs and to join in the many social events organised by the active
Parents’ Association. Matters of educational and financial policy are overseen by the Parish
Education Board, which meets on a monthly basis to advise the parish priest and principal.
Mutual respect and shared responsibility are values that underpin the relationships between
staff, students and parents. School and parish groups are strongly linked and co-operate to
model the Gospel message of service and love.

Both the parish and the school community have a positive image in the Mt. Eliza community.
Together, we participate in ecumenical services, community service projects and local
business patronage. St. Thomas More’s is viewed as a community united by beliefs and
traditions and committed to the gospel message of service and love.




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                                                                    St. Thomas More Primary School
                                            2008 Annual Report to the School Community



Principal's Report
2008 was a positive year in the life of the school. It saw the consolidation of many excellent practices
and the beginning of changes to some policies and procedures. It was also the year, the school began
to refurbish its current buildings.

Due to the incredible growth that had occurred in the school for several years previously and the
necessary addition of new buildings, many classrooms had not been fully maintained to the best
standard. In 2008, building programs commenced to see that this cyclical maintenance program was
adopted. As many people have noticed, the Arts precinct was completed and plans developed and
implemented for refurbishment of two of the older buildings, formerly the Library, Art room and Grade
5/6 classrooms. Refurbishment of rooms is set to continue over the next few years.

Within the classrooms, there has been, for many years, excellent practice in teaching and learning
across all areas of the curriculum. This continues. Whilst computers had been available for use within
the rooms and in the technology room, 2008 saw the major introduction of e-learning into the curriculum
with the introduction of one Interactive Whiteboard and an emphasis on the use of myclasses pages for
students, staff and parents. This learning in Information Communication and Technology does not
detract from other practices – rather it enhances the student learning in today’s world. Staff were
provided with the resources and opportunities to learn about the new technology and were given both
internal and external support.

A key criteria for successful schools now is value-added, i.e. activities that provide the bit extra. The
most vital value-added at STM is the people and the culture that they espouse. We also have many
initiatives that provide more than the required teaching and learning. There are programs to support
students with learning difficulties – one-on-one and small intervention groups are provided in literacy
and numeracy. For Grade 1 students, Reading Recovery is offered to ensure they have maximum
opportunities to read and write to their potential. In Student Wellbeing, we offered club activities for
students at lunchtimes, small social skills groups were offered for children with difficulties in this area.

We supported six children on the Literacy and Numeracy Special Learning Needs program. We
provided activities for our Grade 5 students to buddy with the preps, and we provided leadership
opportunities for our grade 6 students. Children were also able to extend their learning in many areas,
such as open-ended projects, individual education plans, competitive sport, choir, ensemble, drama
production, art and chess. As a staff, we share our learning from professional development to ensure
that contemporary ideas are available across all staff areas, not just those able to attend a training day.

It is a privilege to work at St. Thomas More ‘s School, in an environment that is conducive to learning at
a high standard, that is conducive to supporting all members of the community, and that is conducive to
developing the whole child as an individual to be effective in the wider society. I thank Father Laurie for
his support of myself and the staff; he is always interested and encouraging of what is happening in the
school. I congratulate the staff for their dedication to the children, for their support of each other and for
their capacity to be risk takers, to look outside their own world. I thank the parents for their trust in
allowing us to partner with them in the development of their children; I thank them also for their
assistance over the last 12 months - in the classrooms, in canteen, in fundraising - in the myriad of ways
that you have supported the school in 2008. I congratulate and thank the children for all their efforts in
learning and in play, for their respect for others, for their openness and inclusion of others and for their
friendliness and cheerfulness that augers well for upstanding young adults of the future.

I look forward to 2009 and all that a new year and new challenges entail. I am confident that together in
this wonderful community we will always find a way to succeed. We are here for the children.




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                                                                     St. Thomas More Primary School
                                            2008 Annual Report to the School Community



Parish Priest's Report
It’s pretty hard to believe and a little unnerving that a year can go by so quickly. A sincere thank you to
all who contributed in so many ways to our Parish community since we last met here.

Many events over the last 12 months have served to make us re-evaluate a good deal about where we
stand in the order of things. The continuing escalation of violence in our society is a real concern to me
as I am sure it is to you. And we know that violence may not be just physical but can be emotional and
spiritual as well. The worsening economic situation at international and local level will have a significant
impact on many. And, of course, few of us could be left unaffected or uncaring about the tragic losses
and extraordinary grief and disruption of human life caused by the February bushfires. Our personal
and community responses to all of these will probably say a whole lot about who we are as persons and
where our own real priorities and values lie. It seems to me we can no longer see our world in terms of
our own comfort and material needs, but are challenged to discover our role and our responsibility in the
wider order of things. Unless we see the “big picture” – and educate our children to do the same – we,
and they, will be left behind. Perhaps it will not be our ability to educate children to technological
change that will be our biggest task, but whether we can teach them to deal with the moral, emotional
and philosophical challenges of this new world and make judgements that are Gospel based, unselfish
and serve to make our world a just and sustainable place.

 I want to congratulate you, our present parents, for the enthusiasm you have shown for what we try to
offer at St. Thomas More….. a caring and compassionate community according to Gospel values which
sees education as providing skills for authentic living and then for academic excellence. In particular I
want to acknowledge the hard work of our Parents Association Committee and the enthusiasm they
have shown, often in the face of frustration and disappointment. I know that I, too, lose respect for the
small group who promise the world then fail to deliver; but I do believe they are well and truly in the
minority. On the other hand I have enormous respect for those who are blessed with that wonderful
virtue called “stick at it-ness”. It’s not a virtue that is specifically mentioned in the Gospel, but I am sure
that it is within its spirit. So to those who stuck at it in 2008 and in previous years, thank you on behalf of
everyone.

 “To look forward to the future with confidence” is not easy because to a very large extent it is not in our
hands. But in so far as we can determine the shape of what lies ahead, I hope we can make
judgements that are gospel based. I hope we will all work towards creating a just world where the
legitimate rights and needs of all in our community – and particularly the most vulnerable ones and
those with no voice – are listened to and respected. It is particularly pleasing that already a number of
parents have declared themselves willing to serve the school community on the Parents Association.
That kind of enthusiasm augurs well for the future.

 In conclusion I want to once again acknowledge my appreciation of the teaching and admin. staff at
STM. They too, like every other person here, often have personal burdens to carry, but I believe they
have never wavered in their commitment to compassion, justice and professionalism. It has been a joy
for me to work with Pat. What she has achieved in her first year and a bit is just fantastic. Danielle and
Jo in the front Office have been wonderful models of the warmth and hospitality that has always been
so much a part of the STM tradition. I do want to acknowledge two of our teachers (and I hope the
others are not disappointed) – but Lorraine Coassin has been an invaluable help to me in her role as
Religious Education Coordinator and I thank her. And Annette O’Brien has finished her role as Minute
Secretary to the School Board after 20 years – a task she handled with terrific competence and
dedication. Thanks Annette!! I must say that I have received terrific support from all our staff. I think that
when Pope John Paul spoke of “living the present with enthusiasm” he may well have had these ones in
mind.

Thanks to you – and you – and you – and you……..

Thanks to you all.




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                                                                    St. Thomas More Primary School
                                            2008 Annual Report to the School Community



Education in Faith

Goals and Intended Outcomes
    1. To fine tune assessment and reporting procedures in line with new texts and proforma.
    2. To develop a closer connection with Parish and School regarding the Sacramental program.
    3. To consolidate our involvement in whole school liturgy.




Achievements
The religious education component of St. Thomas More’s School is quintessential to the Mission and
Vision of our school. The teachings of Jesus Christ are central and permeate all that we do. The child’s
education in faith can not only be seen in their learning, their participation in Sacraments, Masses and
their social justice. It is very much experienced in the culture of the school, in the positive relationships.

Achievements in Curriculum
In 2008, our Religious Education curriculum continued in its development using the R. E. Framework
and Exemplar units that run concurrently with ‘To Know, Worship and Love’. Staff were involved in
regular professional development sessions in using and developing these units to suit the needs of our
faith community.
Using the Standards developed by the Catholic Education Office, a framework was put in place to use
with each of the exemplar units and further development and use of these standards will continue in
2009 with further professional development from the CEO. These standards will be reported to by the
end of 2009.

Sacramental Program
The Sacramental Program ran successfully in 2008 with a greater involvement with the non-school
participation. In each of the preparation programs, children from other schools were included in
information sessions, retreat days and celebrations. Again, at the end of each program, evaluations and
future developments were considered.
With this in mind, in 2009, there will be two new initiatives.
Firstly, at the initial parent information meeting, Father Laurie will lead the parent group in some adult
faith development based on understanding the Sacrament.
The second initiative to enhance the development and participation of the middle school students is the
introduction of a class Mass to celebrate receiving their First Eucharist.

Parish Links
In 2008, we continued our strong relationship with the Parish community. Our students attended Mass
regularly with each class given the opportunity to lead the school in the celebration of Mass.
The Parish Sacramental group works alongside the school in preparation for the Sacraments and the
school and parish support each other in this role. All students preparing for Sacraments are presented to
the Parish family as part of their commitment.
The Parish and school worked together in social functions and liturgical celebrations during the year.
Families and students are involved in Parish activities e.g. altar servers, welcoming group, morning teas.

Fund raising and charity
A sense of social justice is strongly promoted through the school’s fund-raising and charitable works.
Our regular causes are our sponsor child in the Philippines, our sister parish in East Timor, Caritas
through Project Compassion in Lent and October, and St. Vincent de Paul Society with donation
appeals organized during the winter months and at Christmas time.




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                                                                   St. Thomas More Primary School
                                           2008 Annual Report to the School Community



Learning and Teaching

Goals and Intended Outcomes
    1.   To target spelling across all levels so as to increase added value to our AIM results
    2.   To target Maths across all levels.
    3.   To continue to plan with the Inquiry Approach to learning.
    4.   Continue to implement new VELS units & develop a Scope and Sequence for P-6.

Achievements
Staff continued to investigate and refine their knowledge and understanding of Inquiry Learning. This
approach is used to help students think about and understand the world and the role they play in it. Staff
worked with an educational consultant to identify some of the big ideas and concepts that impact the
lives and learning of our students over time. A 2-year scope and sequence was commenced to ensure
that children experience all areas of the curriculum in a developmental sequence. The staff were also
introduced to a variety of teaching strategies and approaches that would enhance the students’ ability to
work in co-operative groups.

A technology resource officer from the CEO worked with staff in developing their knowledge of
integrating technology into the curriculum, including the use of the myclasses page, student use of
mydesktop and including eLearning Federation activities. This will be further developed over time. Staff
and students began to use an interactive whiteboard which was located in the multi-purpose room.

In English, the staff leader led professional development in the spelling curriculum. Across the year, the
focus looked at analysing current practices and resources, reviewing student standards, and developing
initiatives for implementation in the classrooms. This included testing and monitoring student progress.

In Maths, the staff leader worked with strengthening staff understandings of the new trends in learning
Maths. She also provided some intense intervention sessions for Grade 3/4 students at risk with Maths
learning. This will be continued into 2009. Professional learning team meetings were focused on the
importance of skilling children to employ and articulate the variety of strategies used to solve problems.
We continue to have Maths as a priority area for development.

Our in-school based literacy testing for Grade Prep – Year 2 in 2008 shows very positive results:
Prep students are 97% at level 5 and 38% at or above level 20
Year 1 students are 100% at the recommended level 20 and 53% at level 28
98% of Year 2 students have all achieved level 28.

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy tests in Years Three and Five results are:
               Year 3 Students above benchmark          Year 5 students above benchmark
               2006         2007           2008         2006            2007          2008
Reading        96.6%        97.9%          100%         97.9%           94.3%         100%
Writing        100%         100%           100%         100%            100%          100%
Spelling       na           na             100%         na              na            100%
Mathematics 96.9%           93.8%          100%         97.9%           100%          100%

These results show that children are all working above the required minimum standards. At Grade 3
level, the school average outscored the state average in all areas – Reading (+0.3), Writing (+0.3),
Spelling (+0.2), Grammar & Punctuation (+0.5) and Numeracy (+0.1). At Grade 5 level, the school
average equaled or outscored the state average in all areas except Numeracy (-0.1) – Reading (+0.1),
Writing (+0.1), Spelling (0), and Grammar & Punctuation (+0.1).

Literacy has certainly been strong at the Grade 3 level, and results vary at Grade 5 level. Numeracy is
also strong at Grade 3 level, but the results are more challenging at the senior level. In 2008, national
testing was introduced, which saw a drop in results across all areas, particularly in numeracy across the
state. While Maths scores in Year 3 and 5 are low across the state, our school results
place above the national average. It is most likely that the move from state to national testing has
impacted on these results. Nevertheless, it is necessary to continue similar strategies that are used in
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                                                                St. Thomas More Primary School
                                         2008 Annual Report to the School Community


junior literacy and maths to the senior years to maintain strong results. In the past 12 months,
intervention programs have been introduced at Years 3/4 and 5/6 for both spelling and numeracy.

The staff was led in a review of the school’s current approach to student management. Professional
development in Co-operative Classroom Management was offered to all staff during the 2008 school
year in order to cater for new members of staff who were unfamiliar with the program. In conjunction
with this review, a related parenting course was conducted. The staff believes that a uniform and
consistent approach to behaviour management enhances both the learning environment and
opportunities for all students.

In surveys recently conducted, staff, parents and students expressed high satisfaction with the school.
Teaching and non-teaching staff are happy to be at St. Thomas More’s with over 90% responding as
satisfied or extremely satisfied with the work they do and their school as a place of work. They feel a
sense of ownership with more than 90% having goals aligned with the school vision and goals. Students
express their satisfaction when more than 70% saying they feel connected to the school, they are happy
to be there, they belong. About 80% of students surveyed said they are keen to do well, they try hard
and are motivated to achieve and learn. Parents (85%) said their children look forward to learning, and
enjoy the learning at school.




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                                                                 St. Thomas More Primary School
                                          2008 Annual Report to the School Community



Student Wellbeing

Goals and Intended Outcomes
    1. To fine tune referral procedures for integration and other students in need.
    2. Continue to provide opportunities for whole staff meetings to share student wellbeing issues.
    3. Continue to provide students with ways of developing connectedness and resilience at school.

Achievements

The students at St. Thomas More are a very happy, respectful group of children who are keen to learn
and participate in all school events. Their attendance rate at school (20-day May attendance rate) is
about 96%. Regular student attendance is important for student achievement and students who
regularly miss days of school are at risk of missing out on key learning activities and may experience
long-term difficulties with their learning. At St. Thomas More’s we have a healthy average attendance
rate, but it is something closely monitored by classroom teachers.

The Student Wellbeing Team continued to meet to discuss student needs. The Deputy Principal was
assigned one day a week to focus on this area within the school. Regular meetings are held each term
to discuss the needs of the students. This involves all the staff and provides valuable time for them to
support each other.

A Leadership meeting is held on the first Wednesday of the month for the Student Wellbeing Team to
prioritise needs within the school. This year we have reviewed our student management procedures with
the staff. This has enabled the staff to have clear and shared expectations of the students here at St.
Thomas More’s.

The Leadership Team developed procedures for the referral of students in need. A proforma was
created which allowed teachers to highlight students in their class who required further assistance. A
professional learning team meeting was held with the staff to discuss the referral of students to the CEO
as well as the new processes in place for staff. A staff committee was formed to follow up on referrals
made by the classroom teachers. They met regularly and ensured that students at risk were being
supported.

Two social skills groups were established to provide an avenue for students to talk and learn about
issues they may be having in the classroom or playground. This will continue in 2009.

Parent Support Group meetings were held regularly with parents of students experiencing difficulties in
their learning, students who have funding under the Catholic Education Office integration services as
well as students with speech problems. In 2008, there were 6 children funded for Literacy and
Numeracy Special Learning Needs and this allowed the school to employ 3 part-time aides to work with
these students.

Our Lunchtime Clubs Program continued to provide mentoring opportunities for our students. Parents
and teachers from the community organised a wide variety of clubs during Term 2 and 3. In term 2, the
students in Year 3 – 6 take part in the program. In Term 3 the students in Years 1 -2 take part in the
program. Our numbers for those involved in the clubs were as follows.
Term 2: 133
Term 3: 70

From the student responses in the surveys, students are happy at school, with more than 80% saying
they get on well with other students, and have friends who care about them. A similar amount said they
have positive feelings about school and are happy at school.




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                                                                    St. Thomas More Primary School
                                           2008 Annual Report to the School Community



Leadership and Management

Goals and Intended Outcomes
    1.   To successfully introduce a new Principal into the administration team.
    2.   To introduce new admin staff into the office.
    3.   School review preparations and update policy documents in line with VELS
    4.   Catholic Identity Project


Achievements

At the beginning of 2008 our staffing was as follows: - Principal, Deputy Principal, 13 fulltime classroom
teachers, Librarian and Library Technician, Specialists in Music, Art, Library, Physical Education,
LO.T.E. and Technology. We also had 3 Integration aides. Our enrolment numbers at the beginning of
the year were 327 students with 206 families.

The average attendance rate per staff member for 2008 was 88%. This shows a high commitment to the
school and does not show the extra hours staff dedicate through camps, excursions, after hours
meetings and out of school hours functions. Our major resource is personnel around the school.
There has been and will be changes over any period of time, and the staff retention rate from 2008-2009
was 82%. We celebrate the efforts of past members of staff, and farewelled two retirees, one ‘promotion’
and one transfer. We do realise that the time eventually comes for each person to move forward. At the
same time, we welcomed new staff members and provided induction processes to ensure smooth
transitions into class and office routines. Staff morale is very high, both individually and as a collective;
there is a lot of support within and across staff teams.

All staff are qualified to teach with the qualifications ranging from Diploma to Masters. The majority of
staff have a bachelor degree, with 14% also having a graduate certificate / diploma in another area. In
2008, 13% of teachers have completed a Masters degree in an education field. All teachers are
registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and hold current criminal record checks.

The student number had not varied for the August census, providing a staffing complement for 2009 of
14.9 FTE. We currently have 35 Preps enrolled in 2009 with another 13 new students across Grades 1-
6, giving a projected total of 326, a decrease of 1 student.

Leadership within the school community continues to develop. The staff nominated as members of the
leadership team meet regularly and have taken on more responsibility in the running of the school. In
2008, we also tried to align the Grade 6 leaders across the different areas of school life. This is being
further developed in 2009.
Whole school staff professional development in 2008 focused on developing inquiry units of work,
aligning them with the Victorian Essential Learning Standards and ensuring that all areas of the
curriculum are covered across a 2-year cycle. The leadership group also took on responsibility for the
preparation for review. With the support of the CEOM, processes have been developed to ensure an
inclusive, effective review.

Professional development is offered to all staff, depending on their needs and the availability of
providers. In 2008, all staff participated in in-house professional learning which includes staff meetings,
whole school closure days and professional learning team meetings. Seventeen staff attended external
providers. They also participated in several seminars run by the Catholic Education Office. Staff,
students and parents participated in the Catholic Identity Project, part of CEOM research; to date, the
final results are not known. The average cost per staff member was $2116. Staff have the opportunity
and responsibility to share learning that occurs away from the school, and they each do this.




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                                                                  St. Thomas More Primary School
                                          2008 Annual Report to the School Community



School Community

Goals and Intended Outcomes
    1. To continue and improve positive staff / parent / student relationships.
    2. To provide parents with parenting strategies which are consistent with the student / teacher
       behaviour management.
    3. To educate parents in issues such as Cyber Bullying.
    4. To build even stronger Parish / School relationships.


Achievements

In 2008 the school community continued to grow and develop positive staff/parent/student/parish
relationships. Many new projects, working bees, social gatherings were held to ensure the school
continued to grow and be maintained. It allowed families to support each other in many different ways.
Our working bee committee planned and supervised the following works – the decking upgraded, bike
shed refurbishment, electricity and shelving in the new storage shed, shelving in the Uniform shop and
the new concrete entrance to the driveway. With some supplementary capital funding, we were able to
refurbish two portable classrooms. Our Arts Precinct was created to include Music / Italian / Art rooms.
Decking and verandas were constructed to keep in line with the school and allowed the rooms to be
joined as one complete building. Money from this grant was also targeted towards the refurbishment of
the Library and technology room.

The school engaged the services of Madeline Kelly to provide parent sessions on behaviour
management. Madeline worked with 25 parents and 2 staff members across 5 weeks to look at the
Adlerian philosophy of working with children. This was an excellent response and illustrates the parent
involvement in the school. The parent program aligned with the staff professional development on
student management, providing a consistent approach across both school and home.

Working with Padua College and other primary schools on the Peninsula, parents were also offered a
parent information session on Cyber bullying. Although not well attended by parents, it was very
worthwhile information. Further work will be included into the ICT curriculum.

With the assistance of fundraising we were able to purchase resources for the students and staff -
portable soccer goals, a drinking trough for the 5/6 area and 10 laptops for the Library. We also
purchased 50 new computers for the students and 13 laptops for the classroom teachers. Each
classroom now has at least 4 networked computers allowing for Internet access. A wireless network
also functions around the school.

We made links with SEEDS, bushland regeneration and held regular planting days with the students
and parents. We planted a large number of new trees on the oval for future shade. The choir
represented the school at a number of concerts including the Senior Citizens and the Carols in the Mt.
Eliza Village. The students are very happy to be involved in a wide range of activities.

The current landscaping of the area above the bottom car park is a result of the $30000 raised by the
Parents Association in 2007. The annual wish list highlighted the need to improve the safety of the
surface of each of the car parks. The landscaping will not only provide a safe area for the students to
play in, but divert runoff into the correct drainage.

Survey results show that staff, parents and students are satisfied with the school community. The
morale of the school is very high. More than 90% of staff agree or strongly agree that there is good team
spirit, that the morale is high and they take pride in the school. Parents also reported on staff morale
being high and 83% stated they were satisfied with the education provided by the school. Parents (90%)
reported that their children look forward to going to school, and are happy to be at school. Student
results show over 80% feel connected to their peers, they get on well with other students, and have
friends who care about them.



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                                                              St. Thomas More Primary School
                                        2008 Annual Report to the School Community



Financial Performance
Financial Performance for the year ended 31 December 2008


 Reporting Framework                                                  Modified Cash          $

 Recurrent income
 School fees                                                                           347,975
 Other fee income                                                                      179,441
 Private income                                                                          70,209
 State government recurrent grants                                                     392,159
 Australian government recurrent grants                                              1,493,820

 Total recurrent income                                                           2,483,604

 Recurrent expenditure
 Salaries, allowances and related expenses                                           1,628,696
 Non salary expenses                                                                   384,369

 Total recurrent expenditure                                                      2,013,065

 Capital income and expenditure
 Government capital grants                                                             192,537
 Capital fees and levies                                                                     ----
 Other capital income                                                                    30,000

 Total capital income                                                                  222,537

 Total capital expenditure                                                           279,589

 Loans (includes refundable enrolment deposits and recurrent,
 capital and bridging loans)
 Total opening balance                                                               616,746

 Total closing balance                                                               672,543
Note that the information provided above does not include the following items:
System levies charged to individual schools, intra-systemic transfers and diocesan supplementary
capital fund (SCF) supported borrowings for primary schools. The information provided is not
comparable with other educational sectors. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace
Relations (DEEWR) is in the process of reviewing the Financial Questionnaire (FQ) during 2009 that
may ultimately change the method of reporting these exclusions.




                                                                                                     13
                                                              St. Thomas More Primary School
                                       2008 Annual Report to the School Community



Future Directions
St. Thomas More School continues to improve. It has wonderful students, a dedicated and
talented staff group, a highly committed parent body and processes in place for future
development.

2009 looms as the year of review. In the fourth year of our School Improvement Framework,
the school is involved in a review conducted by external facilitators, in consultation with the
Catholic Education Office Melbourne. This will occur in third term and entails an audit of the
five areas of school life:

* Education in Faith
* Leadership and Management
* Learning & Teaching
* Student Wellbeing
* School Community

It is expected that many community members will be able to have input into the review with
surveys to be completed and reports for the school and wider community to be prepared. The
end result of the review is the development of a 4-year strategic plan for the school, which can
then be implemented as one-year action plans. We look forward to generating this plan for
future guidance and development.

Continuing the building projects at STM will be another crucial part of 2009. It is important to
not only refurbish buildings, but also to build in structures to support the maintenance of all the
buildings.

Success with the e-learning component during 2008, has led to the planned introduction of
four more interactive whiteboards across the school. Support will again be provided to staff
and students to embed the technological processes as part of the learning and teaching focus
of the school. The students will quickly adapt to some e-learning and will ‘co-teach’ in many
aspects of the programs.

An Out of School Hours Care program is being trialed, in conjunction with the Parish and
Camp Australia. The program is taking place in the school’s multi-purpose room each
afternoon after school. The agreement is for a one-year trial to ascertain the need within the
community.

Together as community we can bring all these plans to fruition and take on any other
challenges that arise as the year flows.




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Description: St Thomas More Primary School Mt Eliza 2008 Annual Report to the