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					         St Matthew’s School
     95 William St. North Fawkner




2009 Annual Report to the Community
  Registered School Number: 1612
                                                    St Matthew’s School
                      2009 Annual Report to the School Community



School Contact Information

                           95 William St. Nth Fawkner 3060
Address:

                           Mr. Phillip Smith
Principal:

                           Father Stephen Joseph
Parish Priest:

                           Father Stephen Joseph
School Board Chair:

                           03 93595423
Telephone:

                           principal@smfawknernth.catholic.edu.au
Email:

                           www.smfawknernth.catholic.edu.au
Website:




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                                                                      St Matthew’s School
                                    2009 Annual Report to the School Community




           St Matthew’s Parish Primary School,
                               North Fawkner
                             Mission and Vision
At St Matthew’s Primary School we live the values and teachings of Jesus, and are
witnesses to our Catholic faith in all our actions. We are committed to the development
of the educational, social and spiritual needs of our staff, parents and children.
With St Matthew as our patron, we strive to nurture spirit-filled citizens who are
committed to service and to seeking truth.         We are an inclusive and multicultural
community, where each person is welcomed, valued and supported.

Under the guidance of St. Matthew’s Parish and building on the tradition of the Sisters
of Mercy, we are committed to:
      Supporting parents as the first and foremost faith educators of their children;
      Educating the whole person; intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, socially,
       physically, so that they may come to a deeper awareness of self, others and the
       environment;
      Preparing each child for their present and future life by providing the strong
       foundations needed for lifelong learning;
      Implementing an inclusive and developmental curriculum which recognises
       each child as a unique person;
      Providing a safe, secure and rich learning environment where children, staff and
       parents are encouraged to reach their full potential;
      Being open, honest and positive in our relationships with each other;
      Valuing sacramental life as a gift given to us by Christ.




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                                                                       St Matthew’s School
                                     2009 Annual Report to the School Community




School Overview
At St Matthew’s we strive to nurture spirit filled citizens who are committed to service
and to seeking truth. We are an inclusive and multicultural community, where each
person is welcomed, valued and supported.

St Matthew’s has:
      a team of highly professional and dedicated staff;
      a comprehensive curriculum in all Essential Learning Areas;
      a Religious Education Program, which highlights sacraments and church
        celebrations;
      a strong focus on Literacy and Numeracy knowledge and skills;
      programs which allow students opportunities to participate, explore and excel
        in areas such as Physical Education and the Arts;
      a strong ICT focus including a computer lab, 5 computers and an interactive
        whiteboard in each classroom;
      a program which caters for individual needs including children newly arrived to
        Australia and those with disabilities;
      a variety of intervention and support programs;
      a Student Wellbeing Program which includes; positive behaviour management
        and bullying policies, social skills, Student Representative Council, friendship
        awards and regular recognition of student behaviour and abilities;
      modern play and recreation facilities including a synthetic oval surface,
        running track and basketball court as well as a sandpit and junior and senior
        adventure playgrounds.

St Matthew’s is a multicultural school community where cultural differences are
accepted and celebrated. The school is proud of the quality of education, support and
facilities that it provides to the families it serves. It has a long tradition of striving to
meet the needs of all students within its care.

St Matthew’s is a school that prides itself on providing a strong, broad curriculum in a
caring environment based on gospel values. The school works predominantly on a
straight grade philosophy with two or three class groups at each level. Our approach to
learning emphasises literacy and numeracy skills as the means of accessing
knowledge, communicating information and ideas and solving problems. The school
also has a very strong ICT focus.

As a school St Matthew’s has continually improved its facilities to ensure a modern
and effective learning environment. The school sits on a large site with ample space
for learning and play areas. A synthetic grass oval, basketball/netball court and tennis
courts allow students year round access to play areas. The school also has modern
junior and senior adventure playgrounds and a sandpit. The school buildings have
recently been refurbished and all learning areas are bright, environmentally controlled
(heating and cooling) and well maintained.



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                                                                      St Matthew’s School
                                    2009 Annual Report to the School Community



Principal's Report
St Matthew’s is a school with a strong sense of community built around our Catholic
culture and identity. The school is well established and offers all families a secure,
supportive and progressive educational environment.

The school places a high priority and emphasis on the religious dimension.
St Matthew’s Church and School sit side by side, and this is a strong reminder that, as
a parish primary school, we have a responsibility to work with the faith community in
maintaining the relationship between the families and the church. The school has a
strong commitment to ensuring that all children experience a rich prayer and
sacramental life. As a Catholic school, St Matthew’s strives to develop excellence in
the educational, personal, social, physical and spiritual dimensions of each child. Over
recent years the school has strengthened the relationship with the parish and this
continues to be a focus. The school is committed to the formation in faith of all
members of the school community.

As an educational organisation the school aims to build a culture of continuous
improvement. The world is changing quickly and it is an ongoing challenge to develop
programs and experiences that prepare the children in the best possible way to be
effective and valuable citizens in the twenty first century. At St Matthew’s we look for
ways to prepare our students to meet this challenge. We promote a team approach to
school improvement and the school has seen good achievements. The key to
educational success for students is the quality of the teachers in the school and the
quality of the relationships between the students, teachers and the families. Building
connectedness to school is highly important and continues to be a major focus.

The school recognises that children learn in a variety of ways. St Matthew’s has an
extraordinary mix of children from diverse cultural, economic and social backgrounds.
This means that the school needs to have policies, procedures and practices in place
to provide for the individual needs of the children in our care. As a school we promote
excellence in education and hold a firm view that all children have the potential to
succeed if we provide the right environment, support and opportunities.

Meeting the social and emotional needs of the children is a high priority of the school.
A number of programs have been introduced or refined to allow the school to support
children and families. A key initiative has been the development of the role of the
Student Wellbeing Leader who has assisted the school in developing and
consolidating programs which have a significant impact on student wellbeing.

St Matthew’s prides itself on the quality facilities and resources it offers to its students
and teachers. The school provides an excellent environment where teachers have
access to modern and effective resources and children can learn and play in safety
and comfort.




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                                                                    St Matthew’s School
                                   2009 Annual Report to the School Community



Education in Faith

Goals and Intended Outcomes
At St Matthew’s School we aim to model and help children understand and appreciate
the values and teachings of Jesus, and be witnesses to the Catholic faith in all our
actions. As Catholic teachers, we work to ensure the inclusion of sound doctrinal
content in our teaching and to engage the children in a sequential, challenging and
developmental program. We aim to promote and celebrate the traditions and practices
of the Catholic Church.

Goals and Intended Outcomes
    To enhance students’ understanding and engagement in Religious Education
       Curriculum, Liturgy and Prayer.
    To develop opportunities to strengthen the faith journeys of students, parents
       and staff.
    To strengthen the links between the school and the Parish.



Achievements
To complement and support the use of the To Know, Worship and Love texts, the
school has introduced the Religious Education Frameworks Documents, adapting the
units for our children, taking into consideration their faith and cultural backgrounds.
Staff have been introduced to the catechesis of the Good Shepherd Model and we
have implemented aspects of the model into Prep, through the use of felt materials,
when presenting scripture and stories to the children.

At St Matthew’s, we believe that it is important that our school community regularly
participates in liturgies and paraliturgies for special feasts in our Church year. Each
year level has the responsibility of learning about and preparing a celebration for the
whole school to attend. The children actively participate and respond during these
liturgies and paraliturgies, and are respectful and reverent. Prayer is an important part
of our daily classroom routine. Each classroom has a prayer box which contains prayer
cloths to match the liturgical seasons of the year, as well as prayer books, candles and
focus items for their prayer table. Each prayer box also includes a CD of hymns used
regularly at our liturgies and paraliturgies for use during their class prayer time.
Regular opportunities are provided for staff, children, parents and the wider community
to be involved in prayerful experiences (both formal and informal) at our school
liturgies and paraliturgies, fortnightly masses (for Years 3-6), weekend class masses,
family masses and staff meetings. Parents at each year level are invited to attend a
Parent/Faith meeting or workshop, covering a range of topics that cover ways in which
they can support their children on their faith journey. The school newsletter contains an
RE focus each week which includes reports of events that have occurred or
information about Church feasts or liturgical celebrations.

At St Matthew’s the sacraments are currently celebrated in Year 2 (Reconciliation
during Advent - Term 4), Year 3 (First Holy Communion – Term 3) and Year 6
(Confirmation, which is celebrated with the catechist children in the Parish). As part of
our Eucharist program, the Year 3 children participate in home masses in the lead up

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                                   2009 Annual Report to the School Community


to the celebration of Holy Communion. The First Communion masses take place in
class groups during a Parish mass. In recent years, we have engaged the assistance
of the Presentation Family Project to work with children and their parents, in preparing
for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Confirmation. We also run a school based
parent/child workshop for First Communion, as well as a reflection day for the Year 3
and Year 6 children in the lead up to receiving the sacraments.

Throughout the year, the school participates in fundraising for various Catholic
organisations. This provides the opportunity for the children to become aware of social
justice issues and work collaboratively, as a school community, to raise awareness
and funds to support groups such as; Project Compassion (during Lent), Centacare
(Family Week), St Vincent de Paul (in the weeks leading up to the Feast of the Sacred
Heart), Catholic Missions (Mission Week) and the Royal Children’s Hospital.




                                  First Holy Communion




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                                                                  St Matthew’s School
                                  2009 Annual Report to the School Community




Learning and Teaching

Goals and Intended Outcomes
At St Matthew’s Primary School we strive to develop and nurture each child as a
unique person. We believe that all facets of a child need to be developed and
nurtured.

We believe that effective learning takes place when the child is:
   Actively involved in purposeful learning in a safe, happy and welcoming
     environment, where they are exposed to a range of models and resources.
   Respected, challenged and supported in an environment that builds upon the
     individual’s experiences and interests and encourages communication and
     cooperation.
We believe that effective teaching takes place when the teacher is:
   Explicit, planned and caters for individual needs
   Providing good models
   Assessing in an ongoing way using formal testing, observation, interaction and
     samples of work.

Goals
   To enable children to operate effectively as confident, creative and productive
      citizens in the 21st century.
   To develop children’s’ competency in all areas of the curriculum with a particular
      focus on literacy and numeracy.
   To develop teacher competency in current pedagogical practices to inform,
      identify and improve student learning.

Achievements
At St Matthew’s we are focused on developing skills which enable our students to
succeed in the 21st century.

The school has acknowledged the importance of building teacher capacity as it is
recognised that good classroom teaching is the most important element impacting on
student learning. The school has leaders who facilitate the development of programs in
line with current pedagogy. This includes inservicing on the VELS, running staff
meetings and Professional Learning Team (PLT) meetings, assisting with planning,
providing resources for staff and alerting staff to relevant professional development
programs and literature. Teachers, in line with the School Action Plan and Individual
Annual Review Meetings, undertake external and internal professional development to
broaden their understanding of current pedagogy and their knowledge of curriculum.
Internal PD including staff inservice days, curriculum focused staff meetings and
Professional Learning Team Meetings are used to meet whole school curriculum
needs.

The school has provided learning opportunities for all students using a wide range of
learning experiences and activities including the music and performing arts program,
school multicultural garden, Brain Gym and a range of sporting activities such as
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                                    2009 Annual Report to the School Community


gymnastics, swimming, tennis and interschool sports. Each classroom has been
supplied and fitted with an interactive whiteboard and these are used across the
curriculum. Links have been made between curriculum areas through the Integrated
Inquiry and specialists’ programs. A variety of teaching styles are utilised to cater for
varying learning styles of students. Teachers use a range of flexible grouping
techniques to maximise learning opportunities.

Students at St Matthew’s school are highly motivated, confident and engaged in their
learning. They are enthusiastic learners and are willing to take advantage of and
participate in the range of opportunities that are provided for them

Focused teaching and learning has been driven by the use of both formal and informal
data. This data is used to reflect on teaching practice and to set direction for future
learning. Literacy, Numeracy and Integrated Inquiry planners are focused on meeting
the needs of students. Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) are developed and revised for
students on funded programs and other students as needed.

The major curriculum focus areas in this School Development Plan Cycle have been
Literacy, Numeracy, Integrated Inquiry and ICT.

Literacy

At St Matthew’s 77% of our children come from ESL backgrounds therefore the
development of literacy skills is crucial to their success in life. Literacy Advance is the
cornerstone of the school program. The Prep – Year 4 program builds the foundations
for Literacy and the Year 5 and Year 6 program builds on this knowledge in
preparation for the transition to secondary education. In 2009 literacy support leaders
were introduced in Year 3 and Year 4 as well as in Year 5 and Year 6 to assist the
school’s Literacy leader and to monitor programs.

The acquisition of oral language skills has been a high priority in the Prep – Year 2
area. Classroom teachers in Prep - 2 use direct teaching of oral language structures.
Focused teacher talk using both cued articulation and colourful semantics is
encouraged as it provides children with visual as well as oral cues. We implement a
specific oral language program for the Prep students with a focus on oral language
play, conversation and modelling of speech by the oral language teacher.

The needs of all students are catered for with Reading Recovery, Corrective Reading,
Individual Learning Plans, reading buddies and aide assistance being integral parts of
the program to ensure those at risk are given the opportunity to reach their full
potential.

The success of this coordinated approach can be seen in our literacy and like school
data which indicates although we average 96-98 % of children on level 0 at the
beginning of Prep, by Year 2 we consistently have an average of 95% of children at or
above level 20 and less children below this level than either like or all schools.

In recent years there has been a focus on using ICT     in Literacy with the development
of literacy ‘myclasses’ pages, including a shared       Prep – Year 2 Literacy page.
Interactive whiteboards have been incorporated as        part of the whole class shared
reading and modelled and shared writing. The use        of ICT in the senior school has
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                                  2009 Annual Report to the School Community


enabled a closer link between Literacy and Inquiry based learning.

The teachers in Years 3 and 4 implement the Readers’ Workshop and Writers’
Notebook approaches. The Reading to Learn program provides a structure for literacy
learning in Years 5 and 6.

Mathematics

The school uses the Success In Numeracy Education (SINE) approach to teaching
Mathematics. The school has a Mathematics Leader to coordinate the program and
twelve teachers have participated in the SINE training offered by CEOM and have
since shared with colleagues and implemented SINE strategies to improve student
outcomes. The Mathematics Leader is currently participating in the Mathematics
Leadership (P-10) Project facilitated by the CEOM in conjunction with Monash
University.

Over the past two years a key focus for early years’ learning of Mathematics has been
the explicit teaching of mathematical language and the development of key concepts.

The school provides an Intervention Program for low attaining students in Years 3 & 4
and a Maths Challenge Group to extend the problem solving skills of high attaining
students in Years 3 - 6.




In order to greater engage students and to facilitate teaching and learning of
Mathematics across all year levels, focus has been placed on using ICT and concrete
materials within the classroom. Interactive whiteboards, Mathletics for Year 5 and
regularly updated ‘myclasses’ pages (at individual levels as well as a Prep - 6 page
maintained by the Mathematics Leader) are regularly used to facilitate teaching and
learning.




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                                      2009 Annual Report to the School Community




Compliance Advice

PROPORTION OF STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL BENCHMARKS
AT YEAR 5 AND YEAR 3
Data provided by the Catholic Education Office indicates the following percentage of students
who met the national benchmark, as assessed by the National Assessment Project Literacy
and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in 2009.

       Percentage of Students Meeting the National Benchmarks
             Year 3
                 Reading                           100%
                 Writing                           100%
                 Spelling                          98.3%
                 Grammar and Punctuation           98.3%
                 Numeracy                          96.6%
             Year 5
                 Reading                           96.9%
                 Writing                           96.9%
                 Spelling                          98.4%
                 Grammar and Punctuation           96.9%
                 Numeracy                          93.8%

Data provided by the Catholic Education Office indicates the following percentage changes in
National Benchmark results as a comparison to the previous year’s results at that year level.
Variations in results are usually due to the different makeup of students in the various groups.
The number of children with; low English levels, learning difficulties or high abilities etc will
affect the overall percentages when relatively small groups of students are compared.

Percentage Change from Previous Year of Students Meeting the National Benchmarks
                   Year 3
                Reading                          +4.4
                Writing                          0.0% (No change)
                Spelling                         +0.5%
                Grammar and Punctuation          +0.5%
                Numeracy                         +5.7%
                   Year 5
                Reading                          +6.3%
                Writing                          +2.6%
                Spelling                         +2.2%
                Grammar and Punctuation          - 3.1%
                Numeracy                         -4.3%

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES IN STATEWIDE/NATIONAL TESTS
Over the past three years the school has performed well in statewide and national
tests in all areas of Literacy. The school results are especially pleasing when viewed in
the context that we generally have 96-98 % of students on reading level 0 at the
beginning of Prep however by Year 2 we consistently have an average of 95% of
students at or above reading level 20.

In 2009 the school continued to achieve good results in comparison to state averages
in reading, writing, spelling and in grammar and punctuation.


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                                2009 Annual Report to the School Community


The school’s results in numeracy (number and mathematics) are just below state
averages however the school has achieved higher levels of growth in the students
between Year 3 and Year 5 when compared to the growth across the state. The school
is looking to further improve student outcomes in maths in the upcoming years.

AIM AND NAPLAN SCHOOL SUMMARY REPORTS 2007-2009

Year 3 2009




Year 3 2008




Year 3 2007




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                                                                  St Matthew’s School
                                  2009 Annual Report to the School Community


Year 5 - 2009




Year 5 - 2008




Year 5 – 2007




PARENT, TEACHER AND STUDENT SATISFACTION
The school believes that the parent, teacher and student population of the school
community have a high degree of satisfaction with the school and its operations. The
school acknowledges the valuable contribution that the parent body makes to the
running of many of the school’s programs. The school has a large group of volunteers
especially through the classroom helper program; the canteen and the Parents’ and
Friends’ Association. Parents are regularly involved in school activities and have the
opportunity to express their satisfaction with the school through a number of avenues.
The principal, deputy principal and teachers are available to discuss issues with
individual parents on request. The principal attends the monthly meeting of the
Parents’ and Friends’ Association and the Education Board meet twice a term.
Parents and students have two opportunities to comment on the students’ learning as
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                                    2009 Annual Report to the School Community


part of the schools’ reporting processes.
In last year’s review surveys, a high level of satisfaction from students, teachers and
parents was evident.
Insight SRC survey results indicate that Student Morale is high (75%) and Student
Distress levels are low. Students appear to have a strong connection to the school
(90%) and to their peers (86%). Engagement of students, regardless of their individual
needs and learning styles, is evident with strong results in the students’ responses.
Insight SRC data indicates that parents believe that their children are being well cared
for with respect to their safety (84%) and that classroom behaviour is not an issue
(60%). Parents believe that their children are being given the opportunity to develop
strong links with their peers (84%) and with the school (85%). Results indicate that
parents are happy with most aspects of what is happening at St Matthew’s (General
Satisfaction - 85%). They have been very positive about the opportunities provided to
them with respect to their involvement and participation in liturgical services and other
school activities (Opportunity – 90%).




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                                                                     St Matthew’s School
                                    2009 Annual Report to the School Community




Student Wellbeing

Goals and Intended Outcomes
At St Matthew’s we have formed a community which provides a strong sense of
wellbeing, belonging and security so that our students are given every opportunity to
be affirmed in their dignity and worth and are assisted to grow to their full potential.
The Mission and Vision of the school acknowledges the importance of educating the
whole person; intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, socially, physically, so that they
may come to a deeper awareness of self, others and the environment. St Matthew’s
School endeavours to provide for each student experiences of high quality
interpersonal relationships of care and support.

Goals
    To strengthen relationships across the school.
    To further develop student wellbeing programs and practises throughout the
      school.
    To provide students with a safe and secure environment for playing and
      learning.
    To develop the social and emotional intelligence of students enabling them to
      interact effectively in their everyday lives.
    To provide opportunities for student leadership.
     To develop the role of the Student Wellbeing Leader in order to promote
      student wellbeing across the school.


Achievements
At St Matthew’s School we have worked towards developing the leadership capacity
within our students. We have School and House captains and vice captains as well as
a Student Representative Council (SRC). These roles are renewed each year in order
to give as many students as possible an opportunity for school leadership. At the
beginning of each year these students take part in a leadership program focusing upon
Michael Grose’s five spheres of leadership. They are guided through the principles
and then demonstrate and develop their learnings throughout the year as their
leadership roles develop.     The SRC have scheduled meetings and organise
fundraising events in the school. These fundraising events stem from students’
requests and concerns and also incorporate a social justice aspect.

St Matthew’s School has formed strong community based partnerships over the years.
The school promotes all aspects of student wellbeing and has made various nutritional
and activity based changes in order to promote and raise awareness about student
health and wellbeing. The school encourages ‘brain food’ snack times and increased
water consumption.

The school provides colourful and engaging play areas. These resources aim to
promote greater physical activity and socialisation opportunities for our students. We
also have several drinking taps across the school including newly installed ones on the
oval. The school has secure fencing and a sign-in procedure to monitor the various

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                                   2009 Annual Report to the School Community


entrants to the school. We have charts in prominent areas of the school that list
students with serious allergies and illnesses. This enables staff to closely monitor any
health related issues.
At St Matthew’s we provide a range of social and emotional learning programs
including, You Can Do It, Bounce Back, Drug Education, SEASONS-grief and loss
program, a friendship program, a buddy system that operates between Prep and Year
5 students and a transition program for the Year 6 students which includes meaningful
communication with our prospective secondary schools. These programs have been in
place for several years and are reviewed to provide new resources and learning that
will further develop the effectiveness of these intervention/prevention programs.
The school runs a number of group and individual support programs for these
students. The school is able to support students utilising its own resources and by
accessing funded programs.

In 2009 the school supported 20 students in the LNSLN program for students with
disabilities. Program Support Group Meetings, Individual Learning Plans, curriculum
modification, aide support in the classroom, additional support and monitoring, specific
resources, additional playground supervision have all been elements of the program.

The school has supported a number of new arrival and refugee students. The majority
of these students have come as refugees from Iraq. The school also employs a
Chaldean and an Arabic aide to support these students, the school and families.

The Student Wellbeing role has been given greater prominence over recent years.
The Student Wellbeing Leader is currently undertaking a Masters in Education –
Wellbeing (in Inclusive Schooling)
Compliance Advice
STUDENT ATTENDANCE
Student attendance is a critical component of success at school. By regularly missing
days of school, students are at risk on missing out on key learning activities and may
experience long term difficulties with their learning. Attendance also helps students
develop social skills such as friendship building, teamwork, communication skills and
healthy self esteem. The school uses a computer based attendance roll and therefore
we are able to report figures for any date of the school year, including information in
regards to late arrivals, early dismissals and reasons for absence.

The overall attendance rate in 2009 was 92.63%




                                       Grade 6 Camp
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                                    2009 Annual Report to the School Community




Leadership and Management
Goals and Intended Outcomes
At St Matthew’s Primary School we live the values and teachings of Jesus and are
witnesses to our Catholic faith in all our actions. We are committed to the development
of the educational, social, emotional and spiritual needs of our staff, students and
school community.
The improvement of student outcomes is the essential component of our School
Development Plan and is considered in relation to our school’s Mission and Vision.

Goals
   To provide teachers with professional learning, resources and the appropriate
      environment which allows for the best outcomes for all students.
   To provide policies, procedures, structures and practices to enhance the
      effectiveness of the school.
   To promote leadership across a variety of levels within and outside of the
      school.

Achievements
The culture of the school is very positive and staff, parents and students feel
supported. This can be seen in the excellent retention and attendance rates of staff
and students. The school enrolment of 440 (2009) has been steady over the last 5
years. Students and parents feel safe and are satisfied with student behaviour, and the
policies and practices the school has in place to monitor and address student
wellbeing.

The school revised its Mission and Vision in 2009 to ensure that this guiding document
continues to be the driving force for all decisions within the school. The school has well
established structures, policies, procedures and practices which allow for the effective
running of the school. We are committed to the ongoing maintenance and
development of resources to ensure safety and an engaging learning environment.
Entry points into the school are locked from 9:15am-3:15pm with the only access being
through the school office. People entering the school during these times are required
to sign in and out, and parents working in the school are required to have a Working
with Children’s Check. The school has an up-to-date Emergency Management Plan
and undertakes regular emergency management drills. The school provides
supervision for students from 8:30am, during breaks and after school (at exit points)
until 3:40pm. Staff have undertaken anaphylaxis and first aid training and there are
eight level 2 first aid trained staff rostered to sick bay duty. The school ensures that all
students with medical conditions are well monitored and catered for. The school is
compliant with all Essential Services requirements.

The school has a highly qualified and dedicated team who work for the development
and improvement of the school.

The school has an excellent record of efficient financial management which has
enabled us to undertake improvements while still ensuring the school is financially
accessible to the families in the area. In 2009, 46.4% of families were receiving the
EMA which has remained consistent over the last 5 years.
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The overall development of the school facilities and environment continues to be of a
high standard. The school continually works towards updating and developing areas to
ensure an optimum teaching, learning and play environment.

Developments and improvements in 2009:
 National School Pride Project – Refurbishment Funding: Replacement of windows
  in Middle School, new walkway, concrete pathways, refurbishment of library, new
  staff amenities, refurbishment of sick bay.
 Schools for the 21st Century Building Funding to be complete in 2010. This building
  contains 3 classrooms, a technology resource room, a LOTE room and a visual
  arts room as well as two shared learning and community areas and new toilet
  block.
 2008-2009 Extension of Office Areas, New Secretary/Bursar Office, New DP
  Office, New Duplicating Room.
 2007-2009 Interactive Whiteboards and Laptops for all classrooms.
 Air conditioning in new offices and existing withdrawal areas.
 Major power upgrade of school.
 2008-2009 Replacement of blinds – Junior School, Senior School and Office Areas
Compliance Advice
STAFF ATTENDANCE
In 2009 the average attendance rate per staff member was:
                           Teaching Staff           84.95%
                           Non-Teaching Staff       97.07%
                           All Staff                88.53%
Long Service Leave, Long Term Sickness, Maternity Leave, Study Leave and
Enrichment Leave during the year are all counted as non-attendance and this effects
the absence rate of the teaching staff.

The school acknowledges the staff commitment demonstrated by their involvement in
camps, excursions, after hours’ meetings, Sacraments, Sunday Masses and other
extra curricular activities.

STAFF RETENTION
The proportion of teaching staff retained in 2008 from the previous year was – 86.67%
The data represents retention of individual staff members. Staff who were on extended
leave have not been included in the calculation.
Our high retention rate demonstrates our school’s high staff morale and the positive
school environment.

TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS
All teachers at St Matthew’s are registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching. In
2009: 21.05% of teachers had a Graduate Diploma, 85.29% had a Bachelor Degree
(this figure is currently 17% higher than the state average), 20.59% had a Graduate
Diploma and 5.88% had a Masters Degree. We currently have a number of teachers
completing further study to advance their qualifications. Overall St Matthew’s has a
highly qualified and skilled staff.




                                                                                           18
                                                                     St Matthew’s School
                                    2009 Annual Report to the School Community


EXPENDITURE AND TEACHER PARTICIPATION IN PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

St Matthew’s is committed to ongoing professional development of all staff. At the
beginning of the year, each teacher completes a Professional Development Plan,
which involves setting goals, and looking at Professional Development that will support
them in achieving their own goals and those set by the school within its four year plan.

Description of Professional Learning Activities
Professional Learning Team meetings and Staff Meetings are an integral part of the
professional development of teachers. Each week teachers are involved in two or
three of these meetings after school.

Throughout the year, the school provides four professional development days where
the staff as a whole work on developing school programs. The school organises an
overnight professional development activity each year, which has a focus on spiritual
and personal development of staff.
In 2009, the following topics were addressed during whole school Professional
Development days:
            School Review Planning – What is our Vision and Mission?
            Organisational Health Survey
            Review of School Policies
            Effective Planning and teaching for mathematics
Teachers attend a variety of professional development opportunities throughout the
year to support school programs and for personal professional development. In 2009,
the major focus was in the areas of Literacy, Numeracy, supporting students with
special needs and student wellbeing. These professional activities take place during
the school week after school and at weekends.
Teachers were also engaged in a number of study areas including Masters in
Religious Education, Masters in Literacy Leadership, Masters in Student Wellbeing,
and Mathematics Leadership.

Number of Teachers Participating in Professional Learning
38/38 teaching staff were involved in professional learning activities in 2009.

School Expenditure on Professional Learning
       Total Expenditure = $30549
The total school expenditure on Professional Learning takes into account course costs,
teacher replacement costs, cost incurred for school based professional development
days, costs incurred by the school’s overnight spiritual development activity and
professional journals and resource materials.

Average Expenditure per staff member on Professional Learning = $710.




                                                                                           19
                                                                  St Matthew’s School
                                  2009 Annual Report to the School Community



School Community

Goals and Intended Outcomes
St Matthew’s offers children, parents, parishioners and the wider community the
opportunity to be involved in the school and its activities. The school aims to promote
open communication between all members and create links with external groups and
agencies.

Goals
   To maintain and expand on the level of parent involvement and support.
   To further develop an understanding of the link between the Parish and the
      School community.
   To take opportunities to be involved in activities and events within the wider
      community.


Achievements
St Matthew’s is a Parish Primary School and therefore it exists as part of the parish
community. The families who enter our school become not only part of our school
community but also of the parish and wider church community. Connections both
religious and secular promote wellbeing, personal development and progress, both of
the school and the individual. The school has an important role in facilitating this
interconnectedness.

The school has an excellent Literacy Classroom Helper Program and many parents
volunteer to assist the classroom programs in a variety of ways (this involvement has
already been explored in the Teaching and Learning Sphere). The uniform shop and
canteen are run by parent volunteers and parents assist with programs organised by
specialist teachers. There are many religious celebrations and parents are regularly
invited into the school to support and participate in school events.

The Parents and Friends Association are very active and many of their activities centre
on community events such as Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
They make a valuable contribution through fundraising and the results of their efforts
can be seen throughout the school. The Parents and Friends Association also
provides an opportunity for parents to mix with each other, and with members of staff,
through social gatherings. In 2009 the Parents’ and Friends’ major fundraising activity
was a Market Day which was extremely successful both as a fundraiser and a
community fun day.

The Parish Education Board meets twice a term to support the running of the school
within the parish. The parent representatives on the Board provide advice to the Parish
Priest and Principal in regards to the present and future direction of the school.

Parents are kept well informed through the school newsletter, term outlines, the school
website, myclasses pages, parent information nights, reports, parent / teacher
interviews and other formal and informal communication opportunities.

St Matthew’s has a number of connections with local preschools, primary schools and

                                                                                          20
                                                                   St Matthew’s School
                                   2009 Annual Report to the School Community


secondary colleges. The school runs a transition program with our largest feeder
kindergarten and the school transition coordinator liaises with each preschool prior to
Prep Orientation. Our Year 6 students compete against local Catholic schools in
Interschool Sports during Term 3.
The school participates in the Penola College Poetry and Volleyball Competitions and
students from Mercy College are involved in Literacy/Numeracy week activities at
St Matthew’s. The school accepts a number of students each year as part of the
Secondary School Work Experience Program.

St Matthew’s has worked hard to engage the Iraqi community. The school supported a
parent through a traineeship and this parent continues to work in the school assisting
with interpreting, translating, as a link with the Chaldean community and working
directly with the students with a focus on those who have recently arrived. The school
also employs an Arabic speaking aide who has been employed to further assist with
school programs.

Many opportunities are provided for students to present their learning outside of the
classroom and to the community. At each assembly a class presents an aspect of their
curriculum or a current event which they wish to share. Parents enjoy this regular
opportunity to see the students perform. Events such as Book Week,
Literacy/Numeracy Week, Sports Day, Arts Week and Refugee Week provide many
opportunities for the school community to work and celebrate together.

The school actively links with the wider community especially through its music
program. Many of these events have been collaborative arrangements with other
schools and organisations.

St Matthew’s offers prospective parents and interested members of the community the
opportunity to view the school in action during its annual Open Day and by
appointment with the Principal. The school actively promotes itself proudly in the
media, looking to highlight its programs and activities to the wider community.

Compliance Advice
Parent and Student survey data indicates that parents believe that their children are
being well cared for with respect to their safety (84%) and that classroom behaviour is
not an issue (60%). Parents believe that their children are being given the opportunity
to develop strong links with their peers (84%) and with the school (85%). Results
indicate that parents are happy with many aspects of St Matthew’s (General
Satisfaction - 85%). They have been very positive about the opportunities provided to
them with respect to their involvement and participation in liturgical services
(Opportunity – 90%) and other school activities.
The students surveyed in Year 5 and Year 6 rated the school above the state
averages in all aspects of the survey. Especially strong results were found in the areas
of; Stimulating Learning (79%), Student Safety (81%), Purposeful Teaching (84%),
Teacher Empathy (86%), Connectedness to school (89%) and Student Motivation
(92%).
Survey data confirms our belief that a strong partnership is being developed between
the school, home and wider community.




                                                                                           21
                                                  St Matthew’s School
                         2009 Annual Report to the School Community




Book Week – Dress Up




                    Working Bee




School Sports day




                                                                        22
                                                                                               St Matthew’s School
                                                 2009 Annual Report to the School Community


Smarter Schools National Partnerships
Annual Activity and Accountability Statement 2009
SMARTER SCHOOLS NATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

Improvement Targets/Milestones
Key improvement targets/milestones identified in the School Improvement Plan which are aligned to National
Partnerships.

   In the area of literacy the school is targeting improvement in student oral language and reading ability.
   For student achievement in mathematics to improve.
   That school’s SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) programs and practices increasingly address the
    needs of the students.
   That communication between school and parents is enhanced
   That parent awareness of opportunities for participation and input is improved.
   That links to the wider community are expanded
   That the partnership between the families and the school in Faith development underpins the Catholic
    identity of the school

Improvement Strategies                                     2009 Outcomes
Improvement strategies the school developed in 2009 to     The achievements in 2009 in relation to these
meet the improvement targets.                              improvement strategies.
The school participated in CEOM principal briefings
                                                               The principal communicated relevant National
to engage in the Smarter Schools National
                                                                Partnerships (NP) information to the school
Partnerships reform agenda.
                                                                leadership team, staff and school community.
                                                               Key school staff understand the planning and
                                                                accountability requirements.


The school reviewed and revised the School                     The school has a literacy/numeracy focus plan
Improvement Plan and Annual Action Plan to ensure               that is aligned with NPs and the specific needs
alignment with NPs.                                             of the school community.

The school expressed interest in CEOM sponsored            The school:
study in the Australian Catholic University Master of
                                                               Sent a staff member to the briefing for the
Education (Wellbeing in Inclusive Schooling), which
                                                                Master of Education (Wellbeing in Inclusive
will commence in 2010.
                                                                Schooling).
                                                               Nominated a staff member to undertake the
                                                                CEOM sponsorship for the course.


The school identified strategic approaches to              The school:
family/school/community partnerships to enhance
                                                               Reviewed School – Community Action Plan
learning.
                                                                goals.
                                                               Attended CEOM briefings in relation to Family-
                                                                School Partnerships.


The school is building on its Student Wellbeing            The school has:
approach with a view to further incorporating Social
                                                               Identified Social Emotional Learning as a key
Emotional Learning (SEL) across the school
                                                                aspect of development in the Annual Action
                                                                Plan.


2010 Planned Progress


                                                                                                                     23
                                                                                                     St Matthew’s School
                                                      2009 Annual Report to the School Community


       Build teacher capacity and school leadership capacity in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy.
       Introduce new intervention programs in Literacy and Numeracy.
       Reading Recovery will be extended to assist with the school’s aim to provide full coverage for Grade 1
        students requiring the program.
       The school will develop a strategic approach to Family-School Partnerships to enhance learning. This
        will include planning and engagement with the Family-School Partnership Convenor and the
        implementation of strategic activities to strengthen school-family-community partnerships.

Financial
Smarter Schools National Partnership Funding

The National Partnership (NP)
your                                                           $10,005
2009 Actual allocation
school is participating in
                                                               $250,592
2010 Notional budget allocation
                                                               $303,997
2009 School Co-Investment
         The 2009 Actual Allocation is the amount that has been sent directly to the schools or incurred on behalf of the
          school by the CECV or the Diocesan office.
         Expenditure at the school level may not have been spent in the year the direct support was received.




                                                                                                                             24
                                                                                 St Matthew’s School
                                         2009 Annual Report to the School Community



Financial Performance
   Report on Financial Activities.
    (For more information refer to 2k) in the Primary Instructions for the Annual Report 2009
    document on CEVN/Data & Surveys/2009 Annual Report.)
Financial Performance for the year ended 31 December 2009

Reporting Framework                                                    Modified Cash $

Recurrent income                                                       Tuition

School fees                                                                               82,979

Other fee income                                                                         103,827

Private income                                                                            33,776

State government recurrent grants                                                        669,980

Australian government recurrent grants                                                  2,355,947

Total recurrent income                                                                  3,246,509


Recurrent Expenditure                                                  Tuition

Salaries; allowances and related expenses                                               2,558,020

Non salary expenses                                                                      342,156

Total recurrent expenditure                                                             2,900,176


Capital income and expenditure                                         Tuition

Government capital grants                                                                945,185

Capital fees and levies                                                                  135,679

Other capital income                                                                      20,000


Total capital income                                                                    1,100,864


Total capital expenditure                                                               1,027,568

Loans (includes refundable enrolment deposits and recurrent, capital
and bridging loans)                                                    Tuition


Total opening balance                                                  250,000


Total closing balance                                                  200,000


                                                                                                       25
                                                       St Matthew’s School
                            2009 Annual Report to the School Community


Note that the information provided above now includes the following
items that are not derived from the Department of Education, Employment
and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Financial Questionnaire (FQ) however
which form part of the school's finances: 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.
DEEWR has finalised the process of reviewing the FQ during 2009 which
may ultimately change the method of reporting these exclusions.




                                                                             26
                                                                    St Matthew’s School
                                   2009 Annual Report to the School Community



Future Directions
2010 looks to be an exciting year especially with the school’s involvement in the
Smarter Schools National Partnerships. This program will enable the school to build on
its record for providing quality education especially in the areas of English and
Mathematics. The school will be extending Reading Recovery, introducing a Grade 2
Literacy intervention program, extending the role of the Mathematics Leader,
extending the Maths Challenge group and providing additional professional training for
teachers in a variety of literacy and numeracy support strategies including the Reading
to Learn program for all Year 5 and Year 6 teachers.
Another key aspect of this program is the development of school-parent-community
partnerships. Beginning 2010 the school has access to a School Community Convenor
who will work with the school two and a half days a week. The convenor’s role is to
foster and enhance these partnerships. The school is also introducing a number of
special programs (e.g. After School Music Club) to build new links between the school
and community.

The school prides itself on its Arts program and a key aspect of this in 2010 will be the
whole school concert. This concert will be based on the life of Mary MacKillop and will
be performed in September.

Building and refurbishments made possible through Government grants within the
Building the Education Revolution funding will be complete in 2010. A new building will
contain:
       First Floor: Italian Room, Visual Art Room, ICT Resource Room and a
       multipurpose/community area.
       Upstairs: 3 classrooms and a multipurpose area.
This building will also contain downstairs and upstairs toilet blocks and a lift.

The additional rooms ensure that the school has the capacity to run three grades at
each level. Enrolments for 2009 were very strong and the school continues to receive
excellent support from the local community. The school will also be able to offer an Out
of School Hours Program once the building has been complete.




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