Dear Scared Heart Community
As I did last year, I would like to take the opportunity presented by the school newsletter, to present my final Principal's Report delivered at the School Board AGM on Tuesday evening
School Board AGM
3rd December 2019
My first two years as principal at Sacred Heart Primary School are nearly complete, and like all very positive experiences, the time has gone very quickly. Just as at the end of last year, when I thought I had won Tattslotto being appointed principal at Sacred Heart, another 12 months in the Principal’s chair has not dimmed my emotions.
As I wrote in last year’s report, before I commenced my work at Sacred Heart, I was well aware of the challenge our school like many Catholic schools had with continued falling enrolments. I was aware that Catholic Education is facing a challenge in maintaining its historical foothold in education within our country.
Again this year we have implemented some strategies to try and rectify falling enrolments (some new initiatives and others continuing the work commenced in 2018). At a stage this year we had 24 year preps enrolled for next year, which was a wonderful achievement for our school community and a sure sign that our school’s profile is growing. Unfortunately, some events conspired against us with the number now at 18 (due to 4 students having another year in kinder and one family returning to India for family reasons). 18 students however, is a pleasing increase on our prep enrolments for the past three years.
My firm belief is that the goal to make Sacred Heart the best school possible is the best way to counter falling enrolments. Every decision, strategy employed, initiative introduced that is made to improve our students learning, make Sacred Heart a safe and inclusive environment, gives our students a sense of emotional wellbeing will have a flow on effect upon enrolments.
Our relationship with the two local kindergartens has continued to grow. In 2019 we were invited to run the school readiness parent information night at the Darebin Child Care Centre and I have joined the Board of Management at the Gower Street Kindergarten.
In 2020 we have made continued efforts to engage a proportion of our parent population who whilst happy with the school are not involved. This year we introduced the classroom helpers program which saw a number of parents commit to giving some of their precious time to help our teachers with the everyday routine of the classroom. An increased parent engagement was evidenced in the outstanding number of families who attended the school dinner dance and our school concert and increased numbers at our whole school assemblies. Tonight we take the opportunity to thank the wonderful parents who have offered their time and energy to be involved in the life of our school.
In 2020 we have continued to strengthen the relationship between our school and wider parish community. A symbol of this ever evolving relationship was the performance of the Parish Tongan choir on the CD “Music from the Heart”.
The years 2016 and 2017 saw a slight decline in the schools overall NAPLAN results from the very good results the previous few years. The 2018 and 2019 results have been an improvement on the previous two years. Our writing results in particular have been a challenge and not meeting the standards we want. Next year we have employed educational consultant Deb Viteri to look at our planning model and how in particular to incorporate our literacy into our enquiry learning so our students are given more authentic writing stimuli.
When I look at the list of things that as a school we have initiated this year, I am filled with positivity for the work ahead. When I meet with colleagues about their schools, I realise that we all face challenges. Some are systemic whilst others are unique to their individual school community. I know that hard work by our staff based upon strategic thought will continue to set our school and its students up for success. As a staff we are committed to fulfilling the responsibility parents who have enrolled their children in our school have placed on us.
On a personal level, during the year I have been well supported by the staff, parent groups within the school and the students, and I thank all the stakeholders for this. I have really enjoyed the year and look forward to 2020 with renewed enthusiasm
Some highlights of 2019
Visible Learning Collective NCCD Audit
Year 5/6 Anglesea Camp
Introduction of Before School Care Program
Halogen Leaders Day
CD, “Music from the Heart”
Concert Thornbury Theatre
Year Prep – Two Billy Cart Incursion
School Dinner Dance
Introduction of Sacred Heart “Good Samaritan Award”
Introduction of Whole School Assemblies
Year Prep to Two Puppet Show Football Day
Whole School Transition Program
Year Six student Aleisha, placed 19th in State CC titles
Staff member Tanya married
(2nd December 2019)
I would like to thank retiring School Board members Marilene Fortuna, Leon Nevrous and Maria Panuccio for their tireless contribution to our School Board for the past few years. Their passion for our school, and commitment to school improvement will be sadly missed by all. We wish these families every happiness as their children move into their secondary education in 2020. Next year, I will announce the board members for 2020.