Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School is an outstanding school that provides a high quality of education for our students evidenced by a number of achievements in 2018. We have a group of highly dedicated and caring staff who are committed to the students and developing our Catholic ethos. We are truly fortunate to work with such a wonderful cohort of students who demonstrate a care of each other and willingness to learn. Their enthusiasm and respectful behaviour are a credit to themselves and their families. Our parents are involved in many ways and contribute daily to the school with their time and skills. Parental involvement is expected and appreciated at Galilee. There is a real and active partnership between our parents and the school and I would like to commend them on all for what they have done over this past year. We pride ourselves on our close connections within the school and our local area.
Our school motto, In Christ we Live, Love and Learn continues to capture our vision of preparing our students to be lifelong learners that are ready to embrace the future and be tomorrow’s leaders. We look forward to continuing to deliver a high quality Catholic education to our families. We have a strong ethos, great staff, supportive community and fantastic students.
In 2018, Galilee implemented the first year of our School Improvement Plan following an external Review in 2017. We have continued to work very hard to ensure ongoing improvement through various new initiatives. A very high priority has been the implementation of Learning Framework in Number and Daily 5 in English. While we provide a broad and diverse curriculum, we have a strong emphasis on: English, Mathematics, Religious Education, Student Wellbeing and The Arts.
New Major Events
Our students have a broad interest in Performing Arts and in 2018 we introduced a highly professional musical, led by Miss Carmen Carnovale. We chose The Lion King Junior and it show-cased the talents of our students, dedication of staff and involvement of parents.
We held a Sustainability Market that involved the whole school and the local community. Importantly it provided a purpose and action from the students’ learning. It was superbly led by the Community Partnership/STEM leaders: Miss Brighid Fahy and Miss Holly Evans.
Despite the opening of a new school nearby with another to follow in 2019, we had a large increase in applications hoping to attend Prep at Galilee in 2019. As a result, we made the decision to enrol three Prep classes providing a Catholic education for more students.
The Building Sub-Committee (SEB) has worked hard to prepare two Masterplans for a potential building project at Galilee. Thanks to their planning, we were able to secure a pledge of $5 million from both major parties leading into the State Election, the largest ever given to a Victorian Catholic Primary School. In 2019, we are hoping to receive the money and begin work that will provide state-of-the-art facilities for our school community.
Other notable initiatives were: Daily 5 and Learning Framework in Number which led to significant growth in our students’ learning. Both focused on explicit teaching and scaffolding of learning. We also held a Community Conversation with parents to gather their views on current practice and the future direction of our school. These ideas formed major parts of our 2019 Annual Action Plan.
Excerpt from External Reviewer’s Report
Late in 2017, an external reviewer visited Galilee as part of a four-year cycle and below is an excerpt from her Report:
In 2016, there was a change in the school's leadership with the appointment of a new principal. This triggered a substantial shift in the school's operations, with immediate attention paid to improving the school's organisational health and community engagement. The review finds that the school’s new directions place it in a strong position to deliver improved outcomes across all spheres. There has been a redefining of vision which is creating a greater sense of cohesion, underpinned by high expectations, empowerment of leaders and a clear focus on school improvement.
A new model of shared leadership is enhancing conditions to enable data, research and evidence to ensure maximum progress and growth in each student’s learning. Staff and parent input into the review emphasised the significance of the new leadership, which is transparent, consultative, courageous, compassionate and consistent.
It is clear that the school’s leadership now has the capacity to build an expert and coherent school-wide teaching team, characterised by continuous professional improvement, instructional leadership and shared responsibility for student learning and success.
School Improvement Surveys are conducted across Australia and Galilee achieved results predominately in the top 25% which is a significant improvement on previous years. See the remainder of this report for further elaborations.
Congratulation to our School Captains, Agnes & Liam, who led with courage and a strong sense of our Catholic beliefs. Both were outstanding role models.
Thank you to the Staff Leadership Team who in collaboration with all staff, introduced a number of successful initiatives. The team has been driven by school improvement with a strong focus upon the students.
In 2018, the Galilee Parents Association (newly named in 2019) raised an unprecedented amount of $40000 and begun the practice of year levels taking responsibility for events to increase their involvement. I thank all members, particularly the following: Chair-Annalise Woolley, Secretary-Emma Keating, Treasurer-Maureen Wetzell, Vice-Chair & Family Liaison-Jess Conway. They gave generously of their time to facilitate a number of events such as the Trivia Night and Mother’s Day Luncheon. The Dads of Galilee (DOGs) had another successful year highlighted by a sold-out camp to Queenscliff. Over the past three years, Paul Mapley has led the formation and organisation of the DOGs. Paul has made a generous and significant contribution to our school. In 2019, James McGann has taken over this role and I have full confidence in his ability.
The School Education Board (SEB) had a very successful year and I congratulate them for their many achievements. Donna McMaster completed her term as Chairperson and I would like to acknowledge her significant impact. Donna empowered others and during her term, we saw a dramatic increase in parental involvement across the school. She also personally contributed to: changes to school uniform, becoming a feeder school to STAR of the Sea and the Building Committee work that resulted in two Masterplans and a $5 million pledge from both major parties. I thank Donna and the SEB for their contribution. In 2019, Michelle McCormack will be the new Chairperson and I have full confidence in her ability to continue our successes.
Mrs Amy Burns took Maternity Leave for the birth of her son, Archie. I acknowledge the outstanding work she achieved, particularly in Leadership, Mathematics and Religious Education. Mr Martello took over this role (while continuing to teach Digital Technology and Italian) and adapted quickly to the demands of the role. He worked collaboratively to provide supportive and innovative leadership. Mrs Gerecke continued to lead with compassion, intelligence and generosity. I thank all of the Deputies for their support, hard work and expertise. In 2019, Mrs Gerecke will focus on Learning & Teaching and Mr Martello, on Student Wellbeing.
We are fortunate to have such wonderful Canonical Administrators (Parish Priests) in Fr Hugh Brown and Fr Dean Mathieson. They both give generously of their time.
For the full report, open the following link or go the school website:
Simon Millar (Principal)