Annual Report

Principal’s Report

AGM 2019

Good evening everyone and I thank you for attending our School AGM for 2019

I acknowledge ..

  • Fr Dat, Parish Priest from the Parish of Mater Christi, Yangebup.
  • Mr Jean Paul Papineau, Chair of the HPCPS Board.
  • Mrs Megan Byslma, President of the P&F Association.
  • Mrs Susannah Robinson, Assistant Principal HPCPS.
  • Advocates, and the staff of HPCPS.
  • Parents and Caregivers.

Your attendance tonight is important, and I value your generosity by being here.  This school is important to all of us, and your presence makes that very clear.

The responsibility we share as parents and teachers in the education of our young people is a complimentary one.  It is a sacred trust, and we cannot afford to forget our collective responsibility.  Our endeavours must always be focused on the care and development of every child at HPCPS.

Our school should be a place of welcome.  It should be filled with the joy of learning and students should be empowered to achieve their personal best.  Jesus must be central to all that we do, and his presence should be a celebration amongst us.  Prayer should be heard in our classrooms, and God should be spoken about.

Our teacher assistants and teachers should be active learners, engaged in the learning process and love coming to work.  Their workplace should be creative, inspiring, supportive, challenging and fun.  These people in their work have an influence on the future, they place an imprint on the children here, and they build on the work parents have already begun.

I believe, and I hope you share my reality that what should be here, is.  That what I have just mentioned is lived here on a daily basis at HPCPS.  It is not just spoken about.

Let’s begin our discussion about the 2019 School Year.

This year has seen Pre-primary implement the Pre-lit program for literacy support, with a focus on being able to blend, segment and decode words.  The Mini-lit and Reading Tutor programmes have continued to support students throughout the school.  Both are evidence-based programmes which focus on the explicit teaching of essential reading and literacy skills.  My appreciation to Liesl Heathcote, Michelle Meyerkort, Donna Edwards, Sharron Welch and Joanna Vinci for conducting the Mini-Lit programme, and Theresa Edmonds for the Reading Tutor programme.

Our school this year, was a part of the National Simultaneous Storytime initiative, whereby the whole school were reading and discussing the text ‘Alpacas with Maraccas’.

The students learnt about the author and what other titles he has written.  It was a unique experience and the children loved the activity.

Our teachers have continued to use Brightpath as a moderation tool in order to improve student’s Writing skills.  Brightpath is a proven and robust web-based software solution with a range of assessment and reporting features.  Brightpath assists teachers to identify what learning is required to enable students to progress and help plan for individual student learning needs.  It helps teachers validate their grading decisions.

In Mathematics, staff have completed the development of the whole school Maths approach and continual staff development has focused on implementing this in our classrooms.

We began the year with all staff working, with the support of a CEWA consultant, to develop our Aboriginal Education Plan, which staff have focused on implementing throughout the year, embedding Aboriginal Perspectives across all learning areas.

At the end of Term 2, all students were involved in a range of activities for NAIDOC Week.

In 2019 we have had a focus on professional development for teachers and resourcing for the Religious Education learning area.  Our results in the Bishops’ Religious Literacy Assessment for both Year 3 and Year 5 have shown improvement in our school average.

Extra-curricular activities throughout the school have increased, with opportunities this year for students to be involved in choir, dance troupe, a Junior Tech Club for Pre-Primary to Year 2 and a Year 3-6 Tech Club for students to explore coding and creativity with technology, Media Club and athletics training.

Media Club aimed to provide students with extra knowledge of different forms of media. In its first year, Media Club students used the school camera, recording equipment, editing tools such as Clips and iMovie, and had some practise using the drone.  The students combined these skills to create a welcome video for our school which will be shown to new families.  My appreciation to Adam O’Neill for providing an opportunity for Media Club to be a part of HPCPS.

Students have had opportunities to be involved in performing arts and our involvement in the Catholic Performing Arts Festival included two choirs, instrumental solos, two dance troupes and choral speech, earning certificates of Merit and Excellence, as well as an Outstanding Award.  We thank our Performing Arts Advocate, Mrs Alyce Basilio for her leadership in this, as well as Mrs Lisa Burro and classroom teachers for their time and efforts in preparing students for these opportunities.

The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), enrichment initiative expanded in 2019 to include all students from Preprimary to Year 6.  The model leads students to deep learning of content and skills in a cross-curricular context. Year level teachers taught collaboratively, led by student interests, with an emphasis on inquiry and the development of key future skills.

This year our Preprimary and Year 3 students were involved in Catholic Education WA’s STEM learning initiative. At a Showcase in September, our Year 3 students shared their inquiry and learning about Aboriginal farming technologies with the wider educational community. 

This year the early years at Hammond Park Catholic Primary School undertook an external verification audit for the National Quality Standards.  The process was intense and all staff did an outstanding job at representing our school in the discussions with the auditors.  Through this process areas of improvement were identified for the Quality Improvement plan.  The key priorities for the Early Years in 2020 will be;

  • the selection and organisation of equipment in the K and PP outdoor area to maximise learning;
  • ensuring that the children’s voice is included in the development of the teaching and learning programs;
  • staff development with a focus on developing a deeper understanding of NQS requirements and teaching practice.
  • We will also continue developing Aboriginal Perspectives into the teaching and learning programs and will continue with a charity focus in the classrooms in Term 3. 

We were lucky enough to have a visit from Peter Yensch, Deputy Director of CEWA and a Catholic Education Director from Tasmania.  They came and spent some time looking through our early years classrooms and discussing our play-based philosophy at HPCPS.  My thanks to Mrs Deb Glorie for her Advocacy Leadership in the Early Years Learning space.  I have no doubt the successful report we received from the external auditors is the result from dedicated teachers and teacher assistants in Years Pre Kindy to Year 2, being supported by a very competent and effective leader in Deb Glorie.  Thank you Deb.

Four Town Hall sessions were presented this year to share what is happening at HPCPS. The topics presented were:

Term 1           -Highway Heroes- Tell me more;

Term 2           -The Lexile Reading Program at HPCPS;

Term 3           -Physical Education- A Life’s Journey;

Term 4           -STEAM: What is it?

My thanks to all our presenters.  We will continue to offer Town Hall sessions in 2020.

Our Highway Heroes program conducted by Chelsie Wheeler has gone from strength to strength, this year saw the small group sessions with Chelsie run from Kindergarten to Year Six with great success.  This social and emotional wellbeing program has embedded itself in our school in such a positive manner and has touched the lives of many of our children.

The energy around this programme can be seen in the HPCPS classrooms with children using their persistence and ‘little tricks and tools’ to ensure they are getting things done.  We see it in the playground through the children's interactions with each other, their resilience when they need to bounce back from friendship issues or ‘bumps’, and when we witness children taking responsibility for their own social interactions and sticking up for themselves in a calm and appropriate manner.

These gains which we are seeing make us proud.  The children at HPCPS are being given every opportunity to build and develop a range of life tools and strategies which will front load them for their future.

We have big expectations for HH in 2020, with Chelsie increasing her time spreading the Highway Heroes message across our school.  This will provide a range of opportunities to add to the wellbeing of every child at HPCPS.  We aim to enhance and build on this successful wellbeing program in 2020, and I know Mrs Wheeler has a list of initiatives ready to roll.  HH is an important aspect of our school and finding the right person to make it work is vital.  We have that in Chelsie Wheeler, and most fortunate that we do.  Thank you Chelsie.

Since 2014, students at HPCPS have engaged in Bush play experiences in the natural environment which surrounds our school.  Each year, the form that these bush play experiences take on, is adapted to meet the inquiries that the students are engaged in.  This allows the ‘Bush Play’ programme to remain engaging, challenging and authentic for the students.  However, 2019 brought a change to the ‘Bush Play’ programme for the whole school as the much loved natural play area gave way to a new and exciting ‘Stage 3’ build.  Whilst the removal of the native bush for the build was upsetting for much of the school community, it provided a unique opportunity for students to understand and appreciate first hand, the need for conservation. 

This year Lyndsey Sherwood, a qualified Nature Pedagogy teacher, has been involved in a coaching model to assist our teachers develop their expertise by incorporating the natural environment, conservation and sustainability practices into their learning and teaching programmes.  In 2019, Lyndsey invited students in Year 4 to join our first ‘Green Team’ conservation group.  An amazing 22 students enthusiastically responded to the invitation and 16 students committed to sustainability projects for the whole year. HPCPS received 2 Sustainability grants for the City of Cockburn to assist with our sustainability education and practices in the school community.  We now have expert worm farmers, composters, recyclers and power savers! The HPCPS staff conservation team consisting of Lyndsey Sherwood, Priscilla Hawthorne, Donna Bathols, Claire Dada and Kade Broad facilitated a Professional Learning session focusing on recycling in our school.  The small but passionate parent conservation team as well as the Year 6 Future Leaders also assist with sustainability and conservation practices around the school such as our Terra-cycle Projects.

In 2019, HPCPS has continued to expand and develop inter-school opportunities.  HPCPS competed in two inter-school carnivals, Cross Country (Term 3) and Athletics (Term 4).  In preparation for these carnivals, students were invited to prepare with training after-school (Cross Country) and before school (Athletics).  These sessions were generously supported by staff members who helped students develop both endurance and techniques to fulfil their potential in these events.

In Term 3, Year 5/6 participated in “Culture through Sport” sessions during Physical Education lessons, which culminated in a day carnival at Fremantle Oval.  Students played games reminiscent of games played by the aboriginal people.  Cooperation and sportsmanship was highlighted in our students on this day.

In 2020, HPCPS will be joining a newly formed association of six schools.  Being a part of CAPSS (Catholic Associated Primary Schools Sport) will enable many more events for students to participate in.   In 2020, an invitational team will compete at inter-school Swimming (Yr5/6).  Students will also compete in Cross Country (Yr3-6) and Athletics (Yr3-6).

Year 5 and Year 6 students will also have the opportunity to play in three different carnivals throughout the year, participating in sports including, cricket, soccer, netball and volleyball.

The P&F Association must also be recognised for their building of community, it’s not all about asking, sometimes giving back has as many rewards.    A considerable amount of money is raised for our school from the efforts of this dedicated team of parents.  This hard work demands our appreciation and we thank every member of the P&F for this outstanding effort.

Sadly, Megan Bylsma and Beccy Gaidzionis step down tonight as President and Secretary of the P&F Association.  Our P&F have maintained an effective presence in our school due to the efforts of Megan and Beccy.  The P&F Executive is a hardworking and dedicated team who commit many after-hours work for the benefit of the school community.  Our thanks must be noted for the generosity shown over the past two years by these two ladies.  Both Megan and Beccy have been an amazing example of what it means to be engaged in their child’s school.  From all of us at HPCPS, our sincerest thank you.

For the School Board it has been an exciting time as we have watched with interest the construction of our final classrooms for the stage 3 build.  Our school is finished, we are done, well maybe!

Our school is enjoying a very strong enrolment pattern, particularly in the early years, and if this growth continues, there is a strong possibility HPCPS may become a three-stream school.  If we consider the housing growth around our school this has real potential.  One may consider that with the opening of Hammond Park Secondary College in 2020 an increased interest in the area may be noticed.

Sadly, tonight we say thank you to Mr Dom Mattarocchia.  Dom has served two years on the School Board at a time when his skills and experience were highly valued.  Dom’s time coincided with the planning and construction of our final building programme, stage 3, and we would often seek Dom’s advice when we needed to understand some of the advice we had received from the architect.  Often our decisions were based on Dom’s explanation of the issues brought to our attention.  Dom, we thank you for the time you have committed to the School Board and we are grateful for all the wisdom and experience you so willingly shared with us.  You will be rightfully known as HPCPS’s first School Board Nonno.

Leah Bennett is the secretary on the School Board and without the thorough ‘minutes’ taken by Leah, we may have gone around in circles.  Good planning demands good records and we have that in Leah’s work.  Leah, thank you, and thank you again for assisting the work of the school Board so well.

To Tecla Ngoma our treasurer, for monitoring all the financial activity of the school and being able to present a monthly report explaining this to Board members, we express our thanks and appreciation.  I acknowledge Lindsay Daniels too for his support and contribution to Tecla’s responsibility as treasurer.

And we cannot forget our Chairperson, the very courageous Jean Paul Papineau.  Jean Paul (JP) has the unenviable task of keep things on track, and making sure everyone has had their say.  Trust me, that’s never been a problem, but without a skilled Chair manoeuvring through the agenda to cover all topics less would be done.  JP is that skilled person, and his leadership of our school board is outstanding.  His constant reminder of the role of the school board and each committee member’s responsibility to the Board is affirming and purposeful.  I have no doubt of the positive influence JP has had with the planning discussions surrounding our stage 3 building programme.  JP, from all of us at the School Board, we appreciate your efforts and outrageous good humour.

I’m pleased to welcome two new staff members to the school community for 2020.  Kerry Papineau will be teaching in Kindy Jarrah, and Danielle Roberts will be teaching Science from Yr 1 to Yr 6.  Welcome to both, and we’re so glad God called you here.

This year I wanted to make mention of our Advocates.  The Advocates at HPCPS have a significant input into the leadership of the school.  Their work is focused on key areas and each have accepted a range of responsibilities from participating in professional learning, leading staff development sessions, liaising with curriculum specialists, and meeting with Susannah and myself to help plan for our school.

An Advocate at HPCPS is expected to contribute to the school community at a high level, and during term 3 of this year gave evidence of just how significant that commitment was.  We can all feel very confident that the model of leadership at HPCPS enriches our school community, and enables these leaders to continue to grow professionally which benefits the learning of every child here.

To Deb Glorie, Niki Della Torre, Lyndsey Sherwood, Alyce Basilio and Kylie Phillips we acknowledge and appreciate all you do for our school in making it a very special place.

Every 5 years, all Catholic and Independent Schools must participate in an audit to re-register the school.  This year 2019, was our turn.  The audit was conducted by an external auditor and it comprised two significant parts, -the desktop audit, and the audit visit to the school.  The desktop audit is extensive and requires the school to upload all policies and curriculum planning documents.  The second part is the school visit where interviews are held all day with various members of staff, our School Board Chairperson Mr Jean-Paul Papineau, invited parents and students from our school.  A school tour was also conducted for the auditors to examine all buildings and grounds.

The final report is yet to be received, but I have every confidence the report will be favourable and state that the school is well run and meets all registration guidelines.

HPCPS were privileged to be selected to be amongst the first schools in WA to transition from the Maze Administration software to the new AoS (Administration of Schools) software.

The Administration of Schools (AoS) platform is designed to bring together the school’s core administrative capabilities into a single platform.  It is built on Microsoft Dynamics 365, with AoS integrating finance and student management.  The outcome is a highly secure and will connect all Catholic Schools in Western Australia to a single data base.

The transition has had its challenges, and I’m grateful to Emma Polain, Amanda Archibald, and Nicoletta Nici for persevering and approaching their work with wide smiles.  The work involved throughout the transition was in addition to their regular day job and they never dropped a single ball.

The Admin Team of Executive Assistant Shelley New, Finance Officer Nicoletta Nici and Admin Officers Amanda Archibald and Emma Polain, do deserve a separate mention for their interest in caring for the parents, staff and students of our school.

Often known as the Ministry of First Impressions, these four staff members greet everyone with a smile and go above and beyond to attend to any question or issue which is asked of them.

Susannah and I are so reliant on their support, advice and generosity to be able to effectively lead our school community.  On behalf of Susannah, the School Board, the P&F Association, the Advocates, parents, staff and students we offer each of you our most sincere appreciation.  Our work is made easier because of you.

To my new colleague in Leadership, Mrs Susannah Robinson, my sincere thanks for your advice and support this term.  You have joined us at a very busy time and we have already noticed why God has called you here.  Your gifts were meant for us and we look forward to learning from you.

HPCPS is a very special place and so many people contribute to maintaining this vibrant community.  To everyone involved please accept my sincere thanks and I ask God to bless you abundantly for your generosity and commitment.

I would like to make a special mention of Michelle Meyerkort and Sharron Welch, staff members from MishCo.  When two of our Teacher Assistants approached me to take responsibility to provide a canteen service to the school community I could not have been happier.  And I’m still happy, decidedly so.  MishCo has been another success story for HPCPS, and once again due to hard work and commitment Michelle and Sharon have provided students and staff with a delicious menu and great service.  Thank you Sharron and Michelle, your efforts are eaten with delight.

To the amazing, creative and dedicated staff of HPCPS, as I have said many times before, your approach and commitment to your work exceeds all expectations.  There is no doubt in my mind that your work provides a safe, supportive, pastoral, and educationally sound learning environment for every child here.  You deserve to be acknowledged and thanked for all that you do.

And on behalf of Susannah and myself, we wish you and your families all the very best for the celebration of Christmas.  May the birth of the Christ child bring peace and happiness to you and all your loved ones.

God Bless.