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Annual School Report (2013)

St John Vianney's Primary School, Doonside

17 Cameron Street, Doonside NSW 2767
Principal: Mrs Georgina Cox
Phone: 9831 1817
Fax: 9831 6430


About the Annual School Report

St John Vianney's Primary School is registered by the Board of Studies (New South Walesas a member of the Catholic system of schools in the Diocese of Parramatta.

The Annual School Report provides parents and the wider school community with fair, accurate and objective information about various aspects of school performance and development. The Report describes achievement of school development priorities in 2013 and gives information about 2014 priorities.

This Report is a legislative requirement under the Schools Assistance Act, 2008.

The information in this Report is complemented by the school website where other school publications and newsletters can be viewed or obtained from the school

Message from key school bodies


I am proud to present to you the 2013 Annual School Report for St John Vianney's Primary SchoolDoonside.

St John Vianney’s Primary School is a two stream coeducational Catholic school in the Diocese of Parramatta. The school is located in Doonside and draws on students from Doonside, Woodcroft, Edgewood, Bunya and surrounding areas. The school serves the parish of St John Vianney’s. At St John Vianney’s Primary School we share in the mission of Christ. Our school motto, I Will Show You the Way to Heaven, reflects the shared commitment of our school community to know, love and serve God. The partnership between home, school and parish is integral in nurturing a love of our God. Our school is a place where gospel values and beliefs permeate, resulting in a climate where every student feels safe, secure, accepted and loved. 

We are a welcoming Catholic community where gospel values and beliefs are visible in all aspects of school life. These values are modelled by staff in their interactions with one another, with students and with parents. Our pastoral care is based on the belief that a Catholic school is a faith community of love which is characterised by justice, tolerance, forgiveness and respect for each other. This culture is the foundation upon which our students can develop and enjoy a happy, challenging education. St John Vianney’s Primary School is a school that values quality learning and teaching, built on strong relationships between students, teachers and parents in a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment. 

At St John Vianney’s Primary School the students are provided with learning experiences which empower them to be responsible, reflective and lifelong learners in a safe, secure and stimulating environment where the use of technology is integrated into classroom practice. As well as providing quality teaching and learning programs in the seven key learning areas, the school also offers a number of additional programs to provide for the diverse interests and needs of our students and to enrich learning opportunities. These include NSW Primary School Junior Chess League, international competitions, sport, Voice of Youth (public speaking competition), debating, theatre experiences, choir, keyboard lessons, Book Club, and the Premier’s Reading Challenge. Our school has been recognised by the wider community through the achievement of two national awards in literacy and numeracy.

Parent body

The Parents and Friends Association (P&F) actively promotes the public image of St John Vianney's Primary School by bringing together parents, students, clergy and staff in a spirit of collaboration and close cooperation. The partnership between the school and the P&F allows for funds to be raised for learning and teaching resources and school improvements. The provision of essential resources enhances the students' school experience. Resources provided in 2013 include classrooms blinds, electric pencil sharpeners and classroom noticeboards. The P&F also subsidised the cost of the Year 6 day out by paying for the bus charter. The P&F paid the entry fee for students' art work to be entered into the Operation Art competition. Parents are involved in the life of the school in many ways including fundraising, listening to students read, Oral Comprehension program, sport days, excursions, Transition to School program, sausage sizzles, cake and fruit stalls, and attendance at various assemblies and liturgies.

Student body

As school captains and student council members of St. John Vianney's Primary School we are honoured to take a leadership role in our school. We are proud of our school for winning two national awards. We are also proud of our teachers who give us the best education possible.

Our leadership roles includes:
  • leading the school in prayer each morning
  • leading the midday Angelus prayer
  • conducting merit and student of the term assemblies
  • assisting with liturgical and special assemblies
  • raising student awareness of policies within the school
  • acting as role models for all students
  • taking suggestions to the school leadership team
  • encouraging all students to do their best
  • welcoming visitors to the school
  • assisting with the coordination of fundraising events
  • organising Students Council roles via a job roster

Who we are

History of school

St John Vianney's Primary School was established in 1986 by the current Parish Priest, Fr John O'Neill. The school opened with two classes, Kindergarten and Year 1; a total enrolment of 68 students. Sr Ursula Smith RSJ, a cousin of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, was the founding principal. 

In 1989 the first lay principal was appointed. By 1992 all classroom construction was complete. The new administration block was completed in October, 2000. In 2002 a major fundraising project was initiated to air condition all learning spaces and by 2005 our goal was complete. 

Our learning spaces now provide an environment conducive to learning in all weather conditions. The current principal, was appointed at the beginning of term 3, 2008. By the end of 2008 interactive whiteboards were installed in all classrooms, the library and learning support room (16 in total). The multipurpose room and refurbishment of infants classrooms was completed in July 2011. Every learning space is now equipped for 21st century learning and our students enjoy a modern interactive learning environment.

Location/drawing area

St John Vianney's Parish School is located in Doonside and draws students from Doonside, Woodcroft, Edgewood, Bunya and surrounding areas. The school serves the parish of St John Vianney. 

Enrolment policy

St John Vianney's Primary School follows the Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) document, Enrolment Procedures in Parramatta Catholic Systemic Schools, January 2002. This document can be obtained from the school office or is available on the CEDP website

Current and previous years' student enrolments

Year Boys Girls Total
2011 185 183 368
2012 187 168 355
2013 193 184 377

As our school is in a growing area, our enrolments are increasing as new families move into the area. It is projected that this trend will continue over the coming years.

Characteristics of the student body

The table below shows the number of students in each of the categories listed.

Language Backgrounds other than English (LBOTE)* Student with Disabilities (SWD)* Indigenous
 311  16  3

School review and development

Annual school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority  Steps taken to achieve the priority Status of the priority (Achieved, not yet achieved, Ongoing, no longer a priority)
Our first priority was to administer, analyse, code and record results for the Mathematics Assessment Interview (MAI) Kindergarten to Year 6 (K-6).
To provide teachers with the relevant data to plan learning and teaching
  • restructuring of support timetables to release classroom teachers to administer Mathematics Assessment Interviews
Our second one was for all teachers to have an understanding of the Growth Point Framework and how to track progress to move students on in the number domain effectively. 
In consultation with the teacher educator at the end of 2012 it was decided that the next step for teachers would be to have a sound understanding of growth points, tracking students and moving students to the next growth point in the number domain.
  • teacher educator, lead teacher and principal using the triad model to lead professional learning of staff
  • modelling by Leadership Team
Our third was to enrich the prayer life of students and staff through the practice of Christian meditation.
Teacher feedback has indicated: 
1. a need to provide staff with further experiences to deepen their understanding and practice of Lectio Divina and other forms of Christian meditation 
2. a need to continue to build their capacity to transfer this into their classroom
  • staff professional learning process led by Religious Educator co-ordinator, Leadership Team and a member of the Catholic Education Office Formation Team when required.


Projected school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority
Steps to be taken to achieve the priority
Our first priority is to administer, analyse, code and record results for the Mathematics Assessment Interview during staff development days in week 1.
For all teachers to have access to the MAI data as early as possible with least disruption to learning time
  • engaging online booking system
  • timetabling of MAIs week 1
We would like all teachers to implement the Growth Point Framework and all students to move on at least one growth point in the number domain with a focus on place value.
The MAI data highlights vulnerability of Kindergarten to Year 6 (K-6) specifically in the place value domain. Addressing this weakness will assist learning throughout the number domain.
  • lead teacher numeracy and Leadership Team leading professional learning of staff
Another priority is to train an additional Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) specialist. To further build teacher capacity and address needs of vulnerable learners
  • identify suitable teacher for training
  • releasing teacher to attend EMU specialist professional learning
  • restructuring of timetable to cater for EMU specialist sessions
We would like to improve student reading levels.
Analysis of Early Years Assessment and Progressive Achievement Test-Reading (PAT-R) data highlighted a need to focus on improving students' reading level.
  • literacy co-ordinator, reading recovery teacher and classroom teachers leading professional learning of staff
Our final one is to build teacher capacity in exploring Scripture with children.
To enable guided meditation to reach a deeper level
  • Religious Education co-ordinator, classroom teachers and Catholic Education personnel leading professional learning of staff

Catholic identity

Prayer, liturgical life and faith experiences

School begins each day with prayer at morning assembly and students organise and lead class prayer. During 2013 students have regularly participated in Christian meditation. Celebrations are held for the seasons of Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Advent, Christmas and St John Vianney's Day. Prayer focus and sacred spaces are used for prayer each day in classrooms. Staff prayer is led by staff members each fortnight and the merit assembly prayer is led by the Student Council. Welcome Assembly, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Catholic Schools Week, Grandparents Day and Year 6 Graduation are celebrated each year. Primary students attend parish mass every Thursday. Students in Years 3 to 6 receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a once a term basis. Years 3 to 6 attend mass to celebrate holy days and special feast days.

Each grade leads the preparation and presentation of liturgies, focusing on the liturgical seasons and special events. During Catholic Schools Week students are given the opportunity to participate in shared class prayer to which parents are invited. During Holy Week each class spends a time on reflection and prayer, focusing on the events of Holy Week in a specially created space. Once a week students have the opportunity to come together during lunchtime to pray the Rosary which is led by parish volunteers.

Social justice

During Lent 2013 students, their families and staff supported the work of Caritas through Project Compassion. Students and staff supported St Vincent de Paul Society's Christmas appeal by donating toys and games for Christmas hampers which were delivered to families in need in the local area. A family in financial need was supported by St John Vianney's Primary School's staff members.

School, home and parish partnerships

Our partnership with the parish strengthens the Catholic identity of our school in many ways. Senior students are trained by the parish priest to be altar servers. Students attend the Junior Legion of Mary. The parish priest attends special events such as the Year 6 Graduation and Welcome Assembly and visits classrooms. The St John Vianney's Catechism is used to complement our Religious Education program. Students, prepared for Sacraments through parish programs, are acknowledged at assembly and in the school newsletter. 

 Parent involvement includes:
  • joining in the morning assembly prayer each day
  • attendance at all school assemblies and liturgies
  • reading in the infants grades
  • excursions and sporting events
  • parent information night in term 1 to outline the year's program
  • parent/teacher conferences
  • information meeting for Kindergarten parents
  • Oscar and Samantha transition playgroup for the 2014 Kindergarten students
  • parents and friend meetings and fundraising events
  • whole-school daily prayer in Holy Week, focusing on each event of the Easter story 

Religious Education

Religious Education

The Diocesan Religious Education syllabus, Sharing Our Story, is used from Kindergarten to Year 6.  Teachers have developed pathways to teach each unit so that the learning and teaching strategies cater for the readiness of each group.

Our school uses a variety of resources for our Religious Education program to provide a solid foundation of knowledge about our Catholic faith. These include:

  • Sharing Our Story (Parramatta Diocese)
  • To Know, Worship and Love (Sydney Diocese)
  • St John Vianney's Parish Catechism (parish resource)           
The liturgical seasons of Lent, Easter, Advent and Christmas are celebrated with specially prepared liturgies. The student body as well as parents and visitors attend these liturgical celebrations.

Professional learning of staff in Religious Education

Staff professional learning in Religious Education in 2013 focused on teachers using Scripture and Christian meditation as forms of prayer in their classroom. Teachers engaged in the practice of Christian meditation and transferred these strategies into the classroom. Staff meetings provided the forum for teachers to develop their understanding ofThe Angelus and its history and theology. This provided the foundation to introduce the daily practice praying of The Angelus with the school community. At our Staff Formation Day staff gathered to reflect on key teachings from Pope Francis and St John Vianney (Patron Saint of our school and parish).

Learning and teaching

National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2013

Students in Year 3 and Year 5 across Australia participated in National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in May 2013. The purpose of this test is to provide information to parents and teachers about the achievements of students in aspects of Literacy and aspects of Numeracy. The test provides a measure of the students’ performance against established standards and against other students in Australia. Each year the results are analysed by the school to inform teaching with a view to improving student performance.

The Commonwealth Government sets minimum acceptable standards for literacy, numeracy, reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling at particular ages. These are referred to as national minimum standards. Band 2 is the minimum standard for Year 3 and band 4 is the minimum standard for Year 5. Student performance in NAPLAN in our school is compared to these standards. The percentages of students achieving at or above these national minimum standards, and the percentages of students in the top three bands are reported in the table below.

 % of students at or above national minimum standard% of students in top three bands
Year 3:    
Literacy100.00 95.00 91.23 71.70
Numeracy100.00 95.80 75.44 62.00
Reading100.00 95.30 80.70 69.30
Writing100.00 95.00 94.74 75.40
Grammar and Punctuation100.00 95.30 84.21 73.40
Spelling100.00 93.90 78.95 67.40
Year 5:    
Literacy100.00 94.00 74.29 58.17
Numeracy88.60 93.40 62.86 51.70
Reading100.00 96.20 74.29 62.80
Writing97.10 91.70 54.29 51.90
Grammar and Punctuation100.00 94.80 85.71 61.50
Spelling100.00 93.10 77.14 58.30

St John Vianney's Primary School had more students in the top three bands in Year 3 and 5 in all areas of Literacy and Numeracy than the Australian average. Strategies have been implemented to further improve these results with the emphasis on numeracy. Professional learning will include Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) specialist teacher sharing learnings from EMU course; utilising the expertise of lead teacher and providing teachers with new resources to enrich implementation programs. Literacy, with an emphasis on reading, will be a focus in our 2014 Implementation Plan. 

School curriculum

Quality teaching and learning programs were offered in the seven Key Learning Areas

Additional teaching and learning programs:

  • The students identified with learning difficulties were supported by the Learning Support Team comprised of a full-time specialist learning support teacher and learning support teacher assistants.
  • Special art classes were held for our talented students. Entries were submitted to the Operation Art Competition.
  • The Literacy Support Team offered support to students with a variety of literacy needs.
  • The Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) specialist teacher supported students in Year 1 with numeracy needs.
  • Our students participated in the Life Education program. This program, supported by the Department of Health, emphasises the importance of healthy living.

The Kindergarten Orientation program included:

  • parent/child/teacher conference  
  • school visit by the student
  • Oscar and Samantha transition group, where students and new parents had the opportunity to become familiar with the school
  • Kindergarten information evening for parents

New pupils to the school in Years 1 to 6 joined the 'changeover' afternoon, where new students had the opportunity to meet their teacher and classmates for 2013

The school was involved in a number of co-curricular activities to provide for the diverse interests and needs of our students and to enrich learning opportunitiesThese included:

  • debating
  • Voice of Youth
  • international competitions and assessments in:
    • computer skills
    • Science
    • spelling
    • writing
    • English
    • Mathematics
  • Year 6 Canberra excursion (two days)
  • Kindergarten to Year 5 grade excursions
  • chess competition
  • school, zone and diocesan sporting events

Initiatives to promote respect and responsibility

Initiatives included:

  • Our Mission Statement clearly articulates our values and beliefs which permeate all we do at St John Vianney's Primary School.
  • Our Student Management, Pastoral Care and Feel Safe policies aimed to guide the students towards responsible decision making, self-control and respect for themselves and everyone in the school community.
  • Whole-school emphasis was given to social skills.
  • School Captains and Student Council members addressed the student body.
  • Student Council members attended National Young Leaders Day.
  • Years 5 and 6 students were involved in peer tutoring in infants classes.
  • Year 6 students participated in the establishment of a memorial garden and vegetable garden.
  • Year 6 students buddied with Kindergarten students for the first two weeks of the school year. 

Parent satisfaction with the school

During 2013, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta engaged insight SRC to conduct the Quality Catholic Schooling (QCS) survey to provide feedback from parents, students and staff about our school. This survey will be conducted annually.

The QCS data collected and reported showed that there were many positive trends emerging in the parent survey. The main points arising from the parent survey were:

  • teachers were very approachable
  • parents had input into the school
  • the school had a culture of improvement
  • the reporting process was valued
  • the school had a learning focus
  • behaviour management and classroom behaviour were a high priority
  • teacher morale was high
  • students had a connectedness to the school
  • students were stimulated in their learning

Student satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that our students:

  • were very enthusiastic about completing the survey
  • had high morale
  • had a very solid connectedness to school 
  • saw the teaching as purposeful
  • were stimulated in their learning
  • were connected to their peers
  • knew that their teachers were empathetic towards them

Teacher satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that the staff:

  • behaved in a manner consistent with Catholic ethos 
  • saw the Leadership Team as being supportive with a clear direction
  • discussed issues that impacted upon Learning and Teaching
  • were clear on school goals and expectations
  • were enthusiastic as a group and work as a team
  • had a positive school morale
  • took ownership of their work

Workforce composition

Number of Staff
Number of teachers who hold teaching qualifications from a higher education institution within Australia or as recognised by AEI-NOOSR*.
Number of teachers who have a bachelor degree from a higher education institution within Australian or within AEI-NOOSR* guidelines but lacking formal teacher qualifications.
Number of teachers who do not have qualifications as above but have relevant successful teaching experience or appropriate knowledge relevant to their teaching context.
Number of teachers accredited to teach Religious Education
Number of teachers currently undertaking accreditation to teach Religious Education
Number of non-teaching staff (includes teachers aides)
Percentage of teacher who are Indigenous  0

*Australian Education International - National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition

Professional learning

Professional learning undertaken by teaching staff included:

  • analysis and interpretation of NAPLAN data
  • Diocesan Strategic Intent and School Implementation Plan
  • Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU)
  • Mathematics Assessment Interviews (MAIs)
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Quality Catholic Schooling Project
  • Learning Support referral guidelines
  • Information Technology
  • Catholic spirituality, prayer and meditation
  • new English syllabus
  • creating and maintaining data walls
  • instructional walks and talks
  • case management for learning support referrals

Teacher attendance and retention rates

Teacher attendance

The average teacher attendance for 2013 was 94.37%.

Teacher retention

Of the 2013 teaching staff 100% were retained from 2012.

Student attendance rates

Percentage of student attendance by Year level and school average:

Kindergarten Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 School Average
 93.7  96.01 94.77
95.33 96.41 94.59 95.54  95.19

Managing non-attendance

Regular attendance at school is essential if students are to maximise their potential. Schools, in partnership with parents and guardians, are responsible for promoting the regular attendance of students. The compulsory schooling age is 6 to 17. Parents and guardians are legally responsible for the regular attendance of their children, explaining the absences of their children in writing within seven days to the school, and taking measures to resolve attendance issues involving their children. School staff, as part of their duty of care, monitor part or whole day absences. They maintain accurate records of student attendance, follow up unexplained absences through written and verbal communication, implement programs and practices to address attendance issues when they arise, and provide clear information to students and parents regarding attendance requirements and the consequences of unsatisfactory attendance. The principal or their delegate may grant permission for late arrival at school or early departure from school, leave, or exemption from attendance only in individual cases, on written request from parents and guardians. The principal/delegate will undertake all reasonable measures to contact parents promptly if an unexplained absence occurs. If truancy is suspected, the principal will contact the parents/guardians to ascertain the reason for the absence. If a satisfactory response is not received, the matter will be referred to Catholic Education Office staff for follow up.

Pastoral care of students

Student welfare, discipline and anti-bullying policies and pastoral care

Our school has developed a highly effective Student Management programThis program encourages and affirms positive behaviour in students. The program is supported by the principles of procedural fairness and includes:

  • the Feel Safe Policy to create a bully-free environment
  • school rules
  • classroom code
  • recognition for positive behaviour and response to inappropriate behaviour
  • twice yearly Bully Audit, introduced in 2007

The Student Management Policy is available from the officePrimary students are provided with a copy of the Feel Safe Policy and a copy is included in the newsletter each year. There were no changes made to the Student Management Policy or Feel Safe Policy in 2013.

The full text of student management, welfare and discipline policies can be obtained from the school office.

Complaints and grievances policy

The school has formal written protocols in place to address complaints and grievances. These protocols are in line with the Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta Complaint Handling policy. A copy of the school policy is available from the school office or is available on the CEDP website There were no changes to the policy during this year.

Financial statement

School recurrent and capital income

School recurrent and capital income

In 2013 St John Vianney's Primary School received $9,416.00 as interest subsidy.

Our school community is appreciative of the support it received from the NSW State Government under the Interest Subsidy Scheme and looks forward to the implementation of the Building Grants Assistance Scheme as these are of vital importance to the ongoing wellbeing of this school.

Fees relate to diocesan and school based fees, excursions and other private income from fundraisers.

State relates to State Recurrent Grants including per capita funding, interest subsidy and special purpose grants.

Commonwealth relates to Commonwealth Recurrent Grants including per capita funding and special purpose grants.

Capital relates to Government Capital Grants including monies received under the Building Education Revolution.

Other refers to Other Capital Income including drawdowns from the Diocesan School Building Fund to fund Capital Expenditure.

School recurrent and capital expenditure

School recurrent and capital expenditure

Salary refers to the total of all Salaries, allowances and related expenses such as superannuation, workers compensation and leave.

Non-Salary refers to all other Non-Salary Recurrent Expenses.

Capital refers to Non-Recurrent Capital Expenditure including School Buildings, Furniture and Equipment.


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