Annual School Report (2013)

Sacred Heart Primary School, Westmead

12 Ralph Street, Westmead NSW 2145
Principal: Mrs Mary Kastoun
Phone: 02 8633 4500
Fax: 02 8633 4599


About the Annual School Report

Sacred Heart 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 Sacred Heart Primary School, Westmead.

At Sacred Heart Primary School, we believe that all children are unique and bring to our learning community special gifts and talents. Children learn at their developmental level and through their preferred learning styleThe school environment is a positive, happy place where there is mutual respect, and where diversity is celebratedWe believe children should be taught: how to relate (cooperative learning); how to learn; how to choose; and how to think

All we do at Sacred Heart Primary School is grounded in the teachings of Christ.

Parent body

Sacred Heart Primary School is a small family community. We encourage the active involvement of parents in the life of the school and in the educational wellbeing of their child.

Parents are invited to participate in the Parents and Friends meetings or join our many parent interest groups such as library, reading, sport, or special events, where parents can become involved in the community. At Sacred Heart Primary School we value the partnership between home and school and foster these relationships.

There is an open door policy at the school and parents are always welcome to provide feedback on school programs.

Student body

Sacred Heart Primary School is a school where cooperative learning is practised in all classrooms. The students have many opportunities to engage in a variety of academic, sporting and creative activities in a supportive and safe environment. 

The Peer Support program, facilitated by the Year 6 students encourages relationship building amongst the student body and develops positive leadership qualities in all students. 

The buddy system helps Kindergarten students experience a positive and supportive transition to school.

Who we are

History of school

Sacred Heart Primary School, Westmead, was established in 1956. It was founded by the Sisters of Mercy. The Mercy tradition continued until 1993, when Ms Sattler was appointed the first lay principal of the school. In 2012 a second parish school, Mother Teresa Primary School, opened. A close relationship exists between the school and the parish and we are very fortunate to have a church on site. Today the church community is led by the Camillian order of priests.

Location/drawing area

The school is located in Westmead and draws on students from Westmead and other neighbouring suburbs if vacancies exist, or if pastoral or medical necessities exist (there are four hospitals within the Westmead boundary). The school serves the parish of Sacred Heart, Westmead.

Enrolment policy

Sacred Heart 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 121 164 285
2012 95 121 216
2013 91 114 205

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
 154  13  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 accelerate the learning of all students in each of the number domains from Kindergarten to Year 6 (K-6).
This priority was chosen as a result of our continued involvement in the Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) project. 
  • students engaging in a dedicated numeracy block following a specific learning structure
  • Mathematics coach working in class with the teachers to build capacity
  • daily tracking of student progress
  • cooperative analysis of the data to plan accelerated learning 
Our second priority was to promote an authentic Catholic community mirrored on the life of St Paul.
This priority was chosen as data indicated that the Catholic culture at Sacred Heart Primary School needed a clear Catholic identity.
  • students to be aware of social justice issues and become actively involved in social justice initiatives
  • enhancing the intellectual formation of students through exploring the life of St Paul and the communities he corresponded with
  • working collaboratively as a team to promote the values and goals for the school

Projected school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority
Steps to be taken to achieve the priority
Our first priority will be to accelerate the learning for student in the areas of measurement, space and geometry.
This priority was chosen as a result of National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data analysis indicating a discrepancy between achievement in number and those attained in measurement, space and geometry. 
  • teachers differentiating the program to meet the explicit needs of all students
  • cooperative analysis of the data to plan the learning
  • explicit teaching to develop conceptual understanding and thinking skills
  • tracking of student progress using the growth points to track student learning
Our second priority will be to develop explicit critical thinking skills and deep understanding when interpreting Scriptures.
This priority was chosen as a result of data analyse from the Religious Literacy Assessment. Children need to develop skills in Scripture and Christian life further.
  • build deep knowledge and understanding of God and Jesus through critical reflections on the scriptures
  • experience rich learning tasks
  • transfer comprehension skills taught in literacy and apply to concepts in Religious Education
  • utilise the expertise of the parish priest to assist in a deeper understanding of the Old Testament 
Our third priority will be to develop explicit critical thinking skills and deep understanding across all literacy domains.
This priority was chosen as National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data indicated a need to develop applied comprehension skills and complex writing composition.
  • annotating work samples
  • analysis of NAPLAN and school-based data to plan leaning and point of need for each student
  • use of rich environmental print to scaffold the learning
  • implement age appropriate learning structures to improve student compositions
  • fine tune and implement good talking and listening activities to promote sophisticated language structures

Catholic identity

Prayer, liturgical life and faith experiences

Each day begins with prayer at morning assembly. The fortnightly whole-school assembly commences with prayer, either led by the Year 6 leaders or a class. Staff join together once a week for morning prayer before school. Prayer life in the school community follows the liturgical cycles. The parish priest is an integral part of the prayer and liturgical life of the school.

Classes attend weekly parish masses, whole-school masses and Reconciliation. Prayer is an integral part of each day. Gospel values are demonstrated in interpersonal relationships and are integrated into the curriculum. Cooperative learning is the lived action of gospel values and is embedded in the curriculum across the school. The principal has an open door policy, so is always willing to meet with, and listen to, parents.

Each year a spirituality day is held for staff. In 2013 staff reflected on the formation goal and actively explored strategies such as 'Godly Play' to break open the scriptures for our students. 

The children had opportunities to share their faith each week via our Jesus Live in our Hearts faith page in our newsletter and also actively participated in Reconciliation and First Eucharist Sacramental programs.

Social justice

The school shows pastoral care to families in need and to the St Vincent De Paul Society by way of donations of Christmas hampers and the Winter Appeal for blankets, clothes and food. Staff members buy gifts at Christmas for people in need in our community. They are represented by tags on the giving tree in our church. We encourage students and families to participate in the Caritas appeal during the Lenten season and money is collected when issues occur. Our Year 6 leaders established a connection with the Dominican Orphanage in East Timor and held fundraising events to assist in providing their community with basic necessities.

School, home and parish partnerships

At Sacred Heart Primary School we believe in the importance of education being collaborative and community based. Parishioners and parents are invited into the school to help with class-based activities. The school and parish share personnel, in secretarial duties and the Sacramental coordinator. Copies of the school's weekly newsletter are placed in the church for parishioners. School and church notices are placed in each other's newsletters. The principal attends parish council meetings. The parish priest is always included in school celebrations and staff functions.

Parents can attend Parent and Friends meetings each term and play an active part in parent interest groups. Parents support the school with fundraising throughout the year. 

Religious Education

Religious Education

Classes follow the designated units set out for each grade in the Diocesan Sharing Our Story  syllabus. Through the Religious Education curriculum we aim to foster in children the knowledge, understanding, appreciation and celebration of our rich Catholic tradition. 

Students experience Eucharistic and prayer celebrations throughout the liturgical year. They participate in grade and class masses, and also in Sacramental Reconciliation. The students attend whole-school masses and liturgies of the Word for special feasts and celebrations. The whole school joins together in communal prayer every morning, led by the Year 6 leaders.

The Sacramental program at the school is parish-based. Sacramental units, however, are taught in the classroom to coincide with the program. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is received in Year 2 and the Sacrament of Eucharist is received in Year 3 and Confirmation is received after the age of ten. 

Professional learning of staff in Religious Education

Professional learning at Sacred Heart was centred around the teachings of St Paul. The teachers explored the Letters of St Paul, the communities he spoke to and the fundamental principles he preached regarding a Jesus community. This deep understanding was not only modelled in our daily interactions but also embedded within the curriculum delivered to the students. 

The teachers also engaged in professional learning geared toward effective programming and assessment criteria in Religious Education.

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 88.89 71.70
Numeracy96.30 95.80 88.89 62.00
Reading100.00 95.30 85.19 69.30
Writing100.00 95.00 96.30 75.40
Grammar and Punctuation96.30 95.30 85.19 73.40
Spelling100.00 93.90 85.19 67.40
Year 5:    
Literacy100.00 94.00 77.78 58.17
Numeracy100.00 93.40 62.96 51.70
Reading100.00 96.20 88.89 62.80
Writing100.00 91.70 74.07 51.90
Grammar and Punctuation100.00 94.80 85.19 61.50
Spelling100.00 93.10 81.48 58.30

Sacred Heart Primary School, once again, performed well across all learning areas and grade levels.  The majority of students performed in the top three bands across all learning domains.  Year 5 students made significant growth from their previous NAPLAN test results in 2011.

School curriculum

The school curriculum is mandated by the NSW Board of Studies for each of the subject areas. The Religious Education document called Sharing Our Story was developed by the Catholic Education Office, Parramatta and is currently under review.

The mandatory documents are therefore used as the basis for programming, assessing and reporting. The curriculum is delivered in a precise, creative and engaging way to promote optimum learning opportunities for all students at their point of need.

At Sacred Heart Primary School we offer a holistic approach to learning making available to students a variety of co-curricular programs. The program opportunities offered in 2013 included:

  • Maths Olympiad and International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) university competitions in Computers, Science, Writing, Spelling, English and Mathematics are held.
  • The school takes part in the Diocesan Creative Arts Captivate program.
  • Recorder and keyboard are offered , and band instrument tuition .
  • Sporting opportunities for children include carnivals at school , zone , diocesan , state and national levels in areas such as swimming , cross country and athletics . There are also soccer , and touch football gala days , and specialist programs in gymnastics and dance .
  • Learn to swim classes are conducted for students from Kindergarten to Year 6 .
  • Other activities include Voice of Youth , various excursions and a two day excursion to Bathurst Goldfields for Year 5 and Year 6 .
  • Preschool children attend two orientation sessions to help with their transition to school . This transition program is run by the Kindergarten teacher and special education teacher for all of the preschool children . Early intervention is an important part of the transition program . Consultation with Catholic Education Office personnel occurs when advice is needed .
  • Students with special needs entering Kindergarten and high school are supported through phone calls and conversations with the high schools , preschool and the Catholic Education Office support personnel . Meetings with the special education teacher , Year 6 teacher and high school teacher are arranged to discuss the child's needs . Visits to preschools may occur as well .

Initiatives to promote respect and responsibility

The school's cooperative learning philosophy promotes mutual respect, individual accountability, positive interdependence, equal participationsimultaneous interaction, and no 'put downs'It develops social skills and relationship skillsThe school is a Catholic school, so the Catholic ethos permeates the school and its curriculumRespect and responsibility are a big part of the gospel values the school promotes.

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 parents felt that behaviour was managed well and teachers were enthusiastic and passionate about their work. Parents saw their children enjoying learning and believed their child had positive relationships at school but might not always be developing a range of social skills. Parents felt that their child was not being subjected to harassment or bullying.

Student satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that students had positive emotions regarding school and that they felt understood and that learning was interesting.  Students also commented that learning and motivation was high and that class behaviour was not getting in the way of their learning. 

Teacher satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that staff felt that they were personally enthusiastic about their work and preferred to work together in a collaborative environment. Staff were on board with the goals and objectives of the school and regularly provided feedback to one another. Staff also commented that work demands were ideal. 

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

During 2013, professional learning focused on three areas; numeracy, literacy and formation. 

Teachers examined the pedagogical content knowledge associated with the Extending Mathematical Understanding project and worked towards improving assessment tasks and differentiated questioning techniques across all strands in Mathematics. 

The literacy focus centred around the domain of comprehension and reading behaviour analysis. Implementing differentiated assessment tasks and an effective literacy block were also explored and new school policies were created to coincide with the Catholic Education Office (CEO)  Strategic Intent and Focus 160 priority goals. 

Formation centred around unpacking the scriptures of St Paul and the teaching he shared with the communities he corresponded with. These teachings were used as a foundation for building Sacred Heart Primary School as an authentic Catholic community.

Teacher attendance and retention rates

Teacher attendance

The average teacher attendance for 2013 was 95.7%.

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
 95 94 94  95 97  96 94  95 

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

The school policies are based on Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, where children take responsibility for their choices and behaviourAs cooperative learning is a big part of the school, children are expected to have mutual respect, no 'put downs' and attentive listeningStudents who do not act in accordance with the policy are given verbal warnings, have time out, or their parents are contactedThere is a School Behaviour Management policy, an Anti-bullying policy and an Acceptable Use of the Internet policy. Corporal punishment is not permitted in this school.

All policies are updated each year and revised to ensure all staff comply with policy requirement.

The full text of student welfare, discipline and anti-bullying 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 Sacred Heart Primary School received $19,264.00 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.



Sacred Heart Primary has a number of policies and procedures that govern various aspects of our School life. These provide the framework within which we operate with relation to a number of key issues.

The Catholic Education Office, Parramatta Diocese, also provides advice and recommendations on educational and administrative policies and priorities, and monitors policy implementation.

Policies are listed below in general categories. Click on a category heading to view all the related policies.


  • Sacred Heart Primary has a number of policies and procedures that govern various aspects of our School life. These provide the framework within which we operate with relation to a number of key issues.

    The Catholic Education Office, Parramatta Diocese, also provides advice and recommendations on educational and administrative policies and priorities, and monitors policy implementation.

    Policies are listed below in general categories. Click on a category heading to view all the related policies.

  • View Policies
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