Principal's Report

Dear Families,

We are about to enter the Season of Advent as we prepare for the celebration of Jesus' birth at Christmas. The arrival of Jesus is why we exist as a Catholic school in 2018. The story of Jesus' birth, life and sacrifice is an extraordinary one. The example that He set is still relevant over 2000 years later as we strive to follow His example. Over the last three weeks of school, classes will discuss the events around Jesus' birth. Young children will also be naturally excited about the visit of Santa but as Christians we aim to focus on the act of giving and not receiving.

We thank the many families who generously donated goods for our recent Galilee Day Mass to be distributed among families in need.

Community Conversation 1

Last week approximately 25 parents attended our our Community Conversation 1. They were asked to comment on the School Improvement Survey results (displayed later in this report) from Students, Staff and Parents.

Below is a summary of the collation of comments from parents. Below each of the EBIs I have written briefly how the school is planning to respond.

(WWW) At Galilee that you would never want to get rid of?

  • Development of teacher happiness
  • A great culture among the staff
  • Fabulous intervention programs
  • School Communication
  • Teachers accessible and positive
  • Buddy System
  • Small school
  • DOGs Camp
  • Confidence in Vision and Leadership

(EBI) What would you like to see improve/get better at Galilee?

  • More Learning Support Officers (LSOs) - we have advertised to employ an extra 2/3 LSOs to work in classrooms in 2019.
  • Additional staff for Extension - we have added extra staffing to year levels for Reading & Maths for 2019 (see staffing for details).
  • Continue with training prior to sporting events - two sport leaders have been appointed to ensure this continues in 2019.
  • Classroom behaviour - we will increase Circle Time and visits from the Student Wellbeing Leader in classrooms. Please note that the Staff & Students list the Classroom Behaviour as a strength and that only the Parent data lists it as an area to be developed.
  • Staggered breaks - this will be explored with the Leadership Team together with other strategies to reduce playground congestion.
  • Parent involvement in parish - we will ask the soon-to-be-formed RE Team to work on opportunities for parental connections.
  • Less crowded calendar - we will be establishing set English & Maths Timetabling and using school mapping to reduce interruptions during these times.

The points from the parents have been distributed to staff to be used for planning 2019 during this Friday's closure day.

Sometimes there is a difference between those who have come from other schools who can make more comparisons. These parents collectively tend to speak more positively about initiatives and practices at Galilee. Although each school is different, sometimes it helps to understand where we sit in comparison to others to understand where we are at. I thank everyone for their attendance and look forward to organising Community Conversation 2 in 2019.

Music Soirees

Last Tuesday and Thursday evenings, students who participate in instrumental lessons for Drums, Keyboard, Violin, Voice and Guitar, showcased their learning throughout the semester at the Music Soirees.  Congratulations to the students for having the confidence to perform in front of an audience.  Thank you to the families for attending and supporting the students and instrumental teachers at these fantastic events.  A big thank you to the instrumental teachers Trent (guitar), Tim (keyboard), Cailah (voice), Richard (drums) and Katie (violin) for the work they have done with the students this year and Carmen Carnovale for her leadership.

Change to PE next week

All Year 4 students will need to wear their Sport Uniform next Tuesday December 4 for their PE lesson.

NCCD (Nationally Consistent Collection of Data)

From 1 January 2018, the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) will be used by the Australian Government to calculate the students with disability loading in recurrent funding for schools provided by the Commonwealth to states and territories. The model for the NCCD is based on mandatory obligations to students under the national Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and Disability Standards for Education 2005. Students who require adjustments due to disabilities (do not require an official diagnosis) are sent through for evaluation. Funding for 2019 is based upon the adjustments made to student population in 2018. Our Learning Diversity Team worked hard with staff to attract an increase in funding for 2019. As a result, we will have additional Learning Support Officers and specialist staff at Galilee in 2019. We will need to provide evidence of adjustments made to the learning of the nominated students. This is fabulous news for Galilee and we look forward to the benefits to our students.

2018 Social & Fundraising

In 2018 a change was made where different year levels were responsible for scheduled events. This has successfully resulted in a broader amount of parents contributing to the organisation of school events.

This year the Social & Fundraising Committee have handed over $37000 to be spent on a number of resources including:

  • Padding for the playground posts
  • Virtual Reality Goggles
  • Inter-School Sport Uniforms
  • Contemporary furniture to be used in the corridors outside of Years 4/5/6

The funds raised have covered a large portion of the costs of the items listed above. Thank you to the parents for their hard work resulting in improved and safer resources for our students.

2019 Initiatives

School Day Times

Next year we will be introducing 2x 40 minute beaks during the day. 

We have noticed that the highest amount of incidents are occurring in the last half of lunch time. Currently we have 30 minutes at Recess and 50 minutes at Lunchtime. The day will consist of:

First Block:  9-11am (eating time just before 11am)

First Break: 11-11:40am

Second Block: 11:40-1:40pm (eating time from 1:40-1:50pm)

Second Break: 1:50-2:30pm

Third Block:  2:30-3:25pm


English/Maths teachers

In 2019 we will have some additional teachers in designated year levels for Reading and Mathematics. We are aiming to increase the learning growth of our students. We will be setting more consistent Maths and English Blocks for P-6 classes. Other aspects of learning (i.e. Student Wellbeing, Musical Instruments, Incursions) are also important for the development of each child but more efforts will be made to have these activities outside of English & Maths. Please see the staffing attachment later in this report for more information. This new initiative is possible due to the extra funding we have attracted with three Prep classes in 2019.


Assessment for Years 1-6

Thursday January 31st - first day for Years 1-6

Friday February 1st - first day for Prep

On Wednesday January 30, 2019 some students will be timetabled for beginning of year assessments.

On Thursday January 31, we will have a school focus on student wellbeing and classroom teachers will continue to withdraw students for testing. See above for the first day of school for the students.


Why is there a focus on testing so early? 

  • It allows the teachers to learn about the students' learning needs earlier
  • Without doing it over these two days, it can take a whole term to schedule testing
  • It is less disruptive for classes as teachers won't need to be released as much to conduct testing at later dates
  • This practice has been used earlier at Galilee, perhaps in 2015

More information will be sent home before the end of this year.


2018 School Improvement Survey Results

Each year Students, Staff and Parents complete School Improvement Surveys and the results help govern future decision-making and planning.  The following outlines the percentage of invited  people, who completed the survey:

  • Staff-over 90%
  • Students-over 95% from Years 3-6
  • Parents- 15-20% of all families

See below an overview of the Staff data which gives us a percentile ranking compared to all Australian schools. For example, Learning is 83.2 which ranks us in the top 17% of schools. The evenness of the four categories is what schools strive for but rarely achieved.

Student, Staff, Parent & Catholic Culture Data

Graphs below are on Student, Staff (School Climate), Parent & Catholic Culture Data. They show a comparison from 2017 to 2018 (bold black line). The colours represent where we sit in comparison to other Australian schools: navy blue is top 25%, aqua middle 50% and sky blue bottom 25%. Please note that 2017 is consistent with a number of previous years at Galilee.

You will notice that the results for Staff & Students are considerably higher than the Parents (although large growth has occurred). 

We have been working hard with a focus on School Improvement and glad that we are seeing higher results in these surveys.

Please see below Raw Score Comparison from 2015-2018 for Students, Staff, Parents and Catholic Culture. These are not percentile rankings but actual scores of satisfaction. The higher the score the better (if Individual Distress is a high score it means that Distress is low).

2019 Semester One Staffing

Mrs Price will be on Long Service Leave for Terms 1 & 2 and will return in a part-time capacity from early Term 3. We wish her a wonderful time travelling. Mrs Burns will be returning part-time from Maternity Leave in Term 3 to a role as Maths Teacher/Leader.

Please read the attached file listing Positions of Leadership, Specialist teachers, Learning Support Officers and Intervention staff.  Please note that minor changes may occur in Semester Two staffing. Class teachers will be published in the next newsletter on December 13.

School Closure Day

Tomorrow November 30, Galilee will be a School Closure Day.  Our Principal Consultant, Simon Fitzpatrick from Catholic Education Melbourne, will be working with staff for the first part of the day to analyse our School Improvement Data and NAPLAN results, and begin drafting our Annual Action Plan for 2019. 

Class Lists

Teachers have been preparing Class Lists for 2019. Lists are compiled with consideration of different academic levels, a mix of male/female, personalities, behaviour and social skills.  Considerations are also made based on student friendship preferences and parent requests (major issues with other students) that were due by November 9.  Students will know their 2019 peers and teacher on our Transition Day on Monday December 17. Parents are not able to send through requests for teachers and further changes are unable to be made to classes due to the inter-connectedness of the class compositions.

Upcoming school events

Wed 5  Carols 5-7 pm

Thur 6-7  Zoo Snooze Camp 3W

Mon 10  Year 6 Graduation Mass @ OLMC (Year 5 students to attend)

Thur 13  Zoo Snooze Camp 3R

Fri 14  End of Year Mass at St Peter & Paul's, 9.30 am

Fri 14  Year 6 v Teachers Netball

Mon 17  Year 1-5 Transition to 2019 Classes

Mon 17  Whole school assembly 1pm

Mon 17  Year 6 Graduation Dinner

Tue 18  Last day of Term 4 for all students 1.30 pm finish

State Election

Congratulations to Martin Foley on his re-election as our local member and we look forward to the funding pledge of $5 million made by him for our building program.

End of Year Mass

At our end of year Mass on Friday 14th December, we will be presenting certificates and a small gift to families leaving Galilee (Year 6 children only). Families are invited to attend.


Simon Millar

(Principal of Galilee)