Under the Australian Government Programmes for Schools Quadrennial Administrative Guidelines, all schools are required to make a commitment to ensure that School Performance Information is made publicly available within 6 months of the completion of the programme year. This is the school’s Annual Report for the 2015 year.
Teaching Staff: Total 25, working in full-time and part-time positions.
Co-Principals: 2, working in part-time positions.
Administration: Total 4, working in full-time and part-time positions.
Attendance: the average number of days absent per staff member over the year was 3.9 days.
Long Service Leave: 5 staff took a total of 53 days
Average years of service: 8.2 years
Maximum years of service: 35 years
Minimum years of service: 0.5 years
All teachers at the Montessori School are registered with the Teacher Registration Board Western Australia and are qualified to teach in a Western Australian school.
All staff members hold a Working With Children card. All teachers and all teaching aides have completed training on the Mandatory Reporting of Child Sexual Abuse procedures. All teachers are academically well qualified, and the vast majority hold Montessori qualifications and/or experience. All non-IB teaching staff are either Montessori qualified; are completing Montessori qualifications or are participating in internally provided Montessori professional development. All the teaching aide staff are very well qualified, with Montessori qualifications.
Staff Professional Development
As usual, all teaching staff participated in a wide variety of sessions:
Protective Behaviours, Talking to Parents, Written Language, Basic Emergency Life Support, National Quality Standards, Global Citizenship, Grammar, Art Annotation, Supporting the Dyslexic Child, Montessori Consultation Forum, Briefing the Board, Nationally Consistent Collection of Data, Early Childhood Networking.
Most teachers made presentations on Montessori education Parents Nights.
All teachers undergo formal appraisal every year.
Total expenditure Professional Development: $8,064
Student attendance for 2015 was 91.65%.
Management of non-attendance:
Parents must provide explanation of student absences as early as possible in the day. Teachers report unexplained student absences to the office before 9.30am and parents are contacted. The school has a sign-in system for late and senior secondary students.
As parents will be aware, all information that is given to parents must also comply with the Privacy Act. Small schools with small numbers of students need to be particularly careful not to give information that would allow the identification of particular students. Therefore, these figures are provided to show results over the last five years: IB (Year 12) results and post-school destinations 2015.
Total enrolments 2011-2015 30
Enrolled in Certificate 7
Enrolled in Diploma 22
Awarded Certificate 13
Awarded Diploma 15
Left for Apprenticeship or TAFE 2
Post School Destinations:
Total enrolments 2011-2015 30
University Prep, then university 8
University Entry 14
Working, apprenticeship or gap year 3
We can report that all departing students at the end of last year were happy with their choices and that their post-school options were available to them. All students achieved their desired outcomes and all are pursuing or planning further study.
As parents will be aware, all information that is given to parents must also comply with the Privacy Act. Small schools with small numbers of students need to be particularly careful not to give information that would allow the identification of particular students. Where there are small numbers of students in each year 3, 5, 7 and 9 cohort the results may show wide variation but have little statistical significance. Additionally, all tests are subject to a certain amount of measurement error. In general, the smaller the number of students tested, the larger the amount of error. For example, a single student with significant learning difficulties will make a substantial decrease in the cohort result. This is not a student error, but an error in drawing conclusions.
The NAPLAN testing program measures attainment levels in a population, and is not a diagnostic test as such. Our teachers are working closely with our children, observing their work and offering the lessons and opportunities that the child needs to progress their understanding. Attainment in our school is through mastery – a student does not proceed to the next step until the previous one has been mastered. As a school, we use the individual child’s NAPLAN result to confirm what we already know. The NAPLAN results do not tell the teachers more than they already have observed in individual children and are already working to address. However, we are pleased that our students performed to the best of their ability.
Changes in Benchmark results
This result varies from year to year as the children undertaking the testing vary from year to year.
Parents are able to see the 2015 NAPLAN results, and other information, on the MySchool website: www.myschool.edu.au/
Usually, we are able to see parent satisfaction with the school through the high retention and enrolment rates. The current retention rate causes great concern. In common with most independent schools in WA, we have had a fall in enrolment numbers over 2015. AISWA has largely ascribed this to the current economic difficulties felt across many sectors of the WA economy. Our retention rate has slipped from the very high rate that we previously enjoyed. Reasons for leaving the school are discussed in exit interviews so that we can try and learn what might cause any dissatisfaction and how we might address it.
From these, we know that parents have not left our school because another school provides more individualised teaching and learning. They have not left to obtain quieter, more peaceful, more positive and more caring classrooms. They have not left to gain greater one-to-one time or more opportunities for independence. They have not left because they cannot get to speak to a teacher or a Co-Principal.
People have left the school because they cannot pay the fees or because they want something that we cannot provide — Internet access in the primary or a specialist music program, or religious-based pastoral care, for example.
We can also assess parent satisfaction directly through surveys and participation in various forums. Surveys of parent satisfaction are undertaken every two or three years. The last survey of the school was undertaken during the Strategic Planning process, where the future needs were discussed and planned. Parents expressed satisfaction with the school through their participation in this lengthy process. A formal survey of parent satisfaction is due to take place in the next year.