Annual School Report 2014 - North Star Public School

North Star Public School
Annual School Report 2014
Principal’s Message
Principal’s message
P&C Message
Our school is caring and supportive, providing an enjoyable,
stimulating and challenging environment.
Student Leaders’ Message
We continually strive to ensure that our students receive a
high quality education. Students are encouraged to care
about their schoolwork and each other, and to strive to
reach their potential.
About Our School
Financial Summary
Our teachers aim to give students the best possible
opportunities in academic, cultural, sporting and social
Professional Learning
Academic Performance
We are proud of the achievements of our students in the
Internatilal Competitons and Assessments for Schools
(ICAS), in the arts, in sport, in public speaking and in their
involvement in community activities.
Opportunities for Students
Programs and Initiatives
This has been a very successful year for North Star Public
School and our students.
School Planning and
Congratulations to all the students who tried hard to be
‘the best they could be’ in learning, sport and the arts. It
was pleasing to see children remembering the Golden Rule
and being kind and caring to others.
Future Directions
About This Report
Contact Information
A highlight of the year was our swimming team, comprised
of Sophie Coleman, Henry Hardcastle, Will Donaldson and
Cleo Hardcastle, winning the gold medal in the Peter
Dobson Relay for Small Schools at the State Carnival in
Sydney in April.
Another exciting time was when Riley Taylor in Year 2 won
the Champion of the Show award in the Currabubula Small
Schools Art Show.
I was also very proud of Anna Wells in Year 3 for gaining a
Distinction in the ICAS Spelling test.
I would like to congratulate our school captains Sophie
Coleman and Henry Hardcastle, and our prefects Shevy
McDonald, Ben Prosser and Will Donaldson for being
excellent school leaders. All five students have been with us
since Kindergarten and we will miss them when they go to
high school in 2015. I wish them all the best for their
secondary education and will follow their progress and
achievements with interest and pride.
Ainslie and Scott Donaldson with their son Will
I am very grateful to our P&C for their wonderful support
during the year, particularly for their donations to our
Learning Support program, the Years 3-6 Tennis program
and our intensive swimming school.
I would especially like to thank the following families for
their great support and their contribution to our school,
which began when their oldest child started Kindergarten
with us years ago – Ainslie and Scott Donaldson, Sarah and
Sean Coleman, Karen Bussell and Darren McDonald, Shona
and Michael McIntosh, and Kate and Michael Owen.
Many thanks also go to all the grandparents, school patrons
and friends who have supported our students over the
Thank you Pam and Mick Farrell for safely driving our
children to and from school on the buses. We wish you well
in your retirement. I will always remember the day in Term
4 when Pam drove up to the school with a bus load of
children, shouting that there was a snake under the bus.
Mick came to the rescue in his bus and removed the very
large brown snake that was trapped around the wheel.
absolutely beautiful and the people just kept coming on
both Saturday and Sunday. We raised nearly $5000 on this
weekend. Thank you to all those who helped to make this
weekend so successful especially Sandy and Simon.
We have spent approximately $13000 this year on our
much loved support teacher, buses, tennis coach and new
school sign.
The Annual School Report provides a summary of our
achievements in 2014 and communicates our strategic
directions in 2015.
Thank you to my hardworking team, our secretary Karen,
our new treasurer Kelli and Shona our Canteen coordinator.
Now I come to the sad part of the proceedings, saying
farewell to our families who leave us this year.
Scott and Ainslie, who have been with the school for eleven
years, Sean and Sarah for ten years, Karen and Darren for
ten years and Michael and Shona for three years. We can’t
thank you all enough for everything you have done over the
years from being on the executive, to building billy carts,
carting truckloads of cow manure for fundraisers, driving
your children all over the state for school events and
hosting high teas. We certainly are going to miss you next
It is a privilege to lead our great little school and I thank all
involved with the school for the efforts that brought about
our achievements.
I certify that the information in this report is the result of a
rigorous school self-evaluation process and is a balanced
and genuine account of the school’s achievements and
areas for development.
Marian Thatcher
P & C message
We would also like to thank the grandparents who are
leaving us because we value all you have given to the
school as well. Thank you Paddy and Carol Coleman, Don
and Margie McIntosh, Bev and Sam Coulton and Penny and
Bill Owen.
This year I would like to start by saying what a wonderful
school family we have. Each and every family from our
school shows their support in some way, either by helping
at fundraising functions, cheering on the children at sports
days or simply by ordering lunch at the canteen. Not only
that, the extended families are always willing to lend a
hand or impart their many years of wisdom as well.
We also have Mick and Pam our trustworthy bus drivers
retiring this year. Pam, I think you have been driving for
fifteen years and Mick, ten years. Thank you so much for
getting our children to school safely each day.
A sincere thank you to all for caring about the North Star
School and its children.
Our school numbers are getting smaller but unfortunately
the cost of education is not, so I am looking forward to
working with you all again next year to give our children the
best learning environment we can.
A huge thank you to all of the staff: Marian, Michael, Sue,
Kylie, Katie and Stacey for teaching our children. There is
nothing more telling of how a school is going than the
stories of success of past students and I am pleased to say
there are plenty of such stories.
Mrs Liz Durkin P&C President
Thanks must go to Jane, for keeping the office hopping,
John for keeping the grounds orderly and Mrs Dillon for
keeping the buildings spotless.
Once again we are very appreciative of the donations made
by B & W Rural and North West Rural Supplies.
We started our fundraising this year with a new venture –
the “Aromatherapy for Men” day. The sponsors for the day
were Boss Engineering, Sapphire City Firearms, McGregors
Croppa Creek and Glen Anderson from the Inverell Gun
Club. Many thanks to all of you.
Once again we helped out at the Trail Bike Ride. This event
is going from strength to strength and we are pleased that
the organisers allowed us to man one of the gates to check
riders. We had our usual coffee and cake stall, and raffle
which were all very successful. Thank you to our sponsors
Grant Carrigan Helicopters, Goondiwindi Mowers and
Bearings, McLoughlan Motorcycles, Toms Tarps and BP
Mrs Liz Durkin and Sam on Open Day
Our last fundraiser for the year was another mighty effort.
Sandy and Simon Doolin very kindly allowed us to cater for
the Open Garden Days and to be the beneficiary of 10 per
cent of the gate takings. The garden of course was looking
Mrs Avenell, thank you for teaching us scripture. We enjoy
dressing up and the activities in your classes. We always
have fun. Thank you also for giving up your time to help the
children read. Thank you also Mr Avenell for the work you
have done at our school this year.
Student representatives’ message
2014 has been the year of gold. Gold in many obvious
sporting ways but in so many bigger ways as well. The five
of us in Year 6 have been at North Star School since
Kindergarten. Along the way other students joined our year
group but have left, leaving just the five of us. Despite some
ups and downs we have all remained good friends.
Without the dedicated P&C we wouldn’t have this day. We
also wouldn’t have a fabulous canteen, school excursions,
classroom resources, a swimming bus and most of all we
wouldn’t have Mrs Pearlman.
We had the opportunity to achieve so much at North Star
School because our teachers believed in us and trained us
to go for gold. Without them we could not have achieved
so much. We won the gold medal in swimming. With the
skilful help of Mrs Nixon I broke the Moree Zone record in
the senior high jump. Will has been to state swimming for
five out of the seven years he has been at North Star. Ben
received a high distinction in the ICAS science. There have
been winners in the Macintyre Young Writers’ Competition,
story writers showcased in the International Weekly 100
Word Challenge and combined, we have possibly missed
more days due to sporting commitments than any other
Mick, thank you for being the first person I say hello to
every morning and the last person I say goodbye to every
afternoon. You have stuck with the bus run to the end of
my schooling at North Star and this is very special.
Thank you Pam for all your kilometres in the little bus. You
both will be sorely missed in our community.
Without all these people we wouldn’t have had such
successful, fun and fabulous years at North Star.
We have one final message. To you, the students of this
great school:
On behalf of the Year 6 students, Henry and I would like to
thank all the teachers for what they have done to prepare
us for our futures. Mrs Thatcher, thank you for being our
teacher, our principal, and kick starting us on our learning
journey. You have taught us so many valuable lessons that
we know will help us throughout our lives.
Work hard
Be proud of your school
Try hard even when times are tough
And go for GOLD!
Sophie Coleman and Henry Hardcastle
Mrs Nixon, without you we would never have made the
amazing achievements we have, such as making it to state
and winning gold. You have taught us to love sport and to
be good sports. Thank you for teaching us on many
occasions, you are always there to fill in when teachers are
away. We love your commitment to our school.
I don’t think anyone could love reading as much as I do, and
Mrs Pearlman, it’s your fault! Thank you for all you do in
our school. We loved learning phonics and word boxes with
you. We all really appreciate your enthusiasm and
generosity and we will never forget you.
Thank you Mrs Dight for the fun science lessons. We all
look forward to Tuesday science. You have always gone out
of your way to do great experiments with us. I can’t
imagine doing science next year without you.
Mr Sky has been our classroom teacher for the last three
years. Thank you for boosting our knowledge in computers,
not to mention everything else. We have all come such a
long way in our learning since Mr Sky came to North Star.
Year 6 2014
It never felt like Mrs Nixon was away while Mrs Taylor
replaced her. She was just as much fun as her mum. Like
mother like daughter. Thank you.
Thank you Mrs Bush for the phone calls that tell us to wait
at school, for putting band aids on sores and for being
everything a school secretary could possibly be. Without
Mr Bush there would be no mown lawns or fixed basketball
hoops. I know for sure that North Star school kids love to be
running around and playing sport.
Mrs Dillon deserves a gold medal for cleaning the
classrooms and bathrooms, especially ours!
Year 6 Farewell
Student enrolment profile
About Our School
School context
North Star is known as ‘the heart of the Golden Triangle’, a
prime wheat growing area north of Moree, NSW and 48km
south of Goondiwindi, Queensland. North Star is a farming
community where grain, cotton, beef and wool are
With its attractive gardens, green playground and trees the
school is a little oasis in the North Star village. Well-kept
buildings, a tennis court and fenced children’s playground
add to the appeal of the school grounds.
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
North Star Public School was built in 1941 and began as a
one-teacher school. North Star’s enrolment has declined
from a peak of over 140 students (and five teachers) in the
1970s to this years’s enrolment of 32 students (and two
Our average March student enrolment for 2008-2014 is
Student attendance profile
Most children live on farms and travel to school by bus.
Although farming offers an attractive lifestyle, this is
balanced by tight budgets and relatively low employment
opportunities. Our school enrolment is greatly influenced
by seasonal conditions.
Our school is well resourced. We have a strong, supportive
and generous Parents and Citizens Association (P&C), which
has donated considerable funds to the school. We have
many school patrons and friends who take a great interest
in the school.
State DEC
North Star parents want the highest quality of education
for their children. They want their children to be well
prepared for high school or boarding school. Many families
aim to have children go on to university and a career, often
not in agriculture.
The condition of local farm roads and the distance from
Warialda means that students have to travel long distances
to attend Warialda High School or go to boarding school for
their secondary education.
Non-attendance is managed by the school in the following
Parents are advised to phone the school or write a short
note explaining their child’s absence.
A staff member will phone the child’s family if the child is
absent and the school has not been notified.
All absences are recorded on the child’s Half-Yearly and
Yearly reports to parents. A comment is recorded if there
have been too many absences. A follow-up phone call to
parents is also made.
Year K-2 class
The Home School Liaison Officer is informed if a child is
often absent without good reason.
Student information
Excellent Attendance certificates are awarded to students
at our annual Presentation Day.
It is a requirement that the reporting of information for all
students be consistent with privacy and personal
information policies.
Class sizes
Workforce composition
The following table shows our class sizes as reported in the
March 2014 Class Size Audit.
Total per
Classroom Teachers
Teacher Librarian
Part-time Teacher
Teacher Relief from Face to Face
School Learning Support Coordinator
Total Teacher entitlement
Total In class
School Administrative Manager
General Assistant
Total Non-Teacher Entitlement
Structure of classes
The K/1/2 class began the year with 17 students.
The Australian Education Regulation, 2014 requires schools
to report on Aboriginal composition of their workforce.
Our School Learning Support Officer assisted the
Kindergarten group with reading on seven days per
fortnight. This was successful as the eight students received
an excellent foundation in phonics, reading and spelling.
There were no Aboriginal staff members in 2014.
Staff retention
The Years 3-6 class began the year with 15 students. There
were no students in Year 5.
All staff from 2013 were retained in 2014.
Teacher qualifications
On three mornings per week, from 9.30 -11.00 am, Years 3
and 4 worked together with the classroom teacher while
Year 6 worked with the part-time teacher. The groups were
reversed mid-term. This was successful as it allowed
smaller groups for spelling and maths, and gave the
students the benefit of more individual attention.
All teaching staff meet the professional requirements for
teaching in NSW public schools.
Degree or Diploma
Postgraduate plus DipEd
% of staff
Professional learning
The three school identified priority areas in our School Plan
2012-2014 were Literacy, Numeracy and Curriculum and
The following strategies were used to build staff capability
in the key priority areas.
The principal attended the Small Schools Principals’ Day,
the Barwon Principals’ Learning Network Days, and School
Planning courses in Moree.
Teachers, full-time, part-time and casual teachers attended
various School Development days. They participated in
Child Protection Training, the new maths curriculum
workshop, the Disability Survey training and the Small
Schools Conference in Inverell. A casual teacher completed
the Primary Science training for the new Science syllabus in
Sydney in Term 1.
Years 3-6 class
Workforce information
It is a requirement that the reporting of information for all
staff must be consistent with privacy and personal
information policies.
Other areas we focused on were learning support, student
welfare and programming.
The school had 2.436 teaching positions allocated at the
beginning of 2014. This included the teaching principal and
one classroom teacher. The teachers were supported by a
temporary permanent part-time classroom teacher, a parttime school learning support coordinator, several casual
teachers, a part-time school administrative manager, a
part-time school learning support officer (funded by Equity,
the P&C donation and school savings) and a part-time
general assistant.
The Years 3-6 teacher participated in the K-10 Maths
Syllabus Workshop in Moree in Term 2. He then provided
training in the K-10 Maths Syllabus for the principal on the
Term 3 School Development day.
A teacher and five Year 6 students attended the GRIP
Leadership training day in Moree.
The Years 3-6 teacher and four students participated in the
Multicultural Public Speaking Competition in Inverell.
Teachers and support staff participated in the full day Apply
First Aid courses in Goondiwindi and received training in
first aid, CPR, emergency care, anaphylaxis and EpiPen use.
Academic performance
We are proud of the academic, cultural and sporting
achievements of our students.
Teachers attended selection trials for various sports; zone
and regional swimming, athletics and cross country
carnivals; tennis competitions and a horse sports day. They
gained valuable professional experience.
Academic achievements
Our school learning support officer ran a course for parents
on our phonics and reading schemes.
The My School website provides detailed information and
data for national literacy and numeracy testing (NAPLAN).
The average expenditure per teacher on professional
learning at the school level was $1296.76.
Click on the link
and enter the school name in Find a school and select GO to
access the school data.
The total school expenditure on teacher professional
learning was $3890.28.
NAPLAN Year 3 - Literacy and Numeracy
There was one part-time new scheme teacher working
towards accreditation.
All seven students in Year 3 in 2014 undertook the NAPLAN
assessments in literacy and numeracy. The small size of the
Year 3 group prevents the making of detailed statements
about the group’s performance. However the Year 3
group’s average results in reading, spelling, grammar and
punctuation, and numeracy were all well above to above
the Similar School Group’s (SSG) and the State DEC’s
averages. Please refer to p 13,14
One new scheme teacher maintained his accreditation at
The school had no beginning teachers in 2014.
Financial summary
This summary covers funds for operating costs and does
not involve expenditure areas such as permanent salaries,
building and major maintenance.
Date of financial summary
Balance brought forward
Global funds
Tied funds
School & community sources
Trust receipts
Total income
Teaching & learning
Key learning areas
Extracurricular dissections
Training & development
Tied funds
Casual relief teachers
Administration & office
School-operated canteen
Trust accounts
Capital programs
Total expenditure
Balance carried forward
NAPLAN Year 5 - Literacy and Numeracy
There were no Year 5 students in 2014.
Other school based assessments
Please refer to pages 13, and 14
Opportunities for Students
Achievements in the arts, sport and other school
The school provides opportunities for our students to
participate in writing, art, music and drama.
In March Year 6 student Sophie Coleman attended the
Somerset Writers’ Festival at the Gold Coast. She was
sponsored by the Macintyre Young Writers’ Association
Goondiwindi, QLD. Sophie wrote, “I really enjoyed the
festival. My favourite author was Jacqueline Harvey as I
found her very inspiring and her talk gave me ideas about
how to improve my own writing.”
Years 3-6 students and their teacher attended a writing
workshop at Moree Public School conducted by the author
John Heffernan and illustrator, Gay Chapman.
In July the poet, David Savanger, conducted a Slam Poetry
workshop at North Star for Years 3-6 students from Croppa
Creek and North Star Public Schools. The workshop was
organised by the Macintyre Young Writers’ Association.
A full copy of the school’s 2014 financial statement is tabled
at the annual general meeting of the P&C.
Further details concerning the statement can be obtained
by contacting the school.
The Years 3-6 students participated in the weekly 100 Word
Challenge online writing competition. Several North Star
students had their work showcased in this world-wide
Years 1-6 students wrote reports for our weekly Bulletin.
In September students from Years 1- 6 entered narratives
Jade Backus, Sam Owen, Cleo Hardcastle, Finn Backus, Jack
Doolin and Sam Doolin received Major Awards for their
stories. Jyppsee Stevens, Gabby Prosser, Connnor McIntosh
and Bindi Laidlaw received Highly Commended Awards.
In Term 1 the Years 3-6 class studied the novel Death on the
Empress by Stuart Harper. The students also had the
opportunity to talk to both Stuart Harper and Michelle
Rene (artist) using video conferencing.
North Star students making their sea creatures out of clay.
The Bingara Lions Club invited our Years 3-6 students to
design a poster to promote world peace.
All students from K-6 entered the Currabubula Small
Schools Art Show.
Year 2 student, Riley Taylor, won the Champion Artwork of
the Show award for his Jackson Pollock style Action
painting. His artwork also won first in Stage 1 Action.
Peace Poster winners
In October Mr and Mrs J Cowell visited the school with
their Sketch and Scripture Outback Patrol. Mrs Gwen
Cowell, a talented artist, sketched animals while the
children watched.
In December all students K-6 designed Christmas cards for
their families using the KidPix computer program.
Riley Taylor – Currabubula Small Schools Art Show Champion
Oscar Backus came second in Stage 1 Action and Daniel
Carbone won a highly commended award. Sam Doolin,
Bindi Laidlaw and Sam Durkin won encouragement awards
in this section.
Yetman School joined with us for the Musica Viva concert
Cooking With Gas with the group Gypsy Tober. All students
learned some songs from Portugal in preparation for the
concert and joined in the performance. The three ladies
from the Gypsy Tober group gave a wonderful singing
In Stage 1 Landscape, Oscar Backus came second.
Sam Owen came third in Stage 2 Portrait.
In July Sam Derchie presented the Ananse Stories which
featured music and stories from Ghana. Sam had a wide
selection of musical instruments from Ghana, which the
students loved playing.
The Goondiwindi Show’s Aspects Art Exhibition was held in
May. The students entered clay clowns, clay masks and
mosaic tile pictures in the art sections. Ben Owen’s mosaic
tile picture won first prize, with Heidi Mills winning second
and Will Donaldson winning third.
In Term 3 Mrs Karen Backus, a local artist and parent, ran
the very popular Clay Day workshops with the K-6 students.
This year’s theme was Under the Sea. All students designed
their sea creatures and then created the creatures out of
clay. The clay works were fired at Ross Hill Public School
and then painted by our students. The colourful clay works
were displayed on Presentation Day and will be entered in
the Goondiwindi Show in 2015.
Sam Derchie and Shakaya Stevens
On Open Day Years 3-6 sang We are the World. K-2
students sang Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.
Our students have had a very successful year. The trophies
they have accumulated are a testament to the commitment
of our students.
All students K-6 prepared for the Music Count Us In special
day by learning Paint You A Song. They joined students
from around Australia in singing the song together via a
television broadcast.
Healthy competition, maximum participation, fitness and
above all, good sportsmanship are our main focus in
promoting and encouraging physical activity.
On Presentation Day the K-6 students sang Paint You A
Song. K-2 students also performed Rudolph The Red-Nosed
Our Physical Education and Sport program provides the
opportunity for students to learn and practice the skills
required for success.
In 2014 the whole school participated in: weekly physical
education lessons, Premier’ Sporting Challenge, Friday
afternoon sports, daily jogging sessions in Terms 2 and 3,
Years 3 to 6 tennis coaching, Jump Rope for Heart, intensive
swimming lessons and school swimming, cross country and
athletics carnivals.
At the beginning of the year North Star students won both
the Aggregate and Handicap trophies at the Macintyre
Swimming Carnival and won the McKechnie Shield Zone
Swimming Carnival in Moree.
Sophie Coleman, Will Donaldson, Henry Hardcastle and
Cleo Hardcastle competed in the Peter Dobson Small
Schools Relay at the PSSA State Swimming Titles where
they won the gold medal.
In Term 2 our students competed in cross country events
beginning with our own cross country where the whole
school participated. Ben Prosser, Sophie Coleman, Jade
Backus, Gabby Prosser and Finn Backus went on to Coolah
for the North West Area Cross Country Championships.
Sophie Coleman won the senior girls division and was
selected in the North West Team for the State
Championships at Eastern Creek in Sydney.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Term 2 culminated with our school athletics carnival. The
North Star athletics team won the Heferen Shield at the
Moree Zone Carnival. Our relay team comprising of Sophie
Coleman, Will Donaldson, Henry Hardcastle and Cleo
Hardcastle won the small schools relay at the North West
Trials and then competed in the State Carnival.
Jyppsee Stevens competed in the junior girls discus at the
State Carnival. Henry Hardcastle competed in the 100m and
200m sprint events, and the high jump and long jump.
Sophie Coleman competed in the 200m, the 800m and the
high jump.
In October Ian Mortimer, from the Great Big Story Book,
performed Tiddalik The Frog assisted by life sized Australian
animal puppets.
The performance was greatly enjoyed by North Star
children and our visitors from Croppa Creek School.
On Open Day all students dressed up for the Book
Character Parade.
Book Character Parade
On Presentation Day K-2 students sang and acted in
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Years 3-6 performed the
play Pirates.
Heferen Shield winners 2014
In Term 3 we entered the Eural Shield tennis tournament at
Boomi and the Fleming Cup in Goondiwindi. Sophie
Coleman, Will Donaldson, Ben Prosser and Jyppsee Stevens
won the Fleming Cup. The P&C subsidised tennis lessons for
Years 3 to 6 as part of the physical education program.
They undertook the Science, Computer Skills, Writing,
Mathematics, English and Spelling Competitions.
Altogether they were awarded one distinction, fourteen
credits and five merits.
A Distinction was awarded to Anna Wells in spelling. She
was placed in the top 5% of the state.
Year 6 students attended trials for netball, tennis and
Rugby Union throughout the year
Credits were awarded to:
Ben Prosser – English, maths and spelling
Sophie Coleman – spelling and writing
Jade Backus – science, English and maths
Sam Owen – science, English and maths
Jack Doolin – science, maths and writing
Will Donaldson competed in the North West Area Tennis
Tournament. Will and Henry Hardcastle were selected to
play in the North West Rugby Union Carnival.
Sophie Coleman, Henry Hardcastle, Connor McIntosh, Jack
Doolin, Sam Durkin and Tom Durkin participated in the
annual Warialda School Horse Sports. Connor McIntosh
won the Champion Boy Rider Under 9.
Merits were awarded to:
Sophie Coleman – English
Jade Backus – writing
Jack Doolin – English
Anna Wells – English and maths
The twelve students who participated in the ICAS
competitions and won twenty awards between them are to
be congratulated.
Special Celebrations
On Anzac Day North Star students and staff took part in the
local North Star march and service. Twenty-two students
marched, which was an excellent number for school
North Star students at the Warialda Horse Sports
Our school captain Henry Hardcastle lowered and raised
the flag. Shevy McDonald laid the wreath at the Anzac Park
memorial gates.
The school sporting calendar concluded with a block of
intensive swimming lessons and our school swimming
The local community and parents were most appreciative
of the school’s involvement. We received a lovely email
from Mrs Kerrie Hayes saying how well the children
marched. “They always do such a great job and certainly
make Anzac Day very special.”
This year for the first time Henry Hardcastle and Sophie
Coleman were dual winners of the Ray and Stella Thatcher
Trophy for the Outstanding Sportsperson.
Will Donaldson received the Ran and Jenny Mitchell Trophy
for Sportsmanship.
A Remembrance Day Service was held at school. Our Year 6
leaders read In Flanders Fields, the Ode of Remembrance
and information about Remembrance Day. Henry
Hardcastle attended the flag.
Nine students were awarded medallions for completing at
Area level. Five students were awarded shields for
achieving at State level.
Sophie Coleman received the Premier’s Sporting Challenge
Award. North West PSSA Achievement certificates were
awarded to Will Donaldson, Henry Hardcastle and Sophie
Public Speaking
All students in Years 3-6 prepared a speech on a
multicultural topic and presented their speeches to the
class. Four students were selected to compete in the local
finals of the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking
Competition at Ross Hill Public School, Inverell.
Cleo Hardcastle and Jade Backus competed in the Years 3
and 4 section, while Sophie Coleman and Henry Hardcastle
competed in the Years 5 and 6 section.
Year 6 on Remembrance Day
International Competitions
Our students are to be commended on their excellent
behaviour at both services.
In 2014 twelve students from Years 3-6 participated in the
International Competitions and Assessments for Schools
(ICAS) tests.
The students were fascinated with Mr Schramm’s slides of
the animals of Botswana and also the old slide projector
which they had not seen before. North Star’s CWA
President Mrs Bernadette Allport thanked the students for
their contributions and wrote later saying that the CWA
valued their role in the school.
Programs and Initiatives
In 2014 North Star ran important programs and initiatives
to support our students.
Aboriginal education
Our school continues to provide programs and experiences
designed to teach students about Aboriginal history, culture
and contemporary Aboriginal Australia.
In June the school attended the National Aboriginal and
Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Day
celebrations at Toomelah Public School. After a warm
Welcome to Country our students joined activity groups
with students from several other schools. They enjoyed art
and craft, traditional games, Aboriginal lingo, making and
throwing spears, and making Johnny cakes.
Botswanna Projects Year 1
North Star continues to support our foster child Nimrot
Manu, a young boy from Indonesia, under Plan
International Australia. Several Mufti Days were held during
the year to help raise funds for Nimrot.
Once again this year all students from Years 3-6 entered the
Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition.
Harmony Day 2014 was celebrated at school by the
children helping each other to make and fly their kites. The
theme of the day was ‘Everyone Belongs’.
NAIDOC Day at Toomelah Public School 2014
Everyone appreciated the healthy morning tea and lunch
which was provided by the Toomelah community.
The Macintyre athletics, cross country and swimming
carnivals, and Moree Zone sports trials and carnivals
provided opportunities for staff, students and their families
to participate together in friendly days.
In October the students enjoyed Ian Mortimer’s
presentation of Tiddalik the Frog, a traditional Aboriginal
Our School Learning Support Coordinator and our School
Learning Support Officer gave additional help in reading,
maths and homework to all targeted students.
Making kites on Harmony Day
Mr Sam Derchie, from Ghana, visited the school in July. He
gave a wonderful performance of The Music and Stories of
Multicultural education and anti-racism
Each year the school joins with the North Star Country
Women’s Association (CWA) to learn about a new country
and its culture. The CWA country of study in 2014 was
The Years 3-6 students designed posters for the Bingara
Lions Club Peace Poster competition.
Members of the
club presented prizes and provided a barbeque lunch for
the students.
Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 researched the topic
and presented their information on Botswana using posters
and projects. Students used the internet and books for
research. They watched documentaries about Botswana’s
people, culture, animals and tourist attractions.
Grandparents, Rob and Hilary Backus, spoke to the students
about their time living in Botswana.
Years 3-6 learned about getting along with others in their
Person Development lessons.
Our scripture teacher Mrs Jenni Avenell organised
Operation Christmas Child and the students brought in
small presents to fit in a shoe box. The presents were then
sent to needy children in other countries.
Students and staff attended the North Star CWA’s
International Day. They learned more about Botswana from
the guest speaker, grandparent Graham Schramm, who had
travelled in Botswana with his wife Janet.
books to the preschoolers. This very successful program will
continue in 2015.
Equity Funding
In 2014 the school received specific purposes grants for:
In September Ian Woodley and the team from the
Newcastle University – Dr James Pearlman, Dr Tash and Dr
Lauren came to North Star School to deliver ‘basic first aid
for bush kids’. Our students enjoyed the Teddy Bear
consultations with the doctors.
Aboriginal background - $1799.99
Socio-economic background - $2728.00
Learning and support - $2817.12
In line with the Local Schools, Local Decisions education
reform this equity funding was used to assist with the
funding of our School Learning Support Officer (SLSO).
One of the aims of the Teddy Bear Hospital is to inspire our
students to become doctors and these people were
certainly a great inspiration to our students, as James
Pearlman is a former student of our school.
The SLSO provided specific individual and group support for
all targeted students in the areas of phonics, reading,
maths and learning difficulties.
She assisted Kindergarten students using the school’s
phonics and reading schemes. She provided reading
support to K-3 students using the school’s reading scheme.
The Macquarie University’s Multilit Reading program was
used to assist several Years 3-4 students. Class groups and
individual students were assisted with their learning in
The P&C regarded our Learning Support program as the
most valuable program for our students and contributed
very generous funding to maintain this program in 2014.
Equity funding improved learning outcomes for all
students, including those students targeted for additional
See School Planning and Evaluation 2012-2014 p 13, 14
Dr James Pearlman and a teddy bear patient
The school participated in the Live Life Well at School
Program. We received a grant which was used by Years 3-6
to establish a successful vegetable garden and also to buy
sports equipment.
Student welfare, respect amd responsibility
In Term 3 Hunter New England Health tested the eyesight
of our five year old students.
During the year we worked hard to ensure that our
students were safe, well-behaved and happy, and that they
received recognition for their achievements.
The ‘Good For Kids’ Crunch and Sip program continued in
2014 and was well supported by parents. We also began a
Fruit First program at recess each day. The children were
encouraged to eat their fruit before other snacks. These
programs were very successful as teachers observed that
nearly all students had fruit or vegetables to eat at school
every day. Students were encouraged to drink water and
brought their water bottles to the classroom.
Students were often reminded of The Golden Rule –
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The importance of kindness, respect, honesty, inclusion,
responsibility and good sportsmanship were values which
were discussed regularly.
Year 6 students were given important roles and
responsibilities which included running daily assemblies,
helping with K-2 lines on the verandah, keeping the house
point scores and organising their house teams for athletics.
Our voluntary canteen supervisor Mrs Shona McIntosh and
the ‘Canteen Mums’ worked hard to ensure that our
canteen offered a wide range of healthy foods on canteen
day. Our canteen mothers are to be commended for their
Year 6 students attended the GRIP Leadership Day in
A teacher met the buses every day to ensure students
arrived safely at school. Bus drivers were asked about
students’ behaviour and this was followed up at school.
Every afternoon teachers supervised students who were
boarding the buses and those who were walking home.
Mr Adam Marshall, our local member for Northern
Tablelands in the NSW government, sent letters of
congratulation to our school captains and visited the
school in May.
Each Kindergarten student had a Year 6 buddy. There were
many buddy activities during the year including Buddies on
Friday afternoons and skipping together during Jump Rope
Our playground was closely supervised.
Staff completed Apply First Aid courses. They participated
in CPR , Emergency Care and anaphylaxis training.
Personal Development sessions for our Year 6 girls and
boys were provided by Mrs Christine Connor from
Medicare Local and the Warialda Multi-Purpose Primary
Health Care Service. The P&C donated gift packs of
toiletries for the students.
Years 1 and 2 had Friends shared activities time with Years
3 and 4 on Friday afternoons.
The children from Tharawonga Mobile Preschool visited our
school at lunchtime on Tuesdays. Year 6 students read story
In Term 4 four preschool students who were starting
Kindergarten in 2015 visited the school several times and
joined in activities in the K-2 classroom. They also attended
the special Kindergarten Orientation Day.
Our Years 5 and 6 students and their teacher participated in
three Middle Schools Days at Warialda High School. This
successful program was enjoyed by the students.
Family and community
Years 3-6 organised a Fun Day to raise money for the Year 6
Farewell. The Farewell Dinner was held at the North Star
Sporting Club and was attended by Year 6, their parents,
staff and Years 3 and 4 students. A highlight of this very
successful evening was watching the video about the Year 6
students and their time at North Star from Kindergarten to
Year 6. The video was also shown at Presentation Day.
Mothers of the Year 6 students also made a beautiful photo
book for each student.
Our school is very well supported by our hard-working P&C.
This year the P&C raised funds for the school by catering at
Sandy and Simon Doolin’s Open Garden Day, the North Star
Trail Bike Ride and the Aromatherapy for Men day.
The healthy school canteen was run most capably by our
voluntary canteen supervisor, mothers and grandparents
on one day per week.
The P&C donated $10,000 to our valuable Learning Support
Good attendance was encouraged and certificates for
excellent attendance were awarded on Presentation Day.
The cost of bus transport to our annual swimming school in
Goondiwindi was also paid for by the P&C, as were book
prizes for Presentation Day.
Principal’s Awards, Stars of the Week and Merit Certificates
were presented at school assemblies to recognise student
Every student received a book prize on Presentation Day.
The P&C donated funds to pay for tennis coaching for all
Year 3-6 students in Term 3.
Articles on the successes of our school and its students
were published in local newspapers and on the 3/4/5/6
A parent and a community member helped the K-2 and
Years 3-6 classes by hearing the students read each week.
Mrs Karen Backus, a talented artist (and parent) ran the
very successful Clay Days program, Under the Sea, where
students designed and made sea creatures. Parents and
grandparents also assisted with the program.
Students’ achievements and photos were published weekly
in the school Bulletin.
Mrs Jenni Avenell taught Anglican Scripture during the year.
Anglican Rector Mr Dan Avenell was a student mentor with
the World Vision Kids Hope Mentoring program.
Parents helped their children at home with reading,
spelling, maths and homework. They also attended
parent/teacher interviews to discuss student progress.
In 2014 students raised money for Plan International, the
Heart Foundation, Pink Ribbon Day – Breast Cancer
Awareness and the Leukemia Foundation Crazy Hair Day.
Family members of Kindergarten students participated in
the Jolly Phonics Reading session run by our school learning
support officer. They also helped their children learn the
Jolly Phonics actions and sounds at home.
In Term 1, members of the NSW Rural Fire Safety Brigades
from Warialda, Croppa Creek and North Star visited the
school with their fire truck and taught everyone about fire
safety. The children had great fun with the fire hoses.
The P&C organised the special stalls and gifts for Mother’s
Day and Father’s Day.
A community member, Mrs Julie Graham, spent many
voluntary hours assisting with library books while she was
here during harvest.
Parents assisted with the preparation and running of events
at our carnivals. They also helped at Macintyre and Moree
carnivals. They transported students to sporting events,
selection trials, public speaking competitions, the Year 6
Leadership Day and other school activities.
Mrs Timmins and Ellie Michel
Sam Owen and his family on Open Day
School planning and evaluation 2012—
School evaluation processes
NSW public schools conduct evaluations to support the
effective implementation of the school plan.
In November 85.7 per cent of Kindergarten
students made progress ranging from 4 to 18
levels in the school’s reading scheme.
In November all Year 1 students were reading at
Level 16 or above, having improved by 10-18 levels
during the year.
All Year 2 students were reading at Level 24 or
above, with seventy-five per cent reading at Level
30, the highest level in the school’s reading
In the Waddington Reading Test in November all
Kindergarten students were reading above their
chronological age by 8 to16 months.
In the Waddington Reading Test 87.5 per cent of
K-2 students were reading above their
chronological age by 8 to 25 months.
In the Waddington Advanced Reading test the
twelve Years 3-6 students who undertook the test
in November had reading ages from 1 to 52
months above their chronological ages.
The school priories in the 2012-2014 North Star School plan
Literacy – reading and spelling
Curriculum and assessment
The evaluation processes used include the analysis by staff
the school’s 2014 Year 3 NAPLAN results using the
SMART data for literacy and numeracy;
the students’ progress in reading using the school
reading scheme’s benchmarking assessment data
for K-3 students;
the Kindergarten students’ progress in reading
using the school’s phonics scheme’s assessment
Best Start for Kindergarten individual assessment
the K-2 students’ progress in numeracy using the
SENA 1 and SENA 2 individual assessment data;
the mathematics diagnostic reviews;
the ACER Who Am I? - Kindergarten individual
assessment data;
the Waddington Spelling and Reading assessment
data for K-6 students;
the South Australian Spelling Test data for Years 36;
the selected students’ results in the ICAS tests; and
the new Half Yearly and Yearly student reports.
In the Year 2 NAPLAN spelling test all students were in
Bands 3-6 with an average score of 419.2 compared with
the SSG average score of 415.7 and State DEC average
score of 418.8.
In the Waddington Spelling Test:
all Year 1 and Year 2 students were from 7 to 18
months ahead of their chronological ages; and
of the Kindergarten students 85.7 per cent were
from 15 to 26 months ahead of their chronological
In the November South Australian Spelling Test for Years 36:
of the students, 84.6 per cent had spelling ages
ranging from 2 to 90 months above their
chronological ages; and
of these students, 27 per cent had spelling ages
from 44 to 90 months above their chronological
School planning 2012-2014:
Strategies to achieve these outcomes in 2014:
School priority 1
explicit teaching of phonics to K-2
the school’s phonics scheme;
regular benchmarking of the K-3 students’ and the
targeted group’s reading progress using the
school’s reading scheme;
continuing with the School Magazine lessons at
the appropriate level for Years 3-6 students;
continuing with the Macquarie University’s
MULTILIT reading program for targeted students;
continuing with the school’s Learning Support
program for individuals and groups of students;
Outcomes from 2012–2014
Increased achievement in K-6 students’ literacy outcomes
with a focus on reading and spelling.
Evidence of achievement of outcomes in 2014:
All Year 3 students were in Bands 5 and 6 (the top two
bands) in the 2014 NAPLAN Reading test with an average
score of 498.8, compared with the Similar School Group’s
(SSG) average score of 410.9 and State Department of
Education and Communities (DEC) average score of 416.3.
There were no students in Year 5 in 2014.
students using
continuing with small group lessons in phonics and
reading for Kindergarten, and in spelling for Years
3, 4, and Year 6;
the careful correcting of students’ spelling errors
in all subjects;
assessment of K-6 students’ reading performance
using the Waddington Diagnostic Reading Tests in
Term 4;
assessment of students’ spelling performance
using the Waddington Diagnostic Spelling Tests (K6) and the South Australian Spelling Test (Years 36); and
analysis of selected students’ results in the ICAS
reading and spelling tests.
See ICAS p.9
all students used concrete materials as required in
maths lessons.
School priority 3
Curriculum and Assessment
Outcomes from 2012–2014
Outcomes from 2012–2014
Staff confident in implementation of the new NSW
syllabus documents.
To sustain the school’s record of achievement in
numeracy as seen in our students’ NAPLAN results
from 2009-2011.
Evidence of achievement of outcomes in 2014:
Evidence of achievement of outcomes in 2014:
All Year 3 students were in Bands 3-6 in the 2014 NAPLAN
Numeracy test with an average score of 422.6, compared
with the SSG’s average score of 400.9 and DEC’s average
score of 401.6. There were no Year 5 students in 2014.
Best Start for Kindergarten and school
assessments indicated that most students were
achieving appropriate stage outcomes;
SENA 1 and SENA 2 numeracy assessments at the
end of Terms 2 and 4 indicated that most Years 1
and 2 students were achieving outcomes at and
above the expected level; and
targeted students working with the school learning
support officer during the year achieved a better
understanding of basic maths concepts.
continuing with the school’s maths scheme
(updated new Syllabus version 2014) in the
sequence set out in the program for Kindergarten
to Year 6;
continuing with the Best Start, (now called PLAN),
Kindergarten program;
small group maths for Years 3 and 4, and Year 6 on
three mornings per week;
continued participation in Targeting
Numeracy (TEN) program activities;
targeted students continued to receive learning
support from the school’s learning support officer
and the learning support coordinator;
the new English syllabus was introduced in 2014.
Resources purchased to support the syllabus were
used successfully by staff and students;
the new Half-Yearly and Yearly Student Reports
designed by staff were well received by parents
and staff;
staff became familiar with the new syllabus
documents for mathematics and science; and
our science teacher successfully implemented
aspects of the new science syllabus.
Strategies to achieve these outcomes in 2014:
Strategies to achieve these outcomes in 2014:
Count Me In Too SENA 1 assessments of K-2
students and SENA 2 where appropriate; and
ICAS award winners
School priority 2
resources were purchased to support the new
English syllabus;
the implementation of the English syllabus was
assessed at staff meetings;
a staff member participated in the Small Schools
Conference activities on the new syllabus;
updated 2014 resources were purchased to
support the new maths syllabus;
a staff member attended the K-10 Maths syllabus
workshop and trained staff on the following school
development day;
staff developed a student report form which
reflected the new syllabus English and maths
a staff member attended the Primary Science
training course in Sydney; and
new science teacher resources were purchased.
School community satisfaction
Future Directions
2015-2017 School Plan
In 2014, the school sought the opinions of parents, care
givers and students about learning at our school. Their
responses are presented below.
NSW DEC is implementing a new school planning process
for 2015-17. The new plan will be published on the school’s
website from the beginning of Term 2 2015.
To ensure that the school and its community had shared
expectations in the area of Learning a phone survey called
Learning for Transition to Year 7 was taken of the parents
whose children commenced Year 7 in 2015.
The priority areas of the North Star Public School 2012 –
2014 Plan were literacy, numeracy and curriculum and
assessment. Our analysis of the strategies used and the
outcomes achieved in these priority areas assisted with the
development of our school vision, strategic directions and
improvement measures for our 2015 – 2017 School Plan.
The two strategic directions for 2015 -2017 will focus on
successful learning for our students and excellence in
teaching. Our strong focus on student wellbeing will also
Parents were asked their opinions on aspects of the
school’s preparation of our Year 6 students for Year 7.
There was a 100 per cent response to this survey.
All parents agreed that their child:
was well-prepared for Year 7 schoolwork;
was not having trouble with the Year 7 work;
was coping well with the homework and was
was able to mix well with other students;
was enjoying being in Year 7; and
was able to play the sports offered.
Strategic Direction 1
Student Learning - Successful 21st century learners.
The purpose of this strategic direction is to:
 Promote and maintain an environment reflective
of our high expectations that all students will learn
 Ensure high levels of achievement in literacy and
numeracy are evident throughout the school.
 Engage students in meaningful learning
opportunities and support them to become
competent, creative learners.
All parents agreed that Year 6 at North Star had prepared
their children well for Year 7 at Queensland boarding
schools and the Goondiwindi State High School. These are
some of their comments.
We are lucky to have our little school. We love it.
North Star’s learning support officer is our greatest asset.
Strategic direction 2
My three children were all very well prepared for high
Excellence in teaching - Collaborative, innovative and
highly skilled teachers and leaders.
North Star school was very good to us. It’s doing a great
The purpose of this strategic direction is to:`
We were very happy with North Star school.
All 5 Year 6 students completed the 47 question NSW
Education and Communities Quality Learning Environment
Their responses showed a high level of satisfaction.
All students agreed that:
I like to learn new things
I want to do my best in class
All students always or mostly agreed that:
I really get involved in my school work
the harder I work in school, the more success I
when learning something new, I keep trying even
when I am having difficulty
my teacher explains what we are going to learn
my teacher encourages me to improve my
standard of work and expects me to do my best.
students in my class show respect for the teacher
students in my class feel it is important to come to
school every day
students in my class feel it is important to pay
attention in class
students in my class try hard to get good grades
my teacher helps me to do my best and cares if I
am not doing as well as I should
Focus on the continuous improvement of teaching,
learning and leadership practice and its
effectiveness in improving the learning outcomes
of students in our school.
Mrs Pearlman and K/1/2
About this report
In preparing this report, the self-evaluation committee has
gathered information from evaluations conducted during
the year and analysed other information about the school's
practices and student learning outcomes. The selfevaluation committee and school planning committee have
determined targets for the school's future development.
Marian Thatcher
Sue Nixon
Michael Sky
Jane Bush
Elizabeth Durkin
Sophie Coleman and
Henry Hardcastle
Relieving Principal
Staff Representative
Staff Representative
P&C President
Student Representatives
School contact information
North Star Public School
Edward Street North Star NSW 2408
Phone: 07 46763128
Fax: 07 46763269
School Code: 2765
Parents can find more information about Annual School
Reports, how to interpret information in the report and
have the opportunity to provide feedback about the report