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Annual School Report (2013)

Bede Polding College, South Windsor

Rifle Range Road, South Windsor NSW 2756
Principal: Mr Kevin Jones
Phone: 4577 6455
Fax: 4577 4538


About the Annual School Report

Bede Polding College 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 Bede Polding College.

Bede Polding College strives to be a dynamic, harmonious Catholic community which values and encourages each member to strive for personal excellence; encourages individuals to believe in their self worth and works to equip each member with the skills and passion to make a difference in the community. We are challenged by our College motto, Called to Bring Peace.

The Annual School Report is a government initiative that allows our parents to gain information about some of the structures and performance of our school and its role in the wider community. It is, however, a written document that cannot replace that very real and human need for personal interaction. We invite all parents who wish to discuss any aspect of this report to make personal contact and work with us collectively.

Parent body

Parental involvement exists at both the curricular and extra-curricular level within the school. We have an active and well supported Parents and Friends Association that meets once a term. Parents are always welcome at the College and a school tour program has been introduced to encourage parents to become involved in the life of the school. Our community is informed through a variety of meetings and through a fortnightly newsletter.

Student body

Students at the College are formally surveyed in a centrally administered feedback system that provides information to staff about the students and their experience of school. With around 1200 students, the student population is a dynamic and engaging one.

Our Student Representative Council (SRC) members are elected by their peers and teachers. They must meet certain benchmarks in terms of the college merit system before they can nominate for these positions. Their leadership responsibilities include organising and running college assemblies, representing the College at special events, running fund raising events for the SRC charity and various tasks as requested by the principal.

Who we are

History of school

Bede Polding College was established in 1986. The College was founded under the leadership and guidance of the Marist Brothers and the Good Samaritan Sisters. From a founding class of 112 students, the College now caters for a student population of almost 1200 across Years 7 to 12. 

Our College patron, John Bede Polding, was the first appointed bishop to Australia and the college draws upon the inspiration of Polding as a man of faith and action. The College motto, Called to Bring Peace, aligns to Polding’s spirit in attempting to live a life inspired by the gospel and lived in service to others.

Location/drawing area

Bede Polding College is a Catholic systemic co-educational high school with almost 1200 students.

The College is located in South Windsor adjacent to the Bligh Park residential development. It accommodates students from across the Hawkesbury region enrolling students from about 25 primary schools. The three main feeder schools are St Matthew's Primary School, Windsor; Chisholm Catholic Primary School, Bligh Park and St Monica's Primary School, Richmond. 

Bede Polding College serves the parishes of St Matthew's, Windsor, and St Monica's, Richmond.

Enrolment policy

Bede Polding College 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 596 594 1190
2012 587 602 1189
2013 597 614 1211

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

Characteristics of the student body

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

Language Backgrounds other than English(LBOTE)* Students with Disabilities (SWD)* Indigenous
 158 32 28

School review and development

Annual school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority  Steps taken to achieve the priority Status of the priority (Achieved, Ongoing)
Improving writing
To ensure that our students are able to demonstrate clearly what they know and can do in their writing
  • All teachers teach, assess and report on students' ability to write.
Teaching subject specific terminology
To ensure that our students understand the language that they are required to use in order to demonstrate their knowledge and skills
  • All teachers teach, assess and report on students' abilities to use terminology in a variety of contexts and Key Learning Areas.
To teach students how to learn by giving them skills in judging the quality of their work against explicit standards
  • All students are expected to assess their abilities regularly against published report criteria.


Projected school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority
Steps to be taken to achieve the priority
Improving reading comprehension To improve students' skills in reading for information which in turn will improve their ability to study literary materials
  • All teachers will be involved in a professional learning process to improve their understanding of the skill of reading.
  • This will also include them working with small groups of students experiencing difficulty reading.
Teaching subject specific terminology
To ensure that our students understand the language that they are required to use in order to demonstrate their knowledge and skills
  • All teacher will teach, assess and report on students' ability to use terminology in a variety of contexts.
To teach students how to learn by developing their skills in judging the quality of their work against explicit standards
  • All students will be expected to assess their abilities regularly against published report criteria. 

Catholic identity

Prayer, liturgical life and faith experiences

We aim to instil in our students a commitment to the gospel values of hope, forgiveness and love. We do this through our school motto, Called to Bring Peace, and by the quality of our relationships, modelled on Christ’s teachings.

The College has been influenced by the charism of Benedictine spirituality through the Good Samaritan Sisters and their founder, John Bede Polding. In the daily life of staff and students, there is a centrality of community and individual prayer, supported by the Religious Education program and practised in the rituals of homeroom prayer, school prayer and reflection. The College embraces liturgy and Eucharist at significant points throughout the year.

Year 10 and Year 12 experience retreat as part of College life and are given the time to reflect on their faith and spirituality. The Year 10 retreat continues to have a focus on social justice while Year 12 deals with personal growth and spirituality.

The College recognises its responsibility for creating a faith filled community and its support of the mission of the church regardless of staff or student background. Our teachers of Religious Education are Catholic, and staff spirituality is developed through a program that also involves teachers from our Catholic feeder primary schools. 

Social justice

The Social Justice coordinator is responsible for integrating into the teaching and learning programs, relevant and current social justice resources. At the annual Social Justice staff meeting, Key Learning Area (KLA) coordinators and teachers worked collaboratively on programs for nominated Year groups. During 2013, the teaching programs of Year 8 were targeted for embedding specific social justice resources. Alignment between the resource and the relevant Catholic Social Teaching was made. Teachers were provided with the relevant excepts from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Opportunities have been available for student leaders and recipients of principal and assistant principal awards to attend social justice themed excursions. The students represented the College at the launch of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council's launch of the 2013-2014 Social Justice Statement, 'Lazarus at our Gate'.  Students also had the opportunity to participate in the Australian Catholic Universities annual Youth Forum.

Students have been encouraged to increase their awareness of the world and to address the needs of those locally, nationally and internationally. Year groups and the SRC are working with the nominated charities: Catholic Mission, Mary MacKillop East Timor Mission, Edmund Rice Centre, Marist Youth Care, Youth Off The Streets and the San Miguel Family Centre.

School, home and parish partnerships

Parish is central to all Catholic communities and the College supports and embraces the parish communities of St Monica’s, Richmond, and St Matthew’s, Windsor. Bede Polding College embraces its Catholic heritage that was founded to develop and nurture the faith of young people in its care.

Parents are encouraged to be involved in the life of the College. They have a voice through the Parents and Friends Association and have opportunities to offer feedback at parent forums conducted once each semester on various issues and through various surveys conducted annually.

Religious Education

Religious Education

A vibrant prayer life sits at the heart of College life. Our daily College prayer is the beacon that draws us, as a community, to be attentive to the presence of God in our lives. Our formal prayer provides us with the opportunity to place our petitions for those in need, and to convey our thanks for the blessings that we enjoy.

As a college we celebrate significant occasions and acknowledge our unity in Eucharist. Our Year 10 and Year 12 retreats provide opportunities for students to nourish their faith and reflect upon their relationship with God.

The College follows the Parramatta Diocesan Religious Education syllabus, Sharing Our Story, for the Religious Education curriculum in Years 7 to 10. The Catholic Studies course offered in Years 11 and 12 also follows this syllabus, with the Board of Studies course, Studies of Religion, offered as an alternative.

At the heart of our school is the Religious Education program. It is the area of study that sets us apart in our curriculum breadth and it is where we learn to value our identity, traditions, values and Christ's teaching. Our Religious Education is both explicit and implicit. We live it out by the quality of our relationships and how we deal with the hubris of life on a day-to-day basis.

Professional learning of staff in Religious Education

The teaching staff at the College have been involved in a Catholicity initiative involving staff from all of the Catholic schools in the Hawkesbury region. Staff engaged in professional learning in a series of workshops focused on liturgy, theology, spirituality and approaches to religious education. For the past three years we have developed the theme of Reconciliation. The theme for our work this year is 'Reach: in the light of Christ', with an underlying focus on reconciliation.

During the year the whole staff also come together to explore their spirituality and have a day of reflection and companionship. On these occasions staff members have had the opportunity to reflect individually and as a group.

Learning and teaching

National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2013

Students in Year 7 and Year 9 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 5 is the minimum standard for Year 7 and band 6 is the minimum standard for Year 9. 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 7:    
Literacy96.90 91.90 58.95 51.70
Numeracy98.70 95.10 43.11 52.50
Reading96.90 94.20 55.90 55.80
Writing95.20 89.30 59.39 42.20
Grammar and Punctuation90.40 90.60 55.46 52.10
Spelling95.20 93.60 66.38 61.70
Year 9:    
Literacy97.30 88.70 42.92 44.10
Numeracy91.00 90.60 36.65 46.60
Reading99.10 93.40 44.14 48.20
Writing88.50 82.60 46.90 36.80
Grammar and Punctuation89.90 88.10 38.60 44.30
Spelling96.10 92.10 46.93 50.50

A whole-school approach on writing over the past few years has seen an improvement in our writing results in NAPLAN, particularly the growth of our students. A flow on effect of this has been improvement in our reading results. This approach will continue but a program to improve our numeracy results is being developed to be implemented this year with our Year 9 students who are below, or at, the national minimum standard.

Record of School Achievement (RoSA) 2013

The eligible students who leave school before receiving their Higher School Certificate (HSC) will receive the NSW Record of School Achievement (RoSA). The RoSA is a cumulative credential in that it allows students to accumulate their academic results until they leave school.

The RoSA records completed Stage 5 and Preliminary Stage 6 courses and grades, and participation in any uncompleted Preliminary Stage 6 courses.  It is of specific use to students leaving school prior to the HSC.

In 2013, 29 Year 10 and 14 Year 11 students left school and requested a RoSA.

Higher School Certificate (HSC) 2013

Percentage of students in performance bands 4, 5 and 6 compared to the state.

Performance BandsStudies of Religion 1English StandardEnglish Advanced
Bands 4, 5, 6School57.7 41.2 95.2
State77.3 34.0 86.0
Geography Community and Family studies
82.6 82.4
64.7 66

These results in terms of the improvement in student performance between the school certificate 2012 and the Higher School Certificate 2013 reflect a levelling of the gain achieived last year.  Data analysis surveys are completed by students in Year 11 and 12.  Workshops are conducted using these results.  In the case of Year 12, these results are analysed in relation to the HSC results to identify trends and outcomes.

School curriculum

Bede Polding College offers a number of transition programs designed to meet the needs of a full range of students. For commencing Year 7 students, the programs involve the visit of College staff to the larger feeder schools and contact with the smaller schools to prepare for the transition between primary and secondary school. There are visits and tours of the College to assist in the induction of students to the school. Preparatory programs are organised to assist with the movement between Year 10 and Year 11. Targeted programs are offered to assist students preparing to leave school and assistance is provided in work preparation and career planning. Details regarding additional teaching and learning programs can be found in the 2013 Year Book which will be available from the school office, and the school's website.

The College is involved in a number of co-curricular activities: public speaking and debating; a range of dramatic productions; an art award program, People's Choice; and a full range of sporting and interest activities, including Parramatta Diocesan sporting competitionsA comprehensive overview of co-curricular activities can be found in the 2013 Year Book which will be available from the College.

Initiatives to promote respect and responsibility

The promotion of respect and responsibility is not new to Catholic Education and neither is it new to Bede Polding College. It is embedded in the College's Religious Education program and its Pastoral Care program. We live out our College motto, Called to Bring Peace. We acknowledge the Federal Government's initiative to promote values, yet we have always had this as a linchpin of what we believe education to be. In the words of a former executive director of Catholic education in the Parramatta Diocese: 'An education without values is a valueless education'. Bede Polding College, through its social justice programs and Community Service program, develops and nurtures students to be valued members of our Australian community.

The College also has explicit rights and responsibilities that students are made aware of in Year 7 and are strongly encouraged and supported through to Year 12. The language and actions at the College support these and consequences are also explained to all students.

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 to our parents, students and staff showed that our parents had a high level of satisfaction with the school as a community. Learning focus, approachability, behaviour management and student safety were all areas where a high level of satisfaction were indicated.

Student satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that the areas of greatest satisfaction for our students related to their motivation, connectedness to their peers and student safety. Interestingly they had a more positive view of their motivation to learn than did the teachers. This challenged teachers about how they perceived the students' approach in the classroom.

Teacher satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that teachers viewed student behaviour and management as particular strengths in the climate of the College. However these results also showed that there was a need for a more collaborative practice across the teaching staff.

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

There were a number of focuses for professional learning in 2013. One of the main ones has been data analysis, particularly of student learning survey data. These surveys are completed by students in Years 9, 11 and 12. Workshops are conducted using these results. In the case of the Year 12, these results are analysed in relation to the HSC results to identify trends and outcomes. This is a very powerful learning experience for all teachers.

The teaching staff were also involved throughout the year in a series of workshops designed to improve their understanding of quality programming for learning. These included Program Evaluation Days (PEDs) which were held once each semester to improve 'learning alignment' with the syllabus. These activities supported the work being done to improve students' writing.

Staff members have been involved in workshops to improve the embedding of social justice issues in learning programs across the curriculum. This is a whole-school approach.

Teacher attendance and retention rates

Teacher attendance

The average teacher attendance for 2013 was 94.8%.

Teacher retention

Of the 2013 teaching staff, 83% were retained from 2012.

Student attendance rates

Percentage of student attendance by Year level and school average:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 School Average
 92  91  91  91  92  92  91

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.

Student retention rates

The retention rate of students from Year 10, 2011 to Year 12, 2013 was 67%.

Senior secondary outcomes

The following table shows the percentage of Year 12 students who undertook vocational training or training in a trade while at school, and the percentage that attained a Year 12 certificate or equivalent vocational education and training qualification.

Percentage of Year 12 students who undertook vocational training while at school  17
Percentage of Year 12 students who undertook training in a trade while at school  1.4
Percentage of Year 12 students who attained a Year 12 certificate (HSC) or equivalent vocational education and training qualification  100

Post-school destinations

Destinations of students leaving Year 12, 2013 %
University  58
Technical, and Further Education (TAFE)
Workforce  16
Other/unknown  11

Pastoral care of students

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

Pastoral care included:

  • Student Representative Council (SRC) activities including camp, tennis championships and a major fundraiser for charity (SRC initiative)
  • Driver Safety Awareness program offered to Years 11 and 12
  • oeer support training for selected Year 10 students to support the Peer Support program for Year 7
  • social nights for Year 11
  • a three day camp for Year 7
  • a three day camp for Year 9
  • social justice education, fundraising and support for charity organisations by each Year group
  • peer mentoring for junior study workshops by senior students
  • guest speakers on a variety of topics and issues
  • study skills and motivational talks (Year 11)
  • vaccination (varicella, human papillomavirus and hepatitis B)
  • parenting programs run by school counsellors

    Work continued on improving our approach to student management. Our policy focuses clearly on the importance of recognising and acknowledging positive behaviours and increasing contact with parents about these behaviours. Data is used to evaluate the effectiveness of student management processes regularly. This data is used, on a term by term basis, to adjust approaches. These adjustments have led to an improvement in student behaviour inside and outside the classroom.

    The college works consistently to create a safe environment and in particular to limit the amount of bullying that occurs. All students must meet the expectations of a 'hands off' policy. A variety of avenues are provided for students and parents to report bullying. Detailed records are kept of bullying incidents and the identity of those involved. These are kept centrally and victims are contacted in an ongoing way to ensure that any measures taken have been successful. 

    During 2013our case management of students was extended to include specialist support for students with learning difficulties.

    Regular meetings were held by Year coordinators with teachers to support them in their management of students experiencing significant difficulties in managing their behaviours. 

    There has been little change to our discipline and anti-bullying policies during 2013.

    The full text of student management/welfare and discipline policies can be obtained through the school's website,

    policies and processes are described in detail in the Learning Resource Booklets that are made available to parents each semester. In addition, parents may arrange an interview with any member of the school staff to discuss the college's student management procedures.

    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 Bede Polding College received $178,267.00 as interest subsidy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    School recurrent and capital expenditure

    School recurrent and capital expenditure

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

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

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

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