Covenant Christian School 2007 annual report 2007 was a year of significant change for our School.
2007 was an exciting and busy year for Covenant. Mr William (Bill) Rusin commenced the year as our new Principal and under his leadership we look forward to the future and where God leads us. The Board was thankful to God for bringing Bill to our school and we have enjoyed working with him and supporting him in his first year. After being occupied last year with finding our new Principal, the Board this year was able to focus on housekeeping matters. We even enjoyed a couple of days’ retreat with the Executive staff and found that time very encouraging and productive. During 2007, Mr Tony Harris and Mr Jeff Lee both stepped down as Directors. I would like to thank them for the gifts that they brought to the Board. We greatly valued their contribution. We also welcome Mrs Frea Sietsma to the Board and look forward to her serving in this role as she has been involved with Covenant as a parent, an association member and as a staff member for many years. Several important events at the school that the Board have enjoyed supporting again this year, were the Cairns Mission Trip with our Year 10 and 11 students, and the fundraising dinner organized by our Development and Foundation Committee. Both these events bring our school community together in prayer, financial giving and support for not only our school but also the wider community. The Board enjoyed meeting with the Mission Trip team after their return and hearing the report on the great things that happened and the strengthening of the relationship being built between our school community and the community of Yarrabah. After the success of last year’s fundraising dinner to raise money for the hall acoustics, there was another dinner this year for a Year 12 Common Room and a Music Lab. Again, this event was well attended and enjoyed and these projects will be finished and appreciated by students in early 2008. The end of year was busy for the Board with the usual staff interviewing and filling staff positions. However, two very important members of our staff resigned and will be greatly missed. They were our Deputy Principal Mrs Julie Mathews, and our Development Officer, Mrs Ruth Ewing. The Board would like to thank both these wonderful ladies for their hard work and dedication to our school and wish them well in their new ventures. Our God is so wonderful and we thank Him for another year that our school has been able to serve him and for the many blessings that we have seen as we have worked together providing Christ Centred Education here at Covenant. I would like to thank the Board for their commitment to their role and supporting me in my role as Chairman.
Mrs Anne Baker
As a result of staff changes the school has restructured its Executive staff and we are confident that the heart and passion for Christian Education at Covenant remains vibrant. We have been very blessed by the quality of the new staff that have been employed this year and look forward to the contributions they will make to our school. Our school has a lovely culture where students feel comfortable to serve the others by leading in many different ways. This is most evident in the various assemblies and special occasions that the school has. Even the students in Year 2 are willing to take on leadership.
The year was a great success in terms of excellent results in both the HSC and SC exams. These results show that able students who work hard achieve excellent reults at Covenant. As a school that is comprehensive the results were very strong and many of our students were faithful in the use of their academic gifts and talents. This however does not define who we are as a school. Whilst the school continues to provide able and faithful teachers and an environment where academic rigour is supported, we recognise that the results are largely due to the efforts of the students. The school has continued to improve the building and equipment in a number of areas. In 2007 the refurbishment of the Hospitality Room was completed, the stepped seating in the front of the school was a great improvement to the school and we refurbished the gardens at the front to improve the look and feel of the front entry. The Year 12 Pavilion was started in 2007 and the K to 12 Music Laboratory was begun. Both of these projects will be completed in 2008. We also continued the planning for A block that will serve the needs of K to 6 in particular and provide extra classrooms in the High School. God has again been gracious and blessed our school, providing for all our needs so that we could successfully assist parents to educate their children in the Lord. continued over page Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
Principal’s Report continued
Targets & priorities for 2008 include: • New subjects being offered in Years 11 and 12 including Exploring Early Childhood and Dance. • Implementing a 1 week timetable across the school. • Implementation of an After School Program for students in K to 6. • Implementing the results of the Biblical Studies review and a reinvigoration of the 9 to 12 curriculum. • Implementation of the Teacher Appraisal Policy. • Reviewing the structure of the High School in order to best serve the needs of the school community. • Review of the Development Officer’s role. Year 7 camp
2007 was also a good year financially for Covenant. We are blessed to have such a strong team of people both employed and in a voluntary capacity in the Finance Committee. The outcome for the year has placed us in a much sounder financial position than in previous years. It allows us to continue with plans for improvements around the school.
• Reviewing the basis of sorting students into classes in Year 7 to 10. • Planning for a Year 8 Enrichment Elective line for 2009.
We also set up tax efficient ways of supporting parents who struggle with fees and for improving areas such as the Library. The Transition Classes have been a great success with full classes being achieved in 2007. It is envisaged that demand will continue to grow in the future. It is felt that the very smooth start to Kindergarten is in part due to the presence of this preparatory class. In the middle of the year we were privileged to have Dr Mike Goheen from Trinity Western University (Canada) speak to the staff and parents. His insights into our task as Christian educators were very powerful and it is hoped that we are able to secure some time with him in 2008. 2007 also saw the initial Extension and Enrichments camps for students in Year 5 to 8 in particular. These included Art Camp, Cartooning Camp and Maths Camps. These camps were attended by students from various Christian Schools and it is hoped that the offerings will be extended to 2008 and beyond. Covenant Christian School is well served by excellent staff who love the children in their care. They are professional in their commitment and both teaching and non-teaching staff are doing wonderful jobs serving the Lord in their various capacities. I have also been thrilled with the heart and passion that parents have to bring up their children. It is a sacrifice to choose to send children to Covenant Christian School. We are grateful for the synergy that occurs when parents and staff are “equally yoked” when they, with God’s help and guidance, try to bring up children in the fear and nurture of the Lord.
• Complete the planning for A Block and a review of the parking and bus requirements.
Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
Parent and Student Satisfaction Surveys The school conducted surveys for parents and students who left the school during 2007. They were asked about many areas of the life of the school and were also invited to write both positive and negative feedback. Overwhelmingly the students who responded showed a great degree of satisfaction and commented very warmly about the environment, culture and pastoral care of the school and its teachers. There were comments made about the amount and timing of Homework and Assignments in Years 11 and 12 in particular, and comments that suggested that the school ought to have more extra curricular activities. Some comments suggested that students who were particularly gifted in some areas would have liked further extension. The school has instituted a number of programs to improve this area in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 a further initiative has been designed for students in Year 8 to provide extended opportunities for students. We received very little feedback from parents in 2007 but of those who responded the large majority were thankful for the work done by the school with their children.
Mr Bill Rusin
Enrolments Covenant Christian School is open to all children whose parents are seeking to give them an education which is consistent with the basis and aims of the school, provided the school has the resources to meet the child’s particular needs, and subject to the availability of places. Enrolments
2005 (August Census)
2006 (August Census)
2007 (August Census)
* Excluding 40 Transition students
Priority of enrolment is on the basis of commitment to the Basis and Aims of the school, existing attendance of siblings, likely benefit from and contribution to the life of the school, and date of application. Application for enrolment must be made on the appropriate form, accompanied by an administration fee. Overseas students need good academic standards and work habits and must demonstrate a sound knowledge of English, ascertained by an AEAS assessment (minimum English score of 70 for Years 7-9, and 80 for Years 10-12). For those students below Year 7, the school arranges its own English assessment. Normally children are accepted into Kindergarten only if they have turned five before 31st May that year. In exceptional circumstances, after careful testing, younger children may be admitted if they are considered to be socially, physically and intellectually mature enough. Children are accepted into the Transition classes only if they have turned 3 years of age and are toilet trained at the time they start. There are no specific pre-requisites for continuing enrolments from one class to the next. Initial priority is determined on the basis of answers to questions on the enrolment application and a letter of reference from the pastor of the church currently attended. This will be later confirmed through an interview. Interviews are conducted with both the child and parents before offers of places are made. For children to commence at the start of a year these usually begin in Term 1 of the previous year. In other cases parents are interviewed when a place becomes available.
Visit to Transition by the fire brigade
We currently have several grades (Year 2 & 3, 2008) where numbers are unusually low. In 2007 Years 1 and 2 included a composite class, reducing the number of classes for those forms to three. These classes are now single grade classes to allow for growth. In contrast, Year 1 and Year 5 currently have waiting lists. The 2008 Kindergarten class is almost full. The commencement of the Transition Classes in 2006 has had a positive impact on the enrolment for Kindergarten. There are two Transition classes: a two day class on Monday and Tuesday and a three day class on Wednesday to Friday. By March 2008 both classes were full with 20 students each. Retention rates have varied significantly over the past few years. The greatest losses are normally from Year 6 to 7 and Year 10 to 11. This is not surprising as they are points where parents often choose to make changes to their children’s education. The apparent retention rates at these points are pleasing.
2005 - 2006
2006 - 2007
2007 - 2008
The loss of students in Year 7 is mainly to single sex non-government schools and selective schools. However, there is a positive apparent retention rate because of the influx of new students into Year 7. More students than in previous years left at the completion of Year 6. We also experienced a lower number of students commencing in Year 7 in 2008. The retention rate from Year 9-12 is mostly affected by the loss of students at the end of Year 10 from students going into the work force or moving to TAFE and other schools. Typically there will be a loss of around 15% from Year 10 to 11 and 3-5% (2-3 students) each year from other Years. Multicultural Composition by Country of Birth
2008 maximum class size Kindy
Years 7 -10
The ratio of teachers to students is currently 1:16.8 in the Junior School, 1:11 in the Secondary School, and 1:13.1 overall.
1% 6% 7%
Australian - 86% 86%
Asian - 7% European - 6% Other - 1%
The ratio of boys to girls is currently 52:48 and the proportion of students from regular church attending families (representing 125 churches) is 89%. Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
Business Manager’s Report 4
2007 was a year in which we made significant progress in a number of key areas within the school’s financial management. We achieved a significant increase in operating surplus well ahead of budget and a cash flow surplus well above expectations.
The basic fee structure remained unchanged from the previous year in 2007. Parents continued to take up the various electronic payment options for fee payments such as direct debit and BPay. In 2007 we received over 70% of our fees this way. This is a more cost effective payment form for the school and reduces cash and cheque handling at the school.
The results are pleasing given the significant additional investment of more than $400k in buildings, equipment and furniture. This is a 24% increase in expenditure over 2006. Our financial performance is a direct result of parents paying their fees on time, as well as the school’s ability to manage payments and bank accounts to maximise interest income. With a particular focus we reduced our uncollected fees in 2007 dramatically. This outcome particularly contributed to our ability to achieve a better cash position than budgeted. As a result of a second external audit a number of financial management recommendations were made and have been implemented with favourable results. Under the guidance of the Board, a Financial Committee was established in 2006. The group consists of Board members and Executive involved in the financial management of the school. This has proven to be very worthwhile as a number of process improvements have come about as a result. The group was actively involved in the budget process for 2008. One of our key aims during the process was to keep the fees as low as possible. This is consistent with the Board’s goal of providing affordable Christian education to Christian parents, yet still delivering a high standard of Christian education, and maintaining and improving our buildings and grounds to satisfactory levels. Our DA for the adjoining land was approved by the Warringah Council in May 2007. In conjunction with the approval, the Board agreed to a change of Architect and Project Manager for the next phase. The newly appointed MCA Architects are currently in the process of reviewing a building redesign to meet the schools future educational needs and current financial situation. The Transition class, established in 2006, has been a great success as indicated by enrolment numbers and parent feedback. Transition was full for the year 2007 and is full for 2008. Transition has also assisted with higher Kindergarten enrolments in 2008 with 40 students enrolled. Last year’s sound financial management allowed us to meet our obligations to staff and creditors in 2007. The school is able to meet all its current liabilities, whilst the 2007 result has set a foundation for the school for its development in 2008 and beyond.
Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
In 2007 the fee discounts were slightly realigned for those families with more than one child. The sibling discounts were reduced to more accurately reflect the costs of educating siblings. The Board continues to be committed to ensuring that fees at Covenant remain as affordable as possible to families. Fees increased for a first child by 7% in 2007. The 2007 fee increases were necessary because the cost of education during the 2006/07 years increased at a greater rate than the general market indicators. The school continues to support a number of families with bursary assistance (fee relief) so that their children can be part of our student community. As at 1 July 2006 the Bursary Fund was established. This was very pleasing as the school desires to support Christian families who desire a Christian education for their children but struggle due to financial limits. As a result other families can now contribute to this fund and receive tax deductible receipts.
Accounts 2007 The School Board recognises the need to create an appropriate surplus each year with a view to future building projects. The Financial Accounts for 2007 show a net operating surplus of $264k. The cash position at the end of the year increased by $573k to a total of $1.19m. A budgeted net operating surplus of $130k was approved for 2008. A number of facilities were improved with more than $400k invested in 2007. This included: • the Senior Pavilion/Locker Room & Music Lab project, • G21 Hospitality classroom was refurbished including new commercial equipment, • synthetic grass was laid, • the terrace built at the front of school, • more than 300 new plants planted at the front of school, • new IT servers purchased, • carpets replaced and walls painted in a number of classrooms, • air conditioning units installed, • water tanks installed, • primary playground equipment upgraded, • verandahs and paving areas repaired. In the IT sector a significant strategic decision was made to engage an external business partner to provide IT support. This has proven to be very successful for the school and provides greater access to IT knowledge than we have previously had. This will be increasingly helpful with the ever developing requirements of the schools IT needs. During 2007 we avoided using the overdraft facility and reduced our loans by $303k. This is a great achievement which speaks volumes to bankers and others about our solid financial credentials. We are positioning the school so that we can borrow for the new Building A in 2009/10. General Building Fund donations of approximately $33k were raised in 2007; plus an additional $50k donated for the Senior Pavilion/Music Lab
project. This was a significant contribution by parents and supporters. The general funds will be allocated to planned building projects due to start late 2009/10, including a new building for the Junior School.
Income Income from families equates to 45% of total income and government grants equate to approximately 49%. In more simplistic terms, for every $1 a parent paid, grants from the Federal and State Governments contributed as per table below. Parent / Government Contributions Year
Over the last few years this has changed as parents are now contributing more to the costs of running the school due to Government funding (percentage increases) being lower than the true overall increase in costs of running the school during the same period. The table below shows the additional increase in funding we receive annually from the Commonwealth Government. However, the real cost of educating a child from year to year is increasing at a rate over 6%. Commonwealth Government Supplementation Year
In 2007 we received grants for the following specific areas of the school: • $5000 for languages, • $5000 for Professional Standards, • $2000 for Values and Drug education and other grants for special needs and ESL. We applied for and received a Chaplaincy Grant and a Water Grant. Funding for a shade structure and upgrading one Science laboratory was received and the work completed. Our local Federal Member, Mrs Bronwyn Bishop, attended the opening of these facilities.
Recurrent Expenditure The Expenditure Graph for 2007 shows that our major recurrent expense is salaries. In 2007 salaries equalled approximately 69% of our total recurrent expenditure. This is similar to 2006. At the end of 2006 a new Teachers’ Agreement was approved and signed for a further 4 year period. Additionally in the early part of 2007 a new Support Staff Agreement was approved and signed for the same period. This importantly provides us with certainty as to what our most significant expenditure will be in the period 2007-2010. In 2007 Interest on borrowed funds made up 3% of expenditure which was the same as 2006. Major loans have been secured at fixed rates of interest. The Hall loan of $2.7million was fixed for 15 years and our other bill/loan is fixed for the next 4 years. Interest costs will remain steady in 2008 and will not rise until we commence the next stage of our building program in 2009/10. In 2008 our projected expenditure is much the same as 2007. The following graph clearly shows salaries as the major expense of the school. This does not include capital expenditure. Expenses 2007
Income 2007 1%
Resident Student Fees 41% Full Fee Paying Overseas Students 2%
Transition Student Fees 2%
Federal Government Grants 34% 34%
State Government Grants 15% Interest Subsidy 1% Interest Received 1% Special grants 1% Other 3%
Admin Salaries 9%
The existing Commonwealth funding model has been agreed to continue in principle for another four years (2009 – 2012) by the new Federal Labor Government. This funding may be at risk in the future as our school community is considered to be wealthy. One of the challenges that lies ahead is to keep fees affordable. The Board and Executive will be working with our peak representative bodies, such as the Association of Christian Schools, to lobby State and Federal Governments on the value of maintaining support to schools like ourselves beyond 2013 with appropriate funding.
Teacher Salaries 60%
Sport & Excursions 3% Administration Expenses 6%
Educational Expenses 2%
Building/Grounds Maint 5% Depreciation 8% Equipment Leasing 3% Other 1%
The Year Ahead The 2008 budget we believe has been established with achievable net operating and cash flow surplus levels. The key to achieving our budget goals largely falls to meeting our enrolment numbers of 706, excluding Transition. In 2008 we continue to position the school with the financial ability to start Building A on the adjoining nursery land in 2009/10. We also wish to invest school funds into existing infrastructure where maintenance is required and has not been done in recent years. This will help the school to do preventive rather reactive maintenance in the future. We ask for your continued financial and prayer partnership over the coming year.
Mr Andrew Lowry Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
Staff Staff numbers have been increasing steadily as the school has grown. In 2007 the school had 93 staff of whom 70 were teaching staff and the remainder administrative or ancillary staff. There were 24 part time staff and 46 full time staff. 97.2% of teaching staff were present each day and the retention rate for staff increased slightly to 89% Of the 70 teaching staff • 48 had a B. Ed or a Bachelors Degree plus Dip. Ed or equivalent
Wayne Morton enjoying the
• 8 had additional degrees or Vocational Certificates
Billy cart race
• 8 had an additional Masters degree • 1 had a Diploma of Education/Teaching • Teaching experience ranged from that of a first year teacher to 37 years experience, with an average of about 11 years. Under the NSW Institute of Teachers criteria, of the 70 teachers • 64 were ‘Existing Teachers’, and 6 were ‘Provisionally Accredited’ at the start of 2007, 3 of these were accredited at the ‘Professional Competence’ level during the year making 5 staff accredited at this level.
Peter Hill at the Year
The following staff either joined us in 2007 or will do so in 2008: Mr Chris Cipollone (Primary); Mrs Cathy Faulkner (Primary); Mrs Robyn Newton (Primary); Mrs Ruth-Mary Smith (Primary); Mrs Belinda Clark (Teachers’ Aide); Mrs Kylie Sheehan (Teachers’ Aide); Mrs Yvonne Holmes (Education Support); Miss Katrina Carter (Dance); Mrs Heather Pitt (Drama); Mrs Gabrielle Smith (English/History); Mrs Katrina Horsley (English/ History/Maths); Mrs Chelsea Smithies (Mathematics); Miss Cassie Hale (PDHPE); Mrs Janine Wright (Science); Mrs Judy Wenden (Visual Arts and German); Mrs Heidi Muddle (After School Care); Mrs Wendy Boase (Registrar).
Teachers and other staff undertook professional development. Courses included Teachers New to Christian Schooling, curriculum differentiation led by Ralph Pirozzo, autism spectrum disorder, literacy, ESL teaching, ARL coaching, Chemical Safety, CRICOS requirements and many specific subject based courses. Several staff were invited to present seminars for Christian Parent Controlled Schools, the Association of Independent Schools or AGQTP. The AGQTP Professional Standards grant was beneficial and we presented at several conferences, detailing our success in helping New Scheme Teachers reach accreditation. The allocated staff training budget ($31,200) for 2007 was utilised with staff attending over 60 separate courses Average expenditure per staff member was $390.00. In addition several staff were undertaking postgraduate courses and there were in-house sessions for a variety of subjects.
Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
CIS relay team with Tanya Hammond
In addition some existing staff took on new responsibilities in 2007. Mrs Meredith Knowles was appointed Middle Section Coordinator and Mr Tim Smithies became her assistant. Mr Peter Muddle became Maths Coordinator.
Teaching & Learning A course summary, grades and graph as well as teacher comments gave a much more comprehensible snapshot of each child’s progress in stages 4 and 5. The well established Senior Reports remained the same. The Middle Section, catering for Years 7-9 continued to grow with triple streaming now through to Year 10. One Core Class in Years 7 and 8 is sorted for students with higher literacy skills while the other two classes are parallel. ICT skills are integrated into all subject areas. Electives in Year 9 could be selected from Drama, Music, Visual Arts, Information and Software Technology, German, Timber Technology, Food Technology, Design and Technology and Commerce. Physical Activity and Sports Studies was added and is a popular choice. The mandatory Australian History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship continues to be studied in Year 10. Students from the elective German classes in Bremen, Germany
Covenant continues its tradition of catering for the whole child. As we partner with the parents we aim “to assist in the nurture of the child…”. This means nurturing the physical, emotional, social and spiritual development of the child as well as the academic. Sporting, musical and creative activities continue to be vital parts of the curriculum of the school.
he Transition class continued to thrive and gave impetus to the Kindergarten enrolments. The curriculum encouraged the individual development of the children, drawing on and developing their interests. The preparation for starting school sessions in Term 4 should result in a smoother commencement to Kindergarten for Transition students. In the absence of a dedicated Junior School Curriculum Coordinator during the year 2007, the staff pulled together and made some significant progress in a number of areas, resorting to the model of training each other by sharing the skills we already possess. This is a rich and fresh way to inspire each other to greater heights.
Most Year 10 students completed the “All My Own Work” program on ethical work practices, plagiarism, copyright and working in groups. In the Senior School the students are able to choose from a broad and interesting range of electives. In Years 11 and 12 students could study • Mathematics, • General Mathematics, • Mathematics Extension 1 and 2, • ESL, • English Standard or Advanced, • English Extension 1 and 2, • Visual Arts, Drama, Music 1 and 2, • Business Studies, Economics, Geography • Ancient and Modern History, • Biology, Physics, Chemistry, • PDHPE,
Artwork from Year 8 Art Camp
• German Beginners and Continuers, • Software Design and Development, Information Processes and Technology, • Design and Technology and Industrial Technology. • Legal Studies was also offered for the first time and was very popular. Dance and Exploring Early Childhood are now available as is Studies of Religion 1. Hospitality remains strong and the VET Hospitality students all completed their mandatory 70 hours work placement over the two years, with positive comments from employers. The community again benefited from the skills of the Hospitality students at school functions such as the Fusion evening, when Visual Arts and Design students showcase their Major Works. Students came from Oxford Falls Grammar School and Northern Beaches Christian School to Covenant for Mathematics Extension 2, English Extension 2 and Hospitality (VET).Geography and French were studied online at Northern Beaches Christian School via SCIL (Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning). Students also took advantage of courses offered by JSSTAFE, Saturday School, Distance Education and the Open High School.
During first term, we spent time in particular refining the meaning of the A-E reporting scale in order to fall into line with schools from across the state. Throughout second term, we examined ways of improving our skill in teaching narrative writing. During third term, we looked at ways of improving our ability to teach comprehension, whilst fourth term presented us with the opportunity to visit a school in Tamworth that approaches class organisation on a stage basis as opposed to age basis. An interesting challenge!
The Pastoral Care Program included “No Limits” and speakers addressing relevant issues as well as our own programs. Students from the elective German classes travelled to Germany to the Freie Evangelische Bekenntnisschule in Bremen where they attended classes and immersed themselves in the culture. There will be a corresponding exchange in 2008, with students and staff from Bremen visiting Covenant.
There was ongoing development of reports as we worked out the tension between what we are required to do and what we could do. The Junior School reports were well received. However, the reports for Years 7-10 were too complex and were modified for the second semester.
Teachers and other staff undertook professional development. Courses included Teachers New to Christian Schooling, curriculum differentiation led by Ralph Pirozzo, autism spectrum disorder, literacy, ESL teaching, ARL coaching, Chemical Safety, CRICOS requirements and many specific subject based courses. Several staff were invited to present seminars for Christian Parent Controlled Schools, the Association of Independent Schools or AGQTP. Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
School Performance Literacy & Numeracy National Assessment Each year the school takes part in national testing of numeracy and literacy of Year 3, 5 and 7 students which compares students against benchmarks. LANNA tests are used by many independent schools and allow comparisons to be made from year to year. They also allow for the identification of specific strengths and weaknesses.
%achieving Benchmark (Covenant)
% Gain or Loss from 2006
Year 5 LANNA Scores
Our students generally exceed the benchmarks in all areas and progress can be seen over the years. In most cases results are well above the national averages for the schools participating in LANNA testing.
Few if any students fall below the benchmarks and these students will have usually been identified by the Education Support staff. Strategies will have been put in place to assist them by a combination of withdrawal groups, working alongside students in their classrooms, individual tutor groups and other individualised programs where necessary.
*No Benchmarks are set in Spelling
Year 7 LANNA Scores
%achieving Benchmark (Covenant)
% Gain or Loss from 2006
%achieving Benchmark (Covenant)
% Gain or Loss from 2006
Year 3 LANNA Scores
School Certificate results 2007
Computing Skills results 2007
Covenant’s School Certificate results were again very pleasing. In most subjects students performed above the State average. Many students gained results in band 6 in one or more subjects.The graph below compares the averages at Covenant and statewide in the examinable subjects.
The Computing Skills Results were also excellent. The vast majority of students at CCS received the top ranking of “Highly Competent” in the Computing Skills Test. (74.54% when compared to the State average of 58.06%). The remaing 25.45% of CCS students recevied the second top ranking of “Competent”. 100
% of students
% of students
40 30 20
Band 5 & 6 Covenant
Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
Band 5 & 6 State
0 Band 5 & 6 Covenant
Band 5 & 6 State
Higher School Certificate results 2007 Covenant Christian School received excellent results in the 2007 Higher School Certificate. There were some outstanding individual performances as well as a number of excellent results in a variety of subjects.
Covenant Christian School received excellent results in the 2007 Higher School Certificate. There were some outstanding individual performances as well as a number of excellent results in a variety of subjects. Covenant gained the highest overall results of all the Independent Schools in the Northern Beaches. Of the 52 students who sat the HSC, 21% gained a UAI (University Admission Index) of 90 or higher. The highest UAI WAS 99.3 and the student was awarded a UNSW Co-OP scholarship to study Finance. Outstanding individual performances included 12 students gaining a mark of 90 or more in 36 subjects Three students gained a Band 6 in 5 or more subjects, gaining them recognition in the Distinguished Achievers list. HSC visual art major work
Covenant students were under represented in the lower performance Bands 3, 2 and 1. In most subjects studied at Covenant in 2007 students performed at or above the State average. A number of subjects exceeded the state average by more than 5%. These were Ancient History, Biology, English as a Second Language, General Mathematics, Visual Arts and German Beginners. There were also a number of outstanding individual performances where students gained an HSC mark of over 80 â€“ 89, placing them in Band 5, the second highest performance band for the State. Overall there were 93 marks between 80 and 89. Subjects in which a Band 6 was scored were Ancient History, General Mathematics,, English Extension 1 and 2, Biology, D&T, English Advanced, IPT, Visual Arts, Chemistry, Mathematics, Modern History, Mathematics Extension 1 and 2, PDHPE, German Beginners, History Extension and Japanese Background Speakers studied at Saturday School. Over 75% of students were offered University places in a range of fields: Science, Engineering, Arts, Teaching, Radiology, Media and Communications, Medical Science, Architecture, Finance, Commerce, Nursing, International Studies and others. Some students have taken a GAP Year; others are studying at TAFE, private colleges, have gained apprenticeships, joined the Defence Forces or are working.
Band 1 below 50% Band 2 59-50% Band 3 69-60%
Covenant also gained excellent results in the State Competitions in Mathematics, Science, English, Economics, Computing, English and the German Film Festival.
Band 4 79-70% Band 5 89-80% Band 6 100-90%
HSC Bands 2007
% of students
14% (State 10%) 24% (State 10%)
Band 5 & 6 Covenant
English Ext 2
Band 6 100-90%
Band 3 69-60%
Band 5 89-80%
Band 2 59-50%
Band 4 79-70%
Band 1 below 50%
Band 5 & 6 State Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
he Worship, Concert and Stage bands, as well as Senior and Junior choirs contributed to the community of the Secondary School. The “Fiddler on the Roof” musical, was an opportunity for students and staff to work individually and in teams. Over 70 students were involved singing, dancing, acting, making props, working backstage or front of house. The improved Hall acoustics were really appreciated by the audiences each night. In addition there were Drama and Music evenings to showcase these specialist subjects. There were some great individual performances by students in swimming, athletics and cross-country carnivals to combined independent schools level. In the sporting arena the Secondary School had a busy and successful year in football, rugby netball and basketball.
Co-curricular & extra-curricular activities
Secondary Swimming carnival
The Public Speaking Carnival was again held in Middle Section towards the end of Term 3 with all speakers reaching a high standard. The interschool carnival between Covenant, Northern Beaches Christian School and Oxford Falls Grammar was again successful. Mr John Hill and Mrs Lynne Butler took over the Duke of Edinburgh scheme after the departure of Mr van Beelen. Students completed Bronze Walks in the Sydney area as well as service activities. The Gold Walk for 2007 was Tasmania’s challenging Overland Track which was successfully completed in the last week of Term 4. The Mission Trip again strengthened our links with the Yarrabah Aboriginal Community of Northern Queensland. Staff and students learned much as well as helping with games, activities and prayer. In November, we were delighted to host a return visit from some residents of Yarrabah who spoke at special meetings and at Assembly. Leadership skills have been developed within the Student Council, which has raised money, run assemblies, assisted at various functions and represented the school at outside events. Bus supervisors and House Captains also take on roles of responsibility and help in the smooth running of the school. This year Student Council again organised the 40 Hour famine for World Vision raising over $12,000. In addition, the Student Council supported a number of other charities, represented the students on a various issues and purchased additional equipment for the school.
Mission Trip to Yarrabah Aboriginal Comm
Students in years 7-10 enjoyed camps in Term 1 and Year 11 attended a retreat to develop leadership and study skills in Term 4. A Japanese conversation class was started and is growing steadily.
10 Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007
The ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ musical
Cultural Day - Mission Armenia
hroughout the year a number of Junior School extra-curricular activities have bubbled steadily along. The Gardening group continues to restore native habitats around the school by planting indigenous species. Miss Shea challenged the chess club to greater heights. Mrs Staples kept vigil with the choir whilst Mrs Harding oversaw the String ensemble. Mrs Kohlhoff and Mrs Kalinin watched over the Tournament of Minds team for this year. Mrs Conway led the Training band and Junior bands with passion. Mr Groves gave great oversight of the Student Council. The newly founded Drama Club performed admirably during the Christmas Service, with Mrs Piney and Mrs Holman making this club sizzle. A number of parents and friends helped significantly with extra curricular events too, none more so than Mrs Elmes and Mrs Kerr who instigated the Boys Dance Group and Girls Ballet group respectively, and Miss Anna Nishimura who ran Japanese Lessons for interested students. The Primary school conducted a variety of activities as well. Once again the Yr 5/6 camps were a great time of fun for everyone and the Yr 3/4 Sleepover is always a highlight. The Musica Viva performance was entertaining whilst the Athletics carnival was worth noting for the treacherous conditions we weathered. Visiting students from Hong Kong allowed Year 5 to experience a cultural exchange. Year 6 not only visited Canberra and participated in their annual Community Day, they were also invited by Channel 7, to participate in the TV game show, “It’s Academic”. Our team of 15 performed admirably, almost snatching victory as the final outcome came down to the very last game. Our Speech Giving Assemblies unearthed some fine talent, whilst Year 5 held their annual Billy Cart Race.
Infants too, participated in a host of co-curricular activities. Once again, they had a visit from the Snake Tales group and another washed out Fun Day. Some visiting indigenous folk shared singing, dancing and art with our children. The Library staff invited a picture book illustrator Mr Gus Gordon, to share his skill with us. Infants also hosted the Theatre of the Deaf and greatly enjoyed learning some sign language.
The entire Junior School conducted a number of special events throughout the year including a fascinating Anzac Day assembly. The Environment Week activities were both interesting and informative. The opportunity to hold a Yo-Yo show at school led to a brief but exciting yo-yo fad. Our K-6 Art Show was a great experience. During ‘Those in Need Week’ this year, we focused upon supporting our Phillipino sponsor child, Rachel. Older Primary Students also had the opportunity to extend their cartooning and Maths skills at various extension camps during Term 4. All of Junior School were very sad to hear of the loss of our dear friend Laurie Little who has visited Covenant with Science on Show for many years. The Student Council, drawn from each of the Yr 3-6 classes performed magnificently in their roles this year, achieving a number of targets they set from the outset. Their suggestion to increase shade in the Primary school was immediately fulfilled with the construction and grand opening of the Shade Sails. A stunning success! Their suggestion to improve relations with our neighbouring Kamaroi school, was the impetus for a number of inter-school events. Our Student Council toured Kamaroi, whilst Kamaroi Year 6 participated in the Covie Speech Giving Assembly. Our Yr 6 returned to Kamaroi to witness their production of the Sound of Music. There has been significant improvement in relations as a result of this increased contact.
Billy cart race
Primary Swimming carnival
Picture book illustrator Mr Gus Gordon Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007 11
Key policy outlines Welfare
At Covenant we want to relate to each other as Jesus did. Harassment and abuse is directly opposed to the way Jesus wants us to relate to each other. We believe that God values every person equally, thus we should care equally for all parties involved in a situation involving harassment or abuse.
Covenant’s discipline policy is based on the following principles which are drawn from Scripture. Discipline should:
As a Christian school we aim to: • make the school a safe place to work and play; • witness the Christian qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
• be founded on love and concern for the child and those around him/her. • contribute towards a student’s growth in Christ. Thus it may involve repentance, reconciliation and restitution. • include positive and negative elements confirming, commending, encouraging, as well as correcting, reproving, punishing.
Specifically, Covenant Christian School is committed to:
• be clearly defined as to expectations and wherever possible, be exercised promptly.
• providing a safe and caring environment for students;
• be consistent and administered fairly.
• preventing harm to a student in any form within the school;
• reflect on the action or attitude not the person so that it is clear we love the child.
• dealing seriously with any reports that a student is at risk of harm in a prompt and appropriate manner;
• take into account the maturity of the child
• educating students concerning their rights and responsibilities and equipping them with appropriate skills for avoiding and reporting uncomfortable or abusive situations;
• seek to develop self-discipline and thus not depend too heavily or exclusively on external motivation, such as structured rewards and punishments.
• training staff to recognise and appropriately deal with and report situations where a student may be at risk of harm.
Specific structures include positive comments, merit certificates and different levels of award for commending students and negative comments, demerits, detentions and suspensions for correcting or punishing students.
Specific requirements are set out in our Child Protection and Anti-harassment policies and procedures, among others. These include: • ensuring that staff appointed are fit and proper people to occupy those positions through interviews and employment screening; • requiring staff to commit with a Staff Code of Conduct, which is actively monitored;
Grievance When dealing with any complaint, grievance or concern in relation to another person we need to consider biblical principles. Specifically, all parties need to::
• training staff in Child Protection and Anti-harassment measures;
• first speak directly about the issue to the person most concerned,
• implementing procedures to identify when a child is at risk of harm and to notify the proper authorities;
• treat the matter seriously, • act fairly towards each other,
• implementing procedures to notify and investigate complaints of improper conduct by staff and report to appropriate authorities
• expect that they will be treated in the same way,
• recognising that dealing with harassment is the shared responsibility of parents, staff and students.
• act discreetly and maintain confidentiality.
• establishing procedures which will ensure an effective response to incidents of harassment • ensuring that all occurrences of harassment are dealt with fairly and consistently • encouraging openness among pupils about all forms of harassment • taking pro-active preventative measures against harassment • raising awareness about harassment among school staff, pupils and parents.
• treat others involved in the situation with respect, • If a person feels they cannot speak to the person concerned directly (eg in a case of bullying or fear) they should speak with another more senior person. In the case of a student this may be the home class teacher or some other person they trust. • If a resolution is not achieved then the matter should be taken to the next most senior person and so on until it reaches the Principal for a decision. Any parent who is unhappy about a decision of the Principal, or who for other reasons would like to take a matter further, may take it in writing to the Board. Full copies of these and other school polices can be obtained from the school office and are on the policy page of the school’s web site, www.covenant.nsw.edu.au
Note that we define harassment as any action that troubles or annoys another person. Bullying is repeated intimidation over time, by negative actions of a physical, verbal or psychological nature by one or more persons, ie repeated harassment. Kindergarten Principal’s award
12 Covenant Christian School Annual Report 2007