2023 Annual Report

Page 1


Personal best, TOGETHER



Chair of Council’s Message

For more than thirty years, St Luke’s Grammar School has provided educational excellence with a pastoral care heart to Northern Beaches families. Centred on Christian values and beliefs, the School has built a reputation for knowing each student and preparing them for life beyond the school gate.

The School is well into executing the 2023-2027 Strategic Plan which aims to build community; work together for the personal best of everyone; focus on spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing; serving locally and beyond; and look to future directions in education and development.

With strong demand for places, the School will expand to a new Senior School campus at 800 Pittwater Road later this decade. With planning approvals received, architects and engineers are now undertaking detailed design work. The campus will be more than just another senior high school. The learning programs and design will reflect that it is for senior students who will soon move to university and the workforce. Experiences and learning spaces will provide a bridge between school, university and work, removing some of the friction and challenges that exist between life chapters.

This year, the School had a once in five years Anglican Schools peer review of the school led by the Headmaster of Trinity Grammar, Mr Tim Bowden. The review gave parents, staff and students the opportunity to provide helpful and constructive feedback and highlighted the extraordinarily high level of regard for the quality, expertise, and effort exhibited by the staff.

The School is governed by a very stable, focused, collaborative and cohesive Council who give of their time and expertise in service of the community. As a co-educational school, achieving gender parity on Council while maintaining an expertise matrix has been an important milestone.

In 2023, membership of the Council consisted of:

Mrs Victoria Hayman (Chair)

Mr John Turner

Mr Matt Elkan

Mr Martyn Mitchell

Mrs Cassandra Matthews

Mrs Sophie Stokes

Mr Nathan Campbell

Ex Officio

Mr Geoff Lancaster, Principal

Ms Jane Hughes, Business Manager

Mrs Jennifer Favelle, Anglican Schools Corporation

The future of St Luke’s Grammar School is bright – to God be the glory.



Principal’s Message

We have much to be grateful for in 2023. At the end of 2023, the school leadership team reflected on some of the successes of 2023 and these are listed below.

• Staff collegiality

• Strategic Plan launch and implementation

• Very successful Anglican Schools Corporation Review

• Learning@StLuke’s Refresh to include Wellbeing dispositions

• Strong Academic Results

• Collegial Executive Team and integration of new members

• Leadership are looking for specific tangible ways to support staff wellbeing.

• Taking on feedback through staff surveys and discussion

• DA Approval for the new Senior School Campus at 800 Pittwater Road

• Increased staffing including new roles to support future growth and support staff & students, JS Director of Teaching and Learning, SS Director of Studies, Assistant Year Coordinators, Admin support.

• The School Musical - Strictly Ballroom

• Culture building in the Junior School - Mega manners Month of May, Uniform Blitz, raising standards, starting new curriculum

• Building on positive SS school culture and reinforcing expectations

• SS Student Leadership development including new portfolio role as Wellbeing Prefects

• Increased House Spirit

• Sense of community at school events - learning festivals, mothers/fathers, Bayview Christmas Carols

• Formation of the RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) committee and work commenced in developing a RAP.

• Improving processes - communicating ahead of time

• Service initiatives with the relaunch of light tours for the first year since COVID.

• Oval upgrade at the end of 2023 to an all-weather surface.

There is so much that happens in a school year and at St Luke’s we have worked hard to develop a strong reputation for academic excellence, with engaged students, dedicated teachers and a robust Learning Framework.

In 2023, our incredible Year 12 students achieved exceptional results in the HSC that placed us 38th in the State, with 6 top achievers, 8 all-rounders and close to 45% of our students achieving an ATAR over 90. As a non-selective school with an open

enrolment policy, for our students to achieve at the level they do is a reflection of the excellent work of our staff and the wonderful culture of learning that inspires each child to strive for their personal best.

In 2023, we launched our new Strategic Plan 2023 - 2027 to our School community. Over the next 5 years, our Strategic Direction will guide our work as a community of purpose across four pillars: a flourishing community; personal best, together; the whole person matters; passion for service; an eye on the future.

A Flourishing Community

We continue to be encouraged by our parents and carers’ commitment and generosity in volunteering their time and energy to make St Luke’s a warm and inclusive community. The much-anticipated Trivia Night took place in May, with over 300 people attending. Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day breakfasts and stalls were held at both campuses, with volunteers wrapping gifts in preparation for the big days. Throughout the year, we had over 200 volunteers support the School in various activities across both campuses. Volunteers wrapped gifts, covered library books, served in the canteen, sourced costumes for musicals, served on the P&F (Bayview), and much more.

Personal Best, Together

The “Personal Best, Together” pillar in our strategic plan intentionally has the word together to remind us that we are our best when we help others to be their best too. Our students achieve incredible feats in learning, sport, performing arts and other areas. Our Learning Framework underpins our teaching and learning, with a focus on building dispositions that ensure students understand themselves as learners and develop intrinsic motivation to achieve their potential in any domain.

The Whole Person Matters

Academic and other achievement isn’t at the expense of mental health and wellbeing. St Luke’s has a strong focus on pastoral care and building a deep community spirit. During 2023 we relaunched our School Learning Framework, LEARNING@ STLUKE’S, to incorporate wellbeing dispositions alongside learning dispositions. The framework helps us to build and maintain our learning culture through shared language and an explicit focus on these dispositions.

Our wellbeing initiatives have built strong connections, and student leaders in this space have done incredible work this year. Student Voice is strong with many student driven activities building House and School Spirit. The peer support and ambassador programs provide additional opportunities for student voice and engagement.

An Eye on the Future

During 2023, there has been significant movement towards the redevelopment of 800 Pittwater Road as our new Senior School Campus. The Development Application was finally approved and architects and project managers were appointed for the detailed design. We are on track to commence building in 2025.

The new Basketball and Sports Centre was completed with new basketball courts, a gymnasium, toilets and showering facilities, and spaces for possible allied health professionals to support our sports program. Additional facilities upgrades included a new recording studio and music rooms, upgrade of the oval at Dee Why campus, and approval for improved facilities at Bayview.

As we work to prepare students for an uncertain future, we have begun exploring ways to leverage the benefits of AI. We have also expanded opportunities for students to grow their entrepreneurial skills and engage with real-world problems.

Passion for Service

We recommenced LIGHT tours, both within Australia and overseas, and continued service partnerships with Arranounbai School and local nursing homes (Elizabeth Jenkins Aged Care).

It has been a joy and privilege to lead the school through 2023 and I am grateful for the wonderful support of our students, staff, parents and School Council.

School-Determined Improvement Targets

Targets for 2022

1. Completion of student Wellbeing scope and sequence

2. Review of Learning@StLuke’s

3. Development of 2023-2027 Strategic Plan

4. Style guide for Christian messaging

5. Commencement of Reconciliation Action Plan

6. Use of data to identify underachieving students

7. Improvement of new staff mentoring process

Achieved 2022

1. Wellbeing Scope and Sequence developed and implemented via Pastoral Care.

2. Learning@StLuke’s Framework reviewed and updated to include Wellbeing disposition alongside learning and character development. Launched to staff at the end of 2022.

3. Strategic planning completed and 2023-2027 Strategic Plan presented at 2022 Awards night.

4. Draft Key Messaging guide completed as part of strategic planning.

5. RAP committee formed towards the end of 2022.

6. Data analyst role created for 2022

7. Process of mentoring new staff refined to differentiate between experience levels better.

Targets for 2023

1. Implement Strategic Plan - Develop goals for each Strategic Pillar and develop accountability measures for these goals.

2. ASC 5 yearly School Review - Successful completion of ASC School Review

3. DA Approval for the new Senior School Campus at 800 Pittwater Road

4. Focus on staff wellbeing to be an employer of choice

5. Culture building across the school

6. Increased student voice

Achieved 2023

1. Strategic Plan launched and Action Plan developed with 1-2 and 5 year goals

2. Positive feedback from ASC review and Action Plan created and executed to improve identified areas.

3. Senior School DA Approved in April 2023.

4. Staff surveys captured process improvements and reflected high levels of collegiality

5. Focus on behaviour and uniform including initiatives like the “mega manners month of May”

6. Intentional focus on House Spirit and Student Leadership development.




Student School Captains’ Message

There have been a plethora of events and emotions that have shaped our 2023 Year 12 journey. As School Captain, I have had the opportunity to work with peers and teachers who share the same passions and motivations that I have regarding education. We have all shown pride in our work, engaged in creating a great school spirit and still managed to prioritise relationships. Unsurprisingly, this year wouldn’t have been the same without the immense support we have had from our teachers, parents and careers. St Luke’s is an amazing place that has fostered our creative thinking and social awareness and has prepared us for our future. Our teachers have been the greatest encouragement of our learning – for emphasising not only subject content but essential skills of empathy, critical thinking and curiosity necessary for our future.

The Leadership Team organised various initiatives, including Theme Day, Valentine’s Day, Harmony Week and House weeksthe list continues. I will miss St Luke’s, especially how our culture fosters individuals to prepare for the ever-changing future. Leadership, for me, has been a life lesson. When I was given this role, I remember feeling scared and naïve. Managing the workload made me grow in confidence, demonstrate humility, and strengthen my ability to communicate with others effectively. I constantly struggled with the question: How do I know if I’m doing the right thing? It’s human nature to question our behaviour - and a good thing, to a certain extent, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed. Although amidst this uncertainty regarding my leadership, I was presented with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, which helped me gain reassurance. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena...”. Leadership is not so much about the things we do, the people we lead and the experiences we evoke, but rather about a person’s commitment and willingness to lead. Being in the room, taking the challenge, giving it a go and raising your hand when no one else does. Standing up for what you believe in and maintaining integrity. These are the things I have learnt to be the most important thing about leadership. So, the time has come to say goodbye, and I would like to thank everyone for incredible years of support, affection, and learning. All the best for your future endeavours!

At the end of my very first speech to Year 12, I mentioned that it would be an honour to represent such an outstanding group of people and this year, they have, without a doubt, proved me right. They have infused bravery, unwavering compassion and boundless joy into our School Community and I could not be prouder to call myself a member of the Class of 2023.

We are the cohort that wanted to create a sense of School Spirit and to make a difference. It is safe to say we have accomplished just that. We have built a legacy to last and we built it from the ground up. We are the Year Group that brought music into the halls and gripping games of Fitzy Footy to the oval and passion to everything we did. We could do so because Year 12 were genuinely kind, positive people; every day, they showed that it was okay to be themselves and embrace every moment. I could not be more grateful that I was able to spend my childhood with them. I was able to make mistakes and memories and mischief with my peers. This cohort has been my family. We felt so much love between us and I hope that in the future, we will think back to this love we shared.

It is scary to think about saying goodbye to my Year 12 family and our St Luke’s community, but I am comforted that we are ready to leave and face our future. We have been through it all; we have seen broken limbs, bad haircuts, some favourite teachers leaving, moody Year 9 days, and countless uniform demerits. No one in this final year is the same person they were back in the first weeks of Year 7. Our whole adolescent lives have been filled with change.

I’ll leave you with this last thought; ‘Life gets scary. Life gets tough. But don’t run away. Stand strong.’ The people who care about you will stand by you and it will all be okay in the end. Just trust yourself and live true to who you are. That is always enough. I will close with the famously wise Winnie the Pooh quotation; “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” How lucky I am. Thank you to our teachers and everyone who has supported us, our loved ones, our families, and our friends.

James Lye 2023 School Captain
Charlotte Symington 2023 School Captain


1.2 Contextual Information (including key characteristics of the student body)

St Luke’s Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, coeducational school serving students from PreK-12 across two campuses on Sydney’s Northern Beaches (Dee Why: PreK-12, and Bayview: PreK-Year 6). St Luke’s employs over 150 teachers, supported by teachers’ aides, administrative staff, grounds staff and peripatetic tutors. The School currently has approximately 1450 students, with 1200 students at Dee Why and 250 students at Bayview.

St Luke’s, while an Anglican school, enrols students from many different faiths and backgrounds. Students will experience an inclusive community that treats each person as important because they are made in the image of God. Our guiding principles are organised around the Christian faith:

• School Motto: Christ Our Light

• Purpose: We seek to honour God by empowering students to flourish in learning and life

• Mission: We are a community where everyone is known, and together we pursue excellence in education and Christian character, equipping graduates to serve and impact the world

• Graduate Profile: We seek for our graduates to be: Relational, Resourceful, Reflective, Resilient, Restorative

• School Values: Kindness, Grace, Humility, Justice, Compassion and Joy

• Behaviours:

– We CARE for the whole person

– We INSPIRE excellence in everything we do

– We LOVE our community

Since its establishment in 1993, St Luke’s Grammar School has built a reputation for learning excellence, achieving outstanding academic and pastoral outcomes for students. St Luke’s is embedded in the local community, with the vast majority of the student body being drawn from the surrounding Northern Beaches. Despite its non-selective enrolment policy, the School has regularly achieved the best HSC results of any independent school on the Northern Beaches, and this is guided by its teaching and learning framework, LEARNING@STLUKE’S.

The LEARNING@STLUKE’S framework is designed to strengthen students’ capacities for learning and provide them with strategies to learn how to learn. In the classroom, teachers apply instructional teaching methods that combine the learning and understanding of content knowledge with the development of character. LEARNING@STLUKE’S brings together character traits, learning dispositions, and wellbeing dispositions that allow students to grow and develop so that they can be successful in their school journey and beyond. By using Guy Claxton’s Learning Power approach as a foundation, the School has identified five domains where St Luke’s students will develop capacity and capability: (1) Be Restorative, (2) Be Resilient, (3) Be Resourceful, (4) Be Relational, and (5) Be Reflective.

The Dee Why Campus (PreK-12) is located on Headland Road in a suburban setting, with beautiful ocean views to the south and the Stoney Range Regional Botanic Garden to the north. The Bayview Campus (PreK-6) is located on the corner of PIttwater Road and Loquat Valley Road, adjacent to the waters and parks of Pittwater.

The Cottage (PreK) program at St Luke’s consists of either a 3-day or 5-day school readiness program at both the Dee Why and Bayview campuses, each staffed by a classroom teacher and teacher’s aide. The program provides a developmentally appropriate blend of play-based and more formalised learning activities. In addition to lessons in Literacy, Numeracy and experiential play, Cottage students receive specialist teaching in Music, Languages, Physical Education, Christian Studies and Information Skills.

The Junior Schools at Dee Why and Bayview are dynamic and active places with a well-established reputation for fostering a caring and supportive environment. It is the commitment of each staff member to provide a rigorous and differentiated learning experience for each student, developing a life-long love of learning in an environment defined by fun, engagement, discovery and curiosity.

In the Senior School, students are encouraged to be resilient and resourceful learners. Academic programs aim to foster a joy for learning, and students are challenged to reach their potential and actively encouraged to strive for excellence in all that they do. In the younger years, teaching and learning programs are developed to cater for the unique learning needs of adolescents at a time when there are profound changes in their physical, intellectual, social and emotional development. In the older years, there is a strong emphasis on the development of leadership skills, independence, and responsibility, preparing young men and women for life beyond School. The broad range of elective subjects, sports, and co-curricular opportunities on offer is supported by a dedicated and professional staff team. Further information about St Luke’s Grammar School can be found on the school website at https://www.stlukes.nsw.edu.au/



2.1 Student Outcomes in NAPLAN

In March 2023, the National Literacy and Numeracy Assessments were undertaken by students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. In all elements, St Luke’s students achieved a mean above the National Average. The elements contributing to the Numeracy score are Number, Algebra, Measurement and Space.

This year the results are based on Proficiency Standards which describe what students are expected to know and should be able to do in literacy and numeracy at the time of the NAPLAN tests. Students results are measured against 4 proficiency levels:

• Exceeding

• Strong

• Developing

• Needs additional support.

Table 1: Percentage of St Luke’s students in the top two Proficiency Levels

Table 2: NAPLAN student scores for St Luke’s in comparison to national averages

2.2 Post-School Destinations



Table 4: Comparative HSC Performance 2021-2023

2.4 Senior Secondary Outcomes

Students performed at a high standard in the Higher School Certificate in 2023:

- 57% students achieved one or more Band 6 (or E4) results

- 77% students achieved one or more Band 5 (or E3) results

- 23.3% students achieved an ATAR of 95+

- 41.2% students achieved an ATAR of 90+

- 70.5% of students achieved an ATAR over 80

- The median ATAR was 88.15

• 100% of Year 12 students at St Luke’s Grammar School who entered for a High School Certificate qualified for the HSC.

• 10 students of the cohort of 122 included a VET course in their program of study.


3.1 Accreditation Status of Teaching Staff

3.2 Workforce Composition

At the time of reporting there were no Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff employed by the School. For additional information on total teacher numbers refer to: https://www.myschool.edu.au


4.1 Student Attendance

4.1 Management of Non-Attendance

St Luke’s Grammar School keeps a register of the daily attendance of all students at the School in electronic form. Attendance registers are maintained in a form approved by the Minister for Education, and compliant with the attendance register codes. The register of daily attendance records the following information for each student:

• Daily attendance or absence

• Reason for absences

• Evidence to support reason for absences

The School has data management processes in place for monitoring student attendance data. The following systems and procedures are also used to monitor the daily attendance of students and identify absences from the School.

• The School encourages parents/guardians to understand their obligations to ensure their child attends School, and to not condone absences for unauthorised reasons.

• Regular meetings are conducted between executive staff as appropriate, to coordinate responses to student absences.

• Students with persistently low attendance will be monitored, and strategies will be considered to increase attendance or engagement in education.

• Where frequent absences are explained as being due to illness, the School may request medical certificates for the absences and will consult with parents/guardians regarding any healthcare needs of students.


The following school policies are publicly available on the School’s website (www.st lukes.nsw.edu.au).

• Child protection policy

• Anti-bullying policy

• Behaviour Management (Discipline) policy

• Complaints policy

• Enrolments policy


6.1 Parent, Student and Teacher Satisfaction

St Luke’s Grammar School is committed to listening to the views and expectations from key stakeholders and regularly commissions independent surveys to provide performance feedback on a wide range of related education topics.

During 2023 the Anglican Schools Corporation conducted a School Review of St Luke’s Grammar School as part of its regular five-yearly review program. Students, parents and staff were surveyed during this process and a summary of key information provided by the Voice Project Summary Insights is shown below.

• Staff Engagement is high, with 86% of staff indicating that they are engaged, committed, and satisfied in their jobs. This is 3% above the Independent Schools industry benchmark on comparable questions.

• Parent Experience is high, with 88% of parents indicating that they are satisfied that the school meets their children’s wellbeing and learning needs and that they would recommend the school to other parents and students.

• Student Experience is positive with particularly high results in the areas of:

- Technology (85% favourable): Students indicate that the school uses technology well, that they can access everything they need for their learning, and that they are learning how to be a responsible digital citizen

- Learning (83% favourable): Students report there is a positive culture facilitating learning and that they are encouraged to achieve a high standard of work

- In relation to Values, students perceive the school as having a strong focus on achieving positive results (94%) and having high standards for student conduct (89%).





Publication Requirements

This Annual Report has been uploaded to NESA on RANGS Online by 30 June 2023 and is available online on the Schools website at www.stlukes.com.au.

The report is able to be provided to those unable to access the internet by contacting the Principal’s Office on (02) 9438 6237. Additional information that is requested by the Minister will be provided to NESA in an online or appropriate electronic form unless otherwise agreed by NESA.

In preparing this Report, the school leadership team have gathered information from evaluations conducted during the year and analysed other information about the School’s practices and student learning outcomes.

Members of the Executive Committee included:

Mr Geoff Lancaster Principal

Dr Kester Lee Deputy Principal

Ms Jane Hughes Business Manager

Mr David Chilton Head of Ministry and Service

Ms Jennifer Pollock Deputy - Curriculum

Mr Mark Liddell Head of Learning and Innovation

Mrs Alana Koch Head of Wellbeing

Ms Kathryn McDonald Head of Senior School

Mrs Gaby Smith Assistant Head of Senior School

Ms Alice Glyde Acting Head of Junior School - Dee Why Campus

Mrs Wendy Lucas Acting Assistant Head of Junior School - Dee Why Campus

Mr Peter Scott Head of Junior School - Bayview Campus

Ms Rebecca Willis Assistant Head of Junior School - Bayview Campus


Cottage – Year 12

210 Headland Road, Dee Why NSW 2099

Senior School: +61 2 9438 6200

Junior School: +61 2 9438 6250


Cottage – Year 6

1977 Pittwater Road, Bayview NSW 2104

Junior School: +61 2 9979 5755



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