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Annual School Report (2013)

Emmaus Catholic College, Kemps Creek

87-109 Bakers Lane, Kemps Creek NSW 2171
Principal: Mr Robert Nastasi
Phone: 02 9670 8300
Fax: 02 9670 8399


About the Annual School Report

Emmaus Catholic 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 Emmaus Catholic College. At Emmaus Catholic College we seek to be a Catholic, compassionate, dynamic learning community in which students, their families, the staff and pastors walk together with Jesus in a journey of connection and revelation. We believe that 'everything we do at the College is about learning'; that all students can learn and succeed; that quality relationships are fundamental to that learning; and that students are empowered by high expectations combined with structured guidance and affirmation.

The motto of the college is We Walk With Jesus and that is made concrete through the relationships that all members of the community have with one another: relationships marked by respect and inclusiveness and in personal responsibility undertaken to teach and learn to the fullness of one's capacity.

Parent body

Parents have a vital role in partnership with the teachers of Emmaus Catholic College.

In the day-to-day running of the school, two way contact is a vital means of communication between parents and the College. Face to face interviews, initiated by parents or teachers, are frequent and essential. Parents are contacted to praise student achievement and to inform and discuss any problem. The College learning planner; the use of online data from Engrade, providing opportunity for parent online comment; the information night for each year group; parent teacher interviews; invitations to weekly assemblies, liturgies, awards assemblies, graduations and formals are some of the ways in which parents are involved in the life of the College. Surveys of parent opinion both hard copy and online through the College website allow the College to be informed of parent views.

Student body

Throughout 2013 the students of Emmaus Catholic College took part in various College events ranging from fund-raiser activities, social justice initiatives, performing arts, sporting achievements and community interaction with Emmaus Village.

Our students’ collective efforts have been successful in raising awareness of, and securing funds for, various charities such as Parramatta Aboriginal Catholic Mission, Project Compassion, St Vincent de Paul Winter and Christmas Appeals, and several students joined the World’s Greatest Shave for the Cancer Council of NSW. Our students participated in a wide range of College events which included: Emmaus Day; cross country, swimming and athletics carnivals, Clean Up Schools Day, Harmony Day Cup and Picnic, mock trials, Showcase to name but a few. Our student leaders continued our annual tradition of hosting a Christmas luncheon and evening 'Carols in the Grove' for the residents of Emmaus Village.

Who we are

History of school

Emmaus Catholic College was established in 1988. The foundation principal was a member of the Parramatta Mercy Congregation, and the Mercy charism of compassionate care, especially of those who struggle, continues to inform the practices of the school. The school is part of the Parramatta Diocesan system of schools and grew steadily with the development of surrounding residential areas. Our school can cater for up to 1050 students. The site has been developed to provide a well resourced campus. The Sister Patricia Tully Centre accommodates the whole student body for assemblies and College liturgies and is a valuable facility as are the basketball courts, cricket nets and ovals, and the industrial standard vocational education facilities. 

Location/drawing area

The school, located in Kemps Creek in South Western Sydney, draws its students from the parishes of St Marys and St Clair and serves the youth of the surrounding suburbs of St Clair, Erskine Park, St Marys, Colyton, Luddenham, Kemps Creek and Mt Vernon. Its rural location, five kilometres from the suburbs it serves, is a great blessing. The large grounds of more than sixteen hectares are picturesque and covered with native shrubs and trees. 

Kangaroos and other native fauna are regularly seen on campus. Whilst allowing for ovals and other recreational and sporting facilities, the spacious site also creates a peaceful ambience and allows attractive single storey buildings within this landscape. This makes Emmaus Catholic College accessible to wheelchair-bound students.

Enrolment policy

Emmaus Catholic 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 401 520 921
2012 414 517 931
2013 436 510 946

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)* Student with Disabilities (SWD)* Indigenous
 410  79  24


School review and development

Annual school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority  Steps taken to achieve the priority Status of the priority (Achieved, not yet achieved, Ongoing, no longer a priority)
Our first priority was to create opportunities for staff and students to reflect upon and relate the Sunday gospel to everyday living. 
This priority was developed through the discernment of the College leadership team in consultation with the staff.
  • reading the Sunday Gospel during staff briefings every Monday and Thursday morning
  • focusing on the meaning of the gospel at the Wednesday morning student assembly
Our second priority was was to develop students' ability to interpret questions. The target group was students in the bottom two bands identified by National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2012.
This priority was developed through the discernment of the College leadership team in consultation with the staff.
  • through the whole-school practice of CHIPS where students Circle directional words; Highlight key terms of the question; Interpret the question; Plan a response; and finally Share/Submit the response for the teacher feedback
 Achieved but ongoing


Projected school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority
Steps to be taken to achieve the priority
Our first priority is to continue to create opportunities for staff and students to reflect upon and relate the Sunday gospel to everyday living. 
This priority was developed through the discernment of the College leadership leam in consultation with the staff.
  • reading the Sunday gospel every Monday morning during staff briefing
  • providing staff with notes on the gospel to use in class
  • reading the gospel at Wednesday school assembly
  • making reference to the gospel in the school newsletter
Our second priority is to increase competency in reading accuracy and comprehension, particularly in Years 7 and 8.
This priority was developed through the discernment of the College leadership team in consultation with the staff.
  • using targetted comprehension strategies
  • professional development for teaching staff
  • literacy meetings 
Our third priority is to develop a whole-school numeracy policy.
This priority was developed through the discernment of the College leadership team in consultation with the staff.
  • participation in the EM4 project through Catholic Education Parramatta Diocese
  • professional learning for Stage 4 Mathematics teachers
  • numeracy meetings

Catholic identity

Prayer, liturgical life and faith experiences

Regular opportunities are offered for students and staff to participate actively in prayer and liturgical celebrations. Students begin each lesson with prayer. Mass is celebrated both as a whole College and in small class and voluntary groupings. Students lead prayer in all whole-school and Year assemblies. A central space has been developed and dedicated as the Chapel of Mercy. The commissioned altar, ambo and presider's chair, the furniture and decor make this a beautiful and reflective place where students and staff gather regularly for morning prayer. Mass is celebrated every Friday at lunchtime. There is also prayer every Friday morning before school. The community stops at midday each day to prayer the Angelus, except for the period between Easter and Pentecost, where we prayer the Regina Coeli.

Social justice

Students and staff showed a strong commitment to social justice, demonstrated by active and generous support of Caritas, Australia's Lenten program, and collections for many charities including the St Vincent de Paul Winter and Christmas appeals. There were also raised funds for the Sisters of Mercy at Mamre House and Christmas presents were donated to the Parramatta Aboriginal Mission.

School, home and parish partnerships

The College enjoys very supportive and positive relationships with the pastors of the two local parishes and with the body of parents.

Pastors are regularly welcomed to the College for mass and Reconciliation and parents participate in many opportunities for partnership. There are information evenings for each Year group; parent/teacher/student interviews; phone contact; communications through the College learning planner, newsletter, College website and the online data base of student achievement; Engrade; and attendance at College assemblies.

Religious Education

Religious Education

Religious Education is the life force of the College's curriculum and underpins everything the College does. Central to the College's mission as a Catholic school are our Catholic values and these are explicitly taught through all teaching programs at the College.

The College follows the Parramatta Religious Education sylllabus, Sharing Our Story, in Years 7 to 10 and offers a choice of Catholic Studies or Studies of Religion either one or two units in Years 11 and 12.

Professional learning of staff in Religious Education

Staff members have the opportunity to undertake professional learning in Religious Education through their involvement in the Religious Education faculty. Collaborative lesson planning and discussion further develops professional learning. In recent years we have had a number of staff complete the Certificate of Religious Education. One staff professional learning day each year is dedicated to staff spirituality.

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 re

ported in the table below.

 % of students at or above national minimum standard% of students in top three bands
Year 7:    
Literacy97.80 91.90 53.76 51.70
Numeracy94.10 95.10 42.16 52.50
Reading95.20 94.20 47.85 55.80
Writing95.20 89.30 46.77 42.20
Grammar and Punctuation90.30 90.60 56.99 52.10
Spelling95.70 93.60 62.37 61.70
Year 9:    
Literacy97.00 88.70 46.34 44.10
Numeracy89.00 90.60 37.42 46.60
Reading98.20 93.40 44.85 48.20
Writing94.50 82.60 52.44 36.80
Grammar and Punctuation92.10 88.10 43.90 44.30
Spelling95.10 92.10 48.17 50.50

Emmaus Catholic College students achieved above the national minimum standards (as shown above) in most areas of NAPLAN testing in 2013. The data collected from these tests are analysed closely at a variety of levels, by the College leadership team, faculty teams and individual class teachers, to gain a better understanding of what the results tell us about our students' learning and their future learning needs. The data are used to complement the knowledge that our teachers have acquired about their classroom practice and to cater better for individual student needs. Examination of individual student NAPLAN data is a priority area of investigation and is supported by other test results to give us a more comprehensive picture of each student.

Record of School Achievement (RoSA) 2013

From 2012, 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, 7 Year 10 and no 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, 6School70.3 26.5 59.5
State77.3 34.0 86.0
Business Services Industrial Technology
90 87.5
43.64 60.08

The Higher School Certificate results continue to demonstrate solid learning gain.

'Best ever' performance was achieved in Biology, Legal Studies, Music and Visual Art, with the following subjects achieving 'second best ever' results: Ancient History, Business Studies, Chemistry, Design & Technology, Drama and Industrial Technology.

Emmaus Catholic College was the best performing comprehensive high school in our immediate area.

School curriculum

The academic curriculum is constantly under review at the College as we aim to meet the individual learning needs of our students. Individualisation of learning programs is a skill, which all teachers are expected to employ to cater for the diverse range of learning styles and needs of students in their classes.

The College has a dedicated learning support team with a specific staff member responsible for students in each Year group. There were 79 funded students in 2013, and those in Years 9 and 10 were offered extended opportunities to explore work placements. The learning support team also coordinates and guides transition programs, which provide individual education plans for students. Both funded and non-funded students benefit from the case management of their learning, personal development and transition arrangement by a member of the teaching staff. Members of the learning support team work closely with the careers adviser and North West personnel to arrange part-time work placements and support transition to full-time work on completion of studies. Transitional support for all students is provided by the careers adviser and, where necessary, the College counsellor.  

Selected students participate in Technical and Further Education (TAFE) courses and many of our Stage 5 and 6 students undertake a Vocational Education and Training (VET) examination as one of their Higher School Certificate (HSC) units. Year 10 students are now able to begin an HSC VET course in Year 10 and finish the subject in Year 11. The College has been one of the first schools in NSW to take up this opportunity.

The Peer Support program is well established to ensure that our Year 7 students are supported in their first year of high school and that senior students learn and use valuable leadership skills.

The school is involved in many co-curricular activities. In 2013, these included: community drama, mock trial, dance, and music ensembles.

The sporting life of the College is very strong with opportunities for students to represent the College in all codes of football, cricket, netball, volleyball, cross country, athletics, swimming and basketball, and to represent the College in these sports in the Parramatta Diocesan Secondary Schools Sports Competition (PDSSSC) and a range of knock-out and gala day events. Teams of students in Years 7 to 10 are involved in either representative sporting competitions; venue sporting opportunities such as ice-skating and ten pin-bowling; or in a school-based sporting program every Thursday afternoon. Students from the College also represented at state level in swimming, touch football, karate and athletics.

Initiatives to promote respect and responsibility

The Student Management  policy and the Student Awards  policy are designed to ensure that students take full responsibility for their actions. In 2013 the College continued embedding of these policies. The Student Management policy is based on restorative justice practices.

The College uniform expectations are strict and assist to raise the esteem and respect students need to have for themselves, their family and the CollegeOn numerous occasions when Emmaus students represented their College at official engagements, students received high commendation and were the best presented there.

The student leadership model was further embedded in 2013, which raised the profile of the College leaders, giving them more responsibility. Two thousand and thirteen saw further development of the Student Representative Council and leadership portfolios for members of the College Student Leadership Team. Student leadership at Emmaus Catholic College is not based on popularity but on community service to the College. Students must have their silver award to be nominated for leadership. The silver award is based on service to the College and the achievement of academic goals.

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 showed that parents commented about the general school climate and indicated increased satisfaction directly linked with the reporting system, in that it provided useful and easily accessible information about each student. Homework, which is referred to as 'Learning Prep' was an area where parents observed a noticeable improvement as students took ownership of their learning. The culture of the College, with its mantra of 'It’s all about learning' was strengthened by greater student engagement, an atmosphere of academic challenge and a focus on personal best.

Student safety rated extremely high with safety protocols in place and observed by all members of the community. This was supported by appropriate and fair behaviour practices within the teaching environment and in the playground.

Student satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that the students at Emmaus Catholic College felt a strong sense of confidence in their learning ability, a fact aligned with the acknowledgement that they felt motivated to achieve and engage in the process of learning. 

Students regarded Emmaus Catholic College as a friendly environment which, though having firm boundaries in regard to standards of behaviour, was welcoming and embraced all students creating a place of belonging and regard for the individual. The culture of the College enabled students to seek out learning opportunities and pursue their goals.

Teacher satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that the teachers at Emmaus Catholic College experienced a firm sense of ownership about how their goals and approach to work were aligned with the goals and vision of the College. The presence of a supportive leadership team which was approachable, could be relied upon, understood the problems facing staff, and communicated well with them was seen as a driving force within the College.

The teachers acknowledged the extent to which there was effective communication in planning the curriculum and saw this as an area of significant importance and ongoing improvement. 

The aim to promote academic excellence became evident through the use of the Student Management policy and by the way staff understood, agreed on, and constantly enforced the discipline policy in the College.

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

Professional learning undertaken by Emmaus Catholic College staff in 2013 included:

  • New Australian Curriculum - Mathematics, English, Human Society and its Environment (HSIE) and Science
  • HSC analysis
  • teacher enrichment days
  • literacy meetings
  • numeracy meetings
  • child protection
  • report criteria strategies, adjustments designed for Stage 4, 5 and 6
  • New Scheme Teachers' inservices
  • program evaluation days
  • assessment task design for Stage 6
  • pilot marking for practice HSC examinations
  • literacy meetings
  • numeracy meetings
  • child protection
  • report criteria strategies, adjustments designed for Stage 4, 5 and 6
  • New Scheme Teachers' inservices
  • program evaluation days
  • assessment task design for Stage 6 
  • pilot marking for practice HSC examinations

Teacher attendance and retention rates

Teacher attendance

The average teacher attendance for 2013 was 96.5%.

Teacher retention

Of the 2013 teaching staff, 81% 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
 92.3  90.1  89 86.4   87.9  93.1  89.8

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 63%. The students who left in Year 10 enrolled in a range of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) courses, traineeships, other study opportunities or secured full-time employment

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  51
Percentage of Year 12 students who undertook training in a trade while at school  0
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  49
Technical, and Further Education (TAFE)
Workforce  14
Other/unknown  33

Pastoral care of students

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

The Student Management policy, Bullying policy and Student Awards policy have been further embedded by the College staff. Apart from minor amendments, the policies are unchanged from 2010. Underpinning each of these policies is the intrinsic value and dignity of the person. The Student Management policy has been developed with the understanding that for every action there is a consequence. However, if the value of reconciliation is not apparent in these consequences then the learning for the student and the teacher is compromised. The Student Awards policy is critically linked to the Student Management policy and fosters the belief that children will learn best when their 'best' is affirmed.

The College's Bullying policy is designed to facilitate an immediate response for victims and to support them in developing skills and resilience. The full text of student management/welfare and discipline policies can be obtained through the College website

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 2013. 

Financial statement

School recurrent and capital income

School recurrent and capital income

In 2013 Emmaus Catholic College received $13,478.00 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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