We value your feedback and are committed to ongoing improvement. Thank you to those that responded to the 2023 Strategic Planning Survey and to those that have shared with me at ‘kiss and drop’ or around the school grounds in conversation.

Receiving the survey results is one part of the process. Deep analysis and reflection upon the feedback is the next step, aligned with embedding themes into our future planning. This is why I value stakeholder feedback so much, as it is a direct way to influence and embed community ideas into future plans.

According to the responses received, it is clear that our families choose St Andrew’s School for their children because it is a stand-alone, independent primary school with a clear focus on equipping 3–12-year-olds, with the skills they need to thrive in an ever changing and complex world. The IB approach to learning is valued, alongside the impressive academic results we achieve. Our families are drawn to our warm and caring community environment, where children are known, supported, and encouraged. Our focus on and investment in technology, engineering and the sciences is a key element our families want central to our ongoing offering. One of the comments that resonated with me, due to its clarity and honesty is: ‘The music program at St Andrew’s School is second to none.’ Hard to argue with that!

Even though we are a high functioning school achieving wonderful things for our community, I love the question: ‘What can we improve?’ The varied responses give us clarity on what our families are thinking and even dreaming about. Being honest, there were no surprises received in the survey results.

Our families want an increased focus on:

  • personalised learning for students, to ensure we are meeting the needs of all students including our highly able students and those that are struggling in specific academic areas
  • streamlining our communication
  • building further capacity in our teaching staff
  • improved systems and processes to support efficiency
  • moving away from paper-based consent forms to online
  • further opportunities for parents to learn about the learning and teaching programs at the school
  • improving our play spaces and grounds
  • simplifying our uniform offering with reduced pricing
  • reviewing and expanding our co-curricular and outside of school hours care programs, including our competitive sport offerings
  • celebrating our rich cultural heritage in line with being a proud IB School (did you know we have over fifteen nationalities in our school community?)
  • exploring the re-introduction of a European based language in conjunction with our flourishing Chinese language programs
  • engaging our students further in our school’s rich 173-year history
  • more opportunities for parents to connect socially after the forced structures during the COVID pandemic

Guess what? I want an increased focus on these areas too! We are rolling out a range of immediate actions in my first term as Principal and continue to work on plans behind the scenes to strategically invest in and improve in the areas aligned with the themes in your feedback.

This year, we have already:

  • appointed a new Deputy Principal who is an expert in learning and teaching, research based in his approach, and proven in building strong teams of teachers who collaborate in highly effective ways to positively impact student learning
  • engaged Dirtworks to co-design and construct a new play space to be located close to the roundabout. All going to plan, construction will commence in Term 4 this year
  • appointed an experienced Head of Personalised Learning to expand our offerings to ‘extend’ our high achieving students and support those with specific challenges in their learning
  • commenced an internal review of our many and varied communication platforms, with the goal of streamlining all of our school communication
  • commenced a full review of uniform offering, price, and range to ensure we reduce the pricing and streamline the offering. I will share a draft proposal with you in the coming weeks as a further opportunity for your feedback as we move closer to achieving a streamlined and more cost effective uniform range
  • planned and promoted our first Parent Learning Workshop (and we have over fifty recipients confirmed to attend!)
  • increased the creation of our video content of key events and people in order to share the many and varied ‘goings on’ in our community
  • re-introduced Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day
  • enhanced the structure of our teaching teams into Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) and introduced weekly meetings for our PLTs with our IB PYP Coordinator focused on ongoing professional growth and student learning
  • commenced a full school review of our offerings and finances to guide our planning for 2024 and beyond

Although a percentage of these themes could be described as operational, there were some that I would describe as aspirational! At the heart of the aspirational feedback is the fact that our families want St Andrew’s School to be a place where students experience a range of meaningful opportunities and connections to appropriately test, challenge and equip them with the skills they need to be successful and contributing global citizens in our ever-changing world.

And guess what… so do I!

I am grateful for the clear feedback that confirms that as a newly formed leadership team, we are focusing on the right areas to continue to build St Andrew’s School into the future.

Luke Ritchie