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Annual School Report (2013)

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Seven Hills

7 Grantham Road, Seven Hills NSW 2147
Principal: Miss Keiran Byrnes
Phone: 9622 7216


About the Annual School Report

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School 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 Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Seven Hills.

Our vision is to be a Christ-centred community involved in an active partnership in education with our parish priest, parish community, parents, staff and children. Our mission is to provide our children with a strong spiritual and educational foundation on which to develop and build their lives. We believe that:

  • The Catholic faith provides the basis for a meaningful partnership of parish, school and family.
  • Values of honesty, respect, love, openness and care are the basis for our growth as a community.
  • Parents are the prime educators and share responsibility for their childs learning.
  • Education is a lifelong interactive process involving teachers, parents and children.
  • Children should be encouraged to do their best.
  • Each child has individual educational needs which must be addressed.
  • Clear, open communication is essential to our partnership.

Staff work to ensure the provision of an innovative, stimulating and purposeful learning environment, where children are encouraged and supported to become independent and responsible lifelong learners.

Parent body

Parental involvement in the spiritual and educational life of the school is strongly encouraged through liturgy; prayer; fundraising; social justice initiatives; Mothers and Fathers Day stalls and breakfast; assisting at sports carnivals; and having the opportunity to be active Parent Group members. The Parent Group meets twice per term.

Initiatives for parent education have included information sessions on transitioning children into primary school and running Parents as Educators courses which enable parents to assist teachers in classrooms. 

Links are maintained with the Parish Sacramental program, Parish Pastoral Council, St Vincent de Paul society, Galilee School Kenya, and Out of School Hours care (OOSH). The school and parent community are committed to working in partnership to support each and every student attending Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School.

Student body

The school leaders have the opportunity to support and lead the school community through the roles of religious leader, creative arts leader, learning leader, library leader, promotion leader, sports leader, technology leader and environmental leader, with the guidance and support of various staff members. These roles have provided the leaders with the opportunity to develop their organisational skills; facilitate parts of school assemblies, liturgical celebrations and events; be responsible for various projects; and lead teams of Years 5 and 6 students. The school leaders and the Student Representative Council leaders from Years 3 to 5 meet regularly with the principal and assistant principal to discuss projects, school issues and goals. There are eight colour leaders who support the sporting life of the school.

Who we are

History of school

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Seven Hills was established on 4 February 1963 and founded by the Sisters of St Joseph in close partnership with the parish.

The Sisters of St Joseph led the school until 1994, when the first lay principal was appointed. At this time the school was extensively refurbished and a number of successful innovative learning practices were commenced that continue to this day.

Location/drawing area

Located in Seven Hills, the school predominately draws on students who live within the boundaries of the parish. Apart from the suburb of Seven Hills, parish boundaries also include areas of Lalor Park, Prospect, Kings Langley, South Blacktown and Girraween.

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School has a culturally diverse community that embraces one and all.

Enrolment policy

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School 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 180 203 383
2012 185 196 381
2013 184 183 367

Seven Hills continues to be an area of affordable housing for first home buyers and so the demographic of families with young children is high. Demand for enrolment is likely to remain high.  However the number of Catholic families in the area is declining which can affect enrolments. 

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
 177  18  6

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 develop the prayer life of the school.
This priority was chosen as a result of the need to consolidate our formation goal from 2011 with staff, students and parents.
  • aligning lectio divina prayer practices with Scripture from Sharing Our Story Religious Education units 
  • demonstrate lectio divina to parents
  • staff reflection day - developing prayer through journalling, spirituality of Mary MacKillop
 No longer a priority
Our second priority was to increase student growth in Mathematics. This priority was chosen as a result of analysis of National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and Mathematical Assessment Interview (MAI) results.
  • focus on place value using school's data wall, regularly checked 
  • individual planning for students with low achievement and/or poor progress, utilising school experts 
  • developing a close relationship between assessment and teaching - using expert personnel from within school such as Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) leaders and teachers
Not yet achieved
Our third priority was to increase student achievement in comprehension.
This priority was chosen as a result of NAPLAN results and teacher led assessment.
  • whole-school alignment of assessment practices, assessment strategies planned and assessed on a daily basis
  • introduction of Progressive Achievement Tests in Reading (PAT-R)  comprehension assessment
  • professional development to develop understanding of new English syllabus 
Achieved - NAPLAN results for reading to continue to increase in Year 3

Baseline data for comprehension across the school taken using the PAT-R Assessment. 

Projected school priorities

 Priority Reason for the priority
Steps to be taken to achieve the priority
Our first priority will be to deepen the Sacramental life of our school community.
This priority was chosen as a result of data from the Religious Education Assessment, Quality Catholic Schools Survey and anecdotal evidence of the community's knowledge of, and participation in, the Sacraments.
  • professional learning to deepen staff pedagogical knowledge of the Sacraments
  • opportunities to celebrate the Sacraments as a school community and as a staff
  • draw on the expertise of the parish priest 
  • focus parish school connections on the Sacramental life of the parish
Our second priority will be to increase individual student growth in Mathematics.
This priority was chosen as a result of analysis of the National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and Mathematical Assessment interview (MAI) data.
  • develop the expertise of the new mathematical leaders of the school through the Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) Mathematics leaders course and draw on the already established exoertise of the EMU specialists and leaders of the school
  • develop individual targets for all children shown in the Mathematics Assessment Interview to be vulnerable for their learning
  • target the growth of ALL children at an individual level 
Our third priority will be to build teacher capacity to increase student growth in English.
This priority was chosen as a result of the need to implement the new NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) English syllabus as well as the need to continue to improve areas of student learning.
  • develop the expertise of the leaders of learning through diocesan and independent training seminars
  • establish new scope and sequence of learning and new methods of programming
  • targeted and intensive assistance for children who are vulnerable with their learning
  • target the growth of ALL children at an individual level

Catholic identity

Prayer, liturgical life and faith experiences

At Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, the Catholicity of our school permeates school life. We have a rich prayer and liturgical life which includes all members of the school community: students, staff, parents and parishioners. Most significant among these events is our celebration of Holy Week and Easter, followed by our Christmas celebrations, which involve the whole school, family and parish, with the aim of focusing the celebration on the liturgical significance of the season and highlighting this for both children and their families. All staff members, including specialist teachers, are invited to have input in planning these celebrations. Prayer begins all gatherings, meetings, assemblies and school days. The children in Stage 2 and Stage 3 attend Reconciliation in the church. 

The Religious Education program at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School ensures that as a community, we are involved in a number of varied faith experiences. As a community, we engage in activities, reflections, meditations and prayer deepening our faith and giving it a practical expression. 

Social justice

Social justice is central within the culture of our school. This is fostered by exposing the children to a wide range of social justice issues and challenging them to respond. During 2013 these included: raising money for Caritas via Project Compassion; raising money for both the Galilee School in Kenya and Mamre Project at St Marys; and supporting St Vincent de Paul Society by providing 14 hampers to the local chapter in June and December. 

Practical faith experiences are seen in our response to Project Compassion; our week of service activities linked to the Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and our Mission Week activities. These activities give the gospel values, integral to our faith, practical expression. In this way, we continued to raise the children's awareness of the needs of others.

School, home and parish partnerships

Each week, the parish priest has morning tea with the staff and meets with the principal and the Religious Education coordinator (REC). During 2013 members of the school community regularly joined the parish team for lunch at the parish office. This continues to enhance the relationship and links between the parish and school. The REC participated in the Sacramental program by facilitating one of the parish's groups, and staff attended the parish Sacramental celebrations, thus ensuring strong school and parish links. In 2013, the school and parish community planned and celebrated a Spring Fair together, raising funds for both partners.  

Parents are encouraged to be part of both the educational and spiritual life of the school. This continues to be achieved via invitations to attend, and be involved with, liturgy and prayer; planned opportunities to visit and assist in classrooms; the offering of Parents as Educators courses and the existence of an active parent group. Parents were also involved throughout the year with excursions, various carnivals, in-class activities, special days and various other opportunities.

Religious Education

Religious Education

Sharing Our Story (Parramatta Diocesan Religious Education syllabus) units are explicitly taught throughout the school with a whole-school scope and sequence in place. Prayer and liturgy are incorporated into each unit as a means of celebrating and enhancing students' learning. In addition, whole school liturgies link with the units as appropriate, particularly around the themes of Lent, Easter, Mission, Advent and Christmas.

Religious Education programming reflects the shared Christian praxis model. The Religious Education program at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School ensures that, as a community, we are all involved in a number of rich and varied faith experiences. These experiences come through our responses to liturgical seasons of the Church year, particularly Lent and Advent. As a community we reflect on the message of the season and engage in activities, reflections and prayer designed to deepen our faith and give it practical expression. Our participation in Holy Week ceremonies, particularly, where the whole community comes together to witness the events of Christ's passion and death, consolidates the importance of our faith within the community. Practical faith experiences can be seen in our responses to Project Compassion; our week of service activities linked to the Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and our Mission Week activities. These activities give the gospel values, integral to our faith, practical experience.

Professional learning of staff in Religious Education

During 2013, staff undertook professional learning which developed an understanding of the legacy of Mary MacKillop in our school, connecting with a Josephite social justice initiative in the Seven Hills area. This connected us to the history of our school as we celebrated our Golden Jubilee and culminated in a staff reflection day at the Josephite spirituality centre. 

Other professional learning centred around the Diocesan religious knowledge assessment. Staff developed knowledge on how to interpret the assessment and the implications and actions needed for their classroom teaching. Knowledge of traditional prayer was developed through a study of the Angelus and the school adopted the practice of praying the Angelus together each day.

Learning and teaching

National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2013

Students in Year 3 and Year 5 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 2 is the minimum standard for Year 3 and band 4 is the minimum standard for Year 5. Student performance in NAPLAN in our school is compared to these standards. The percentages of students achieving at or above these national minimum standards, and the percentages of students in the top three bands are reported in the table below.

 % of students at or above national minimum standard% of students in top three bands
Year 3:    
Literacy100.00 95.00 91.49 71.70
Numeracy95.70 95.80 68.09 62.00
Reading100.00 95.30 80.85 69.30
Writing100.00 95.00 93.62 75.40
Grammar and Punctuation95.70 95.30 82.98 73.40
Spelling100.00 93.90 87.23 67.40
Year 5:    
Literacy100.00 94.00 55.10 58.17
Numeracy95.90 93.40 26.53 51.70
Reading95.90 96.20 55.10 62.80
Writing93.90 91.70 38.78 51.90
Grammar and Punctuation98.00 94.80 65.31 61.50
Spelling95.90 93.10 51.02 58.30

The school's results in all aspects of Year 3 Literacy were particularly pleasing. Achievement levels were generally high and have been improving over the past three years. Year 5 Literacy results were also strong. However there is a need to ensure that more students in Year 5 are in the top bands for all literacy areas, particularly writing. 

In 2014 initiatives have been planned which will extend successful literacy practices in Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 into Stages 2 and 3. Key members of the leadership team will participate in the Diocesan course reading Years 3 to 6. We will continue our focus on reading comprehension, particularly inferential comprehension and will renew our writing initiatives from 2010. 

Mathematics is a relatively weaker area in NAPLAN. In 2014 particular emphasis will be placed on intensive and short term planning for individual children in all grades and the monitoring of their progress. Resources will be employed to give time for teachers to create these plans and support in the classroom. In 2014 we will continue our commitment to increasing the capacity of leadership by training another EMU leader. We will have three EMU specialist Mathematics teachers for Year 1, Year 2 and Stage 3 working to accelerate the learning of our weakest students.

School curriculum

At Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, we have adopted a whole-school approach to the implementation of all programs. In 2013, we continued to enhance our Reading and Mathematics programs to reflect this whole-school approach. The learning support team worked to ensure close links between class programs and the Learning Support program. This ensured that channels of communication were open and that the needs of individual children were met. Support for students was provided in class through targeting the needs of students, and learning support teachers supporting a specific Stage/grade. Accelerated learning specialists worked in Year 1 on the Reading Recovery Program and the EMU program and in Stage 3 with the EMU middle years program.

Our integrated curriculum reflects current research around differentiation that ensures the needs of all students are met. A major focus of our integrated curriculum is the development of skills and understandings through 'Big Ideas' and thinking.

Gifted and talented children were challenged in their studies through the provision of differentiated learning tasks. Special needs children were supported in meeting syllabus outcomes through both individual and in-class support. Individual plans for special needs students were developed in collaboration with the classroom teacher, learning support teacher, assistant principal and parents. Children's learning is enriched by the opportunities they have to pursue their interests and potential.

We are committed to providing our students with greater access to a variety of 21st century learning tools. We have increased the number of tablet devices, laptop computers and interactive whiteboards across our school. The children have been harnessing these technologies to enhance and support their learning. In our classrooms, the children are using digital and flip video cameras, iPads and laptops equipped with a variety of software programs to create podcasts, movies, websites and published stories. 

The school is involved in a number of co-curricular activities. These include Tournament of the Minds, Maths Olympiad and Captivate. In 2013, some of the opportunities the school provided for the children to share their talents included: a busking afternoon (entertainment showcase), Dance Fever showcase, Science projects, Voice of Youth public speaking, Alice in Wonderland musical and chess tournaments.

Children are provided with opportunities to represent the school in a variety of sporting events. In 2013, children were involved in swimming, athletics, cross country, boys and girls soccer, cricket, boys and girls touch football and netball. These opportunities occurred at school, diocesan and, for the most talented athletes, state level.

The sporting and cultural pursuits of children are celebrated at weekly assemblies and there is acknowledgement in the weekly school newsletter.

Initiatives to promote respect and responsibility

Staff continue to help students become more responsible for their own behaviour and choices through promoting and encouraging them to develop their own qualities of respect and responsibility. The school community continues to look at the needs of the students in the school and develop activities and learning programs to support the school community.

One initiative was the helping hands concept, to develop positive relationships between the students outside the classroom, such as in the playground, library and creative arts roomIn 2012, the helping hands system continued with children receiving a bead. The beads were brought to Monday morning assemblies and collected to create a giant bead string. The shared goal was to create a string of 1,000 beads. When the goal was achieved the children celebrated with a reward afternoon. The creation of the bead string became a mini Mathematics lesson in counting and understanding the quantity of 1,000. After successful completion of accumulating 1,000 the school community deducted beads until they reached zero with the same process. This initiative continued in 2013 with continued input from students, parents and staff to shape the shared goal as the purpose of this approach was to encourage all children to work together to achieve a common goal.

Each class begins the year by working on a 'Relationships' unit. This unit helps to establish class rules, school rules and the responsibilities the students are expected to show. The students develop a matrix to show the expectations necessary to ensure positive learning, and relationships are valued and developed.

An example of the matrix can be found in our school's Pastoral Care policy on the school's website or a copy can be obtained from the school office.

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 acknowledged our Catholicity positively and saw a close connection between school and parish. Parents acknowledged the care of children taken by the school and the teachers' professionalism. They expressed the desire to be more involved in school decisions and this will be addressed through the parent group in 2014. 

Student satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that students found the learning stimulating and enjoyed good relationships with their teachers. Some students were worried about relationships with their peers. As this data was from the children in Years 5 and 6 the teachers were able to work with the children and parents to ensure relationships were good.

Teacher satisfaction with the school

The QCS data showed that teachers were very positive about professional learning and systems used by the school to ensure quality teaching. They were positive about school leadership. Staff indicated that they were willing to assist in school curriculum processes. 

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 staff in 2013 included:

  • EMU leadership in Mathematics
  • EMU specialist training in accelerated learning in Mathematics for Year 1 and upper primary students
  • Reading Recovery training
  • Project Based Learning
  • how to analyse data and use it in everyday teaching
  • familiarisation and programming with the new English syllabus
  • Australian curriculum
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Child Protection Training
  • Running Records
  • PAT-R reading comprehension
  • Two members of staff have masters degrees.

Teacher attendance and retention rates

Teacher attendance

The average teacher attendance for 2013 was 95.8%.

Teacher retention

Of the 2013 teaching staff, 90 % were retained from 2012.

Student attendance rates

Percentage of student attendance by Year level and school average:

Kindergarten Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 School Average
 97.14  94.64  96.12  96.81  96.42  95.76  96.62  96.02

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.

Pastoral care of students

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

A whole-school approach to student management has been developed to assist all students. A copy of Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School Pastoral Care and Student Management policy is available on our school's website: and from the school office. The policy clearly outlines the procedures followed at the school and is reviewed at the beginning of each year by staff and students. Our anti-bullying policy is aligned with our pastoral care policy.

Management of misbehaviour and bullying is at different levels. Teachers establish their own rules, through negotiation with the students, to encourage the making of good choices. Class reward systems are created as well as negotiated consequences if students make poor choices. This begins with a time-out strategy and can lead to interviews with coordinators, the assistant principal and principal, and includes parental involvement. Depending on the choice and the level of the process reached, individual behaviour contracts may be established. Support is provided by the school counsellor and outside agencies, as necessary, to help students develop appropriate self-management strategies. Bullying is treated as serious behaviour with consequences for the child who bullies. A detailed strategy for supporting the child who has been bullied and for managing bullying behaviour is developed with parents, classroom teachers and the leadership team.

At the school level, gold awards, which acknowledge the academic and social achievements of the students, are distributed at Friday assemblies. End of year awards include Christian Leadership, Academic Achievement and Individual Achievement. These three awards are presented to each class. We also present the Mary MacKillop Award to a student who has received two or more gold awards in the year; the School Service Award, which is presented to a Year 6 student; and the Sports Award for sporting achievement.

Complaints and grievances policy

The school has formal written protocols in place to address complaints and grievances. These protocols are in line with the Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta Complaint Handling policy. A copy of the school policy is available from the school office or is available on the CEDP website There were no changes to the policy during this year. 

Financial statement

School recurrent and capital income

School recurrent and capital income

In 2013 Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School received $25,549.00 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.


Learning in Action

Wakakirri State Final
The students at OLOL represented our school with pride at the Performance Awards night for the NSW Sydney Region. The students performed beautifully and although didn't get nominated for Story of the Year, did extremely well.
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Book Week Assembly 2017
OLOL Celebrated Book week with a fantastic Costume Parade assembly and class activities. It was a fun day bringing stories to life!
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On Tuesday the 22nd of August 88 of our students performed at Parramatta Riverside Theatre in the Wakakirri Story Dance Competition. The students represented our school with pride and did an incredible job, winning awards for Best Costume, Hair and Make-up. Well done!
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Infants Dance Fever Concert
On Wednesday the 28th of June Infants classes celebrated their dance fever skills with their parents. It was such a fun afternoon of dancing!
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Over 50's Concert
On Thursday the 10th of August as part of our Week of Service for Mary MacKillop, our annual over 50's concert was held in the school hall. It was a lovely celebration for the community.
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Principal's Morning Tea
This was a special celebration to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of these children for Semester 1 2017.
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