Moving Towards K-12

Download the Moving to K-12 Brochure.

Why is St Lucy’s moving to the secondary years of education?

St Lucy’s is committed to continuing to provide ‘excellence in education for students with disabilities’ as a Catholic School in the Dominican tradition.

We have answered the ‘call’ of families for a Catholic secondary education as part of our inclusive community in which each student is viewed for their beauty and potential.

What milestones led to this point?

With the assistance of external consultants, St Lucy’s School investigated whether it was financially viable to expand to accommodate secondary-aged students in 2014. This expanded secondary-aged school model was at that time envisaged to be located off-site and would cater for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. At that time, the expanded secondary-aged model was found to be financially unviable, producing an additional $1 million deficit each year.

In 2017, there have been several factors which have prompted a reinvestigation into whether St Lucy’s could accommodate secondary-aged students at Wahroonga. The key changes are:

  • Parents continuing to experience difficulty with finding and securing a preferred and appropriate placement for the secondary years, particularly in a Catholic School
  • Ongoing parent requests for secondary years at St Lucy’s School
  • Purchase of additional land adjoining the Wahroonga campus,
  • Increases in Federal Government funding announced and legislated in 2017 and beginning 2018 and onwards over the next ten years.
What is the proposed timeline for the introduction of secondary years at St Lucy’s?
  • Two Year 7 classes with 8 students each will commence in the academic year 2019 in these demountable buildings at the Wahroonga site.
  • Over the 2020 to 2024 period, a further 2 classes would be enrolled each year from our continuing cohort of Year 6 students at St Lucy’s and from new enrolments at the Year 7 point of entry.
What milestones are still to be achieved prior to commencement in 2019?

St Lucy’s is currently undertaking registration/accreditation with NESA (the NSW Education Standards Authority, previously known as BOSTES) to extend our years of schooling in readiness for 2019.

St Lucy’s will need to install demountable buildings as an interim measure in readiness for Year 7 2019 and some relocated classes while the new building (DA2) is constructed during 2019 to mid-2020.

What is the enrolment criteria for St Lucy’s Year 7 - 12?

To be eligible to attend Years 7 – 12 at St Lucy’s, students must meet the criteria for intellectual disability. No students can attend St Lucy’s School unless they have a designated and proven disability.

Is the enrolment eligibility criteria the same as K - 6?

No. In order to satisfy enrolment eligibility for Years 7-12, students must satisfy the criteria for intellectual disability. Students may also satisfy additional disability criteria such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory impairment and/or language disorder.

What curriculum will be on offer for the secondary years?

St Lucy’s will continue its tradition of best practice and holistic education into the secondary years. Students will study a Life Skills Curriculum developed by NESA, with the inclusion of electives including Vocational Education and Training options in Stage 5 (Years 9, 10) and Stage 6 (Years 11, 12).

Through the secondary years, students will increasingly undertake their learning in the community with a focus on increasing their independence skills and in preparation for work (where appropriate).  Students will also undertake Religious Education each year from Years 7-12.

What will the school’s philosophy be in relation to teaching and learning?

Teaching and learning will draw from explicit teaching methods and more child-centred approaches depending on the type of learning. The Principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy will continue to guide teaching practice including in the way the students are viewed, the creative ways in which they communicate and the environment as a teacher.

What is ‘Life Skills’?

In recognition that all students are entitled to participate in and progress through the curriculum, NESA provides Years 7–10 courses based on Life Skills outcomes and content, and Years 11–12 Life Skills courses.  These provide options for students with special education needs who cannot access the regular course outcomes, particularly for students with an intellectual disability. The Life Skills Curriculum is designed in such a way that students only have to study ‘some’ of the designated outcomes and content from a particular course.

What subjects will students undertake in Years 7 and 8?

In Years 7 and 8, students will undertake the NESA mandatory curriculum requirements (English, Mathematics, Science, HSIE (History and Geography) Technology Mandatory, Physical Education, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE), Creative Arts (Music and Visual Arts) and Languages (Italian). Music will be undertaken in Year 7 and Visual Arts and Italian in Year 8. Each term, units will be designed around a central theme e.g. Places and Spaces, My Kitchen Rules.  In keeping with our Catholic tradition, Religious Education years 7 – 12.

What credentials will St Lucy’s secondary students achieve?

Students completing Year 12 at St Lucy’s will be eligible for a Higher School Certificate. They will not be awarded an ATAR.

Students who leave after Year 10 but before Year 12 will be eligible for the Record of Student Achievement.

Will secondary students have Individual Education Plans (IEPs)?

Yes, parents will have the opportunity to meet with their child’s class teacher twice yearly to set individual goals for the coming semester as part of the IEP process. These goals will be reported on to parents each semester.

What will Staffing look like for Year 7 - 12?

Each class of 8 will have a teacher and 2 teacher’s aides.

Specialist teachers of Visual Arts, Music, PDHPE and VET will further support the delivery of the curriculum.

The Therapy team including the Psychologist, Speech and Occupational Therapists would further support students and their families through adolescence in the classroom, on a referral basis.

What will the Year 7 - 12 timetable look like?

Students in Years 7 and 8 will stay with their ‘home group’ and class teacher for most subjects including English, Mathematics, Science, PDH, HSIE (History and Geography), Languages (Italian). They will have specialist teachers in PE, Visual Arts and Music. English and Mathematics will be timetabled at the same time across the secondary years to allow for different groupings of students and movement between classes, if required to best meet the learning needs of students.

Students will have a choice of electives in Years 9 and 10 and will have some choice of subjects in Years 11 and 12.  Additional specialist teachers will be added in Stage 4 (Years 7, 8) and Stage 5 (Years 9, 10).

Will secondary-aged-students have assemblies?

Yes, secondary-aged students will have their own assemblies.  All students (K-12) will join together for special occasions such as feast days/celebration days.

Will there be equivalent Reading Tutor Program/Mathematics with Meaning programs running for secondary-aged students?

No, the high staffing ratio will mean that individualised learning programs will be implemented by staff. St Lucy’s will continue to deliver research-based programs and will seek additional volunteers to work with the older age groups as we do now with the younger age groups.

Will the secondary-aged students have camps?

Yes, although the timing and location of these camps is to be determined.

What will the start and finish times be for K - 6 and 7 - 12 Students?

For K – 6, classes start at 8.50am and finish at 2.50pm.

For 7 – 12, classes start at 8.30am and finish at 3.00pm.

Will there be after school programs for secondary-aged Students?

Yes, After School Creative Arts and sport’s programs will also be designed for secondary-aged students on a fee for service basis as is the case currently at St Lucy’s.  Exploration in relation to expanding the provision of the program run by Catholic Care for secondary-aged students will occur in 2018.

What facilities will be used for secondary-aged students?

Establishment, during late 2018, of a total of 3 to 5 extra demountable classrooms with complementary learning spaces and student and staff amenities (largely for Year 7 and primary-aged student accommodation) as we build the new facilities. These will be located at the rear of the School property.

By 2024, it is estimated that purpose built secondary classrooms may be required, with facilities such as ‘maker spaces’ and therapy rooms to accommodate the needs of secondary-aged students. Examples of the types of projects they may undertake in this ‘maker space’ include a kitchen garden, programming simple robotics, making movies, jewellery making and simple meal preparation.

Secondary-aged students will also share existing facilities.

When will the Primary and Secondary-aged School students be together?

Students in the secondary years at St Lucy’s School will have different school hours and play/break times to the students in the primary years.  Existing facilities that will be shared between primary and secondary-aged students (at separate times) include play spaces, the swimming pool, the kitchen, and creative arts studios (dance, drama, music, art).

Primary and secondary-aged students will also be together for special events such as St Dominic’s Day.

How will timetabled creative arts/swimming fit in across the School?

An overall school timetable will be developed to ensure that students have necessary access to the different facilities at St Lucy’s across K – 12.

What are the First Aid arrangements for students?

St Lucy’s has a first aid room/sick bay, staffed by the School Nurse and supporting staff.

What is the Uniform for students in Years 7–12?

Initially, students in the secondary years will wear the same uniform as those in the primary. Parent consultation will be undertaken in 2019, to determine the uniform for the secondary years going forward.

How do I enrol my child in Year 7 if my child is ALREADY a St Lucy’s student?

Firstly, register your expression of interest by contacting the School Registrar at by Friday 13 April. Secondly, book for the Year 7, 2019 Open Day on Wednesday 9th May, at You will not need to submit a full application, but you will need to complete some paperwork and obtain and submit a new cognitive assessment, and accompanying reports.  If you are currently accessing Assisted Transport,  you will need to submit a new application. If your child does meet eligibility criteria we expect to confirm a place for your child in Year 7, 2019 by 15 June 2018. Acceptance of the offer is required by 30 June 2018 to confirm your child’s placement.  A non-refundable acceptance fee will need to be paid at this time, being a pre-payment of one term’s tuition fee for 2019.

Will I need new reports and assessments?

Yes.  You will need a recent (conducted within the last 12 months) psychometric assessment/formal IQ test from a registered psychologist stating that your child is functioning approximately two or more standard deviations below the mean on approved measures (Stanford Binet 5, or WISC-V). You will also need an adaptive functioning test using an ABAS, SIB-R, or Vineland testing instrument.  We will also require any recent speech, vision or hearing assessments, and a copy of diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder, if relevant.

How do I enrol my child in Year 7 if my child does NOT currently attend St Lucy’s?

Attend the Open Day on Wednesday 9 May at 9.30am, where you will hear about the program and see the school. At the Open Day,  you will receive an Enrolment and Information Pack. Submit your full application, including reports and assessments to confirm eligibility, to the Registrar with the $500 non-refundable application fee by 1 June.  If your child is made an offer, a non-refundable acceptance fee will need to be paid, being a pre-payment of one term’s tuition fee for 2019.

What are the Fees and Charges?

The Year 7 annual fee in 2019 is expected to be in the range of $6,300 with this figure expected to rise with inflation and other associated educational costs for older year groups.

The estimated cost by government of educating a school-aged student with special needs is over $45,000pa.

Uniform and incidentals such as excursions and stationery will be in addition to the fees.

Can you apply for bursary support for St Lucy’s K – 12?

As is now the case, provision has been made for families in financial need to access partial or full bursary support for tuition fees and uniform costs.  These bursary arrangements will be available for eligible families across K – 12.  Annual applications will need to be made and can be done by applying through the School Registrar.


What is the process for development of the new facilities?

Currently the School has 2 Development Applications before Kur-ring-gai Council:

One for the ‘Change of Use’ of 10 Billyard Avenue from residential to school use (DA 1).

The second (DA 2) for the major redevelopment which includes 16 purpose built classrooms and related specialist areas for therapy and complementary learning spaces, plus a 48 space underground car park for staff and secure underground off-street parent/student pick up and drop off area.

We have an architect from Stanton Dahl, a planner from DFP Planning, a project manager from APP, and a communications and community engagement group KJA assisting us with the process and project at this stage, as well as specialist consultant input to assist with matters such as traffic/parking, acoustic amenity and engineering.

What will the new DA2 facilities look like?

It will be a two-storey purpose built construction above an underground car park and secure “kiss and drop” along the Billyard Ave frontage, including the current library and No. 6 and No. 8 Billyard Avenue. The building will be constructed in stages, subject to funding. These facilities are not proposed to extend to land at No 10 Billyard Avenue.

Click to see images.

Does St Lucy’s have approval for the development of the new facilities?

At the current stage, the School is hopeful that approval for DA1 will be received by around May 2018 and by September 2018 for DA2. Neighbours have been given the opportunity to respond to both DAs and make submissions to Council. The school is currently addressing matters that have been raised by Council. DA 2 will be determined by the Sydney North Planning Panel at a public meeting over the next few months.

What will be the overall enrolments for K-12?

St Lucy’s School is proposing under DA 2, to expand its enrolment at Wahroonga from approximately 108 (2018) to 124 (2019 Stage 4 – Year 7) until a total enrolment may be achieved of approximately 240 students and 104 FTE staff (2024) not including satellite classes.

This development will be unfolded gradually over a 6-year time frame, reflecting an increase year on year in student and staff numbers over the period, dependant on demand.

Are further planning approvals required? E.g. DA or exempt/complying development

Yes.  Further approvals may be required for some demountable buildings or potential further purpose built facilities longer term (as future needs may require).

What will parent pick up and drop off look like during construction?

St Lucy’s will have interim measures in place while construction occurs. Access to the Cleveland Street driveway will remain generally unaffected during construction.

How will St Lucy’s fund the re-development of the facilities?

The NSW government has recently granted $2.66 million, towards Stage 1 of the build and the School is hopeful to receive further support for Stage 2 and Stage 3. The School is also investigating the possibility of combining Stages 1 to 3 into one construction, saving time and money and reducing inconvenience to the neighbouring community of Wahroonga if State Capital Funding rules allow. Applications to the relevant authorities are currently underway to request for this to occur.

The School will use existing funding, in addition to funds from an upcoming capital campaign to complete the build.

The construction of the new classrooms is planned to commence in December 2018 once relevant planning approvals are granted.  It is likely the project will be completed by mid-2020.