Caladenia Primary School is a high-achieving, high care independent school in Canning Vale, Perth, Western Australia. The school was the proud winner of the WA Public School in 2019/2020, no doubt thanks to their wonderful staff and leadership, one of whom we were lucky to chat with recently. We met Anne Driscoll, Caladenia’s Manager Corporate Services who is, like school administrators everywhere; humble, patient, outrageously competent, and passionate about the school community. She recently took time from her busy day to talk to us about her role, how School Stream has supported communicating with their non-English speaking families, and so much more.
A big thank you to Anne at Caladenia Primary for taking time to share her insights and expertise with us.
*Interview edited for length and clarity
First up, let’s talk numbers at Caladenia Primary School.
We’ve got 965 students at the school, 85 on the teaching staff, and four of us here in the office.
What are your main responsibilities?
I look after communication with parents, front office reception, finances, and human resources. I love the challenge and variety this job offers – every day is different.
You must be pretty busy in the office!
It is pretty busy. That is why we were looking at ways to streamline things for ourselves here. It was a big part of us looking at School Stream, because we wanted a way of accepting payments online. We have so many families from non-English speaking backgrounds, I didn’t want them to have to download another app. With School Stream, it’s all inclusive, so families know they can find everything in the one spot. It was a real bonus for me.
You mentioned there are a lot of families who come from non-English speaking backgrounds?
Close to 75% of our families come from a non-English speaking background – so having the translation feature was really important to us. Our previous app wasn’t able to translate, so it was certainly one of the features that drew us to School Stream. We wanted that facility for our families so they could understand what was happening at school. We’ve received lots of positive feedback about the app and we’re finding the ease with which we can communicate (with the families) has made a big difference.
How did you find the process of setting up School Stream and learning to use it?
It was extremely easy. We’re using the notices the most – we are loving the easy way of sending out information to all our parents. For example, the newsletter – previously we were having to create an export file and then send out in batches from our email. We’re also using the payment feature and forms to collect for excursions.
We’ve been talking to Brad, and we’ve discovered a great way we can reduce our paperwork on the payment side as well. The whole idea is to reduce our paperwork, and now we can just produce one report which shows us who has paid and we can attach to the batch that we send off to the boss to check. So instead of having 20 forms, we’ve got one. It’s been really good.
We appreciate them (School Stream) sharing the passion to find a better solution for us. The team is really prompt, really friendly and bring it down to our level – they don’t talk to us using all the tech terms.
Anything else you’d like to add?
The service received is second to none, their help desk is exceptional, patient and explained so that all staff can understand.
Thank you again to Anne Driscoll at Caladenia Primary School.
Like what you hear? Talk to our Australian-based team to learn more.