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St Joseph's School, Atherton
Motto Love, Faith, Knowledge St-Joseph_s-Atherton-Logo-col.jpg
Address Cnr Jack and Alice Streets, ATHERTON QLD 4883
Postal Address PO Box 829, ATHERTON QLD 4883
Phone Number (07) 4091 4211
Fax Number (07) 4091 4214
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 252 Mrs Donna Maxsted
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mrs Donna Maxsted
Parish PriestRev Greg Moses PP
Parish Number (07) 4091 1125

About our School

St Joseph's Parish School is an integral part of the Cairns Diocese and the Catholic Parish of Atherton. Located approximately one hour’s drive from Cairns, Atherton sits within the heart of the naturally beautiful and agriculturally-rich Atherton Tablelands. Despite its changes over the years, St Joseph’s has remained committed to providing its students with a well-balanced and relevant education and curriculum under a Sisters of Mercy charism.

St Joseph’s serves the goals of Catholic Education - to foster a Christian community and a belief in the message of Jesus Christ alongside a balanced and quality education. Students are drawn from Atherton itself and a number of smaller towns such as Herberton, Yungaburra, Tolga, Malanda and Walkamin.

St Joseph’s has a welcoming feel to it and a group of highly dedicated and motivated parents and carers who genuinely assist with the provision of the best educational environment possible for their children, through their hard work and commitment. St Joseph’s is also fortunate to have a skilled staff who see their role as nurturers of the faith and who are committed to their role as Catholic Educators.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • LOTE (currently Italian) taught from Prep to 6
  • Physical Education Teacher (Prep - Yr 6)
  • Swimming Programme as part of the HPE curriculum
  • Access to academic competitions
  • Leadership programme and day-camp for Yr 5 students 
  • Camp for Yr 6 students
  • Cross Country running event
  • School Athletics Carnival
  • Participation for students in District Sports
  • Under 8's celebration

Extra Curricular Activities

  • School Choir
  • Instrumental Music Programme
  • Visiting school performances
  • Involvement in various Community events, eg. Maize Festival, Carols by Candlelight, etc.
  • Involvement in National Walk Safely To School Day and other state and national initiatives
  • Mini Vinnies Club (supporting local St Vincent De Paul chapter) - social justice and community service education and involvement for students
  • Readers' Cup

Social Climate

  • Parent-Staff-Student social events, including in various years: trivia nights, student performances, Christmas family concert
  • Assemblies each Monday afternoon at which parents & friends are always welcome
  • Sports days
  • very active Parents and Friends Association
  • School/class masses and liturgies
  • Father's Day, Mother's Day celebrations
  • Various fundraising events run by the students to support local chairites

Parent Involvement

Integral to the mission of St Joseph’s Parish School is our commitment to supporting parents as the first and primary educators of their children. We believe that schooling is a partnership operation. It is in working as partners – in supporting and encouraging each others' efforts - that we benefit in bringing children to a genuine knowledge of themselves and of the world in which they live. Together it is hoped that efforts of co-operation and mutual support will complement each other through the sharing of a common vision and of common goals.

This idea of partnership is lived out in many ways and evident on a daily basis. Some of the ways in which we see parents and staff sharing the journey of learning include:

  • Regular Parents and Friends’ Meetings
  • Parents and Friends' social events, eg. Soup Night
  • Parent assistance in the classroom  
  • Support with excursions
  • Regular parent/teacher meetings, reporting and social gatherings
  • Sporting events and carnivals
  • P&F Initiatives eg Working bees for various projects
  • Participation in school celebrations including liturgies and other school-based initiatives
  • Tuckshop (P&F run initiative)

Parent Satisfaction

Parents at St Joseph’s believe strongly that the school is a place of learning within a Christian environment. They are satisfied with the education their children receive and believe that the school continuously aims to improve the quality of education it provides. Parents believe that there is open communication between the school and home.  Overwhelmingly, the parents believe that the school is meeting the academic needs of their children.  They believe that the teachers are very good at: encouraging the students to learn, and encouraging the students to persist with their learning, when it is difficult. They also believe that their children enjoy the learning that they do, at school.

Data Last Updated Fri 24 Jun 2016

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 3% 62% 13% 5%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff22 18.93
Non-Teaching Staff 17 7.92
Indigenous 1 0.53

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$6332

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

During 2015 the staff undertook a variety of Professional Development initiatives which enhanced and improved student learning. These included:

  • Visible Learning
  • English - literacy coaching
  • Mathematics - Numeracy Coaching
  • Religious Education
  • Various other curriculum-specific PDs
  • Social Emotional Learning - Circle Solutions
  • Mandatory Compliance Training
  • Explicit Instruction
  • NAPLAN analysis
  • Student Protection

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days99%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year90.00%

Staff Satisfaction

The staff at St Joseph's is satisfied with the school's performance. They feel that it is a place of learning in a Catholic environment where prayer and reflection is encouraged. The staff feel that they are valued at work which is built around the opportunity to network. They appreciate the opportunity for staff input in whole school and leadership matters which has created a positive ethos and climate conducive to learning, for both students and staff. Staff feel that there are clear goals and expectations at St Joseph's and that they have trust in the school leadership team.

Data Last Updated Sun Mar 25 2018

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
93.52% 95.5% 94.41% 94.83% 92.26% 93.8% 92.21%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Parents are encouraged to contact the school by telephone, email or the school's absentee App on the day that a student is absent. If the school is not contacted, and the reason for the absence is not known, the school uses an SMS system as a follow-up. If there is a pattern of non-attendance, parents are contacted to discuss any issues or concerns regarding the student.

The distance travelled

The staff continues to monitor, refine and enhance the curriculum at St Joseph’s; with an increasing reference to relevant data.  In 2015, numeracy coaching was continued as a previously identified area for improvement. In line with diocesan pedagogy priorities, the school has placed a significant focus on Visible Learning (TM) as a whole-school pedagogical approach to improving the learning experience for students. Parents are informed on the progress of their child through parent teacher meetings and meaningful reporting.  Our Learning Support Team and classroom teachers constantly monitor the students’ results in order to identify and then target the students that require addition support. Opportunities for extracurricular involvement have been targeted, especially focusing on local community events.  We believe strongly that we are a part of the local community and hence our active participation in so many community events. Students have been involved in many sporting and musical extracurricular activities.

Where are we going ?

In 2016, the focus for the school will be the finalisation of all curriculum planning in accordance with the Australian Curriculum. School based assessment, NAPLAN results and support programs will continue to form the basis for strategic planning in student learning. From this data, Writing (as an strand within English) has been identified as an area in which the school will focus some curriculum professional development in 2016. Furthermore in 2016, our school will undergo its 5 year external review and so in 2015 we began a review of existing policies and procedures as a reflection in readiness for that. The students will continue to be encouraged to be involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, to ensure that we are developing their intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual dimensions.

Student Satisfaction

As a general statement, the vast majority of students at St Joseph's state that they feel safe and happy at school and feel that they belong. They believe that the school provide them with an all rounded education which is preparing them well for high school.  Most students agree that their teachers are wanting to provided an enjoyable, exciting classroom where they are challenged to do their best.  The students also believe that the teachers are well prepared.

Data Last Updated Fri Jun 24 2016

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2016
Reading Average Score for the school 404.664
Average Score for Queensland 427.632
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.667%
Writing Average Score for the school 421.6
Average Score for Queensland 420.141
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.875%
Spelling Average Score for the school 397.61
Average Score for Queensland 415.204
% students at or above the national benchmark 93.75%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 417.822
Average Score for Queensland 439.375
% students at or above the national benchmark 93.75%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 385.577
Average Score for Queensland 400.942
% students at or above the national benchmark 93.333%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 26 2017

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2016
Reading Average Score for the school 534.155
Average Score for Queensland 507.478
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 483.982
Average Score for Queensland 474.369
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.774%
Spelling Average Score for the school 499.61
Average Score for Queensland 491.655
% students at or above the national benchmark 93.548%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 526.739
Average Score for Queensland 512.334
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.774%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 501.811
Average Score for Queensland 494.654
% students at or above the national benchmark 93.548%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 26 2017

School Funding By Source
Income 2016

Australian Government recurrent funding$2,121,871

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$610,130

Fees, charges and parent contributions$414,286

Other private sources$56,071

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$3,202,358

Deductions 2016

Income allocated to current capital projects$57,053

Income allocated to future capital projects and diocesan capital funds$0

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$56,364


Total net recurrent income$3,088,941

School Annual Reports

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Cairns meet their annual reporting requirements under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (the Act) Section 423 (1) by updating their information on this section of the Cairns Catholic Education website. Information contained in each section of the report relates to the previous calendar year. The required information is published by 30 June each year, excepting post-school destinations data for Year 12 completers which is published by 30 September.