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St Joseph's School, Parramatta Park
Motto With Christ we Live, Love and Learn St Joseph_s logo.jpg
Address 13 Loeven Street, PARRAMATTA PARK QLD 4870
Postal Address 13 Loeven Street, PARRAMATTA PARK QLD 4870
Phone Number 07 4051 4041
Fax Number 07 4031 3963
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 394 Mr Gavin Rick
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mr Gavin Rick
Parish PriestFr Saju
Parish Number (07) 4051 1337

About our School

Located in the centre of Cairns, St Joseph’s is the school of choice for the many parents who work in the city centre. The community draws upon its 395 students from right across the Cairns region. The school community of St Joseph’s is culturally diverse, enjoying a rich tapestry of languages, life experiences and cultural histories. Established in 1927 by the Sisters of Mercy, St Joseph's has proudly served the Cairns community for over 80 years.

St Joseph’s Catholic school is a place where teachers and  parents, work collaboratively to achieve optimum learning for students. Our vibrant school community provides an safe and supportive learning environment.

The community has claimed its identity as being founded on the values of Learning, Love, Community and Respect, as Jesus Christ showed us. It is in this way that we aim to live out our motto 'with Christ, we live, love and learn.'


Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

At St Joseph’s School, learning is based on the holistic development of each child – physically, emotionally, socially, academically and spiritually.  We, as a learning community, are always looking for opportunities to grow, so that individually and collectively we become the best that we can be.


St Josephs is a community of learners on a quest to answer the question "What does quality modern learning look like at St Joseph's?' 


St Joseph’s School offers contemporary and engaging learning in all areas of the Australian Curriculum. Learning practices are grounded in current research and in response to the needs of the child as a learner of the modern world.


St Joseph's prioritises English, Maths, Religious Education & Faith Life, and Social & Emotional Learning. We believe that learning is a social and relational activity and as such we employ strategies such as Circle Solutions to assist students to connect, feel they belong and give each child a voice. This enhances wellbeing and capacity to learn.


We have a focus on learning in a modern and connected context with digital as the accelerator. Staff and students learn together through the use of an enquiry model to learning and with the aid of a variety of mobile devices. In Years 4/5/6 each student is provided with an iPad as a valuable and powerful tool for learning.


We have begun the introduction of flexibility and agility into our learning spaces which we believe, better meets the needs of modern learners and enhances comfort and well being.


This year we continue the development of the Stephanie Alexander Garden Project which incorporates our very own vegetable garden and the use of St Augustine's College kitchen facilities to cook using our own produce.


We provide rich and diverse learning opportunities, employing specialist staff in the following areas:

  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Mandarin
  • English as a Second Language
  • Dance    
  • Choir
  • Instrumental Program
  • Cultural Excursion to Taiwan - optional for Year 6

We promote many projects that enhance indigenous perspectives within the curriculum as well as celebrating NAIDOC annually. 

Extra Curricular Activities

St Joseph’s encourages students to participate in a range of activities that are available at lunch time, in school time, before and after school. The following are some of the activities on offer:

  • Choir and choric speaking
  • Mandarin cultural club
  • English As A Second Language Support

  • Student Vegetable Garden and Stephanie Alexander Garden Program
  • Reader's Cup Challenge
  • ICAS competitions
  • Library and Book Activities
  • Instrumental music
  • Sport coaching sessions – Tennis, Auskick, hockey, netball, rugby league 
  • Teams for sporting events such as football, netball, athletics, hockey

Social Climate

At St Joseph's School, the values of learning, respect, community and love permeate our community. Our point of difference is that we view these values through the example of Jesus. We teach and reinforce 'The St Joseph's Way' as being these values in action, using the example of Jesus Christ

St Joseph’s School is a rich and diverse multicultural environment, where all students are encouraged to participate and support each other. As well as providing an engaging and challenging opportunities for learning across all areas, St Joseph’s School encourages students to share their skills and talents as a means of building confidence and community, empowering them to be full contributors to their world. 

On an annual basis we undertake a variety of social justice projects as our Christian Outreach to the local and world communities. We teach that it is our Christian responsibility to assist and support those in need.  These projects are local, within Australia or overseas.

Initiatives that contribute to the community minded climate within the school include:

Program Achieve - You Can Do It

2nd Step (Social & Emotional Learning) 

Circle Solutions

School Counsellor and Care Team  

Student Buddy Class programs

Project Compassion and Caritas  

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

Adopt-a-cop Education programs

Charity collections – Red Cross, Cancer Council

Joint activities with Saint Augustine's College

We have in our playground, a 'Buddy Bench'. A Buddy Bench is a garden bench where students can go if they have no one to play with. Other students then can approach these students and invite them to join in or assist them in finding someone.

In living out ‘The St Joseph’s Way’, bullying behaviours are not accepted. Instead, we explicitly teach about community, respect and love where we accept and celebrate difference, tolerate others and offer forgiveness. A full review of the 'Respectful Relationships Policy (Anti-Bullying)' is underway in 2016.

All members of the school community are encouraged to report any cases of bullying or suspected bullying.  The school community has a zero tolerance towards bullying in all its forms. Students are taught various strategies to practice cyber safety, safety networks and staying safe practices. Opportunities for parents to learn about this important topic are made available.


Parent Involvement

Parents at St Joseph’s engage in learning and are involved at a high level in a variety of ways. We have a very supportive Parents and Friends Association who contribute to community building and fundraising for the school. Their involvement has resulted in the advancement of resource purchases which have directly enhanced the learning of students. The School Board is highly effective in assisting the Principal with strategic planning and policy development and is an important link to the St Joseph's Parish. 

Parents are provided with annual training in Student Protection,  Work Place Health and Safety and Code of Conduct. This then enables them to engage in classrooms and excursion assistance throughout the year.

Opportunities for parent education are offered throughout the year such as Prep Induction, reading, cyber safety as well as a number of topics related to child development and well being. The principal has introduced a Parent Learning Blog in 2016 to engage parents in dialogue about learning matters.

Parents are provided with four opportunities for formal reporting on student progress, two being interviews and the others written. Teachers are available to meet with parents when needed at other times.



Parent Satisfaction

Parents have indicated quite strongly that St Joseph's is a place of learning in a Christian environment and that we strongly encourage prayer and reflection.

All parents agreed that there is a strong improvement agenda at the school as it strives to improve the quality of education it provides. All parents indicted that there is good two way communication between staff and parents.

Parents indicate that they feel very comfortable about approaching the school with any concerns and that the school takes concerns seriously. Most parents indicated that the teachers were very encouraging of their children to learn and to persist with learning when it is difficult.  

Overwhelmingly, parents indicated that their child enjoys the learning they do at school and that teachers make learning fun. 



Data Last Updated Wed 15 Jun 2016

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 7% 52% 35% 9%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff27 22.6
Non-Teaching Staff 19 10.21
Indigenous 1 0.63

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$45337

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

Professional Development Activities for 2015 included:

  • Workplace Health & Safety
  • First Aid and CPR 
  • Mandatory Student Protection
  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Anxiety in Children - Maggie Dent  
  • Essential Skills for Classroom Management
  • Meditation
  • Circle Solutions
  • NAPLAN Analysis
  • Speech to Sound Pics - Literacy
  • Consistency of Teacher Judgement
  • Teaching of Maths
  • iPads and Digital Learning   
  • TREWTH Conference (Religious Education and Social Emotional Learning)
  • Prayer and Liturgy
  • Business Intelligence Tool 
  • Assessment and Reporting
  • Writing Report Card Comments 
  • School Wide Positive Relationships Framework
  • Classroom Profiling
  • Cyber Safety

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days97%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year92.00%

Staff Satisfaction

The staff members of St Joseph's School unanimously believe that school is a place of learning in a Christian environment, where prayer and reflection is encouraged.  Almost all staff state that they are highly committed to the school, that there is a positive ethos and that we encourage student responsibility.   Staff indicate that there exists clear goals and expectations at St Joseph's and that they have trust in the school leadership team. Staff highly agree that behaviour management is consistent, that conflict is handled well and that staff set good example for the students.

The staff members are highly committed to the school, believing that the school encourages a climate conducive to learning. Staff  overwhelmingly express a high level of satisfaction with the school's performance. 


Data Last Updated Sun Jun 19 2016

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
94.9% 94.95% 95.49% 93.31% 93.94% 94.41% 93.5%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Parents are asked to notify the school by either telephone, email or school app by 9.00am on the day that any student will be away. Any pattern of non-attendance is followed up via a variety of strategies including:  telephone calls, letters and parent meetings.  Late students are required to sign in at the office. The detrimental effects of non-attendance or late arrivals are published in the school newsletter on a regular basis throughout the year. 

The distance travelled

In 2015 the School Board continued its annual school renewal process by building on the work done in 2014. 

Our School Board worked on many projects this year, including:

- Reviewing the Chinese/Taiwan cultural excursion planned for year 6 in 2016.

- Implementing the grounds and maintenance plan

- Overviewing the establishment of a new school website

- Reviewing the respectful relationships (anti-bullying) policy

- Implementing and reviewed the parent partnership survey

- Beginning a solar energy project

In 2015, it was decided that a remaster-plan of the school was to be undertaken and as a result, a Block Grant Authority application prepared for 2016. This plan involved the demolition of old classroom blocks and the building of modern, contemporary learning spaces. We await the outcome of the application


Where are we going ?

The Australian Curriculum continues to be rolled out as per the CES guidelines and timeline. The development of Humanities and Social Science (HASS) has been undertaken.

School based goals for 2015 also include:  

  • Further developing the Faith life of the School document and continued preparations for the introduction of the new Religious Education Guidelines 
  • Strengthening the Social and Emotional Learning with the full implementation of Circle Solutions and the introduction of a well being room.
  • The trialling of 2nd Step SEL program in Year 2 
  • Further development of 1:1 iPad program in Years 4, 5 & 6 
  • Use of many online learning resources
  • Online whole school testing in Numeracy and Literacy (ACER) 
  • ICT and Digital Learning support through the introduction of a Teacher Librarian 
  • Furniture and equipment replacement schedule continued
  • Development of the Peace and Vegetable gardens and start of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden
  • Implementation of the new Homework Policy

In 2015 after the decision was made for the redevelopment of a new school, a Contemporary Learning Tour was conducted with some teachers to explore flexible and agile spaces and modern pedagogies. More of these are planned.

Student Satisfaction

All students from Years 5 - 7 were surveyed on a variety of topics.  Students reported that there was a high morale in our school. Most students indicated they felt positive and cheerful about school. Most felt relaxed and happy and a large proportion feel energised at school.  The students felt their teachers are easy to understand, are well prepared and most students said that their teachers put a lot of energy into their teaching.  The majority of the student population indicated they felt good about being a student of St Joseph's School, that they belonged and that they look forward to coming to school.

Data Last Updated Sun Jun 19 2016

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2016
Reading Average Score for the school 430.541
Average Score for Queensland 427.632
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 422.881
Average Score for Queensland 420.141
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 425.698
Average Score for Queensland 415.204
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 434.79
Average Score for Queensland 439.375
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 403.545
Average Score for Queensland 400.942
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 26 2017

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2016
Reading Average Score for the school 516.268
Average Score for Queensland 507.478
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.246%
Writing Average Score for the school 488.365
Average Score for Queensland 474.369
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 493.744
Average Score for Queensland 491.655
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.246%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 517.359
Average Score for Queensland 512.334
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 503.23
Average Score for Queensland 494.654
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 26 2017

School Funding By Source
Income 2016

Australian Government recurrent funding$2,820,033

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$811,927

Fees, charges and parent contributions$797,626

Other private sources$153,576

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$4,583,162

Deductions 2016

Income allocated to current capital projects$124,350

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$105,726


Total net recurrent income$4,353,086

Schools And Colleges

There are 29 Catholic schools and colleges in the Diocese of Cairns. With the exception of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School at Thursday Island and St Joseph’s Parish School, Weipa, all schools and colleges are within two hours driving time from Cairns.

The Cairns Diocese has two Prep to Year 12 colleges (St Andrew's Catholic College at Redlynch and MacKillop Catholic College, Mount Peter), 20 primary schools and 7 secondary colleges. Of those, St Augustine's College, Cairns is an All Boys college and St Monica's College, Cairns is an All Girls college. In addition to day schooling, St Augustine's offers boarding for students of St Augustine's and St Monica's. Mount St Bernard College, Herberton (MSB) is a day and boarding secondary college for boys and girls.

In 2016, Catholic Education opened two new schools to meet growing demand. MacKillop Catholic College is located in the Cairns southern growth corridor at Mount Peter and offers Prep to Year 3 in 2016. It will grow to full Prep to Year 12 status, with the possible early commencement of secondary in 2018. St Joseph’s Parish School opened in Weipa, offering Prep to Year 6.

In a strong initiative towards social justice engagement, Catholic Education opened a Flexi School for disengaged young people in Cairns and Cooktown in 2015. Holy Spirit College caters for students aged between 11 and 17 who have disengaged from education or for whom enrolling in a mainstream secondary school is not the best alternative. Holy Spirit College has capacity to enrol up to 52 students in Cairns and up to 38 in Cooktown, of whom up to 32 can be weekly boarders drawn from the wider community including HopeVale and WujalWujal.