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St Rita's School, South Johnstone
Motto Forward to a Better World logo_SRSJ.jpg
Address 8 Green Street, SOUTH JOHNSTONE QLD 4859
Postal Address PO Box 8, SOUTH JOHNSTONE QLD 4859
Phone Number (07) 4064 2153
Fax Number (07) 4064 2766
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 111 Mr Greg Hoare
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mr Greg Hoare
Parish PriestFr Kerry Crowley PP VG
Parish Number (07) 4061 6633

About our School

South Johnstone is a small rural township situated 100 km south of Cairns and 9 km south-east of Innisfail. St Rita’s caters for students from Innisfail, Kurrimine Beach, East Palmerston, Mena Creek, Mundoo, Moresby, Mourilyan and South Johnstone. We are a small school providing a Catholic education in a rural setting.

The township of Innisfail has a Catholic Secondary School (Good Counsel College) and a State College that amalgamated with the TAFE in 2011. Within 10kms of South Johnstone there are numerous State Primary Schools, as well as Good Counsel Primary School.

Agricultural industries and support services are predominant in the local area.  It is these industries that are the primary source of employment for the families with children attending school at St Rita’s.

The school opened in 1932, operating from the building adjacent to the school in Green St, which presently hosts a long-running playgroup and regular church meetings. The school moved across the road in 1933 to where the present building is situated. The Sisters of Good Samaritan staffed the school up until 1977 when the first lay principal was appointed. From this time, to the present, solely lay people have staffed the school. The face of the school has changed over time, with the addition of new classrooms, a purpose built Prep facility and state-of-the-art undercover multi-purpose hall.

St Rita’s is proud to be a community school, with a reputation for having a strong family focus.  St Rita’s is blessed with a committed Parents and Friends Association.  The hardworking P&F provides much needed financial support through various fundraising ventures. The P&F also assist with organizing social activities that aim to bring families together.  New families have commented on how welcoming the parent body is and how the support that is offered helps them to make a smooth transition into school life.

A team of devoted teachers staffs St Rita’s.  They range in age and experience, many having worked at the school for over a decade.  However, they all share a passion for education and a commitment to Catholic ethos.  The staff works together within a professional learning community, sharing their knowledge and supporting early career teachers. A team of vastly experienced school officers supports the teachers.  Our school officers are vital to the day to day running of our school.  Working in classrooms, administration, the library and with those students requiring extra support as well as extension. The staff is aware that they are educating students for a rapidly changing world.  Therefore, the teachers and school officers are constantly searching for new learning opportunities to help them meet the diverse needs of their students.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

At Saint Rita’s, we believe that preparing students for an unknown world, requires courage and energy, because student needs have changed so drastically.  Literacy and numeracy will always remain the keystones of curriculum.   Reading and writing have not been replaced by the new technologies.  However, there are new literacies connected to information technology and communication, which we have now included in our whole-school curriculum plans and teach explicitly.  Information is everywhere and is instantly accessible.  Therefore, research skills have become vital.  Teaching students to find, analyse and use information responsibly is vitally important. Technology has also allowed our students to access their learning in new ways; for the past three years children have engaged with a teacher in Beijing through Skype to study Chinese. In keeping with our school motto, “Forward to a Better World”, we want to ensure that our students leave, fully equipped to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

In 2012, St Rita's School commenced implementation of the Australian Curriculum.   We are committed to effectively delivering the Australian Curriculum to our students.   This means ensuring that our teachers receive quality professional development and that our resources are current.  This allows our teachers to ensure that each student is being taught the knowledge and skills that they need in a way that suits their specific learning style.

Extra Curricular Activities

We also offer a diverse range of extra curricular activities to allow students to pursue their special interests:

  • Australasian Schools Competitions: Computers, Science, Mathematics, English and Spelling 
  • Teams for sporting events such as football, athletics, futsal, soccer, softball and netball 
  • Sport coaching sessions – Netball, Cricket Australia, NRL development
  • Instrumental Music
  • Wonder of Living Program
  • Mary Mills Cup
  • After School Sport Club
  • Chess competition
  • Handball competition
  • Student vs. Parents sporting activities
  • Reader’s Cup
  • Under 8’s day
  • Read to Me Day - Tully
  • Bravehearts
  • Innisfail Young Performers Competition
  • Dance Fever
  • Kilometre Club
  • Show displays
  • Year 6 camp – Charters Towers
  • Year 4/5 camp – Echo Creek (leadership and team building)
  • Year 2/3 camp – Cairns and surrounds
  • Prep/Year 1 camp - Year One sleep over at school and local activities.

Social Climate
In 2016 we have the pleasure of educating 112 remarkable children.  We are determined to help each student achieve his or her full potential.  We acknowledge that each child is truly unique and therefore learns in different ways and at different speeds.  Every effort is made to cater to each student’s individual needs.   

Though we are small, our size is not a weakness, but one of our greatest strengths.  Students learn to “pitch in” and help out around the school and to assist with younger students as a part of our “buddy” program.  We enjoy seeing younger siblings in and around the grounds before they join their big brothers and sisters at school when they start Prep.  We also love hearing about past pupil’s adventures and successes long after they exit the front gates for the last time.  In essence, St Rita’s is a small school with a very big heart.

Parent Involvement

Parents at St Rita’s are recognized as the first educators of their children and as such are encouraged to participate wherever possible:

  • Class Information Afternoons
  • Parent Education, eg Susan McLean (cyber safety expert), Maggie Dent (accomplished author/educator), Mark Davidson (behaviour expert), Adam Voight (Real Schools Australia)
  • Parent Teacher Interviews
  • Parent invitations to classrooms as helpers or visitors
  • Parent invitations to school assemblies and liturgies
  • Parents vs. Students sporting activities
  • Parents and Friends Association 
  • Combined Schools' Board
  • Playgroup
  • St. Rita's Feast Day
  • Mother's Day Morning Tea
  • Father's Day Prep Night
  • Father's Day Minute to Win It
  • Oral and Written Reports – interviews
  • Naidoc Activities
  • Camps/Excursions
  • Sports days
  • Under 8’s Day
  • Christmas Concert
Each year, an annual report is presented to the Parents and Friends Association and is then distributed to the parent community and staff. Attached to the report is a review of school processes, goals and achievements. All school community stakeholders have an opportunity to give feedback and assist in the guidance of the school for the future year. This review is well received and feedback is always of a positive nature.

Parent Satisfaction
A recent survey of a significant number of parents at St Rita’s, indicated that parents acknowledged that the school aimed to improve its quality of education whilst encouraging the children to truly reach their potential.  The parents also recognized the commitment of the teachers, who take the time to listen to parents and act on their concerns.  The majority of parents agreed that their children looked forward to school each day.  They are extremely satisfied with the education their child receives at the school.

Data Last Updated Tue 27 Jun 2017

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 3% 48% 12% 9%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff15 11.2
Non-Teaching Staff 18 5.41
Indigenous 3 1.34

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$15434

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

Staff have been involved in professional development opportunities covering:

  • OWHS - keeping up to date with policies and procedures to ensure the safety of themselves and others eg. fire equipment training, back care, evacuation procedures, risk assessments etc.
  • Student Protection- keeping teachers abreast of legal and protection issues, to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.
  • Special Needs - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Special Needs -Epilepsy Education
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Social & Emotional Learning - Circle Time
  • Reading Eggs
  • Maths coaching
  • APRE Focus Days
  • Explicit teaching practices
  • Curriculum Conference
  • TREWTH conference
  • First Steps NAPLAN Analysis
  • Administration Officer's PD
  • Consistency of Teacher Judgement - engaging teachers in a process of assessing student work consistently within the school community and across schools within the Diocese.
  • Information and Communication Technology - teachers use computers extensively to assist planning, communication and reporting. Training is provided to ensure ICT skills are at an appropriate level.
  • Restorative Practices workshop (Real School Australia partnership)
  • Language PD - 7 Steps to Writing Success. Grammar and Punctuation
  • Sounds to Pics PD

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days98%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year83.00%

Staff Satisfaction

98% of staff agree or strongly agree the working environment at the school was conducive to the successful implementation of the curriculum in a caring christian setting.  Staff are committed to the vision and mission of the school. Parents and visitors to St. Rita's South Johnstone comment on the dedication of the staff and how they go above and beyond their call of duty.

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
91.67% 91.49% 92.65% 90% 88.87% 95.02% 93.2%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Parents are encouraged to contact the school on the morning of non-attendance by phone, e-mail or skoolbag notification. If contact has not been made, a note explaining absence is required on the child's return to class.  If the child is absent for a period of time without notification or a pattern of non-attendance is recorded the parents are contacted to show cause.  

The distance travelled

Education is constantly evolving. At St Rita's, keeping up with the changing curriculum and new approaches to teaching and learning it is a priority. We go to great lengths to ensure that the needs of each individual student are being met. Teachers are given every opportunity to access quality professional development and resources are regularly purchased and upgraded.

St. Rita's prides itself on a tradition of academic achievement. Testing results, whether from class, school or national tests, are collated and analysed, so as to formulate programs based on the children's needs and varied learning styles. Our learning support staff work closely with classroom teachers and are committed to ensuring that students receive support where necessary and that the curriculum is being differentiated for those student with specific learning needs.

St Rita's has continued its long tradition of involving the students in many sporting activities. These range from the much-anticipated school sport days, to a variety of carnivals that draw competitors from many other schools within the district.

St Rita's upholds the long-standing practice of school-wide school camps. Each year, every class ventures on a camp, carefully planned by their teachers together with the principal. The students, staff and attending parents enjoy these camps immensely.

Where are we going ?

At St. Rita's we have embraced the principles of Visible Learning. Children are encouraged to have more responsibility for their learning including self-monitoring their own progress. Children can describe what effective learning looks like.

Staff is teaching the 21st century life skills of creating and designing solutions to challenges relevant to their lives. The face of education is evolving and we are committed to skilling our students to meet these ever changing needs.

While St Rita's has a proud sporting tradition, we provide a balanced range of extra-curricular activities that cater for students with other interests and talents, such as Opti-minds, Reader's Cup and Young Performers.

Student Satisfaction

A recent survey of students at St Rita's revealed that students feel happy and relaxed at school. Students agree that their teachers are well prepared for class and deliver lessons that are both engaging and challenging, ensuring high expectations for each child in their care.

Data Last Updated Sun Mar 25 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2016
Reading Average Score for the school 469.898
Average Score for Queensland 427.632
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 431.627
Average Score for Queensland 420.141
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 425.923
Average Score for Queensland 415.204
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 468.035
Average Score for Queensland 439.375
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 433.271
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 530.696
Average Score for Queensland 507.478
% students at or above the national benchmark 84.615%
Writing Average Score for the school 480.539
Average Score for Queensland 474.369
% students at or above the national benchmark 76.923%
Spelling Average Score for the school 504.434
Average Score for Queensland 491.655
% students at or above the national benchmark 84.615%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 547.858
Average Score for Queensland 512.334
% students at or above the national benchmark 84.615%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 529.319
Average Score for Queensland 494.654
% students at or above the national benchmark 84.615%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 26 2017

School Funding By Source
Income 2016

Australian Government recurrent funding$1,278,654

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$274,436

Fees, charges and parent contributions$168,434

Other private sources$62,889

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$1,784,413

Deductions 2016

Income allocated to current capital projects$10,593

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$11,313


Total net recurrent income$1,762,507

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.