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2017 Annual Report for Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, Thursday Is
Motto All for Jesus OLSH Logo col.jpg
Address 7 Normanby Street, THURSDAY ISLAND and HAMMOND ISLAND 4875
Postal Address PO Box 544, THURSDAY ISLAND QLD 4875
Phone Number (07) 4069 2203
Fax Number (07) 4069 1645
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 103 Mr Paul Keenan (Acting)
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mr Paul Keenan (Acting)
Parish PriestFr Paul Muthoottil CFIC
Parish Number (07) 4069 2205

About our School

The first Catholic school on Thursday Island was built around 1900, on the present site of the Sacred Heart Hall.  At this time, the Sacred Heart Fathers had established the first mission in 1884 and a few years later they were joined by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart who started teaching on the verandah of the convent when they arrived.

The Sisters also ran an orphanage, which lasted until 1948. A second campus on Hammond was established around 1936.

In 1968 the Sisters of Mercy took over the running of the school and in 1973 the new school building was built around the old orphanage which was altered to a one level building that served as the library until 2012.

The first Lay Principal of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School was Miss Delia O'Donnell from Melbourne.  The Patrician Brothers were at the school for over 11 years and from 2009 to the end of 2012 we welcomed the Marist Brothers to our school and parish community.  In 2012 we celebrated our 125th birthday.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School  has two campuses, Prep to Year Six on Thursday Island and Pre-Prep to Year 3 on Hammond.  The enrolments for 2017 are 104 students plus 5 Pre Preps on Hammond Island. The student population at our T.I. campus consists of students from Thursday Island, Hammond Island, Prince of Wales, Horn Island and students who have come from all over mainland Australia.  Many families come  to work for government departments, health services, local government infrastructure, police and customs services and education. 

It is our mission to provide a school that uniquely welcomes members of our school community.  We recognise strong parish and school links and value parental environment.

Our school is a vibrant and friendly environment where children and staff of many different origins walk together on the journey of learning for life. OLSH is very much a part of the community and our students attend local community events throughout the year. A history of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School including the history St. Joseph's School Hammond Island written by Br. Barry Lamb was published for the 125th anniversary. Copies are available form the school office.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

  • The Australian Curriculum is taught at OLSH School,
  • We are a Reef Guardian School
  • Across the school Music programme
  • We are a Dare to Lead school
  • Cultural Awareness Programmes - The Arts
  • Leadership Programme Year 5/6
  • Social Emotional Learning Programme

Extra Curricular Activities

  • Homework Club
  • Guitar Club
  • Choir attends Cairns Eisteddfod
  • Chess Club
  • Sports Club
  • AusKick AFL Football
  • Local sports team participation in Basketball, Netball and Rugby League

Social Climate

  • Pastoral Care Programme including peer mentoring
  • Indigenous Liaison Officer
  • Sacramental Programme
  • Positive Behaviour Management Programme
  • "Buddy" system between older and younger students including the 'Better Buddies programme'
  • Social and Emotional Learning programme using Values Education and YCDI
  • Student Representative Council
  • Student Welfare Officer
  • Establishing Friendship Chairs in 2017

Parent Involvement

  • Parent/School Partnership Programmes
  • Parents and Friends Association
  • Parent support throughout classrooms on Thursday and Hammond Islands.
  • Assistance with class fundraising activities
  • Wongai Ball
  • Working Bees
  • Fundraising committees
  • Involvement in cultural activities across both campuses

Parent Satisfaction

Feedback from parents shows that are concerned and care for Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School. The school has a long history with Thursday and Hammond Islands and has been the choice of school for generations of families. Parents expressed concern over the Direct Instruction Teaching Model and the school responded to this feedback. Parents have asked for a refined Behaviour Management Model and that was a specific school goal in Semester 2 2017. Parents are encouraged to attend P and F meetings as they can be forums of discussion and change.

Data Last Updated Wed 06 Jun 2018

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 4% 48% 11% 7%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff14 14
Non-Teaching Staff 13 8.5
Indigenous 7 4.58

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$5431

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

  • Building Relationship with students (Mark Davidson).
  • Parental involvement and relationships.
  • Wellbeing in a remote location.
  • Cultural Awareness and induction to the Torres Strait.
  • The Australian Curriculum Learning Areas - the Arts, Technology, Civics and Citizenship, HASS and HPE.

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 year48.00%

Staff Satisfaction

Staff see the school as a place of learning in a christian environment. The staff indicated that they want to make a difference and support the reintroduction of the Australian Curriculum to classes. Improvements in the staff housing is appreciated. The survey showed that staff are looking for more opportunities in leadership and in developing an all school forum to enact change within Our Lady of the Sacred heart School.


Data Last Updated Wed Jun 06 2018

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
87.59% 90.08% 89.58% 89.02% 88.64% 85.75% 85.44%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Parents contact the school if students are not attending. Unexplained absenteeism is followed up. Late notes are issued and a log kept of children absent. .Parents sign students in and out if either late or leaving early.  The Indigenous Home Liaison Officer contacts families if students have unexplained or extended absences.


The distance travelled

Curriculum support in 2017 is ensuring a smooth transition from the Direct Instruction Model.

With support from our parent community and local businesses and councils, we have provided new take home books to all year levels across Hammond Island and Thursday Island.

Year 5 and 6 students participated in a leadership programme with Unlimited Personal Potential which culminated in a three day camp for Year 6 students. Staff and parents also participated in professional learning opportunities.

Internet access on Hammond Island has been improved and aligned to the equivalent of Thursday Island with links being established between Horn Island, Thursday Island and Hammond Island. This has provided Hammond Island staff and students with the same opportunities for contemporary learning, accessing technology as a tool in their daily learning environment.

This year our Choir has competed in the Cairns Eisteddfod. This has been an excellent community building activity with local performances on Thursday and Hammond Islands. Both events were catered for and raised considerable funds for the trip.

Where are we going ?

In 2017 we are continuing to provide additional resources to our students and staff to complement a contemporary learning environment.

As a school, we are consolidating the implementation of the Australian Curriculum and the new Religious Education Curriculum.

In the latter half of 2017 new Chrome Books and computers will enhance the school's ability to engage students with Information Technology.

The school is developing programmes in Healthy Eating, garden management and energy usage.

Student Satisfaction

OLSH students are proud to be here and they see the Religious aspects of the school as important. There is a belief that respect is generally shown but it could be improved.

Students responses show that doing their best is very important and they involved in a range of extra curricular activities.

They want the school grounds to be cleaner and more space to play. In response the school's grounds have had significant cleaning, mowing and whipper snipping. The basket ball court has been reopened for play increasing the play area.

Data Last Updated Wed Jun 06 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 298.25
Average Score for Queensland 425.2
% students at or above the national benchmark 50%
Writing Average Score for the school 350.85
Average Score for Queensland 402.3
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 344.35
Average Score for Queensland 408.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 75%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 253.7
Average Score for Queensland 437
% students at or above the national benchmark 56.25%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 290.45
Average Score for Queensland 402.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 50%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 458.2
Average Score for Queensland 502.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 77.8%
Writing Average Score for the school 429.7
Average Score for Queensland 461.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 72.2%
Spelling Average Score for the school 473.5
Average Score for Queensland 496.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 88.9%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 411.5
Average Score for Queensland 496
% students at or above the national benchmark 72.2%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 430.8
Average Score for Queensland 490.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 83.3%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

School Funding By Source
Income 2017

Australian Government recurrent funding$2,841,297

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$544,165

Fees, charges and parent contributions$149,361

Other private sources$127,087

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$3,661,910

Deductions 2017

Income allocated to current capital projects$10,320

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$108,146


Total net recurrent income$3,543,444

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.