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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 99 Sharon County
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Sharon County
Parish PriestFr Saju Tekkanath Joseph
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 2015 are 99 students. The student population at our T.I. campus consists of students from Thursday Island, Hammond Island, Prince of Wales and students who have come from all over mainland Australia.  Many families come for one to two years to work for government departments, health services, local government infrastructure, police and customs services and education.  Part of our school population is therefore transient.

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.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

  • Explicit Teaching Programme - Australian Curriculum English
  • We are a Reef Guardian School
  • We are a Dare to Lead school
  • Cultural Awareness Programmes - The Arts
  • Leadership Programme Year 5/6
  • Language Programme - Chinese Year 4-6
  • Social Emotional Learning Programme

Extra Curricular Activities

  • Homework Club
  • Guitar Club
  • Choir
  • Chess Club
  • Drama Club
  • Sports Club
  • AusKick AFL Football
  • Local sports team participation

Social Climate

  • Pastoral Care Programme including peer mentoring
  • Indigenous Education Liaison Officers
  • 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
  • School Chaplain/Student Welfare Officer

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 indicate that this school is a place of learning in a Christian environment and that prayer and reflection is encouraged. 

Data Last Updated Mon 27 Jun 2016

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 1% 7% 2% 1%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff13 11.7
Non-Teaching Staff 17 9.95
Indigenous 6 4.74

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$5708

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

Explicit Teaching

English and Mathematics

Cultural Awareness

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 days95%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year97.00%

Staff Satisfaction

Staff see this school as a place of learning in a christian environment. 

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 27 2016

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
83.12% 87.55% 87.5% 84.47% 87.92% 84.94% 88.79%
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, or sent home during the day.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

In 2016, we have introduced explicit teaching of  English through the Good to Great School Framework supporting the Australian Curriculum English.

Teachers have utilised the skills of explicit teaching through many other learning areas, supporting and engaging students through varied learning opportunities.

As a school, we have focused on increasing our resources in the areas of Mathematics, Music and Physical Education.

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 have 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 with UPP.

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.






Where are we going ?

In 2016, 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.

We are fortunate to be part of an online learning environment for the teaching of Chinese lessons in Years 4-6, reflecting our place in a global learning culture.


Student Satisfaction

Students enjoy school and feel safe. 

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 27 2016

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2015
Reading Average Score for the school 361.364
Average Score for Queensland 410.764
% students at or above the national benchmark 89.473%
Writing Average Score for the school 290.996
Average Score for Queensland 400.538
% students at or above the national benchmark 63.636%
Spelling Average Score for the school 343.257
Average Score for Queensland 393.185
% students at or above the national benchmark 94.736%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 310.264
Average Score for Queensland 423.055
% students at or above the national benchmark 73.684%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 308.843
Average Score for Queensland 386.145
% students at or above the national benchmark 61.111%

Data Last Updated Wed Jun 22 2016

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2015
Reading Average Score for the school 428.822
Average Score for Queensland 486.738
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 449.476
Average Score for Queensland 464.011
% students at or above the national benchmark 91.666%
Spelling Average Score for the school 450.082
Average Score for Queensland 485.912
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 419.741
Average Score for Queensland 492.985
% students at or above the national benchmark 83.333%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 429.897
Average Score for Queensland 480.54
% students at or above the national benchmark 83.333%

Data Last Updated Wed Jun 22 2016

School Funding By Source
Income 2015

Australian Government recurrent funding$1,399,978

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$243,936

Fees, charges and parent contributions$167,215

Other private sources$44,691

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$1,855,820

Deductions 2015

Income allocated to current capital projects$9,660

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$12,880


Total net recurrent income$1,833,280

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.