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2017 Annual Report for Good Counsel Primary School, Innisfail
Motto Seek, Learn and Serve GC-Primary-Innisfail.jpg
Address 96 Rankin Street, INNISFAIL QLD 4860
Postal Address 96 Rankin Street, INNISFAIL QLD 4860
Phone Number (07) 4061 2994
Fax Number (07) 4061 2271
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 305 Mr Liam M Kenny
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mr Liam M Kenny
Parish PriestFr Kerry Crowley
Parish Number (07) 4061 6633

About our School

Good Counsel Primary School is a co-educational Catholic Parish school and is part of the Diocese of Cairns. The school is located in Innisfail, a small rural township, 80km south of Cairns and 270km north of Townsville.

Good Counsel Primary School was named in 1975 but for 72 years prior to this date was known as the Sacred Heart Convent. The school has a great history forged by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan who sailed into Geraldton, as Innisfail was known, on October 21, 1903. Sacred Heart School opened and the Sisters commenced lessons on Monday November 2, 1903, with an enrolment of 42 students.

Continuing a tradition in North Queensland, Good Counsel Primary School was initially headed by the Good Samaritan Sisters followed for a short period of time by the Marist Brothers. In 1982 the first lay Principal was appointed and 1990 saw the final year of religious presence in the school with the withdrawal of the Good Samaritan Sisters.

The school, with its central location, sweeping views of the beautiful Johnstone River and overview of the central business district, places emphasis upon the whole child within a caring family-oriented atmosphere.

A high community profile, strong partnership with the local Parish and Good Counsel Secondary College, an emphasis and respect for the role of parents in their children's education, and an enthusiasm to enhance current curriculum trends and innovations, makes for a dynamic, focused and diverse approach to education for tomorrow.

At present the staff comprises 14 full-time teachers, Learning Support teachers, specialist Arts and HPE teachers, and school officers, employed in various capacities and programs; part-time groundsman, cleaners, an Assistant to the Principal - Religious Education, Curriculum Support Teacher, administration staff, part-time IT technicians, part-time Student Counsellor and a Principal. Teachers are fully registered with the College of Queensland Teachers and many hold Bachelor degrees or higher. The Staff is comprised of a mix of experienced and early career  teachers, all with a strong commitment to Catholic Education.

Physically the school comprises two main teaching blocks - double storey administration, theatrette and library block, music, technology and art purpose built learning areas; two Prep units, two adventure playground areas, covered area with ablution block, storage, tuckshop facilities and a multi-purpose hall - Good Samaritan Hall. 

Classrooms are spacious, well resourced and arranged to provide an excellent opportunity for focussed student learning.  Over the past eight years extensive building upgrades have been undertaken to refurbish and extend classroom teaching areas, library, technology, staff resource area and a state of the art theatrette. These facilities provide a fabulous area for teaching and learning. 

Good Counsel Primary School has an obligation to maintain a safe, physical and emotional environment for students, staff and parents. Our behaviour management policy and practices not only aim to maintain a safe school environment, but also address the need of students to accept personal responsibility for their actions.  This combined with an agreed pastoral care for all will reflect the respect for the learning needs of all students.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

The school is well resourced in all Learning Areas and teachers are regularly in-serviced to keep abreast of curriculum developments. A Curriculum Support Team facilitates the implementation of all Australian Curriculum documents and assists teachers in day to day planning and classroom management.

The Religious Education Curriculum follows the Brisbane Guidelines as required by the Diocese of Cairns. A religious focus is evident across all curriculum areas and the message of Christ is promoted throughout the school community.

A Curriculum Support  Teacher advises teachers on the management and resourcing of literacy and numeracy groups to cater for the needs of all students and how to engage students in meaningful and challenging teaching experiences.

Numeracy and Literacy are areas of major focus and efforts are made to cater for individual differences, both at the higher and lower levels of academic attainment. The Learning Support teachers are employed to facilitate these objectives. The school has successfully implemented Role M Maths that assists students in numeracy development from Prep to Year 4.  Additional small group assistance is provided in the area of Literacy with a focus on reading, writing, spelling and comprehension.

The introduction of Early Intervention Programs for students Prep - Year 3 provides additional assistance for small groups to target English as a Second Language, Maths and Literacy with qualified teachers three days each week.  Extension activities each Friday caters for those students from Year 4-6 requiring extension to develop their creative thinking skills.

Mini Bots and Tech Heads are extension programs for students in Year 3-6 that provide  technology exposure to robotics, coding and circuit design activities in addition to classroom curriculum offerings.

The school has a proud tradition within the Performing Arts area, with considerable involvement and success in activities such as Young Performers and Eisteddford competitions.  Our school choir has represented our school at the St Patrick's Concert and many Local and District events throughout the year.

The social and emotional well being of our children is underpinned by Program Achieve and  'Social Emotional Learning' (SEL) . 

Our approach ensures that high standards of teaching are maintained in all curriculum areas, that students receive a well-rounded education, and that particular talents are developed in any given area of the curriculum.

In addition, GCPS provides students with a range of opportunities to enter competitions such as the ICAS competitions in English, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Spelling, and Technology. Students are also encouraged to participate in the Maths Olympiad, Reader's Cup and Anzac competitions. Students have an opportunity to participate in representative sports including cross country, netball, athletics, soccer, cricket, rugby league, rugby union, softball, futsal, league tag, touch football and tennis. The school participates in district inter-school sport for students from Years 3-6 during Terms 3 and 4.

Extra Curricular Activities

The following are important characteristics of the school's overall extra curricular offerings:-

  • School Choir
  • Class Young Performers
  • Reader's Cup
  • Instrumental Music Lessons
  • Curriculum focussed Excursions
  • Mini-Vinnies Student Committees
  • Student Council Executive
  • Mathematics Olympiad Competition
  • ICAS Competitions
  • Year 6 Charters Towers- Longreach Outback Camp
  • Year 5 Tinaroo Camp  
  • Year 4 Tableland Excursion
  • Prep - Year 3 Local curriculum based excursions
  • School Rugby League teams 10- 12 year olds 
  • School Futsal teams Junior and Senior
  • School Netball teams Junior and Senior
  • Tech Heads and Mini Bots - extension robotics, coding and circuit design
  • Extension Groups for creative thinkers

Social Climate

Good Counsel Primary has a culture of being welcoming to all in its community, where each person is viewed as important and valued. The school prides itself on encouraging its students to be self disciplined and providing an environment where students can learn without disruption. Students are encouraged to maintain appropriate standards of behaviour and to respect the rights of all individuals - " Each child has the right to learn".

GCPS draws its student population from the surrounding Cassowary Coast Region, with families choosing a Catholic education and travelling from as far as Mission Beach to the south, East Palmerston to the west and Babinda to the north.

Good Counsel recognises the importance of parents as the first educators of their children and actively encourages parental involvement. Through the Parents and Friends Association, parents have a role in determining future direction for the school. Parents are also encouraged to assist in classrooms so that children can enjoy their presence at school and play an active role in assisting with student reading, literacy, maths and technology rotations. Meet and Greet Nights are organised by the Parents and Friends Association and have been very successful opportunities for families to meet and mix socially. These nights are combined with the Student Council Discos and Games nights that promote and celebrate the importance of families spending time and having fun together.

The school is in very close proximity with Good Counsel College and shares a combined Schools Board made up of a cross section of Parents from the Schools' communities. The Board assists the Principals in the development of policy and in the future educational directions of the schools. Given this relationship, Good Counsel Primary is ideally placed for those families looking for a linked Prep - Year 12 education for their children.

The social fabric of our community is further supported by the School Counsellor, the Learning Support teachers, family involvement in Social Emotional Learning, and the operation of a strong 'Mini-Vinnies' Association that focus on service for others.

Parent Involvement

At Good Counsel Primary we encourage strong parental involvement in the life of our school. We believe that children more easily achieve their true potential when parents feel comfortable being an active part of school life.

Each of us has different gifts to share and generous sharing enriches our school and benefits each individual - both adult and child. Staff at Good Counsel Primary are always happy and open in their sharing with parents. In partnership, parents and teachers,  feel it is important to share not only the aspects of what is being done but also the how and why.  Parents want the best education for their children and our Teachers are willing to work diligently to assist in this process.

Parental  involvement is facilitated through the following organisations and activities:-

  • Parents and Friends Association
  • Combined Schools' Board
  • Mother of Good Counsel Feast Day
  • Activity Nights (Prep)
  • Friday Prayer Assemblies
  • Mother's Day Morning Tea
  • Father's Day Activities 
  • Class Assistance Programmes
  • Parent Information Meetings
  • Oral and Written Reports - interviews
  • Cultural Theme days
  • Grandparents' Day
  • Reconciliation Week
  • NAIDOC Celebrations
  • Class open days
  • Camps/Excursions
  • Sports days
  • Talent Showcase
  • Liturgies - both class and whole school
  • Christmas Concert
  • Under 8's Day and related celebratory days

Parent Satisfaction

MYP Corporation were engaged to conduct a comprehensive survey of Parents across five areas of the school - Catholic Ethos, Learning and Teaching, Resources, Improvement Process and Leadership.  130 survey respondents returned a survey which was substantial.  All 5 areas received an excellent rating.  90% of parents agreed that GCPS is a welcoming and caring community where everyone is treated with respect.  95% of parents agreed that at GCPS each child is encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability.  98% agreed that GCPS has a good reputation in the community.cccc

Data Last Updated Thu 14 Jun 2018

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 2% 45% 13% 2%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff27 21.8
Non-Teaching Staff 26 13.38
Indigenous 0 0

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$20718

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

Throughout 2017 staff at GCPS engaged in a number of significant Professional Development opportunities that continued throughout the year as topics for Professional Learning Teams (PLTs). Many of these began in 2016 and were continued to be embedded and developed throughout the year.

Visible Learning and effective classroom feedback progressed with staff meeting regularly to discuss and develop what an Effective Learner at GCPS would look like, explore the dispositions of Effective Learners, develop lesson plans and the "how" of implementation.

To keep an ongoing focus with the previous year's Seven Steps to Writing Success, teachers workshopped Writing with JoAnne Dooner which built on knowledge of content, delivery and assessment. 

Staff worked collaboratively to articulate clear goal setting and continued to develop and refine planning documents which are stored centrally on the School Portal.

Technology was a major focus once again with 4 staff travelling to Melbourne to the Future Schools Conference.  They attended a variety of sessions related to the Digital Technologies Curriculum.  Various Technology clubs have been set up by staff with a focus on robotics and coding. 

Teachers welcomed opportunities to network and engage in rich conversations about matters that related to their classroom practice. Visible Learning focusing on effective classroom feedback has enhanced the practice of teachers.

The continuation of a Literacy Coach has been welcomed by staff and aided in strengthening teacher skills in the area of direct classroom teaching, with a major focus on Writing. The coach advised teachers on the management and resourcing of literacy groups to cater for the needs of all students and allowed time for teachers to work collaboratively on planning, teaching and programming.




Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days96%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year89.00%

Staff Satisfaction

MYP Corporation were engaged to conduct a comprehensive survey to gain feedback across 5 areas of the school. Leadership, Resources, Learning and Teaching, Improvement Process and Catholic Ethos were the identifiable areas. 33 respondents completed the survey. 100% of staff agreed that GCPS provides high quality services to parents and students and that their team members work productively together. 97% of staff agree that GCPS delivers quality educational outcomes for students.

Data Last Updated Thu Jun 14 2018

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
91.57% 94.24% 93.62% 94.6% 94.71% 95.09% 95.33%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

At Good Counsel Primary it is an expectation that parents make verbal or written contact with the class teacher or administration if their child is absent on a particular day. If students have unexplained absences, parents are contacted. Should students be absent for a period of more than two school days in a row the teacher will offer to organise work to be completed at home. If a pattern of unexplained absences occurs then the parents are contact and an interview with the Principal is organised. All class rolls have tables to indicate the variety of reasons that a child could be absent from school on a particular day. These are saved to the data base and stored at Administration. If Indigenous students are away then the Indigenous Liaison Officer will follow up with the family via a phone call. Our Community Liaison Officer meets with the Principal when required to assist with family visits related to truant students.

The distance travelled

 Learning Support and Curriculum staff have worked to develop an appropriate analysis technique for the 'at risk' students who require additional support. This information has been collated and analysed to guide the allocation of support staff to students. In addition, using the NAPLAN testing results to guide improved classroom teaching also directly assisted students.  Role M Mathematics, Rainbow Reading and Comprehension, ESL intensive teaching and other small but effective early intervention strategies have been funded by the school to support students not achieving appropriate bench marks.

Where are we going ?

The staff at GCPS has identified the need for a monitoring system to track students in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy. Our Learning Support team and Curriculum staff are continuing work with the tracking of students through their years of schooling.

Data gathered from the MYP Corporation comprehensive satisfaction survey is utilized to guide future planning. Our School Annual Improvement Plan 2017 is based on data collected from the survey and aims to develop a culture of continual and directed school improvement to assist our student and adult learners achieve the best results possible. Building teacher capacity by supporting them with innovative and targeted Professional Development and Coaching opportunities will enhance learning for the students in their classrooms. A focus on reading, writing, mathematics and science has been identified as areas for improvement in 2017. The development of targeted extension groups in the area of robotics, coding and circuits will also enhance the technology curriculum.

Student Satisfaction

MYP Corporation were engaged to survey students from Years 2 - 6 across five areas of the school - Leadership, Learning and Teaching, Resources, Improvement and Catholic Ethos.  136 surveys were received with 94% of students being proud to be a student at GCPS.  99% of students agreed that they were doing their best at school and that this is important to them.  89% of students agreed that they are encouraged to do the best they can.  87% agreed that they use technology regularly at school.

Data Last Updated Thu Jun 14 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 417.716
Average Score for Queensland 427.632
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.674%
Writing Average Score for the school 416.706
Average Score for Queensland 420.141
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 396.804
Average Score for Queensland 415.204
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.727%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 432.932
Average Score for Queensland 439.375
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.727%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 391.42
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, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 517.731
Average Score for Queensland 507.478
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.674%
Writing Average Score for the school 479.508
Average Score for Queensland 474.369
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.349%
Spelling Average Score for the school 490.304
Average Score for Queensland 491.655
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.674%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 526.848
Average Score for Queensland 512.334
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.674%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 504.688
Average Score for Queensland 494.654
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.674%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 26 2017

School Funding By Source
Income 2017

Australian Government recurrent funding$3,053,802

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$799,787

Fees, charges and parent contributions$420,104

Other private sources$93,158

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$4,366,851

Deductions 2017

Income allocated to current capital projects$34,175

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$133,020


Total net recurrent income$4,199,656

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.