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St Rita's School, Babinda
Motto Under God's Protection St Ritas Logo.jpg
Address 7-13 Church St, BABINDA QLD 4861
Postal Address PO Box 363, BABINDA QLD 4861
Phone Number (07) 4067 1467
Fax Number NIL
Email Address secretary.babinda@cns.catholic.edu.au
Web Site http://www.stritasbabinda.qld.edu.au
Total Enrolments 36 Mrs Judy Billiau
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mrs Judy Billiau
Parish PriestFr Kerry Crowley PP
Parish Number (07) 4067 1292

About our School

With just under 40 enrolments, St Rita’s School, Babinda is a small school with a big spirit!

Our Vision...

St. Rita’s will be a compassionate and supportive community built on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, specifically incorporating the Mercy Values which are lived out. We will be a values-based community reaching out to and welcoming the wider community. Our strong school spirit will shine. St. Rita’s will be a school in which every member is respectful of self and others. Learners will be Christ-centred, diverse, independent, reflective and connect and engage with the wider community.  The strong Curriculum, Teaching and Learning will be viewed as life-long, holistic and contemporary, using real-life learning experiences. Students will be achieving to their potential and encouraged to excel. 

The school’s core values of Learning, Respect, Community, Faith are truly lived at St Rita’s and embody our school culture. According to Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy who began St Rita’s in 1926, education is the essential ingredient in the betterment of both individuals and society. At St Rita’s we adopt this philosophy, as we strive for excellence in education, enabling each child to achieve to the best of their ability so that they can contribute purposefully to their community, both now and in the future.

The education we offer at St Rita’s is a child-centred, holistic one. We promote learning and growth that focuses not only on curriculum and the academic basics of a good education, but the development of the "whole child", cognitively, spiritually,physically, socially, emotionally and creatively. Our high quality and reflective teaching practices together with the nurturing of school-wide positive relationships are qualities that are highly valued by our families.

At St Rita’s, Babinda we have optimum class sizes and high teacher to student ratios for individualised teaching and learning. A reflective learning approach means that students are always improving and we encourage them to take self-responsibility for behaviour and learning. Parental involvement is always welcomed at St Rita’s, where we celebrate success in learning.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) is integrated into teaching and learning and the school enjoys a very high student to computer and mobile device ratio, and an increasing bank of laptops, Chromebooks and iPads. All students in our senior classroom are allocated an iPad and Chromebook for classroom and home usage. Facilities and buildings have recently been upgraded; with a modern, well-resourced library, undercover all-purpose courts and interactive play equipment. Since 2014, a specialised Computer Lab is used for ICT lessons for all our classes.

Above all, our amazingly dedicated and passionate staff ‘go the extra mile’ for the children. At St Rita’s we are preparing our ‘country-hearted’ students for the future in a rural setting by cultivating and harvesting life-long learners! We offer a value for money, quality education that is faith and values based. Our fees are affordable and concessions are available so that no family seeking a Catholic education for their child will be denied on the basis of genuine financial difficulty.

 

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

A truly authentic Catholic Education at St Rita’s is about having the Social and Emotional competencies as well as Religious Education and Faith Life infused into all Learning Areas. Children’s academic performance is very much dependent upon good learning behaviours and social competencies. These are explicitly taught at St Rita’s. Our Program Achieve (You Can Do It) curriculum and the 'Play is the Way' program specifically teach children the essential skills for success as a person and learner. This, together with the Religious Education learning experiences provide children with the foundations of a meaningful and joy-filled life.

Mathematics and English skills are foundational and core to all learning and so a strong emphasis on these is taken at St Rita’s. All other Learning Areas such as Science, Geography, History, Civics and Citizenship, The Arts, Languages (Japanese) and Health and Physical Education dovetail these.

Beginning in 2012, St Rita’s has begun teaching the Australian Curriculum in English, Mathematics and Science. All other curriculum areas have been rolled out since that time, including The Arts, Civics and Citizenship, Languages Other Than English, Health and Physical Education and Technology. Our staff has had extensive and thorough preparation for this and this continues. This year teachers are participating in a special project aimed at improving the teaching of literacy through the employment of a school-based Literacy Coach. Using this coaching model, classroom teachers will learn how to plan and teach explicit lessons in Grammar and Punctuation and Writing. he re-introduction of  Japanese lessons has been welcomed by the school community this year, with all classes having weekly LOTE lessons with Mr Bohdan Cormick.

With the added support of a specialist teacher to assist classroom teachers with direct instruction in reading and writing, our children’s literacy learning opportunities are enhanced greatly. Our teachers are developing knowledge of the Explicit Instruction pedagogy and we have sourced a school-based Literacy Coach. Similarly, the engagement of an Indigenous Liaison Officer, Miss Tua Snowball, who provides valuable support to our indigenous students and their families.

Our multi-aged class groupings (Prep/Year1, Year 2/3/4 and Year 5/6), together with small class sizes, make for the ideal learning environment for children. Students are able to receive more personal and individual instruction in their learning. Greater flexibility is able to be achieved in teaching and learning with students in direct response to their academic needs at the time. Students who require additional support, as well as students who are ready for the challenge of higher level learning, are easily catered for in the multi-aged setting. 

Extra Curricular Activities

Students within the school participate in a range of activities and competitions to meet their interests levels and expertise.

  1. 'Dance Fever' - students have the oportunity to learn specialised dance moves in a term long program each year. Specialist dance teachers come to the school to deliver intensive lessons to all students helping to develop confidence and skills in movement.
  2. Year 5/6 participate in an outdoor program through an overnight camp. Students learn social skills and enhance their problem solving and getting along skills.
  3. Our students from Years 3 - 6 participate in the ICAS testing for English and Maths, giving students the opportunity to sit tests and for those who need it, a challenge.
  4. To enhance the Health and Physical Education program, we have a specialist P.E. teacher who teaches weekly lessons, and a Perceptual Motor Program for the Prep - Year 3 students.
  5. Senior students participate in sporting activity offered by the Mulgrave sports districts; involvement is encouraged in interschool athletics, cross country and gala day sports.

Social Climate

St Rita’s School underwent a community-wide consultation process about how the community at St Rita’s wanted their school to be. Out of that process has been a renewed and refreshed focus on our newly adopted values that underpin the culture of the school.Those values are LearningRespectCommunity and Faith.

We embarked on a major program of explicitly teaching these values to the children and also inviting parents to be a part of that process. These actions have had a really positive effect on the community, resulting in a very positive and supportive school environment. Our students feel very safe and engaged in their learning because we have such high standards in our students; we expect our students to behave in a particular way that assists their learning.

Staff members are working really hard  to improve that relationship they have with the student to create an environment within the classroom that’s really conducive to top quality learning. It’s all about our community – a true authentic Christian community, where people feel welcome, they feel valued, they feel like they’re listened to, they feel like we really develop the "whole child", spiritually as well, because in a secular world spiritual nourishment and spiritual development are crucial and make all the difference to people’s well being.

At St Rita’s School, we really are living our values. When there is a breach of acceptable behaviour, including bullying, incidents are followed up with consequences. We aim to use each incident as an opportunity for learning for the students. If there is evidence of bullying, we involve staff, school counsellor, students and parents in a process of identifying the causes and work together to find ways to address it.

Parent Involvement

The school community recognises and encourages parents as the primary educators of their children and works in partnership with all families to help children achieve to their potential.  Parents are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the life of the school in many ways. Whether it be classroom assistance, covering books in the Library, making resources or being an active member of the P&F, all parent participation is highly valued at St Rita's. The students and families are encouraged to be active members of the local Babinda community through events such as the Harvest Festival.

Parent volunteers co-ordinate the tuckshop one day a week, providing nutritious and healthy food for the staff and students. They are also involved in a roster system to mow and tend the gardens, contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal of the school. All parents are members of the school Parents and Friends Association. In the spirit of community and valuing your child’s education, parents are encouraged to take an active role in the life of the school through the P&F Committee.

Parent Satisfaction

Parents believe that St Rita's is a place of learning in a Christian environment and that the school delivers a Religious Education program that is values-based and meets student's needs. All parents reported that the teachers were enthusiastic and that the staff was approachable. All said that the school has high standards of student behaviour and that they are encouraged to be involved in the whole school and classroom activities.

 

Data Last Updated Fri 30 Jun 2017

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 0% 41% 24% 6%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff7 4.82
Non-Teaching Staff 10 3.24
Indigenous 0 0

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$1599

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

All St Rita's teaching staff undertakes extensive Professional Development needed for the most effective introduction of the Australian Curriculum in the areas of English, Maths, Science, History and Geography. This year, preparation has commenced for the introduction of the H.P.E. and Civics & Citizenship curriculum in 2015. Outside the classroom, staff has kept up-to-date with the wide range of policies and procedures  needed to provide a safe and secure learning environment for St Rita's students.

All staff members, both teachers and school officers, have enhanced their professional development by engagement in the following professional development opportunities:

"First Steps" Writing and Spelling

'Reading Eggs' e-learning programs

'Visible Learning' pedagogy

Explicit Instruction coaching in Literacy and Numeracy

Religous Education in the areas of Scripture, Prayer, Christian Meditation and the Sisters of Mercy.

Behaviour Management - "Essential Skills" of  Classroom Management

Social and Emotional Learning and "Circle Time" positive relationship programs

Peer Support Training and Peer Mentoring in the classrooms

Catholic Education Services Curriculum Conference

'TREWTH' Conference

Breakthrough Coaching

Student Protection training

Workplace, Health & Safety training

NAPLAN Analysis Training

Consistency of Teacher Judgement Training

 

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days99%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year63.00%

Staff Satisfaction

All staff strongly agreed that St Rita's School was a place of learning in a Christian environment which encourages the development of the "whole child". Staff members believe that they have a strong commitment to student learning and the achievement of best results for each individual student. They value the professional development opportunities which have been provided for them to achieve this goal, and staff members agree that their role is valued and respected in the school.

 

Data Last Updated Fri Jun 30 2017

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
90.82% 91.8% 93.05% 88.77% 94.18% 93.63% 98%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

St Rita's families are reminded frequently in the school newsletter and at assemblies about the importance of attendance and being at school on time.

The school has processes and procedures in place to address lateness and non-attendance. Following the marking of the roll each morning, unexplained absences are actioned by the school administration officer. If parents have not contacted the school prior to the completion of the roll, a phone call is made and the reason recorded. A Sign-in Register is used for students who arrive late and depart early from school.

The distance travelled

The additional support in the teaching of Literacy, by engaging a specialist Literacy Enrichment Teacher, has resulted in high quality learning for the students. This year, our staff has continued to receive coaching on the Explicit Instruction pedagogy to also enhance student learning. With the introduction of the Australian Curriculum, there has been a strong focus on best practice in teaching of English and Maths at St Rita's.

 

Where are we going ?

St Rita’s continues to focus on the introduction of the Australian Curriculum in the areas of English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, H.P.E. and Civics & Citizenship. With this has come the revision of best practice in teaching to improve the learning of students in these areas. Staff is currently undertaking those professional development programs needed for the introduction of  the 'Visible Learning' pedagogy introduced into the classrooms in 2016.

The development of Social and Emotional skills across the school continues to be a high priority with the introduction of Peer Support for the students. All students participate in regular "Circle Time" social learning experiences in their classrooms. St Rita's believes that the development of personal relationships between students is vital in the creation of safe and happy classroom learning environments.

 

Student Satisfaction

Students at St Rita's agree that their teachers care and support them and that all members of the school staff expect students to strive to do their best.  Most students agree that their teacher encourages them to improve the standard of their work. All students feel safe and happy at our school and most feel that they are treated fairly.

Data Last Updated Fri Jun 30 2017

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2016
Reading Average Score for the school 437.663
Average Score for Queensland 427.632
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 449.467
Average Score for Queensland 420.141
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 438.417
Average Score for Queensland 415.204
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 500.276
Average Score for Queensland 439.375
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 430.175
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 496.182
Average Score for Queensland 507.478
% students at or above the national benchmark 90%
Writing Average Score for the school 466.29
Average Score for Queensland 474.369
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 480.871
Average Score for Queensland 491.655
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 517.744
Average Score for Queensland 512.334
% students at or above the national benchmark 90%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 475.867
Average Score for Queensland 494.654
% students at or above the national benchmark 90%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 26 2017

School Funding By Source
Income 2016

Australian Government recurrent funding$872,652

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$82,775

Fees, charges and parent contributions$48,322

Other private sources$11,050

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$1,014,799


Deductions
Deductions 2016

Income allocated to current capital projects$2,606

Income allocated to future capital projects and diocesan capital funds$2,892

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$0


Subtotal$5,498

Total net recurrent income$1,009,301


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.