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2017 Annual Report for St Stephen's Catholic College, Mareeba
Motto Trust in the Lord logo_st_stephens_catholic_mareeba_1.jpg
Address McIver Rd, MAREEBA QLD 4880
Postal Address PO Box 624, MAREEBA QLD 4880
Phone Number (07) 4086 2500
Fax Number (07) 4092 4333
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 547 Mrs Ida Pinese
Year Levels Offered 7-12
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mrs Ida Pinese
Parish PriestFather John Sullivan
Parish Number (07) 4092 1077

About our School

St Stephen's Catholic College is administered by the Catholic Diocese of Cairns and provides a quality Catholic secondary education for students in the Tablelands, Kuranda and Mossman areas. The college has a stable staff who reside predominantly in the Tablelands area. With the relocation of a historic chapel to the college site in 2015, there is now a sacred space for staff and students to further develop their faith formation.

Situated on 28 hectares on the outskirts of Mareeba, St Stephen's Catholic College focuses on providing opportunities for young men and women to achieve their personal best. The college provides a holistic curriculum to enable students to grow academically, socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Students are viewed as life-long learners who will be given opportunities to utilise their talents by being a presence of Christ in our world.

Our parents value the firm boundaries, excellent learning environment, quality teaching and the modern facilities which our College offers. Fostering a sense of family has been an integral part of St Stephen's since the foundation years. This connectedness with families and the wider community is based on shared values and translates to forming a school culture that enhances student achievement in a holistic manner. In 2015, the college also formed a sister school agreement with Sano Nihon Daigaku Secondary College in Sano City, Japan. This will strengthen cultural ties between students in both schools.

In 2017, the year 12 cohort achieved outstanding results. While 100% of students attained a QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education), 40.48% of the 42 OP-eligible students achieved a score between 1 and 5 and 92.86% obtained a result between 1 and 15. This placed St Stephen's in 13th in the state based on the percentage between 1 and 5. There was also 100% of QTAC applicants with a tertiary offer. In terms of VET (Vocational Educational and Training) 22 out of 67 students completed a VET certificate with 6 students in a School Based Apprenticeship/Traineeship.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

St Stephen's seeks to build on its reputation, established in its foundation years, of providing a curriculum structure which supports the diverse needs of students. With the integration of the Australian Curriculum, the college continues to modify teaching and learning programs to meet mandatory requirements. A broadening of the curriculum has occurred as larger cohorts progress to senior years. With an enrolment of 561 students in 2018, the college provides students with both academic and vocational pathways. These vocational pathways are enhanced by the provision of certificate courses in the college's Trade Training Centre. In addition, a recent focus on the Arts has enriched curriculum offerings. This has been aided by the completion of the Music Block for the 2018 school year. An emphasis on STEM, through the offering of Robotics as a subject, has also provided more learning opportunities for students. With the implementation of a one to one device programme for years 7 and 10, to be rolled out to all students by 2020, there has been much progress made in incorporating technology in the classroom. (The introduction of a learning management system, Canvas, has provided students with the ability to access class work offline when not at school.)

Structure of the Curriculum:

Years 7 to 10:

  • Core subjects include Religion, Mathematics, Science, English, History/Geography and Health and Physical Education (years 7 to 10)
  • Year 7 & 8 students study minor core subjects on rotation
  • Core classes in Mathematics and English are purposefully grouped to provide opportunities for extension or learning support.
  • Electives are studied for one or two semesters in year 9 and for both semesters in year 10. Students choose two electives from a range of options.
  • Religion is a rigorous, distinctive learning area. (Includes a Sacramental Program)
  • Languages: Japanese

Years 11 and 12:

  • Students may choose authority subjects contributing to an over all position (OP) or authority-registered subjects which are geared towards a vocational pathway.
  • Vocational Education and Training certificate courses are available in the areas of Engineering, Furnishings
  • Students may also access certificate courses through an outside provider such as TAFE and participate in School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
  • Opportunities exist for students to study subjects not offered by the College through an external provider (School of Distance Education) or through online courses.
  • The college is currently preparing for the implementation of the new QCE system with year 11 in 2019 when both the current (with year 12) and the new system are in operation.

Extra Curricular Activities

Diverse Sporting Opportunities

Public Speaking


Retreats and camps

Combined Schools Band

Tutorial Support

Gifted and Talented (Readers Cup, Chess, Mathematics camp, Optiminds)

Instrumental Music, School Choir and Liturgy Band

Social Justice Committee

Student Representative Council

Overseas cultural experiences

Work Experience Program

Social Climate

The culture of our College is based on the following:

  • An emphasis on being a part of the college family and community.
  • A welcoming culture that promotes positive relationships.
  • A co-educational school which affirms the equality of persons.
  • An acknowledgment of achievement in all aspects of college life.
  • The college focuses on developing partnerships between students, teachers and carers.
  • Students are encouraged to build successful relationships, communicate effectively and achieve their personal best.
  • Development of respect for others, responsibility for one's learning and the development of confident, young people who are morally autonomous and have an awareness of God's presence.
  • PRIDE: perseverance, respect, integrity, dignity and excellence: values which are promoted and fostered

Parent Involvement

  • Parents & Friends Association Meetings on a regular basis with a presence at signature events such as Subject Selection and Meet and Greet Evenings
  • Monthly College Board meetings
  • Regular Parent / Teacher Interviews, following reports
  • Parental involvement in school camps, retreats, excursions, sporting carnivals and other extra-curricular activities

Parent Satisfaction

Survey responses were received from 46 out of 94 eligible respondents. This is a response rate of 49%. The college recorded an overall satisfaction score of 78%. Feedback was as follows:

  • Best practice: Leadership, Resources
  • Fair to good: Learning and Teaching, Improvement Processes, Catholic Ethos

There were no areas identified as requiring attention or immediate action.

Data Last Updated Thu 17 May 2018

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 11% 58% 28% 11%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff59 50.33
Non-Teaching Staff 31 21.73
Indigenous 0 0

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$13305

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

In 2017 the following professional development initiatives were provided for teaching staff: 

  •   Trewth Conference 2017
  •   Mandatory Training in Code of Conduct, Student Protection Training, Workplace Harassment, Curriculum Risk Management (SALT)
  • DSE Training
  • Mission, Curriculum and Pastoral initiatives 
  • Australian Curriculum planning at CES and QCAA, including new senior school changes for 2019 
  • Development of Catholic Identity
  • Professional Learning on promoting a culture of feedback
  • E-Learning updates
  • Staff retreat opportunities


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 year85.00%

Staff Satisfaction

Survey responses were received from 56 out of 74 eligible respondents. This equates to a response rate  of 76%. Staff recorded an overall satisfaction score of 82%. 

Feedback was as follows:

  • Best practice areas: Resources, Leadership, Catholic Ethos, Staff Engagement, Improvement Processes

Data Last Updated Thu May 17 2018

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
YR 7YR 8 YR 9 YR 10 YR 11 YR 12
92.94% 93.24% 91.93% 92.89% 92.15% 93.3%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

  • Student attendance is effectively monitored with students expected to participate in all curricular and co-curricular activities offered by the College.
  • Parents are required to notify the College by 8.30 am of their child's absence. All unexplained absences are followed up by the office staff.


Year 10 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate68
Post-School Destination Information

In 2017, 65.3% of young people who completed Year 12 at St Stephen's Catholic College in 2016 continued in some recognized form of education and training in the year after they left school

The distance travelled

  • The College has a comprehensive training program for students who wish to sit for the QCS (Queensland Core Skills Test)
  • The college has been ranked 13th in Queensland for the year 12 OP results based on the percentage between OP 1 and OP 5
  • The Naplan results in 2017 were also generally above state and national means as a result of the College's efforts to improve numeracy and literacy across all year levels and showed an improvement in the area of writing from 2016
  • With the offering of Music from years 7 to 12, choices for students have been expanded.
  • The Robotics course for years 7 to 10 has also enhanced students' engagement and provided a focus for STEMS

Where are we going ?

  • Moving to incorporate the new senior system in 2019 and adding more subjects in the senior school
  • Implementing a 1 to 1 with years 7, 8, 10 & 11  
  • Construction of a multi-purpose hall and auditorium with proposed completion by the end of the 2019 school year
  • Introduction of two more VET certificates with outside RTO's

Student Satisfaction

The survey response rate from students was 85%. The College achieved an overall satisfaction score of 71%. Key feedback areas included: Catholic Ethos, Leadership, Resources, Improvement Processes and Learning and Teaching. Fair to good areas included: Resources, Learning and Teaching, Leadership, Catholic Ethos and Improvement Processes.

Data Last Updated Fri Sep 14 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 7, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 560
Average Score for Queensland 540.3
% students at or above the national benchmark 98%
Writing Average Score for the school 540.4
Average Score for Queensland 502.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 95%
Spelling Average Score for the school 562.5
Average Score for Queensland 546
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 567.1
Average Score for Queensland 537.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 97%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 565.6
Average Score for Queensland 549.2
% students at or above the national benchmark 99%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 9, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 597.7
Average Score for Queensland 574.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 96%
Writing Average Score for the school 577.8
Average Score for Queensland 541.309997
% students at or above the national benchmark 87.9%
Spelling Average Score for the school 585.5
Average Score for Queensland 576.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 96%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 601.1
Average Score for Queensland 573.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 96%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 599.4
Average Score for Queensland 585.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 99%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

Year 12 Outcomes

Number of students awarded a Senior Statement. 67

Number of students awarded a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement. 0

Number of students awarded a Queensland Certificate of Education at the end of Year 12.67

Number of students awarded an International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD).

Number of students awarded one or more Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications.22

Number of students who are completing or completed a School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SAT).6

Number of students who received an Overall Position (OP).42

Percentage of OP/IBD students who received an OP 1-15 or an IBD.93%

Percentage of Year 12 students who are completing or completed a SAT or were awarded one or more of the following: QCE, IBD, VET qualification.100%

Percentage of Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre applicants receiving a tertiary offer.100%

Data Last Updated Fri Sep 21 2018

School Funding By Source
Income 2017

Australian Government recurrent funding$6,619,096

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$2,929,465

Fees, charges and parent contributions$1,783,093

Other private sources$220,021

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$11,551,675

Deductions 2017

Income allocated to current capital projects$198,459

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$425,470


Total net recurrent income$10,927,746

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.