Select a School
2017 Annual Report for Mount St Bernard College, Herberton
Motto Luceat Lux Vestra 'Let Your Light Shine' Final _ Correct MSB Logo 2.jpg
Address 15 Broadway, HERBERTON QLD 4887
Postal Address PO Box 14, HERBERTON QLD 4887
Phone Number (07) 4096 1444
Fax Number (07) 4096 2509
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 191 David Finch
Year Levels Offered 7-12
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal David Finch
Parish PriestFr Barry Craig
Parish Number (07) 4091 1125

About our School

Mount St Bernard College is located at Herberton, on the Atherton Tablelands. Established in 1921 by the Sisters of Mercy as a day and boarding school, the College enjoys a proud history and a rich tradition.

The Sisters of Mercy began their educational ministry in the Herberton district over 100 years ago with the opening of St Patrick's Parish Catholic primary school in 1910. Responding to the changing educational needs in far north Queensland, the original Sisters of Mercy Boarding School, St Mary's Cooktown, was moved to Herberton in 1921. The Sisters of Mercy gifted the college to the Diocese of Cairns in February 2006 and it is now administered by Cairns Catholic Education Services.

As a Catholic school, Mount St Bernard College is open to all who support its values and are seeking a holistic education. The College serves local students from the Tablelands district and welcomes as boarders students from rural and remote areas of the Far North and North West of Queensland. Mount St Bernard College also reaches out to students from the remote communities of Cape York, the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Torres Strait, Northern Territory & Papua New Guinea.

With male and female day students and boarding for both girls and boys, the College enrolment reflects a broad spectrum of cultures and experiences. Mount St Bernard College strives to enable its students to develop a broad range of skills enabling them to become the persons God created them to be.

Mount St Bernard College: Mercy Traditions, Spirited Learning and Building Futures, promotes a holistic approach to education in a caring Christian environment.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

The MSB curriculum has been designed to provide diverse pathways to meet the wide ranging of needs of the students we serve. We offer a broad curriculum intended to contribute to the deep learning and holistic development of students. In response to the needs of individuals and their breadth of aspirations, an MSB education can help prepare young people for direct entry into the world of work or lay the foundation for tertiary studies through our academic programs. A range of Vocational Education & Training (VET) offerings complement the academic curriculum. These include VET certificate training in IT and Media, Engineering Pathways, Education Support, Sport and Recreation, Public Safety, Hospitality and Allied Health Assistance. The college also offers transition learning units that focus on building literacy & numeracy skills to accelerate students.

MSB is renowned for its expedition programme. Individuals have an opportunity to challenge their comfort zone and develop traits of self reliance, leadership and teamwork.

Extra Curricular Activities

The following extra curricular programmes are offered within the college community;

  • Student Representative Council
  • Sporting opportunities - regional, state & national Representatives.
  • Pastoral Care
  • Recreational Pursuits
  • Expeditions
  • Cultural Dance
  • Reading club
  • Liturgies
  • School bands
  • Choir
  • Social Opportunities
  • Cultural Art and Craft opportunities
  • Youth Group - CSYMA
  • Sacramental Program

Social Climate

Mount St Bernard College is a school in the Mercy tradition. As a Catholic school, the values of Mercy education - love, respect, participation, service and personal best effort - have endured as proud traditions at the heart of the life of the College.

Mount St Bernard College is committed to providing a safe, respectful and disciplined learning environment for students and staff where students have opportunities to engage in quality learning experiences and acquire values supportive of their lifelong wellbeing.

MSB values respect, participation and personal best. Students are supported to respect themselves, fellow students and adult members of the school community. Respect is experienced in positive relationships, affirming language and peaceful actions. Respect for school facilities and the surrounding environment is also promoted. Importantly, student respect for the purpose of school is observed in students' positive engagement in their learning.

Bullying behaviours are proactively addressed by MSB's structured development of students' Social Emotional skills. MSB's Student Wellbeing & Pastoral Care Team respond to individual bullying incidents to both support students subjected to unwanted and inappropriate behaviours and assist students engaging in bullying behaviours to address their inappropriate attitudes and actions.

The Pastoral Care and Student Counselling Team also work actively in the residential setting, leading discussions and activities focussing on anti-bullying strategies and learning about resilience and respect. Middle Leaders in Pastoral Care liaise with the Head of Pastoral Care and the AP-Mission on student matters. The Heads of Residential work closely with day school personnel.

School Wide Positive Behaviour Support is designed to facilitate high standards of behaviour so that learning and teaching can be effective and students can participate positively within our College community.

Parent Involvement

We are committed to building strong partnerships with parents through regular contact and encouraging open relationships between staff and parents supportive of students' growth and learning.

This is assisted by formal structures:

  • Information evenings
  • The College newsletter, with editions each fortnight helps the parent and family community maintain awareness of upcoming events, celebrate student and community achievements , stay informed of emerging developments in education
  • Students are issued with a diary each year, and parents are advised to monitor this as it is used as a key means of communication by staff to families
  • Students and families are also encouraged to participate in community social events throughout the school year. NAIDOC celebrations are very popular.
  • The college Facebook page is very popular and a wonderful source of information. Many families access this regularly. The Facebook page is updated each week.

Mount St Bernard College has a Parents and Friends Association which meets twice per term. Meetings are advertised in the newsletter. Parents are invited to attend or join the group regularly.

Parent Satisfaction

2017 Parent Satisfaction Survey

    In 2017, the number of eligible respondents were 127 and 43 parent responses were received (33.9%). The overall satisfaction score is 81%.

    1.The majority of the responses from the survey indicate strongly that academic excellence, size of classes/school and individual learning focus are the most important reasons for school selection.

    2.Analysis of School Strategies has highlighted gaps in programs and events. These strategies include areas of Associations, Communication, Events, Facilities, Planning and Programs.

    3.A comparison of responses by Key Areas of Learning & Teaching, Resources, Leadership, General, Improvement Processes and Catholic Ethos all recorded  a consistent rating of a good or excellent satisfaction rating.

    4.Analysis of responses by Key Area and Marketing Information Sources indicates that advert/media, past student and website/internet information sources generally showed a positive variance  in 2017. Word of mouth/referral as a source of marketing information showed a negative variance in effectiveness in all areas.

    5.Analysis of responses by Key Area and School Sector made by parents  generally showed a good or excellent  satisfaction rating.

    6.Responses to Open Questions provide extensive evidence of positive feedback as well as suggestions for improvements.


    Data Last Updated Wed 27 Jun 2018

    Staff Reporting Data
    Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
    % Staff with this qualification 0% 7% 24% 20% 9%

    Workforce composition
    Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
    Teaching Staff33 30.2
    Non-Teaching Staff 71 52.53
    Indigenous 7 6.09

    Total funds expended on teacher professional development$66855

    Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

    Major Professional Development Initiatives

    Name of Professional Learning Activity: 2017 
    Sound and lighting workshop series Advanced Explicit Instruction (CNS01261) AAMT 2017 Conference Stronger Safer Smarter
    SIS Overview Training for new Leadership Advanced Explicit Instruction (CNS01261) Trip to Sydney jewish Museum and Mary MacKillop Place QCEC Cybersafety and Student Wellbeing Forum
    SEL Coordinators' Day Bandscalling Cert 11 Engineering Pathways currency Rock and Water Training
    Counsellors Peer Support Meeting Bandscalling CES DAILY ORGANISER TRAINING Digital Technologies in Focus Project
    Parent Portal Administrators NCCD Refresher SIS Masterclass SSO Verification Meeting - B34 Geography
    Yumpla Project aAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LEadership Focus QCEC Trade Training Centre Forum QCAA Verification
    Phunktional Yumpla Project Professional Development NCCD Refresher QCAA School Moderators and Curriculum Leaders' Meeting Prime Futures - Yumi Deadly
    APRE Networking Day Enhancing Leadership Geography Teachers Association QLD - annual conference Evidence Based Teaching summit
    APRE Network Day Enhancing Leadership CES Counsellors Support Day Senior First Aid & Defibrillation
    Monitoring - B34 Geography panel CES Counsellors Staff Meeting QCAA Senior Syllabus Workshop - Chemistry RTO Manager Meeting - PD with QCAA audit practices
    MAths A Moderation QCEC VET Symposium RTO Manager VET Coordinator Meeting QCAA VET Interactive Information Session
    VETiS CQU Forum First Year Teachers & Teachers new to the Diocese - Identity and Mission Core Business Siloam Retreat School Officers Engineering assessment validation
    Build it in: Teaching tips to build foundations skills into VET eMinerva Secondary Cluster Day QCAA Senior Syllabus Workshop - English as an Additional Language LST PD Day
    First Year Teachers Program Robots in the Australian Classroom LST PD Day Seville Learning Support Teachers Professional Development Day
    Principles of Good Writing Head of Maths/QAMT regional meeting LST PD Day High Potential Learners Meeting
    NAPLAN - Principles of good writing SLC meeting 2-2017 Collaborative Common Assessments workshop System Improvement Tool Workshop
    VET Coordinators Meeting QCAA Principals and senior leaders forum Collaborative Common Assessment Institute Bronze Medallion Update
    QCAA NAPLAN - how to read challenging texts - making thinkihng visible E-Learning Forum QCAA Senior Syllabus Workshop - Mathematical Methods Bronze Medalion
    QCAA NAPLAN How to read challenging texts APRE Network Meeting QCAA Senior Syllabus Workshop - Mathematical Methods APRE Network Day
    How to Read Challenging Texts APRE Day Tony Attwood Workshop APRE / SEL Networking day - Term 4
    LST PD Day APRE Network Day English Teachers of Australia Conference Best Practice for teaching with Indigenous stories
    Enrolment Officer's Cluster Day APRE Network Meeting Middle Leader-The Arts meeting Sports Co meeting
    BCT - working with panel chair Relevant Mathematics English Teachers Annual State Conference QCAA Student centred audit approach workship
    Curriculum Validation Cert III Allied Health Regional Moderation ETAQ Annual State Confrence QCAA SENIOR SYLLABUS SOR WORKSHOP
    Systematic Curriculum Delivery - Validation Women In Educational Leadership Lions Quest Skills for adolescence QCAA Senior Syllabus Workshop SOR
    Wellbeing Australia SIS Dynamics Siloam Retreat For Teachers - Malcolm decided not to attent this PD Understanding the Historical Jesus in the Jewish Context
    CES : Counsellors Support Meeting. QCAA SAS Moderation (English Com) QCAA B34 Geography panel training READERS CUP Competition
    Leadership Growth Opportunities for Principals, School Leaders and Teachers Daytime 2017 - Music and Technology Social Thinking Workshop LST PD Cairns
    APRE Induction Day 2017 Planning with Janele Stanlon CNS01572: SIS Parent Paperwork 2017 LST PD Day Pullman Internation with School Counsellors
    Middle Leader Meeting (in place of Sarah Riber, ML) yumi deadly maths eMinerva SUFNY COUNSELLORS AND LEARNING SUPPORT PD DAY
    ML DAY-Arts SEL Networking Co-ordinator's Day QCAA Senior Syllabus Workshop - General Mathematics School Magazine
    Dynamics AX Cluster meeting Yumi Deadly Math Training QCAA Senior Syllabus Workshop - General Mathematics Stem Practical Learning
    QAMT-Regional maths meeting Yumi Deadly Maths Professional Development STEAMLIT multiliteracies conference (literacy across the curriculum) The Wellbeing Classroom Conference 2017
    PAT PD Year 7 Religion - Review & Refining Units of Work IG3 Education Ltd Eduss Learning Counsellors Peer Support : Staff Meeting
    TREWTH 2017 School Based Leadership Project Creative Ways of working with Aboriginal You Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary
    TREWTH conference Health Skills Update Capacity building for teachers supervising pre-service teachers JCU maths update seminar
    Trewth conference      

    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 year76.00%

    Staff Satisfaction

     2017 Staff Satisfaction Survey

    In 2017, the number of eligible respondents were 115 and 75 staff responses were received (65.2%). The overall satisfaction score is 75%.

    1. Analysis of School Strategies has highlighted gaps in programs and events. These strategies include areas of Associations, Communication, Events, Facilities, Planning and Programs.

    2. Responses to Open Questions provide extensive evidence of positive feedback as well as suggestions for improvements.

    3. Analysis of Detailed Responses by Statement by Key Areas of Resources, Leadership, Improvement Processes, Staff Engagement and Catholic Ethos will provide information on areas for improvement.


    Data Last Updated Mon Jul 02 2018

    Student Reporting Data
    Average student attendance rates
    YR 7YR 8 YR 9 YR 10 YR 11 YR 12
    93.93% 89.39% 92.68% 90.42% 90.19% 92.46%
    How non-attendance is managed by the school

    Parents are encouraged to contact the school on the day that a student is absent. If students are absent without notification, a MSB staff member telephones parents on that day.

    Mount St Bernard College has a proactive Pastoral Team Care who monitors and supports maximised student attendance. Individual students at risk through non-attendance are counselled and supported to maximise their participation.

    Boarding students are always accounted for - if unwell they remain in the Morrissey Boarding House.

    Year 10 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate70.96
    Post-School Destination Information

    Please see below:

    The distance travelled



    Some of the areas of study and employment undertaken by our Year 12 graduates include;   

    - Medical Receptionist Training

    - Bachelor Information Technology at JCU

    - Defence Force - Navy

    - Defence Force - Army

    - Bachelor Biomedical Science - Griffith University

    - Bachelor Business Management - Griffith University

    - Bachelor Biomedical Science - Australian Catholic University

    - Diploma of Youth Work - TAFE

    - Health at IYMP

    - Business majoring in Accounting - James Cook University

    - Teacher Aide Tagai College Warraber Island

    - Further study with My Pathways

    - Radio Frequency Apprenticeship with Austek Communications

    - Paramedic Science Diploma Course CQ University

    - Marine Apprenticeship with Sea Swift Cairns



    Where are we going ?

    Target Area Catholic School Defining Feature
    CES Strategic Priority MSB Goal/Objective and Implementation Strategies

    Defining Feature:

    • be a place of authentic evangelisation where faith and life are one

    Strategic Priority 1:

    • Building Catholic school identity.
    • Reviewing Junior RE Programmes and designing rigorous assessment tasks
    • Youth Minister Team based at college working in the day / boarding school and wider community
    • Youth Worker based at the college and living on site - working closely with all students
    • Providing liturgies for individual year levels to promote faith and identity
    • Working with Fr Robert Greenup and Deacon Ralph Madigan Indigenous Community Outreach
    • Implement sacramental programme
    • Liturgical ministry training for students
    • Re-engagement with Religious to support pastoral care and student wellbeing.
    • Deacon Alban Hunt working with RE staff and classes.


    Defining Feature

    • be a centre of vital holistic learning

    Strategic Priority 3:

    Maximise learning opportunities of students by developing quality work programs and supporting contemporary pedagogical practices

  • Collection of authentic data to assist with developing programmes to address the learning needs of diverse range of students
  • Curriculum team
  • Learning Support "LST school officers"
  • Transition classes to assist students access mainstream curriculum - further develop student profiles & develop continuous assessments tasks/testing tools to inform readiness for moving into mainstream classes
  • Whole school reading programme to enhance and improve both reading and comprehensions skills
  • Up skilling school learning officers "offering PD"
  • Facilitate PD for teachers to assist with the implementation of Australian Curriculum
  • Continue to work with CES personnel in the area of Transition classes
  • PD for teachers on Indigenous Band scales

    RELATIONSHIPS Defining features:

    • be welcoming to all who want to share their life
    • be a community sustained by life giving relationships

    Strategic Priority 4:

    A mission of inclusiveness

  • Implementation of a range of scholarships and bursaries to enable equitable access to Catholic schooling at MSB
  • Integration of counselling services - Two counsellors employed on a 1.0 FTE basis.
  • Employment of Indigenous Liaison officers who work as pastoral support for students and important contact for families.
  • Equitable allocation of resources to cater for diverse range of students
  • Visits by college personnel to Cape and Island communities and the NT
  • Implementation of accompanied travel "college staff to accompany students home/back to school at holiday periods
  • Continued association with Wuchopperen and Miden to support the physical health and social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous students
  • Continued liaison with Transition Support Services & TSU to support student/family engagement


    Defining Feature

    • Be a place of self renewal and agents of change

    Strategic Priority 10:

    • Resourcing for excellence in learning outcomes, equity in learning provision and outreach for new mission.
    • Facilitation of "Strategic Futures Project" leading to MSB's 2012-2016 strategic plan
    • New structures (boarding facilities and General Teaching Areas) to reflect the needs of the students
    • Capital Building works 'Block Grants' redevelop school facilities new buildings and refurbishing existing buildings
  • Student Satisfaction


    2017 Student Satisfaction Survey

    In 2017, the number of eligible respondents were 198 and 49 student responses were received (24.7%). The overall satisfaction score is 75%.

    1.Analysis of School Strategies has highlighted gaps in programs and events. These strategies include areas of Associations, Communication, Events, Facilities, Planning and Programs.

    2.A majority of the student responses agreed with the statements relating to the areas of Catholic Ethos, Leadership, Learning & Teaching, General, Resources and Improvement Processes.

    3.Responses to Open Questions about what they like about the college and what they would like improved could be used to identify the future focus of efforts to improve engagement and retention.



  • Data Last Updated Thu Jul 19 2018

    Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 7, 2017
    Reading Average Score for the school 455.7
    Average Score for Queensland 540.3
    % students at or above the national benchmark 54.1%
    Writing Average Score for the school 415.2
    Average Score for Queensland 502.5
    % students at or above the national benchmark 54.1%
    Spelling Average Score for the school 475.7
    Average Score for Queensland 546
    % students at or above the national benchmark 75.7%
    Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 460
    Average Score for Queensland 537.9
    % students at or above the national benchmark 62.2%
    Numeracy Average Score for the school 461.4
    Average Score for Queensland 549.2
    % students at or above the national benchmark 78.4%

    Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

    Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 9, 2017
    Reading Average Score for the school 475.2
    Average Score for Queensland 574.9
    % students at or above the national benchmark 35.7%
    Writing Average Score for the school 428.5
    Average Score for Queensland 541.309997
    % students at or above the national benchmark 28.6%
    Spelling Average Score for the school 508.5
    Average Score for Queensland 576.9
    % students at or above the national benchmark 71.4%
    Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 456.6
    Average Score for Queensland 573.5
    % students at or above the national benchmark 42.9%
    Numeracy Average Score for the school 509.8
    Average Score for Queensland 585.1
    % students at or above the national benchmark 85.7%

    Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

    Year 12 Outcomes

    Number of students awarded a Senior Statement. 20

    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 12.19

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

    Number of students awarded one or more Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications.11

    Number of students who are completing or completed a School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SAT).1

    Number of students who received an Overall Position (OP).4

    Percentage of OP/IBD students who received an OP 1-15 or an IBD.100%

    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.95%

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

    Data Last Updated Wed Feb 13 2019

    School Funding By Source
    Income 2017

    Australian Government recurrent funding$4,339,336

    State/Territory Government recurrent funding$1,245,048

    Fees, charges and parent contributions$1,027,913

    Other private sources$276,017

    Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$6,888,314

    Deductions 2017

    Income allocated to current capital projects$70,768

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

    Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$437,462


    Total net recurrent income$6,380,084

    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.