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2017 Annual Report for Our Lady Help of Christians School
Motto I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full - John 10:10 OLHOC-logo.jpg
Address 18 Balaclava Road, EARLVILLE QLD 4870
Postal Address 18 Balaclava Road, EARLVILLE QLD 4870
Phone Number (07) 4054 2566
Fax Number (07) 4054 2426
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 562 Luke Brown
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Luke Brown
Parish PriestFr Martin Kenny
Parish Number (07) 4054 1171

About our School

For over 50 years Our Lady Help of Christians has served the Cairns community by providing quality Catholic education in the Mercy tradition to the sons and daughters of those families seeking a Catholic education. OLHOC is first and foremost committed to providing a quality education for all students. The school is a distinctive Catholic community that provides a quality learning environment and challenges all members to make a difference.

At its core OLHOC has the values of Respect, Justice, Community, Empathy and Forgiveness. Students of OLHOC strive to embody these values in both word and action. OLHOC seeks to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all.

With a current enrolment of 554 students OLHOC offers a very well-resourced educational program to all students. Extra curricula programs support the development of student's gifts and talents across a variety of pursuits including academic, sporting and cultural areas. OLHOC has a long history of valuing success and this is evident across many fields of endeavour.

Our Lady Help of Christians is a school committed to ensuring that all students receive a high quality education in order to reach their potential and make a difference. Learning is supported by committed and well supported staff who have a desire to see all students grow in their learning. By using research based practices together with high levels of technology student learning outcomes are maximised for all students.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

"Vision to excite and empower learners to enjoy, shape and enrich our changing world, inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ..."

At OLHOC we believe that the essential focus of our school is the overall development of each child according to the needs and potential of the individual. As such, we strive to provide a curriculum that will enable the child to grow in the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to become a spiritual, well integrated, secure, self-disciplined person, confident and able to contribute to the betterment of themselves, society and the environment in which we live.

Learning and Teaching is the core activity of our school. Quality learning and teaching at OLHOC aims:

  • To foster the full potential of all students, academically, socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically to live in a changing society.
  • To foster an atmosphere where students will enjoy relationships and learning.
  • To teach students to think and work both independently and cooperatively.
  • To develop the ability to think critically and make decisions.
  • To develop self-discipline through firm, loving discipline throughout the school.
  • To encourage students to work to the best of their ability.
  • To cultivate and demonstrate attitudes and behaviours showing care and concern for others, who are less able academically or socially; the environment; the country and the world in which we live.
  • To facilitate students' abilities to evaluate and use appropriate technology and educational materials in all areas of the core curriculum.
  • To help students to develop a positive self-image through a realistic understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses.
  • To promote an environment that fosters respect for self and others.

The learning and teaching community at OLHOC seeks to inspire high expectations for learning that maximises engagement, progress and achievement for each student.

We are committed to cultivating a culture of learning. We set high standards and expectations for all students, where teachers and staff believe that all students can learn and excel.

Curriculum, instruction and assessment are aligned with standards and essential academic learning requirements. Staff frequently monitor learning and teaching to apply differentiation strategies for students who are exceptional learners; this includes enrichment opportunities and those students who require further development.

Our Lady Help of Christians offers a supportive learning environment. Students feel respected and connected with staff, allowing them to engage in learning. We encourage family and community involvement and recognise its value in supporting the progress of each learner.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings include:

  • Religious Education - Our core subjects include Religious Education which involves a formal study of Religion in the Catholic Tradition guided by the Archdiocese of Brisbane's Religious Education Curriculum.
  • Action for Social Justice to support various Catholic agencies including Mercy Works, Caritas, Catholic Mission, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Rosie's.
  • Wellbeing focus - providing students with the foundations for emotional development and learning.
  • Coaching in Reading and Writing with particular emphasis on Reading in 2018.
  • E-Learning delivered via significant student access to digital devices in classrooms which is supported by a full time ICT assistant and consistent Tech support.
  • Strong emphasis on implementing the Digital Technologies curriculum through Lego Robotics, Sphero Robotic Balls and Bee Bots to teach Coding and Programming.
  • District Teacher Librarian support three days per week focusing on the area of digital literacy.
  • Specialist teachers for Physical Education, Visual Arts and Performing Arts.
  • Indonesian taught to students in Year 5 & 6 with the commencement of an ASEAN bridge partnership in 2018.
  • String and wind instrument teachers delivered through collaboration with St Mary's Catholic College's Music Department.
  • School camps for students in Year 5 and 6.
  • Overnight retreat for students in Year 6.
  • Science Expo supported by exhibits from organisations within the community.
  • The Arts Expo showcasing music, instrumentalists and visual arts within the school from Prep to Y6.
  • Pre-Prep Transition program in Term 4 for school readiness.

Extra Curricular Activities

Student Leadership opportunities that include:

  • School Captains and Vice Captains
  • School House Captains
  • Spirit of OLHOC Committee
  • Community Cup Committee
  • Playground Guardians
  • Highly successful school choir - offering both Senior and Junior Choirs
  • ICAS (Independent skills-based assessments with a competition element)
  • School Band Development
  • Rugby League Team
  • Netball Team
  • Homework Club
  • Chess Club with participation in interschool competitions
  • Robotics Enrichment Program
  • Digital Photography Enrichment Program
  • Travel Smart Program


Social Climate

Our Lady Help of Christians draws upon its Mercy charism to make explicit its Catholic Identity. The school community regularly and frequently seeks to celebrate its faith through prayer and liturgy. It seeks to celebrate significant community events, including Mothers' and Fathers' Day, ANZAC Day, NAIDOC and Grandparents Day, within an explicit Catholic context. The school explicitly displays, and is driven by the Gospel values of Respect, Empathy, Justice, Forgiveness and Community. The school also actively promotes action for social justice particularly supporting a number of Catholic Agencies. This action often combines education, prayer, and fundraising.

Our Lady Help of Christians School has a very caring and welcoming atmosphere. Visitors to the school regularly comment on the polite, helpful manner in which they are treated and spoken to by the students.

A full time school counsellor is available to work with students who require some additional support to manage concerns and difficulties they have in their lives. The school's staff are proactive in responding to issues which come to light, involving the school's leadership team as required. Students are supported to initially develop the skills to manage general friendship issues themselves in an appropriate manner, and to pass on information to staff when issues become too difficult to manage or they feel they need extra support. OLHOC continue to participate in the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence providing students with a voice to share their learnings around the role of an upstander and responsible digital citizenship skills.

The school encourages parents to be involved in the education of their children, including the social development of their children. Our Lady Help of Christians School works collaboratively with an Out of School Hours Care facility for students after school until 6pm. The Out of School Hours Care facility also offers a vacation care service and a morning care facility.

Our Lady Help of Christians School is comprised of students 52% male and 48% female students from a range of cultural backgrounds. The attending students come from many parts of the Cairns area, but largely from within the school's geographical context and Cairns' southern corridor.

Parent Involvement

  • Parents and Friends Association - "Steak of Origin", working bees, BBQ at year level showcasing events
  • School Board
  • Assemblies
  • Parent Helpers in classroom including involvement in reading activities
  • Parent Helpers in the tuckshop
  • Parent Helpers at Athletics Carnival and Sports Activity Day
  • Parent Information Evening at the beginning of the school year to inform parents about what will be covered during the year
  • Open classrooms to showcase student learning
  • Parent / Teacher Interviews to discuss student's progress
  • Student Report Cards each semester
  • Curriculum Workshops for parents and Parent information sessions with guest speakers
  • School celebrations such as Mother's and Father's Days, Grandparents Open Morning
  • Parent involvement with NAIDOC activities, Art and Science expos participation in school camps & excursions
  • Travel Smart with parents operating bike, walk and scooter options with staff
  • Chess Club and participation in Chess competitions is organised by parent representative

Parent Satisfaction

Overall, the parents are satisfied with the education their children receive at OLHOC. They believe that the school is a welcoming and caring community where everyone is treated with respect. Parents recognise that the school promotes the values of justice, compassion and service and that prayer is an important part of the life of Our Lady Help of Christians.  Parents see that teachers are good at encouraging the students' learning and they have confidence in the staff at the school. Parents acknowledge that they have confidence in the future direction of the school and that OLHOC is striving to improve and enhance its educational offerings to students. 

Data Last Updated Sun 03 Jun 2018

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 4% 47% 7% 19%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff40 36.9
Non-Teaching Staff 30 19.39
Indigenous 2 1.47

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$60914

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

  • Effective Behaviour Management
  • Collaboration and Planning
  • Data Analysis
  • Assessment Practices
  • Big 5 of Reading - Jo Anne Dooner Consultant
  • Morning routine - Jo Anne Dooner Consultant
  • Explicit Teaching
  • First Aid
  • Student Protection and Mandatory Training
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Mercy Charism
  • Mindfulness & Christian Meditation
  • Improvement Sprints into Action
  • Learning Tour to Brisbane

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days98%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year91.00%

Staff Satisfaction

The staff believe that OLHOC is a welcoming and caring community where everyone is treated with respect. They recognise that prayer and the celebration of Mass are an important part of school life.

Staff are committed to this school and value the opportunity to engage in professional learning teams supported by the school based Teaching and Learning team.

Staff have trust in the Leadership team and believe that their colleagues set positive examples to the students. Staff have confidence in the future direction of the school. They recognise that OLHOC encourages a climate conducive to learning for both students and staff.

Data Last Updated Sun Jun 03 2018

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
94.19% 94.66% 93.85% 93.8% 94.67% 94.18% 94.1%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

If a student is absent, parents are required to contact the school by 9am. Notification can be made via the following ways:

  • Through email to:
  • Using the Skoolbag App
  • By telephone - if out of hours a message can be left
  • A note to the office or via the class teacher
  • In person

Daily absences that are unexplained are monitored by the school and contact via Blink messages are sent to any families in the first instance and then followed up with a phone call as appropriate. Blink messages are sent after 9am.

Absence records are maintained on the school database. Absence collation is reported to parents on the semesterly School Reports. Ongoing absences either for extended periods and/or unexplained are followed up by the Admin team.

The distance travelled

OLHOC continues to analyse student performance data to support our direction towards better learning outcomes for students. In 2018, the school reimagined its Teacher Leader roles within the school and has allocated support teacher roles into Inclusive Education and Learning & Teaching, doubling its staff in these areas. Through these roles, teachers are supported in the method of explicit instruction, inquiry based learning and personalised learning. Further support is delivered through the implementation of Professional Learning Teams within a Professional Learning Community which includes both teaching staff and school officers. The OLHOC Teaching and Learning Team seek to support teachers in the adoption of contemporary pedagogy across all year levels, including the Sprints into Action learning model as a means to build teacher capacity and improve student outcomes. Whilst our student performance data is good we continue to work towards continual improvement, particularly in the core subjects.

Where are we going ?

  • Continued focus on coaching within core subjects. 2018 emphasis on Reading and Writing across the school, using Explicit Teaching practices.
  • Further developing the Sprints into Action Learning model to improve student outcomes.
  • The use of Learning Walks to highlight best practice within the school.
  • Incorporation of Specialist teachers for Physical Education, Visual Arts and Performing Arts.
  • The teaching of Indonesian to continue across Y5&6 classes.
  • Implementation of daily mindfulness, with a restructure of bell times to accommodate for this whole school approach.
  • Contemporary learning environments in the Upper School
  • Implementation of a structured Morning Routine and the teaching of the Big 5 of reading.
  • Unaided writing tasks incorporated into assessment practices from Prep to Y6.

Student Satisfaction

The say they are proud to be a student at OLHOC and feel positive and cheerful while they are here. They say their teachers put a lot of energy into teaching their classes and are interested in what students think and do.  The students expressed that they feel good about being a student at our school and that they are encouraged to help other people. Students at OLHOC can identify that doing their best is important to them and staff strongly encourage them to be the best they can be. 

Data Last Updated Sun Jun 03 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 444.6
Average Score for Queensland 425.2
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 424.4
Average Score for Queensland 402.3
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 412.2
Average Score for Queensland 408.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 468.9
Average Score for Queensland 437
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.6%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 414.5
Average Score for Queensland 402.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.3%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 530.3
Average Score for Queensland 502.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.5%
Writing Average Score for the school 481.9
Average Score for Queensland 461.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.3%
Spelling Average Score for the school 511.4
Average Score for Queensland 496.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.1%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 525.9
Average Score for Queensland 496
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.1%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 529.7
Average Score for Queensland 490.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.8%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

School Funding By Source
Income 2017

Australian Government recurrent funding$4,346,505

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$1,275,155

Fees, charges and parent contributions$1,354,696

Other private sources$310,005

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$7,286,361

Deductions 2017

Income allocated to current capital projects$327,864

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$195,833


Total net recurrent income$6,762,664

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.