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2017 Annual Report for Mother of Good Counsel School, North Cairns
Motto Honour and Truth MOGC_logo_col.jpg
Address 394 Sheridan St, NORTH CAIRNS QLD 4870
Postal Address PO Box 22N, NORTH CAIRNS QLD 4870
Phone Number (07) 4053 6133
Fax Number (07) 4053 6433
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 369 Ms Ruth Mallon
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Ms Ruth Mallon
Parish PriestFr Dariusz Osinski (Admin)
Parish Number (07) 4053 1179

About our School

Mother of Good Counsel is a parish-based, co-educational school situated in the North of Cairns. The curriculum at Mother of Good Counsel attempts to respond to the needs of its community by recognising the diversity of its population. Mother of Good Counsel School provides a quality learning environment for children, in particular endeavouring to retain the 'small school' atmosphere, where every student is known and valued. We provide up-to-date learning resources and facilities, and are proudly staffed by experienced and professional teachers whose pedagogical frameworks are grounded in current research.

The school was founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Mercy and has since grown to accommodate a population of over 370 children. The Mercy tradition of actively displaying Christ's 'loving kindness' is evidenced in the school's awareness and support of community and international concerns.

The first lay principal was appointed in 1976 and in 1986 the Marist Brothers took charge of the school and served the school community until 1990.

Mother Of Good Counsel's commitment to educational excellence is reflected in its strong focus on student well-being, and success in achieving good outcomes for its students. This is due to the high calibre of programs, dedicated staff and encouraged strong parental support.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

Mother of Good Counsel provides learning across Mathematics, English, Religion, Science, History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, Health and Physical Education, The Arts, Languages (Japanese), Technology and Social and Emotional Learning.

Social and Emotional Learning is explicitly taught through the Second Step program, which develops essential life skills for individual and social development. This is a whole school approach, which also includes Parent and Staff Educational Programs, Mentoring and other opportunities.

Extra Curricular Activities

Numerous sporting opportunities (inc. Rugby League, Hockey, Netball, Touch Football & Futsal) Involvement in District Sporting events Visiting Sporting clinics (Basketbal, Hockey, Rugby League etc)
Inter-house swimming carnival School camps and Â Excursions
Visiting School Performances School Mentoring Program for students at risk Instrumental Music and Dance Programs
End of Year Concert Public Speaking Competitions Choir / Liturgical Music Group
Coding Club Buddies Program
Playground Guardians Program Involvement in local competitions and Book Week Activities Leadership programs and activities

Social Climate

Mother of Good Counsel School has a warm, friendly environment. Mother of Good Counsel strives to foster successful learning based on both the Gospel Values and the tradition of the Mercy Sisters, standing firm in its capacity for effective, life-giving relationships with collaboration involving all those within its school community.

We endeavour to nurture the development of the whole child - academically, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. Through our Positive Behaviour and Relationships Policy, we aim to foster healthy relationships between students and teachers through the promotion of restorative practices and social and emotional well-being. Self-discipline is encouraged, as is respect for the rights of others. Our school strongly espouses the creation of an environment where children can learn without disruption.

Active participation in church events, responding to local community needs (such as assisting the Rosies outreach) and participating in CARITAS and Catholic Missions projects ensures that the school upholds the Christian values that are an integral part of Mother of Good Counsel's curriculum. This is evident in the school's behaviour management approach, which focuses on responsible and trusting relationships and Social and Emotional Learning. Parent involvement is considered a key element in creating a positive approach to behaviour management. In addition, a Mentoring Program has long been established, designed to assist children in their journey towards achieving success beyond primary school.

Our strong focus on student well-being has continued to grow, with a tiered support plan in place:

Tier 1 Support: Second Step Program & Christian Meditation
Tier 2 Support: Social Skills Groups, Circle Time & Mentoring
Tier 3 Support: Student Counsellor access

Parent Involvement

Parents and Friends Association

  • Information evenings
  • Parent Surveys
  • Parent / Teacher nights
  • Parent / Teacher interviews
  • School Newsletters and Facebook Page
  • Social Functions
  • Parents involved with reading and classroom activities
  • Weekly Assemblies
  • Class Masses and Liturgies of the Word
  • Curriculum Updates

Mother of Good Counsel School has a number of community partnerships in place. The school has participated in local charities and speaking competitions, as well as supporting local sporting associations through participation in events. Our outreach has grown to include visits to entertain and engage with elderly people in our community.

Parent Satisfaction

Parents at Mother of Good Counsel School value the strong leadership and high quality services provided to parents and students. The teaching staff are highly regarded by parents, who recognise that learning and teaching processes are in place to improve student outcomes. Staff at Mother of Good Counsel live out the Catholic values of witness and service in their words and actions. Parents know that the school is well resourced and that their concerns are promptly and respectfully responded to, by staff who make themselves available.

There is a very strong sense from parents that Mother of Good Counsel School is a welcoming and caring community where everyone is treated with respect. It is a learning community where staff, parents and carers work together to deliver quality outcomes for students now, while also looking to the future with resourcing and innovative educational offerings.

Data Last Updated Tue 26 Jun 2018

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 5% 45% 20% 5%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff25 20.63
Non-Teaching Staff 19 9.96
Indigenous 2 1.7

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$19609

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

It is crucial that teachers are confident, competent and knowledgeable in the teaching tools they implement. There is a considerable amount of the school budget dedicated to teaching and classroom resources that support effective pedagogy, which is promoted within the school.

Our staff have been involved in:

  • curriculum based professional development
  • opportunities for collegial planning and judgements
  • mentoring and coaching around effective pedagogies
  • opportunities to improve data analysis for improved student achievements
  • workplace health and safety training
  • ongoing experiences with using new technologies to enhance learning

The school often initiates its own professional development based on our specific goals and needs eg Literacy, Circle Solutions, Social & Emotional Learning, Assessment, Data Analysis, Staff Wellbeing etc. The professional development of staff focuses on improving wellbeing and outcomes for children.

Mother of Good Counsel has directed much of its staff professional development to keeping teachers and school officers abreast of the requirements of the Australian Curriculum and research based best classroom practices regarding pedagogy and student engagement.

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 year82.00%

Staff Satisfaction

The staff at Mother of Good Counsel are committed to the school and its positive ethos. Their input is valued and they have trust in the leadership team, who foster effective communication. The staff work collaboratively to encourage a climate of learning, where clear goals and high expectations are agreed upon and met. Professional development opportunities and collegial support reiterate to staff their importance.

Data Last Updated Tue Jun 26 2018

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
91.99% 92.53% 94.28% 93.58% 90.81% 92.83% 93.47%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

The school requests that parents phone or send information via the Parent Portal, on the morning when students are absent. This information is then relayed to teachers.

If students are absent with no notification from parents, the child is marked as an unexplained absence and an SMS is sent to the primary carer, alerting them that the child is an unexplained absence at school for that day.

As part of our data analysis, we are looking more closely at attendance data and alerting parents if non-attendance is affecting student performance.

The distance travelled

When students have a sense of wellbeing and safety, they learn better. They can be risk takers with their learning, explore thinking skills and relationships, and have improved learning outcomes.

Mother of Good Counsel School's Improvement Plan is targeting

  • student wellbeing
  • improving data analysis to drive improvements for all students
  • teacher feedback and collaborative coaching

The school has maintained a strong emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning.

Mother of Good Counsel School has adopted strategies and access to online learning resources, to engage and lead students in the classroom. The school has increased its capacity to provide students with laptops, Chromebooks and iPads, which are used as a learning tool in all year levels, to enhance quality education. A one to one iPad program for begins in Year 2 and is proving successful in engaging students' learning. We are providing our future citizens with capabilities to enhance their learning for the rest of their lives.

Where are we going ?

Our future plans are research based and data driven. We will continue to ensure the wellbeing of students, staff and the wider community, while keeping abreast of current pedagogies and ensuring the availability of up-to-date technologies and infrastructure.

As our iPad one to one program continues to roll through the school, we are ensuring the stability of the necessary infrastructure, and providing ongoing professional development for staff.

The learning and wellbeing needs of individual students remains paramount to our staffing, planning and resourcing decisions.

Student Satisfaction

Students are proud to belong to the Mother of Good Counsel community. They feel comfortable to participate fully, and are encouraged to do their best by staff who are respectful, approachable and helpful. The students believe that doing their best is important. They believe that their use of computers, iPads and other devices assist them with their learning, and that they are being well prepared for the future.

Students usually get along well and appreciate the resources, facilities and space our school allows them.

Data Last Updated Tue Jun 26 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 458.7
Average Score for Queensland 425.2
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 436.3
Average Score for Queensland 402.3
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 427
Average Score for Queensland 408.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 469.6
Average Score for Queensland 437
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.1%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 420.6
Average Score for Queensland 402.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 519.2
Average Score for Queensland 502.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 471.8
Average Score for Queensland 461.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.9%
Spelling Average Score for the school 481.5
Average Score for Queensland 496.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.9%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 483.3
Average Score for Queensland 496
% students at or above the national benchmark 91.8%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 502.5
Average Score for Queensland 490.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

School Funding By Source
Income 2017

Australian Government recurrent funding$3,342,779

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$793,942

Fees, charges and parent contributions$861,338

Other private sources$120,745

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$5,118,804

Deductions 2017

Income allocated to current capital projects$200,875

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$213,404


Total net recurrent income$4,704,525

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.