2018 Annual Report for Holy Cross School, Trinity Park
Motto Truth, Knowledge, Faith Holy Cross Logo.jpg
Address Reed Road, TRINITY PARK QLD 4879
Postal Address PO Box 1026, SMITHFIELD QLD 4878
Phone Number (07) 4057 6920
Fax Number (07) 4057 8183
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 526 Mrs Sarah Hamilton
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mrs Sarah Hamilton
Parish PriestFr Neil Muir PP
Parish Number (07) 4057 6055

About our School

Holy Cross School is an integral part of the Northern Beaches Parish of Cairns, and came into being because of the desire of the parishioners to have access to an education that nurtured the faith life of their children. Built on a site which was once a sugar cane farm, the school was formally opened in 1987.

As the most northerly located Catholic Primary School in the city of Cairns, Holy Cross School proudly serves the families with an educational program which is both pastorally and academically attentive to the needs of its students. The school is equipped with well-maintained classrooms, expansive sporting facilities, a modern well-equipped library, and large administration facilities. Annual programmed maintenance complements a full-time Caretaker / Groundsman to ensure facilities are beautifully maintained.

The Holy Cross School Charism, referred to as The Holy Cross Way', is embedded into all facets of school life, and is lived, modelled and articulated by every member of the school community. The school's motto, 'Truth, Knowledge, Faith' fosters the balanced development and integrity of each individual student through teaching programs which support their spiritual and academic growth.

Characteristics of Student Body

  • Student Enrolment: 526 (279 Boys and 247 Girls)
  • Class Structure: 3 streams
  • Verified students: 28
  • Indigenous: 27
  • EAL/D: 18
  • NCCD: 74
  • Catholicity: Students = 59.8%, Staff = 53.1%, Parents = 49.7%
  • Attendance: 93.7%

Cultural Diversity

  • Indigenous Australia - Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and/or both
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • China
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Indonesia
  • Nepal
  • Croatia
  • Slovakia
  • Russia
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • France
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Ireland
  • Zimbabwe
  • Columbia
  • Ecuador
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • United States of America
  • New Zealand

School Annual Improvement

In 2018, our School Annual Improvement Plan (SAIP) was built around two priority areas, School Community Partnerships and Differentiated Teaching and Learning. Our improvement priorities and strategies to ensure success were as follows:


1.    Increase opportunities to authentically engage parents in their child / children's learning journey

Parent Engagement

  • Introduction of Student Learning Journals to share each child's learning journey
  • Introduction of 3 Way Conferencing in place of Parent Teacher Interviews
  • Continuation and expansion of P&F community building programs and initiatives
  • Involvement and contribution to the new Year 5 and 6 Service and Outreach Initiative
  • Improved methods of communication including school-wide use of the Seesaw App
  • Termly parental wellbeing / mental health Professional Development (PD) in response to identified needs

2.    Foster student participation in the Church's mission particularly in the areas of service and outreach

Catholic Identity

  • Introduction of Year 5 and 6 Service and Outreach Initiative

3.    Create supportive partnerships with parents, staff, students and the wider community to enhance well-being for all

Personal Well Being

  • Continuation of the roll-out of the Holy Cross Positive Behaviour Framework 
  • Full implementation of the Second Step school-wide SEL program

4.    Establish and strengthen connections with the history, heritage and local indigenous links of significance to The Holy Cross Story

The Holy Cross Story

  • Community connection with the traditional custodians of the land Holy Cross is built upon
  • Commencement of a research project into the Dillon, Petersen, Mallon and Robinson families, and creation of House logos, mottos and mascots

SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS FRAMEWORK DIMENSION: Differentiated teaching and Learning

1.    Differentiated teaching and learning focus within the Holy Cross Professional Learning Communities, and review / refine school-wide data use to improve standards in Literacy

Professional Learning Communities

  • Differentiation and age-appropriate pedagogy focus for all Professional Learning Teams
  • Formalisation of school-wide data collection and analysis processes and procedures
  • Student Learning Journals to inform curriculum planning and PD opportunities

2.    Prioritise opportunities for significant curriculum adjustment to engage, challenge, enrich and support all students

Religious Education Teaching, Learning and Assessment

  • Investigation of effective tools to assess learning within the Religious Education curriculum
  • Continuation of the embedding of the Holy Cross charism, 'The Holy Cross Way',  into every facet of life at Holy Cross


  • Research assessment tools to better inform teaching and learning

Curriculum Planning

  • Continue to develop authentic and engaging units of work to ensure success for all
  • Introduction of Student Learning Journals to assist with the setting and tracking of individual learning goals


  • Investigate latest age-appropriate pedagogy for implementation throughout the school


  • Develop a better understanding of the diverse needs of learners and enrichment initiatives
  • Enrichment Support Teacher to work collaboratively with teachers and students to enhance learning

Learning Spaces

  • Review of learning spaces with a view to reflect engaging, fun and student-centred environments

3.    Increase knowledge and understanding of the effective practices and integration of digital technologies, in order to promote successful student learning

Digital Learning / eLearning

  • Continue to build confidence and understanding of one-to-one devices as learning tools
  • Investigate the use of digital technologies and STEM for student enrichment

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

Holy Cross School offers a curriculum consistent with the Australian Curriculum, Version 8.1 for all Learning Areas (LA). As a Catholic School community, Religious Education (RE) is an integral and important component of weekly learning. Staff at Holy Cross School teach RE using a programme mandated by the Bishop. Whole school liturgical and prayer celebrations are a significant element of our RE programme.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a high priority at Holy Cross School and is explicitly taught using the Second Step program. The Second Step suite provides a fully integrated framework designed to teach protective behaviour, social and emotional learning, bullying prevention and child protection, creating a cohesive foundation for a safe and protective school. In addition, daily meditation is undertaken in all classes to assist children to understand the importance of emotional relaxation and to connect with their God.

Some areas of specific and significant importance at Holy Cross include:


As 21st Century Learners in the digital world, Holy Cross School aims to provide a personalised learning environment where students are partners, demonstrating independence, self-regulation and reflection. The Holy Cross School e-Learning vision is to enable students to have opportunities for richer learning. All good teaching research and pedagogy states that students express their knowledge in different and multiple ways. Appropriate use of technology opens doors for students, enabling success for all, creating an effective individualised student-centred learning environment.

E-Learning at Holy Cross is enhanced by:

  • an eHub that all students visit, containing an open space for the delivery of the STEM, Digital Technologies and Design curriculum, including coding and robotics;
  • interactive screens and projectors  in all learning spaces;
  • school-wide  access to banks of laptop computers and  iPads; and,
  • a school wide network (LAN) featuring a fibre optic backbone with wireless networking allowing  access to the network server, the internet, the school intranet and printers from anywhere in the school.   


A full-time Health and Physical Education (HPE) teacher is employed at Holy Cross School teaching all students from Prep to Year 6. In addition to their weekly Physical Education (PE) lesson, students in Prep and Year 1 take part in a perceptual Motor Programme (PMP) developing the fundamental elements of their physical development. As a recognised Sporting School, the Holy Cross School HPE teacher can accesses federal funding and assistance to enable outside organisations to supplement PE classes.

Holy Cross School extra-curricular sports opportunities are available for a large number of sports including: Tennis, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Australian Rules, Netball and Futsal. In addition, community sporting organisations and academies utilise Holy Cross School facilities for before and after school coaching and participation.


As a Reef Guardian School, Holy Cross School takes great pride in adopting many environmental initiatives. These include recycling, earthworm farming, composting, energy reduction, solar panels, vegetable and herb gardening, a frog pond, biodiversity and litter reduction. All teachers and students take part in these initiatives. Teachers allow time in their daily programs for these activities, and roster children to assist with recycling, gardening and worm farming activities. Many businesses in the community have also contributed to the gardens.

Our goals within these programmes are to:

  • encourage an environmentally aware community;
  • reduce litter and contribute in our way to  'War on Rubbish';
  • minimize water usage;
  • minimize power usage; and,
  • enhance biodiversity.


Extra Curricular Activities

At Holy Cross School, students are encouraged to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities including:

  • instrumental tuition (piano, guitar, woodwind, drums and vocals);
  • Cairns Junior Eisteddfod (choir, public speaking and literature);
  • School Choir, Liturgical Choir and Holy Cross Band;
  • school based and public speaking competitions;
  • learning area competitions such as Readers Cup, Spelling Bee, drone workshops, robotics, and language competitions;
  • sporting representation including futsal, netball, rugby league, tennis, athletics and cross country; and,
  • initiatives to enhance a global perspective (sustainability, indigenous perspectives, and international students).

Social Climate

Holy Cross School has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Families choose Holy Cross School because they wish for their children to have a strong Catholic education where the central work of all teachers is to model and teach the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. The Parish Priest is involved in all school faith-related activities and is a strong presence in the school community.

Holy Cross School follows the Holy Cross School Positive Behaviour Plan, created in consultation with the school community, clearly outlining school rules and expectations. Teachers are invited to commit to regular classroom profiling as a way of promoting and enriching positive classroom environments.

Student and staff well-being is carefully and consistently monitored by the Diverse Learners Team and Student Well-Being Team. This ensures the pastoral needs of all are met and managed, and issues relating to inappropriate interactions addressed in a timely and consistent manner.

Holy Cross School utilizes the expert knowledge of two Learning Support Teachers and a full-time Student Counsellor to provide guidance and support for students operating within the Care Team Framework.

The Holy Cross School community actively and generously participates in annual community assistance and fund-raising events e.g. Caritas, Catholic Mission, St Vincent de Paul Christmas appeal, Relay for Life, Day for Daniel, Walk / Ride to School Days.

Parent Engagement

As a Catholic community, parent engagement and community partnership is deep-rooted and firmly embedded in our identity and mission. Throughout 2018, it has been an ongoing topic of conversation amongst staff seeking better mediums in which to connect parents with their child's learning journey. Committed to the development of a life-long 3-way connection and partnership with students, parents and the students themselves, we provide a variety of ways that parents and carers can become actively involved and engaged with their child's education:

  • regular use of the Seesaw App, bringing classroom learning to the dinner table and beyond;
  • carefully crafted and organised Parent Portal to ensure all families are up to date with events and news;
  • a new format for our newsletter, now delivered weekly with a reduced content and clearer focus on engagement;
  • 3-Way Conferences in place of Parent Teacher Interviews;
  • Whole School Meet and Greet in place of Parent Information Evenings;
  • Parents and Friends (P&F) community events e.g. Movie Night, Disco, Christmas Fair, Trivia Night;
  • whole school events e.g. sports carnivals, School Masses / Liturgies, Mother and Father's Day activities, Christmas Concert, Walk to School Day, Book Week, ANZAC parade;
  • year level events e.g. culminating activities, excursions, camps, daily reading; and,
  • specific activities / tasks e.g. Tuckshop helper, Library assistance

In addition, feedback on school policies and curriculum implementation is welcomed and encouraged

Parent Satisfaction

At Holy Cross School, there is a continued aim to improve the quality of education it provides. It is a place of learning in a Catholic environment, where parents feel assured that the school is providing a high quality of education for their children. The grounds and classrooms are well presented and maintained.

Teachers at this school are respectful, caring and supportive, and there is good two-way communication between the staff and parents. Parents feel comfortable about approaching the staff at the school with any concerns they might have. Parents believe that the children's teachers take the time to understand their points of view and take parent concerns seriously.

The staff at Holy Cross School are committed to school improvement and student learning. They encourage children to persist with their learning when it is difficult. There is a strong focus on creating strong positive relationships and culture for learning.

This school has strong community spirit and an obvious connection with the Catholic Church. The charism of Holy Cross, 'The Holy Cross Way', is articulated clearly and enacted. Justice, compassion and service are important to the community.

Data Last Updated Wed 22 May 2019

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
Number of staff with this qualification 0 3 20 8 1

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff38 35.3
Non-Teaching Staff 34 15.78
Indigenous 0 0

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$24877

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

Holy Cross School places a strong emphasis on ongoing professional learning for all members of teaching and non-teaching staff. The setting of individualised annual goals in alignment with the School Annual Improvement Plan (SAIP) is an important and mandated component of the start of year procedures. In addition, all staff are required to complete annual mandatory training in areas such as Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), Code of Conduct, Copyright, Student Protection and Disability Standards.

In 2018, Holy Cross School introduced Professional Learning Teams, coordinated by the Leader of Teaching and Pedagogy. These teams meet once a fortnight and engage in data driven professional development informing student learning.

Professional Development opportunities available in 2018 include:

  • Religious Education planning and professional development days focusing on unit development and assessment rubrics;
  • Trewth - Religious Education Conference;
  • Curriculum Conference;
  • Staff Wellbeing / Retreats;
  • Positive Schools;
  • Managing Student Behaviour;
  • Diocesan Student Information Systems - BI Tool;
  • Literacy Coaching in Reading and Writing;
  • Curriculum development in The Arts and Digital Technologies;
  • School Officer Professional Learning sessions;
  • NAPLAN Analysis;
  • Principal learning days;
  • Aspiring Leaders sessions;
  • APRE network days;
  • SEL focus days;
  • Learning Support Network days;
  • Curriculum Support Teacher days;
  • Teacher Librarian and Library Assistant network days; and,
  • Beginning Teacher network days.

In 2019, a major focus of professional learning will be parent engagement, differentiated teaching and learning, 21st century pedagogy and the development of effective data literacy.

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 year89.00%

Staff Satisfaction

Holy Cross School is a place of learning within a Catholic environment, where participation in prayer and the Eucharist are important. The school delivers a Religious Education programme that meets students' needs whilst offering opportunities for students to explore, promote and live out all aspects of its charism; relationships, community, service, and stewardship.

Teachers have opportunities for Professional Development to enhance student learning. Staff are treated as professionals and are supported by colleagues. They feel their role is important in the school and are committed to it. Staff deliver a high quality of service and they are encouraged to model and expect high standards. They make a positive difference in the community.

Holy Cross School is a welcoming and supportive community. Staff endeavour to instil a love of learning in students, and to look for ways to ensure maximum student engagement, wellbeing and success. Colleagues set positive examples to students and the school encourages student responsibility and respect. Holy Cross School encourages a climate conducive to learning and encourage students to be their best.

Data Last Updated Wed Jun 19 2019

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
95.11% 94.14% 92.89% 94.42% 92.98% 94.59% 94.22%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Student attendance at Holy Cross School in 2018 was 93%. School Policy states that parents / carers are required to contact the Holy Cross Office when their child is absent or are planning to be absent. If absent without notification, a text message or a phone call is made to parents on that day.

Classroom teachers monitor attendance as part of classroom administration. If there is a noticeable pattern of non-attendance deemed to be causing a disruption to the student's learning, parents are contacted for explanation and further discussion.

Throughout 2018, Holy Cross School has aimed to increase student attendance to a minimum of 95% attendance. Careful monitoring, combined with regular communication directly with families, has assisted students in being able to maintain a high percentage of attendance. We continue to work hard to share with families the importance of 'Every Day Counting' in their child's education. Simply, a day a fortnight can amount to 2.5 years of schooling missed from Prep to Year 12. In particular, we are working to inform families taking extended family leave and families of students who are consistently late to arrive in the mornings.

Student Satisfaction

Holy Cross students are positive and respectful at Holy Cross School. They are encouraged to do their best and they know how to improve their learning. Students have many opportunities engage in extra-curricular activities. They believe that using technology at school helps them to engage with their learning. Students at Holy Cross School are encouraged to help others, and believe their teachers help and support them with their wellbeing and learning.

Data Last Updated Tue May 28 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 428
Average Score for Queensland 437.8
% students at or above the national benchmark 93.3%
Writing Average Score for the school 395.1
Average Score for Queensland 410.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.9%
Spelling Average Score for the school 426.4
Average Score for Queensland 432.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.9%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 391.6
Average Score for Queensland 406
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.7%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 423.6
Average Score for Queensland 413.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.9%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 508.6
Average Score for Queensland 517.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 94.3%
Writing Average Score for the school 458.9
Average Score for Queensland 469.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 92.9%
Spelling Average Score for the school 505.7
Average Score for Queensland 511.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.7%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 473.8
Average Score for Queensland 497.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.8%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 502.9
Average Score for Queensland 501.2
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.1%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

School Funding By Source
Income 2018

Australian Government recurrent funding$1,226,562

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$201,670

Fees, charges and parent contributions$87,156

Other private sources$32,752

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$1,548,140

Deductions 2018

Income allocated to current capital projects$6,849

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

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


Total net recurrent income$0

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.