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2019 Annual Report for St Rita's School, South Johnstone
Motto Forward to a Better World St-Rita_s-School-SJ-logo-col-RGB.jpg
Address 8 Green Street, SOUTH JOHNSTONE QLD 4859
Postal Address PO Box 8, SOUTH JOHNSTONE QLD 4859
Phone Number (07) 4064 2153
Fax Number (07) 4064 2766
Email Address principal.johnstone@cns.catholic.edu.au
Web Site http://www.stritascps.qld.edu.au
Total Enrolments 102 Mr Greg Hoare
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mr Greg Hoare
Parish PriestFr Kerry Crowley PP VG
Parish Number (07) 4061 6633

About our School

South Johnstone is a small rural township situated 100 km south of Cairns and 9 km south-east of Innisfail. St Rita's caters for students from Innisfail, Kurrimine Beach, East Palmerston, Mena Creek, Mundoo, Moresby, Mourilyan and South Johnstone. We are a small school providing a Catholic education in a rural setting.
The township of Innisfail has a Catholic Secondary School (Good Counsel College) and a State College. Within 10kms of South Johnstone there are numerous State Primary Schools, as well as Good Counsel Primary School.
Agricultural industries and support services are predominant in the local area.   It is these industries that are the primary source of employment for the families with children attending school at St Rita's.

The school opened in 1932, operating from the building adjacent to the school in Green St, which presently hosts a long-running playgroup. The school moved across the road in 1933 to where the present building is situated. The Sisters of Good Samaritan staffed the school up until 1977 when the first lay principal was appointed. From this time, to the present, solely lay people have staffed the school. The face of the school has changed over time, with the addition of new classrooms, a purpose built Prep facility and state-of-the-art undercover multi-purpose hall. Recent additions include the building of a staff room, meeting room and toilet facilities.

St Rita's is proud to be a community school, with a reputation for having a strong family focus.   St Rita's is blessed with a committed Parents and Friends Association.   The hardworking P&F provides much needed financial support through various fundraising ventures. The P&F also assist with organizing social activities that aim to bring families together.   New families have commented on how welcoming the parent body is and how the support that is offered helps them to make a smooth transition into school life.

A team of devoted teachers staff St Rita's.   They all share a passion for education and a commitment to Catholic ethos.   The staff works together within a professional learning community, sharing their knowledge and supporting early career teachers. A team of experienced school officers supports the teachers.   Our school officers are vital to the day to day running of our school.   Working in classrooms, administration, the library and with those students requiring extra support as well as extension. The staff is aware that they are educating students for a rapidly changing world.   Therefore, the teachers and school officers are constantly searching for new learning opportunities to help them meet the diverse needs of their students.

Characteristics of Student Body

  • Student Enrolment - 102 (52 Boys and 50 Girls)
  • Verified students - 3
  • Indigenous - 11
  • NCCD - 10
  • Student Catholicity - 44.9%
  • Attendance - 78.5%
  • ICSEA - 013

Cultural diversity

  • Fijian
  • Czech
  • Thai
  • Indian
  • New Zealander
  • Australian

School Annual Improvement

Priority 1: Develop a Culture for Learning and Improvement for all students
By the end of 2019:   
 90% of students in Prep to Year 3 to be at the following reading levels:
Prep - Level 6 or above
Year 1 - Level 15 or above
Year 2 - Level 22 or above
By the end of semester 1 100% of students in Prep to Year 3 to have shown progress in reading.

These targets are informed by CES Reading benchmarks.

Strategies and resources implemented:

  • Teachers were engaged in Professional Learning Teams where the agenda was driven by engagement with data.  In the early years the focus in the PLT was on reading.
  • A reading data wall was created to provide opportunities for staff to engage with data. This has enabled staff to ensure that every student is making progress in reading. 
  • The explicit teaching of Synthetic Phonics occurred in Prep and Year 1.
  • Professional development opportunities for teachers has been provided throughout the year with the Literacy Coach working in classrooms and individually with teachers.
  • There was continued engagement with school based best practice documents and sequence and scopes.


Priority 2: Optimal Learning and Wellbeing for all students
90% of students in Years 4-6 to have an effect size/growth equal to or greater than the normed sample (ACER) and equal to or greater than the Australian mean (NAPLAN).

Strategies and resources implemented

  • Teachers were engaged in Professional Learning Teams where the agenda was driven by engagement with data.  In the upper years the focus in the PLT was on Mathematics.
  • Professional development opportunities for teachers has been provided throughout the year with the Numeracy Coach working in classrooms and individually with teachers
  • A baseline Maths test was created to assist in measuring progress throughout the year.
  • A Maths Professional Development Day was held at the beginning of the year focusing on the teaching of Maths.
  • There was continued engagement with school based best practice documents and sequence and scopes.

Areas of growth

  1. Priority 1 has been a consistent focus in 2019 with the majority of strategies having been completed.  Teachers in the junior school have worked towards improving whole class instruction of reading as well as running more effective reading group sessions.
  2. The majority of strategies for Priority 2 have also been completed.  The Professional Learning Team of teachers from Year 2 to 6 have had two major focuses to improve reading.  These focuses were determined by examining student data.  The first was to improve inferential comprehension and the second was to improve fluency.

 

 

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

At St Rita's, we believe that preparing students for an unknown world, requires courage and energy, because student needs have changed so drastically.   Literacy and numeracy will always remain the keystones of curriculum.     Reading and writing have not been replaced by the new technologies.   However, there are new literacies connected to information technology and communication, which we have now included in our whole-school curriculum plans and teach explicitly.   Information is everywhere and is instantly accessible.   Therefore, research skills have become vital.   Teaching students to find, analyse and use information responsibly is vitally important. Technology has also allowed our students to access their learning in new ways. In keeping with our school motto, "Forward to a Better World", we want to ensure that our students leave, fully equipped to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

Religious Education is a highly valued Key learning Area at St Rita's. Whole school and class liturgical celebrations are a significant element of the religious education program at the school.

At St Rita's we are committed to effectively delivering the Australian Curriculum to our students.     This means ensuring that our teachers receive quality professional development and that our resources are current.   This allows our teachers to ensure that each student is being taught the knowledge and skills that they need in a way that suits their specific learning style.

Extra Curricular Activities

At St Rita's we offer a diverse range of extra-curricular activities to allow students to pursue their special interests. These include:

  • Teams for sporting events such as football, athletics, futsal, soccer, softball and netball 
  • Sport coaching sessions - Netball, Cricket Australia, NRL development, Tennis
  • Wonder of Living Program
  • Arts Council Performances
  • Mary Mills Cup
  • Fowler's Cup
  • Interschool Futsal Titles
  • School Sports Programs such as Auskick, Tennis, Rugby League
  • Handball competition
  • Reader's Cup
  • Under 8's day
  • Bravehearts
  • Show displays
  • Camps and excursions

 

Social Climate

At St Rita's we are determined to help each student achieve his or her full potential.   We acknowledge that each child is truly unique and therefore learns in different ways and at different speeds.   Every effort is made to cater to each student's individual needs.      

Though we are small, our size is not a weakness, but one of our greatest strengths.   Students learn to "pitch in" and help out around the school and to assist with younger students as a part of our "buddy" program.   We enjoy seeing younger siblings in and around the grounds before they join their big brothers and sisters at school when they start Prep.   We also love hearing about past pupil's adventures and successes long after they exit the front gates for the last time.   In essence, St Rita's is a small school with a very big heart.

Parent Engagement

Parents at St Rita's are recognized as the first educators of their children and as such are encouraged to participate wherever possible:

  • Class Information Afternoons
  • Parent Education, eg Wonders of Living, Maggie Dent
  • Parent Teacher Interviews
  • Parent invitations to classrooms as helpers or visitors
  • Parent invitations to school assemblies and liturgies
  • Parents and Friends Association 
  • Combined Schools' Board
  • Playgroup
  • St. Rita's Feast Day
  • School Fete
  • Mother's Day Morning Tea
  • Grandparents Day (Prep)
  • Oral and Written Reports - interviews
  • Naidoc Activities
  • Camps/Excursions
  • Sports days
  • Under 8's Day
  • Christmas Concert

 

Parent Satisfaction

MYP Corporation conducted a School Results Survey with parents of St Rita's School (South Johnstone) commencing 15 July 2019 and concluding 5 August 2019. St Rita's School (South Johnstone) provides educational services to students from 67 families.

Survey responses were received from 28 out of a total of 68 eligible respondents. This equates to a response rate of 41.2%.

St Rita's School (South Johnstone) recorded an overall satisfaction score of 78% (3.88 out of 5)

  • Best practice areas include: Resources.
  • Fair to good areas include: Leadership, Student Protection, Catholic Ethos, Learning + Teaching, Improvement Processes, Bullying + Behaviour Management.

Data Last Updated Tue 28 Apr 2020

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
Number of staff with this qualification 0 1 11 4 1

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff14 9.1
Non-Teaching Staff 8 4.94738
Indigenous 1 0.55263

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$4660

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives


Staff have been involved in professional development opportunities covering:

  • OWHS - keeping up to date with policies and procedures to ensure the safety of themselves and others eg. fire equipment training, back care, evacuation procedures, risk assessments etc.
  • Student Protection- keeping teachers abreast of legal and protection issues, to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.
  • Disability Standards Training
  • Literacy Writing Focus
  • Visible Learning Practices
  • Maths coaching
  • Literacy coaching
  • APRE Focus Days
  • NAPLAN Analysis
  • Administration Officer's PD
  • Data Analysis
  • Consistency of Teacher Judgement - engaging teachers in a process of assessing student work consistently within the school community and across schools within the Diocese.
  • Information and Communication Technology - teachers use computers extensively to assist planning, communication and reporting. Training is provided to ensure ICT skills are at an appropriate level.
  • Get Reading Right PD
  • Maths PD
  • Writing PD
  • PLT Training
  • Diverse Learners Team Conferences
  • Learning and Teaching Network meetings
  • NCCD (Nationally Consistent Collection of Data)
  • Professional Conversations.

 

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 year67.00%

Staff Satisfaction

MYP Corporation conducted a School Results Survey with staff of St Rita's School (South Johnstone) commencing 15 July 2019 and concluding 5 August 2019.
St Rita's School (South Johnstone) provides educational services to students from 67 families.

Survey responses were received from 12 out of a total of 16 eligible respondents. This equates to a response rate of 75%.

St Rita's School (South Johnstone) recorded an overall satisfaction score of 87% (4.36 out of 5).

  • Best practice areas include: Student Protection, Staff Engagement, Leadership, Resources, Catholic Ethos, Bullying + Behaviour Management, General, Improvement Processes.

Data Last Updated Tue Feb 25 2020

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
92.15% 88.05% 85.49% 91.91% 95.03% 93.88% 94.11%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Parents are to contact the school on the morning of non-attendance by phone or e-mail. If contact has not been made, a message will be sent to parents advising them of their child's absence and asking them to contact the school. If the child is absent for a period of time without notification or a pattern of non-attendance is recorded the parents are contacted to discuss any issues or concerns regarding the student. 

 

Student Satisfaction

MYP Corporation conducted a School Results Survey with students of St Rita's School (South Johnstone) commencing 15 July 2019 and concluding 5 August 2019. St Rita's School (South Johnstone) provides educational services to students from 67 families.

Survey responses were received from 26 out of a total of 29 eligible respondents. This equates to a response rate of 89.7%.

St Rita's School (South Johnstone) recorded an overall satisfaction score of 77% (3.87 out of 5).

  • Best practice areas include: Learning + Teaching
  • Fair to good areas include: Catholic Ethos, Student Protection, Resources, Leadership, Improvement Processes, Bullying + Behaviour Management.

Data Last Updated Thu Feb 20 2020

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2019
Reading Average Score for the school 396.9
Average Score for Queensland 427.36
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 422.1
Average Score for Queensland 413.27
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 384.1
Average Score for Queensland 411.24
% students at or above the national benchmark 90%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 412.1
Average Score for Queensland 432.74
% students at or above the national benchmark 90%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 385.8
Average Score for Queensland 399.11
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Mon Mar 30 2020

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2019
Reading Average Score for the school 543.9
Average Score for Queensland 503.02
% students at or above the national benchmark 92.3%
Writing Average Score for the school 480.7
Average Score for Queensland 464.67
% students at or above the national benchmark 84.6%
Spelling Average Score for the school 465.9
Average Score for Queensland 495.21
% students at or above the national benchmark 84.6%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 526.8
Average Score for Queensland 497.66
% students at or above the national benchmark 92.3%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 502.9
Average Score for Queensland 492.6
% students at or above the national benchmark 92.3%

Data Last Updated Mon Mar 30 2020

School Funding By Source
Income 2019

Australian Government recurrent funding$1,522,763

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$53,892

Fees, charges and parent contributions$178,935

Other private sources$73,301

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$1,828,891


Deductions
Deductions 2019

Income allocated to current capital projects$26,293

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$47,568


Subtotal$73,861

Total net recurrent income$73,861


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.