2019 Annual Report for St Francis Xavier's School, Manunda
Motto Know, Love, Serve SFX-logo-col.jpg
Address 5 Atkinson Street, MANUNDA QLD 4870
Postal Address PO Box 565, MANUNDA QLD 4870
Phone Number (07) 4037 9900
Fax Number (07) 4053 7566
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 488 Ms Kim Gubiani
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Ms Kim Gubiani
Parish PriestFr Frank Gordon VG
Parish Number (07) 4053 1383

About our School

St Francis Xavier's Catholic Primary School is an inner-city school in the unique tropical north region of Cairns. Our school community gathers from all parts of the Cairns area. Our student enrolment encompasses a diverse range of nationalities from many parts of the world. It also includes students from Torres Strait and Indigenous cultures.

St Francis Xavier's School has a multicultural diversity of children and time is taken to encompass the language, religion, economy, government and other cultural phenomena from the children's background which then connects to the children's real world.

St Francis Xavier's was founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph in 1961. The school continues the traditions and charism of the Sisters of St Joseph and celebrates the major feast days of Mary MacKillop, St Joseph and St Francis Xavier. 'Never see a need without doing something about it!'

Geographically, St Francis Xavier's is located within the Cairns West Parish, with Father Frank Gordon as Parish Priest.  Providing a distinctive 'Catholic Education' with a real-life and inclusive approach to Religious Education and Spiritual Formation, St Francis Xavier's strives to live out the motto - To Know, Love and Serve God and each other.

The Mission Statement at Saint Francis Xavier's School highlights the importance of the religious faith of staff and their commitment to Gospel values in their daily lives, the development of genuine relationships in the school community in an environment that teaches the values of trust, respect, responsibility, empathy, trust, compassion, forgiveness, equity, integrity and community. St Francis cultivates a culture of respect, caring and inclusion amongst the whole school community supporting the wellbeing of all our students.

Characteristics of Student Body

Since St Francis Xavier's School first began in 1961, the school has approximately an enrolment of 480 students. The school community includes a significant number of students with diverse cultural backgrounds including indigenous students. As a school we join together on a number of occasions to celebrate our cultural diversity. Our learning incorporates not only our diversity but the culture and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional owners of the land we now call home.

Characteristics of Student Body

    • Student Enrolment  - 488
    • Class Structure  - 3 streams
    • Verified students  - 7 -  1.5 %
    • Indigenous -  69 - 13.3%
    • EAL/D - 135 - 28.4%
    • NCCD -  42
    • Catholicity - 34.7%
    • Attendance - 84.1%
    • ICSEA - 1021

    Cultural diversity

    • Indigenous - Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and/or both
    • Spanish
    • Philippines (Cebuano)
    • Nepal (Nepali)
    • Bhutan (Nepali)
    • India (Telugu)
    • India (Hindi)
    • India (Malayalam)
    • India (Telugu)
    • India (Punjabi)
    • Pakistan (Punjabi)
    • Sweden (Swedish)
    • Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese)
    • Chinese (Hakka)
    • Japan (Japanese)
    • Czechoslovakia (Czech)
    • Thailand (Thai)
    • Thailand (Karen)
    • South African (Ndebele)
    • Liberia (Loma)
    • Africa (African)
    • Brazil (Portuguese)
    • PNG
    • USA
    • East Timor
    • Spain (Spanish)
    • Indonesia
    • Pilipino (Tagalog)
    • Portugal (Portuguese)
    • Zimbabwe (Zulu)
    • Germany (Dari)
    • Korea (Korean)
    • Congo (Swahili)
    • Hong Kong (Cantonese)
    • Malaysia (Chin Haka) 
    • Ethopia (Amharic)
    • New Zealand

    School Annual Improvement

    Priority 1: To employ Visible Learning to maximise achievement

    Smart Goals:

    1. A 3 year process will begin in 2019 to implement Visible Learning across the school.
    2. By the end of 2019, it will be common practice for:
      • All teachers to share and showcase best practice in their classrooms through observations, ELTTs, professional dialogue.
      • Students to begin to use a shared language of learning.

    Priority 2: Improving student outcomes in literacy and numeracy

    Smart Goals:

    1. St Francis Xavier's will improve instructional quality in literacy and numeracy. As a result, the following targets will be achieved in 2019:
      • 96% of students will show an ACER effect size of
        • PAT-Reading Comprehension
          • Year 2 - 0.79
          • Year 3 - 0.67
          • Year 4 - 0.52
          • Year 5 - 0.41
          • Year 6 - 0.34
        • PAT-Mathematics
          • Year 2 - 0.66
          • Year 3 - 0.53
          • Year 4 - 0.45
          • Year 5 - 0.39
          • Year 6 - 0.33
      • Our students on 'Personalised Learning Plans' will also be expected to show effect size growth.
        • 25% of students in each year level will achieve at 'A' or 'B' level in the overall mark in SRS English
        • Year 3 and Year 5 cohorts will achieve above NAPLAN national averages in all test areas
        • By the end of 2019, vertical alignment of the writing curriculum will be complete and implemented
        • EAL/D intervention will continue to be established in literacy and numeracy

    Priority 3: A consistent school-wide wellbeing framework which aims to embed systems and practices at St Francis Xavier's School that improve the wellbeing of students and staff.

    Smart Goals:

    1. A minimum 85% of students will complete the wellbeing survey
    2. Survey results will show an improvement of 10% overall
    3. A decrease in major and minor behaviour infractions as evidenced in SBSS

    Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

    St Francis Xavier's is a P - 6 school and offers three classes in each year level. Curriculum development is an ongoing process at St Francis Xavier's. Our school learning framework is informed by the CES System Framework. We also use the documents developed by ACARA of which QCEC (Queensland Catholic Education Commission) is an active member and the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (CAA). Our school curriculum framework is designed to support the wellbeing and learning for all students in our Catholic community. Our curriculum is underpinned by the General Capabilities of:

    • Literacy
    • Numeracy
    • Communication and collaboration
    • Ethical understanding
    • Intercultural understanding
    • Personal and social capability
    • Critical thinking
    • Creative thinking
    • ICT

    The School offers students a sound academic education in all key learning areas including Religious Education. High Potential Learners are able to access extension activities that are catered for their needs in class. Students from Prep to Year 6 have specialist lessons in Health and Physical Education, Japanese and The Arts where they do Music, Dance & Drama.

    Our curriculum across the school focuses on literacy and numeracy, particularly in  our P - 2 classes.  In Year 3 - 4 a STEAM approach is used which combines Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts and Maths to solve problems. STEAM focuses on problem solving, investigating and Inquiry skills. In Year 5 - 6 a Design Thinking approach is used. Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods. Intervention programs are provided for all students in particular our ATSI, EALD and learning difficulty students.

    To enhance our LOTE program and understanding of other cultures, we host a number of International groups throughout the year from Japan. This is known as our Homestay and International Student Program. Our Year 6 students visit Sister Schools in Taketoyo and Kyoto, Japan, every second year.

    Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is an important part of daily class lessons. SEL is integrated throughout the whole curriculum. The 'Second Step' Programme aims to increase student's academic achievement, self-awareness, empathy skills and emotional regulation and overall well-being. We are heavily committed to student and staff emotional well-being and intelligence.

    Prep to Yr 6 are also involved in school excursions and incursions. These are an important and effective means of motivating students and engaging them in active learning experiences. Excursions are carefully planned as part of the educational program at each year level. They will take part in excursions both locally and beyond the local area.

    Our Year 6 students attend a school camp. This is a valuable aspect of a fully rounded program of development for students. The aims of our Camp program are to:

    • provide educational experiences unable to be catered for at school,
    • help instill an appreciation of the natural environment of the area being visited
    • provide opportunities for physical development, eg, hiking, general fitness, outdoor activities
    • provide opportunities for social interaction and to give experience in living and co-operating in a group
    • help build each student's sense of independence
    • provide the challenge of coping with different surroundings and the opportunity for displaying initiative and responsibility in different settings
    • provide students with a range of experiences that can be a focus for classroom curriculum activities.

    We offer a BYOD program from Years 4 - 6. The iPad program allows the use of specific apps to better support and to meet individual needs. The program supports and encourages independent learning by offering an environment that can be self-paced and can encourage more opportunities for self-directed learning.

    A number of our students participate in the Instrumental Music Program through St Mary's College and others have private piano tuition based at the school. Instrumental group lessons are held during school time, usually using a rotational timetable for students. Group tuition is available for strings, woodwind, brass and percussion. Individual tuition is recommended for piano, drums and some orchestral instruments. Individual lessons are also recommended for those students who wish to prepare for external music examinations.

    Swimming lessons on water survival and an introduction to swimming is offered to students in Year 3 and Year 4. This program has been created in collaboration with the qualified staff of Tobruk Pool. As in any learning environment, a wide range of abilities are being catered for and the safety of our students is paramount. The program consists of five 45 minute lessons, conducted over a period of five weeks, is designed for your child to participate in a variety of activities, catered to meet their level and allows them to enjoy being in the swimming environment with peers across their year level.

    Our Sacramental program is parish-based. Catechesis and sacramental preparation are related through distinct activities. Catechesis is the continuing process of faith education and development. Its goal is growth in maturity of faith. Sacramental preparation is the specific pastoral activity, involving family and parish community that precedes and accompanies celebration of the sacraments. Notification of the Parish Sacramental program will be given each year through the Parish Bulletin and School Newsletter. The school is involved in parish life through the Pastoral Council and Finance Committee as well as through Sacramental Programs, regular liturgies and masses with our Parish Priest and the annual parish events

    Many of our students enjoy learning and playing board games at lunch breaks or involve themselves in Make-A-Space activities. We also have various activities that our students can become involved in which include: Robotics, Granfriends, School Choir, School Band, Math Olympiads, Readers Cup, Spelling Bee, Sport activities before and after school which are all available to our children to explore their abilities and interests at before school, lunch times or after school.

    We employ the use of positive and supportive strategies to build positive working relationships in the classroom and reinforce this with positive consequences. We are a Classroom Profiling School and as such we are committed to continual reflection of best teaching practices.

    Extra Curricular Activities

    These include:

    • Well Being Committee
    • Faith & Justice Committee
    • ACT Committee
    • Granfriends
    • Athletics and Cross Country teams
    • Under 8s Day
    • NAIDOC
    • Optiminds Teams & Maths Olympiads
    • Instrumental Music Program
    • Robotics, Coding
    • Spelling Bee
    • School Band
    • School Choir
    • Student Interest Clubs
    • Readers Cup
    • Calanna Speaking Competition
    • Japanese Language Competition
    • Various sporting activities before school and after school
    • District & Peninsula sporting opportunities - such as rugby league, AFL, hockey, athletics, basketball, cross country, netball, golf, tennis swimming, soccer, baseball, rugby union, etc
    • Cultural exchange excursion to Japan and cultural exchange experiences as a host school
    • OSHC Facilities – Before school and after school are available to all parents

    Social Climate

    St Francis Xavier's School has begun a school wide focus on Positive Education. We believe that student wellbeing is of utmost importance. Students explore positive psychology concepts, related to their wellbeing, to assist students to know and understand themselves and others. Students will be given opportunities to develop and practise skills relevant to their wellbeing assisting each student to flourish. Students will develop an understanding of one's character strengths, about self-talk, gratitude, resilience, growth mindset, how to deal with adversity and learn how to tune into their thinking. Staff use positive teaching practises in and outside the classroom to enable students to flourish. They focus on each individual's emotions, engagement, relationships, accomplishments, purpose, and health. Each students individual goal is to flourish. Students are provided many opportunities to develop their leadership skills through different opportunities provided within the school but also by applying for leadership positions within the school.

    The school has a 'Buddy Bench' which proudly sits in the playground, established by our Year 6s students of 2017. Students come to the bench if they're feeling lonely and have no-one to play with. It's a great way for kids to meet, greet and come together in friendship.

    Our school runs a buddy program where all our children spend special time with their buddy. They meet each other throughout the term for carefully planned, fun activities designed to help the children get to know each other.

    There are four Houses at the school used for House sports, Social Service and School activities.

    Blue    -         MacDonald

    Green -         Penola

    Gold    -        Mackillop

    Red     -        Tenison

    St Francis Xavier's encourages students and staff to develop an awareness of those in need and to actively participate to alleviate injustice and suffering. This begins first and foremost here at the school with our treatment of each other. We then look further afield to the needs of the local community, the broader Australian community, and to those who live in other countries. Our efforts contribute to the work of the local Church in bringing about the Kingdom of God and maintaining the dignity of people. It is expected that each year level works together, once over the school year, to fundraise and/or increase awareness for social justice initiatives.

    Pastoral Care is the responsibility of all staff at St Francis Xavier's School and as a school we are able to carry out our charism, 'Never see a need without doing something about it' (Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop) each and every day. As staff in a Catholic School, we are especially called to show care and respect for others and to assist others where possible. This care is what makes our school distinctively Christian and in keeping with the Josephite charism.

    Should students require extra assistance due to circumstances they may find themselves in, the school is there to support them. The school can provide a school counsellor to help students through social and emotional issues and when student learning is impacted upon. The School also has a Diverse Learning Coordinator, Diverse Learning Teachers, Intervention Teachers and School Officers who support integration, classroom and diverse needs programs. 

    Bullying is contrary to our Vision and our Positive Behaviour Wellbeing Plan. We acknowledge the wide-ranging effects of bullying and believe that everyone has the right to feel safe and be safe at St Francis Xavier's. It is unacceptable and therefore not tolerated. The whole school community (including staff, bystanders and families) have the responsibility to ensure that bullying behaviour does not occur.  Bullying will be addressed using the 'Assertive Discipline' approach that underpins how situations are handled in difficult circumstances (refer to Procedures to Address Incidents of Bullying). At St Francis Xavier's we run a program called 'be a buddy, not a bully.'

    Learning is fostered in an environment that promotes success and is concerned with the welfare of every student.  Students develop a positive attitude to learning and a feeling of self worth, as they are encouraged to view themselves as being competent and responsible.  It is their happiness, development and acceptance of themselves as people of worth, together with the acquisition of understandings and skills that will assist them to take part in their wider community.

    Parent Engagement

    Parents are encouraged to take part in a range of activities relating to our school programs.  Each term teachers distribute a class newsletter describing curriculum programs and outline how parents can be involved in class activities.

    On Monday afternoon the whole school is involved in an assembly held in the multi-purpose court.  This includes the National Anthem as well as announcements, awards and news items. This is an opportunity for our community to remain informed of events happening in our school. 

    There is an open invitation to participate in all activities and to visit the school.  Interviews with classroom teachers are available and can be organised  at a mutually convenient time. 

    Parents & Friends Association (P&F) is made up of mums, dads & carers who volunteer a couple of times a term (or attend & assist when they are able to).  Parents and Friends (P&F) Associations work in a productive partnership with their school principal and the community to promote the interests of the school, and facilitate its development and further improvement, to achieve the best possible outcomes for students.  P& F meetings are held on Monday nights of week one each term. Events include: Mother's & Father's Day, Family Night, Disco, World Teachers Day, Under 8s day and various other activities that the P & F support the school with. The P & F also run a second hand store for the school community. This is a valuable resource within the school and assists our families throughout the school year.  Volunteers are always welcome to assist as this is operated purely on a volunteer basis.

    The School Board plays an active role as well, developing policies, overseeing major construction projects and monitors the school budget. The Board enables a spirit of partnership to be developed within the school community and is constituted in a way that allows the various bodies within the school to be represented and to participate in the development of the school and its management in an advisory manner.

    An Out of School Hours Childcare Service is available in the afternoon until 6.00pm. Vacation Care is also available on site. Other community involvement includes: Curriculum Information Sessions,  Parent Workshops, Parental involvement in classrooms, Excursions and Camps, Book Fair, Fun Run, Character Day, Crazy Hair Day,  Dance Show, Music Under the Stars evening and Parent/Teacher meetings.

    We encourage open communication and involve parents in a range of processes to include them in a conversation about improving outcomes for their children. Along with regular parent/teacher interviews, report and support meetings we use a variety of tools to contact and communicate with parents and the community. Any way families support their children with their learning, attendance, and engagement makes a huge, positive impact on the whole school experience.

    Parent Satisfaction

    MYP Corporation conducted a School Results Survey with parents of St Francis Xavier's School (Manunda) commencing 15 July 2019 and concluding 5 August 2019.

    St Francis Xavier's School (Manunda) provides educational services to students from 370 families.
    Survey responses were received from 75 out of a total of 338 eligible respondents. This equates to a response rate of 22.2%.

    St Francis Xavier's School (Manunda) recorded an overall satisfaction score of 77% (3.86 out of 5).

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

    Data Last Updated Wed 17 Jun 2020

    Staff Reporting Data
    Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
    Number of staff with this qualification 0 3 34 11 6

    Workforce composition
    Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
    Teaching Staff37 32.4
    Non-Teaching Staff 18 11.19078
    Indigenous 1 0.47368

    Total funds expended on teacher professional development$47101

    Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

    Major Professional Development Initiatives

    The teachers have been involved in professional learning in the following areas:

    • integrated planning
    • Professional Learning Teams with a focus on improved reading and writing outcomes
    • school improvement and school effectiveness
    • religious education
    • social emotional learning and wellbeing
    • special needs
    • collaborative teaching and coaching in literacy
    • industrial training
    • aspiring leaders program
    • 360 feedback process
    • trauma practice
    • Fountas & Pinnell
    • Sensory & speech - oral language
    • BI tool
    • Ross Greene - restorative practice
    • Bandscaling
    • Micro skills - Essential Skills for Classroom Management
    • WPH &S
    • Enhancing Catholic School Identity
    • Innovative Learning Environments and Contemporary Pedagogies
    • growth mindset

    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 year83.00%

    Staff Satisfaction

    MYP Corporation conducted a School Results Survey with staff of St Francis Xavier's School (Manunda) commencing 15 July 2019 and concluding 5 August 2019.

    St Francis Xavier's School (Manunda) provides educational services to students from 370 families. Survey responses were received from 31 out of a total of 54 eligible respondents. This equates to a response rate of 57.4%.

    St Francis Xavier's School (Manunda) recorded an overall satisfaction score of 79% (3.93 out of 5).

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

    Data Last Updated Tue Mar 17 2020

    Student Reporting Data
    Average student attendance rates
    Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
    92.52% 94.2% 93.47% 94.55% 93.46% 94.82% 94.15%
    How non-attendance is managed by the school

    Parents are required to notify the school via the absentee phone message bank before 8.30am if their child/ren will be absent for the day, or late. Parental contact is expected whether or not the child is absent for the whole day or part of the day. If a student is away and no notification has been received (ie: a written note or a phone call), teachers alert the school office to student non-attendance promptly every morning through their marking of the electronic school roll. Student services will contact parents to ascertain reason for absence. This contact may be either through 'Blink' or a phone call.  Student welfare and attendance is a priority for staff at St Francis Xavier's School.

    Student Satisfaction

    MYP Corporation conducted a School Results Survey with students of St Francis Xavier's School (Manunda) commencing 15 July 2019 and concluding 5 August 2019.

    St Francis Xavier's School (Manunda) provides educational services to students from 370 families. Survey responses were received from 222 out of a total of 291 eligible respondents. This equates to a response rate of 76.3%.

    St Francis Xavier's School (Manunda) recorded an overall satisfaction score of 82% (4.12 out of 5).

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

    Data Last Updated Wed Jun 17 2020

    Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2019
    Reading Average Score for the school 420.7
    Average Score for Queensland 427.36
    % students at or above the national benchmark 100%
    Writing Average Score for the school 402.1
    Average Score for Queensland 413.27
    % students at or above the national benchmark 96.6%
    Spelling Average Score for the school 421.6
    Average Score for Queensland 411.24
    % students at or above the national benchmark 96.6%
    Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 431.4
    Average Score for Queensland 432.74
    % students at or above the national benchmark 98.3%
    Numeracy Average Score for the school 399.6
    Average Score for Queensland 399.11
    % students at or above the national benchmark 96.6%

    Data Last Updated Mon Mar 30 2020

    Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2019
    Reading Average Score for the school 521.5
    Average Score for Queensland 503.02
    % students at or above the national benchmark 100%
    Writing Average Score for the school 456.5
    Average Score for Queensland 464.67
    % students at or above the national benchmark 95.8%
    Spelling Average Score for the school 517.3
    Average Score for Queensland 495.21
    % students at or above the national benchmark 100%
    Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 510.5
    Average Score for Queensland 497.66
    % students at or above the national benchmark 94.4%
    Numeracy Average Score for the school 510.2
    Average Score for Queensland 492.6
    % students at or above the national benchmark 98.6%

    Data Last Updated Mon Mar 30 2020

    School Funding By Source
    Income 2019

    Australian Government recurrent funding$4,612,676

    State/Territory Government recurrent funding$1,083,297

    Fees, charges and parent contributions$1,227,341

    Other private sources$311,869

    Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$7,235,183

    Deductions 2019

    Income allocated to current capital projects$199,279

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

    Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$282,763


    Total net recurrent income$482,042

    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.