2018 Annual Report for St Gerard Majella School, Woree
Motto The Lord is my Light St Gerard Majella logo col sm.jpg
Address 63 Anderson Rd, WOREE QLD 4868
Postal Address PO Box 12131 CAIRNS DC QLD 4870
Phone Number (07) 4054 4805
Fax Number (07) 4054 6433
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 390 Lea Martin
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Lea Martin
Parish PriestFr Martin Kenny
Parish Number (07) 4054 1171

About our School

St Gerard Majella School provides a quality education for families located in the southern parts of Cairns and is an integral part of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, Earlville. The school is located adjacent to St Mary's Catholic College in Woree.

At St Gerard Majella School we hope to perpetuate the spirit of the Franciscan Nuns who founded the school with a focus on our Franciscan Charism which emphasises the environment and a love of God's creation. The school is situated in a beautiful setting at the base of Red Hill and the flourishing gardens and outdoor learning and play spaces are a living testimony to Franciscan spirituality.

The St Gerard Majella community is supportive and caring. Committed and dedicated staff work closely with parents and caregivers to provide students with an opportunity to promote their spiritual, academic, social and physical development.

Since St Gerard Majella School first began in 1988, the school has grown steadily to reach full enrolment of approximately 400 students. The school community includes a significant number of students with diverse cultural backgrounds including indigenous students.

Characteristics of Student Body

  • Student Enrolment - 390 (201 Boys and 189 Girls)
  • Class Structure - 2 streams
  • Verified students - 23
  • Indigenous - 21
  • EAL/D - 47
  • NCCD - 52
  • Catholicity - 76.4%
  • Attendance - 94.3%
  • ICSEA - 1058

Cultural diversity

  • Indigenous - Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and/or both
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Hmong
  • Japanese
  • Dutch
  • German
  • PNG
  • Vietnamese
  • Indian (Malayalam)
  • Punjabi
  • Korean
  • Pilipino (Tagalog)
  • Tongan
  • New Zealand
  • Spanish

School Annual Improvement

 Priority 1: To identify, renew and enhance our Catholic Identity

By the end of 2018 the school staff will have engaged in professional learning in Catholic Identity and the Charism of St Gerard Majella School.

This will be measured by:

  1. Staff articulation and understanding of our Franciscan Charism
  2. Staff utilising and understanding the language and terminology of the Catholic Identity Project

Strategies and resources implemented

  • Staff PD on 25/10/2017 provided by Toni Foley
  • Undertake ESCIP survey for school community during Term 1 2018
  • Analyse data in Term 4 2018
  • Staff meeting devoted to sharing of outcomes of data analysis in Term 1 2019
  • Parent workshop during Term 2 2019 to share outcomes of data analysis and provide information on the project by Toni Foley
  • Staff meeting devoted to review of the Religious Life of the School Document in Term 4 2018
  • Opportunities for staff to be engaged in professional discussions regarding Catholic Identity and the Religious Life of the School
  • Principal and Parish Priest to attend Leuven in 2018
  • Publication of RLoS Calendar to whole school community each term
  • Identification of Faith Life traditions within SGM and document those appropriately
  • Bryan Grech and Gaby Donnelly will work together on building an understanding of our Franciscan Charism with the staff
  • Some aspects of the timeline may not occur until 2019

Priority 2: To build a Collaborative Culture

By the end of 2018, staff will participate in  2 hr PLT meetings 3 times per term to engage in professional conversations on planning, pedagogy and technology in innovative learning environments to improve learning and engagement for every student.

This will be measured by:

Each PLT completing a minimum of 2 SMART goals during the year.

Strategies and resources implemented

  • Staff professional development day on the Enneagram to build understanding of different personality types
  • Leadership team to set dates and schedule for 2018 PLT meetings in Term 4 2017
  • EO and CST to meet to analyse data prior to PLT process commencing
  • PLT meetings to be held for 2 hours, 3 times per term
  • The PLT process will follow the Learning Sprint Method
  • Numeracy/Literacy Coach to support the achievement of PLT SMART goals
  • EO to support PLT process with CST
  • IEO and Inclusion teachers to support differentiation strategies in PLTs
  • Agenda for PLT meetings may include:
    • to analyse school data
    • to make explicit the school's professional learning agenda
    • to share planning
    • to embed cross curricular skills
    • to utilise learning progressions
    • to set specific improvement targets with timelines with SMART goals
    • to engage in professional conversations about contemporary pedagogical practices
    • to engage in professional conversations about diverse and innovative learning environments to engage students more effectively in the learning process
    • to be involved in collaborative common assessment planning and writing

Priority 3: To build a Collaborative Culture - Integrated Unit Planning

By the end of 2018, teachers across all year levels will be using an integrated planning approach to curriculum delivery

This will be measured by:

Each year level having completed at least 4 integrated units of work

Strategies and resources implemented

  • Year level planning day each term to finalise integrated unit plans from 2017
  • Unit plans to be posted on school server
  • Trial of integrated units each term

Priority 4: To build Collaborative Culture - Contemporary Learning Pedagogies

By the end of 2018, teachers and students will operate in diverse learning environments to best cater for student learning needs.

This will be measured by:

  1. All teachers utilising visible learning strategies - learning intentions, success criteria and feedback.
  2. All teachers utilising ESCMs and displaying class expectations and consequences

Strategies and resources implemented

  • Master planning of the school to begin in Term 4 2017 and completed by the end of Term 1 2018
  • Teachers to be engaged in discussion on the creative use of physical learning spaces and technology during Semester 2 2017 and 2018
  • Each term, the teacher librarian to work with staff on the use of technology in contemporary learning pedagogy, particularly focusing on ways to differentiate teaching and learning
  • Use of visible learning strategies in all classrooms to enhance learning outcomes
  • Enhance the use of outdoor spaces in learning through professional learning opportunities
  • Teachers to attend Joanne Dooner PD in 0 Week on writing learning intentions and success criteria
  • Teachers to participate in ongoing peer observation and coaching
  • Leadership team to have regular classroom walkthroughs and provide feedback
  • Attendance at the National Future Schools Expo and Conference - APRE and Year 5/6 teachers to be leaders in this area
  • All teachers to engage in Classroom Profiling
  • EO and Inclusion Teachers to be part of the learning journey in the area of Contemporary Learning Pedagogies

Areas of growth

  1. Priority 1 has been a consistent focus in 2018 with the majority of strategies have been completed.  Analysis of ECSIP survey data will flow on into Term 1 2019 as the survey data was received mid Term 4 2018.
  2. Priority 2 has been successful as staff have had the opportunity to meet three times each term during the first three terms.  After feedback, this model has been modified for 2019 to allow teams of teachers to meet each week for 2 hours with a focus area for each meeting.
  3. Priority 3 has been achieved with the majority of year levels finalising units of work and contextualising them to SGM.
  4. Priority 4 has been successful in providing teachers with an immersion experience in Innovative Learning Practices to support them to develop their pedagogical practices to incorporate more contemporary learning practices.  The majority of the strategies have been completed.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

The School offers students a sound academic education in all key learning areas including Religious Education. Social and Emotional Learning is an important part of daily class lessons. Students from Prep to Year 4 have specialist lessons in Health and Physical Education while Japanese Language is offered in Year 5 and 6. All students have weekly lessons in The Arts with a specialist teacher.

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.

Many of our students enjoy learning and playing chess. We also have a Netball Club, Gardening Club, Robotics Club, Fitness Fun, Boot Camp, School Choir and Justice Squad available to children to explore their abilities and interests at before school, lunch times or after school.

Extra Curricular Activities

These include:

  • Student Council
  • Environment and Social committees
  • Sporting
  • Athletics and Cross Country teams
  • Optiminds Teams
  • Instrumental Music Program
  • Band
  • Choir
  • Chess
  • Gardening Club
  • Social Justice Group
  • Boot camp
  • Fitness Fun
  • Robotics Club
  • Netball team
  • Opportunity to try out for a variety of sports

Social Climate

St Gerard Majella is a friendly and supportive school community where parents and staff work together to provide a safe, progressive and enjoyable environment for students. Wellbeing is an important factor for all students at the school and social emotional learning permeates all aspects of the curriculum.  As the school adjoins St Mary's College, it is ideally placed for those families looking for a Prep to 12 Campus for their children. The School has two Learning Support Teachers, a School Counsellor, Intervention Teachers and School Officers who support integration, classroom and diverse needs programs.  In 2018 we have introduced a High Potential Learners' Teacher to cater for those students who have strengths in the area of creative thinking, are achieving well academically and are looking to be challenged.

Parent Engagement

St Gerard Majella School has a School Board and a Parents and Friends Association (P&F). The active P&F is involved in facilitating the Tuckshop and Second Hand Uniform Shop, as well as organising and supporting social functions. The School Board plays an active role as well, developing policies, overseeing major construction projects and monitors the school budget. An Out of School Hours Childcare Service is available in the afternoon until 6.00pm. Vacation Care is also available on site. 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. Other community involvement includes: Curriculum Information Sessions, Assemblies, Parent Workshops, Parental involvement in classrooms, Excursions and Camps, School Fete or Walkathon and Parent/Teacher meetings.

Parent Satisfaction

Parents have responded that staff (94%) and students (96.6%) live out Catholic values of witness and service in their words and actions.  92.8% believe that the policies and procedures of SGM are documented clearly and are easily accessible.  91.7% state that at SGM each child is encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability with 91.6% believing that SGM has clear, behaviour management procedures that are fair, consistent and effective.  97.7% of parents responded that the school treats students from all backgrounds with respect.  97.2% state that the grounds, building and outdoor facilities are well-presented and maintained.  92.3% of parents agree that SGM strives to improve and innovate to enhance its educational offerings to students.

Data Last Updated Tue 28 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 26 1 0

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff31 23.15
Non-Teaching Staff 24 12.93
Indigenous 2 0.81

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$24850

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
  • WHS
  • Leading with Integrity Program
  • Enhancing Catholic School Identity
  • Innovative Learning Environments and Contemporary Pedagogies
  • Nature Play Qld - Outdoor Learning

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 year81.00%

Staff Satisfaction

A total of 36 staff responded to the survey. 94.4% of staff believe that SGM is a welcoming and caring community where everyone is treated with respect.  97.3% agree that SGM provides high quality services to parents and students with 97.2% feeling empowered to make a difference.  100% of staff state that they understand their obligations under student protection processes and that the school sets high standards for student behaviour.  100% of staff agree that SGM provides the equipment, training and resources they need to do their work safely and 94.4% state that they have confidence in the future direction of SGM.

Data Last Updated Mon May 13 2019

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
95.07% 94.56% 95.3% 94.86% 94.96% 93.28% 95.64%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Teachers alert the school office to student non-attendance promptly every morning through their marking of the electronic school roll. The office staff then contact the parents unless the school has already been notified with a reason for the absence. This contact may be either through 'Blink' or a phone call.  Student welfare is a priority for staff at St Gerard Majella School.

Student Satisfaction

96.8% of students believe that "My school encourages me to think and develop my personal faith".  92.6% agree that the school rules at SGM are fair and consistent with a further 97.8% believing that doing their best at SGM is important to them.  87.1% of students indicated that if they felt unsafe at school they know a teacher or staff member who could help them and 90.3% of students think that the students at this school are nice to each other.  94.7% agree that there are many resources in the classroom that they can use to help them learn with 87.2% thinking that everyone at SGM is trying to make the school better.

Data Last Updated Wed May 22 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 429
Average Score for Queensland 437.8
% students at or above the national benchmark 94.7%
Writing Average Score for the school 414.8
Average Score for Queensland 410.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.5%
Spelling Average Score for the school 435.4
Average Score for Queensland 432.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.2%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 400.5
Average Score for Queensland 406
% students at or above the national benchmark 93%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 408.3
Average Score for Queensland 413.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.5%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 521.6
Average Score for Queensland 517.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.5%
Writing Average Score for the school 464.2
Average Score for Queensland 469.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 93%
Spelling Average Score for the school 507.9
Average Score for Queensland 511.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 94.7%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 490.4
Average Score for Queensland 497.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.2%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 496
Average Score for Queensland 501.2
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

School Funding By Source
Income 2018

Australian Government recurrent funding$2,955,693

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$579,074

Fees, charges and parent contributions$350,080

Other private sources$101,065

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$3,985,912

Deductions 2018

Income allocated to current capital projects$89,101

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$162,834


Total net recurrent income$248,112

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.