2018 Annual Report for Good Counsel Primary School, Innisfail
Motto Seek, Learn and Serve GC-Primary-Innisfail.jpg
Address 96 Rankin Street, INNISFAIL QLD 4860
Postal Address 96 Rankin Street, INNISFAIL QLD 4860
Phone Number (07) 4061 2994
Fax Number (07) 4061 2271
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 278 Mr Liam M Kenny
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mr Liam M Kenny
Parish PriestFr Kerry Crowley
Parish Number (07) 4061 6633

About our School

Good Counsel Primary School is located close to the heart of Innisfail, at 96 Rankin Street.

Innisfail is the Cassowary Coast's largest town, with a population of approximately 10,000. The township is picturesquely situated at the junction of the North and South Johnstone Rivers, about five kilometres from the coast. Innisfail is 90km south of Cairns along the Bruce Highway, making it easily accessible by car, bus or train.

As the largest non-government primary school in the Innisfail district, Good Counsel Primary School offers parents real choice. Together with our sister Catholic primary schools - St Rita's at South Johnstone, St John's and St Clare's to the south at Silkwood and Tully, and St Rita's to the north at Babinda - our schools are well known for being inclusive, welcoming to all, and surprisingly affordable.  Students are attracted to GCPS from throughout the Cassowary Coast, from as far south as Tully and Mission Beach, to Babinda in the north and East Palmerston to the west.

Catholic primary school students receive enrolment priority at Good Counsel College which is located directly across the street and close to the Innisfail CBD, making the transition to the College from Good Counsel Primary seamless.

Students take part in specialist Physical Education programs and an excellent range of sporting activities year round, including Netball, AFL, Cricket, Rugby League, League Tag, Touch Football, Soccer, Athletics and Futsal.  Cultural engagement is emphasised with specialist programs in The Arts, Instrumental Music and School Choir.

Spiritual development, focused on a faith-filled and values-based education, offers a strong foundation for a life of worth, not merely a life of work. Opportunities abound in mission and justice, moral and spiritual growth, and are fostered throughout the school.

Good Counsel Primary is a melting pot of cultures, religions, backgrounds and abilities. The school community is welcoming to all, caring and friendly.  

In 2018 GCP was staffed by a Principal,  APRE/APA, LST, CST, School Counsellor, Specialists - HPE, The Arts, ILO, Teacher Librarian, 14 classroom Teachers, Student School Officers, Librarian, Administration Officers, IT Technicians and various Ancillary Staff (Tuckshop Convenor, Groundsman, Cleaner).

GCPS 2018 enrolment of 278 students.  14 classes are offered from Prep to Yr 6.

Forecast enrolment to begin 2019 is 310 students

Characteristics of Student Body

  • Indigenous - 18% (510
  • Students with Verified Disability (SWD) - 3% (11)
  • English as Second Language ESL - 13% (37)
  • National Consistency Collection of Data NCCD - 16% (51) - 2017
  • School Socio-economic status - 88
  • We have 200 families with
    • 48 families accessing Health Care Card Concession
    • 12 families accessing Financial Hardship Concessions


















Cultural diversity

  • Indigenous - Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and/or both
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Hmong
  • Punjabi
  • PNG
  • Indian (Malayalam)
  • Irish
  • Tongan
  • New Zealand
  • Italian
  • Spanish


School Annual Improvement

Priority 1: A lived and Celebrated Catholic Identity

Develop and clearly articulate our School Charism and Catholic Identity.

Staff, students and parents will be able to:

  • articulate the values of Good Counsel Primary
  • be knowledgeable of GCP foundation history and Charism - Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedictine

Strategies and resources implemented

During 2018/2019 GCPS will analyse the data from the Catholic School Identity Survey.

The results from the survey will guide what direction the Staff, Students and Parents take in the area of Catholic Identity which will be included into the school Strategic Plan.

Continue to analyse  data from the ESCP (2017) Survey

Engagement with Parent group and sharing of the ESCP Data and School Plan.

 'Religious Life of the School' document.

  • Visible School Mission Statement
  • PD Day in Term 1 with CES RE Team
  • Staff meetings with Catholic Identity Project agenda
  • Promotion of GCP's history - Benedictine Charism integrating the Rules of St Benedict (Spiritual Charism) with student learning

Priority 2: An Explicit Improvement Agenda

During 2018 to grow School enrolments back to 300 students by publicising a positive profile of GCPS throughout the Cassowary Coast Region.

Strategies and resources implemented

Build the best teaching team possible

  • Utilizing facebook as a medium to promote positive student learning experiences
  • Extend the use of 'See Saw'  throughout the school as a major means of classroom/ home communication
  • Extending the use of HWY Billboards to the northern region
  • Replace the Billboard skin on PCYC
  • Marketing through Pakmag editorials and features
  • Expanding the use of the local print media for positive school stories
  • Distributing Prep brochure through GCPS Playgroup, kindies, hospital and medical establishments where younger families have contact
  • Establishing contact with Catholic families utilising the Baptismal data base- Parish Centre Staff
  • Increased school profile
  • School Choir/Band
  • Under 8's Day
  • Pre-Prep Transition Program (2018)

Priority 3: To build a Culture that Promotes Learning - Morning Routine

By the end of Semester One, 100% teachers will be implementing 30 minutes of morning routine daily.

During Semester Two School documentation will be developed in each year level to map links to the Australian Curriculum to enhance Morning Routine.

Strategies and resources implemented

  • Week 0 Staff PD
  • Morning Routine - Jo-Anne Dooner
  • Neurology and the developing brain (Louise Prince)-(Brainwaves)
  • iPads for Education- (Karen Pastro)- (CompNow)

Professional Learning Teams with a focus on unit planning, teaching practice, data analysis and differentiated student learning.

As a school we aim to build teacher capacity in formative assessment, repeated practice and explicit instruction.

Morning Routine focuses on building oral language, spelling, writing and numeracy.

  • CES School Support Team - Leigh Quirk
  • Morning Routine follow up
  • Additional PD at staff meetings to analyse data - spelling, comprehension, running records, sight words, oral language
  • Allocation of staff meetings for PLT Meetings
  • Teacher release for PLT - unit planning
  • Observation of teacher 'best practice'
  • Streamline the Learning Support model to focus on assisting students in small groups
  • Continuation of 4 days Literacy Coaching -  Michelle Ham
  • Begin Numeracy Coaching CES - Gloria West/School - Amber Di Carlo
  • Teacher Profiling - Maria Caltabiano
  • Continue to enhance and utilise the collection of student data- BI Tool/ Learning Support Data Analysis
  • Classroom Data Collection Project- Jenny Fey
  • Effective Learners Project - Jan Gallagher and School Team
  • Effective Learners Banners and Classroom materials developed and visible throughout the school
  • Library Learners Project - Darelle Horsford
  • Intervention Groups - students selected using Learning Support Data Analysis
    • Students working in ROLEM (Yr 1 - 4)
    • Students involved in Rainbow Reading        (Yr 1 - 4)
    • Students involved in Comprehension Intervention Group Yr 5 & 6)
    • Students involved in MIP (Mini Lit Intervention Program)
    • Students involved in ESL immersion
    • Students working in Extension Groups (Yr 3 - 6)
  • Analysis of individual students who receive intensive intervention

Teacher Capability Funding

Good Counsel Primary School has benefited significantly throughout 2018 through the Teacher Capability Funding Grant.  It has been used across three terms to support the implementation of Professional Learning Teams.  These teams have met on two levels:  same grade teachers and area sectors (Prep to 2, Year 3 and 4, Year 5 and 6).

The PLTs between same grade teachers have been used to plan and micro manage learning activities, collect and analyse data from these activities with the redirection of those students who required it and the extension of those who met and understood the expected standards. The teams have also met to design Scope and Sequence for Morning Routines, Literacy Intervention Plans and the analysis of student data.

A whole school coaching and mentoring initiative has assisted and supported teachers to improve their teaching skills and this ultimately improved student learning and engagement.  Teams worked on, and continue to work with collective ideas, and to develop how to engage students who work at the various levels of the curriculum.  Staff are keen to be working together, with new ideas, and are keen to monitor the progress of students and celebrate the success of these initiatives.

The opportunities, for the students, this funding has provided are significant, as it has allowed teachers the time to analyse relevant data frequently, have valuable discussions as to student learning and to develop learning environments to support and extend students.

The school has provided additional funding to allow all teachers part time and full time to be involved.  This has been crucial to have all staff on board and we plan to continue the model into 2019.

Areas of growth

  1. Priority 1 has been a consistent focus in 2018 with the majority of strategies have been completed.  Analysis and revisit of ECSIP survey data will flow on into Term 1 2019 and further development of the school Sacred Space will be a focus.
  2. Priority 2 has been achieved through a team approach to developing the school's profile in the community.  Our goal was to grow enrolments to 300 and this has been achieved with a projected starting enrolment for 2019 of 313 students.
  3. Priority 3 has been successful as all staff have fully implemented the practice of 30 minutes of morning routine daily.  The effect of this strategy has been evident in each class with students gaining valuable general knowledge across a wide range of topics and improved skills in spelling, number sense recall of facts.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

The School offers students an excellent academic education in all key learning areas. Social and Emotional Learning is an important part of daily learning and Morning Routine has in 2018 embedded into daily classroom learning. Students from Prep to Year 6 have specialist lessons in Health and Physical Education and the Arts (Term 1 Music, Term 2 Visual Art, Term 3 Dance and Term 4 Performance).

A number of our students participate in the Instrumental Music Program with Mr Nathan Wiltshire and others have private piano tuition based at the school.

Many GCPS students take advantage of skills training after school- Rugby League, Netball, Fitness, Tennis, Soccer and AFL.  Robotics and Coding Club can be accessed before school or specified lunch times and the library can be utilized every lunch time.  Students this year showcased their extra- curricular skills at our Talent Expo with items including Martial Arts, Dance, Speech and Drama, Instrumental items and vocals. The School Choir performs throughout the year and Mini Vinnies students keep Social Justice issues in the forefront of our thinking.

Extra Curricular Activities

The following are important characteristics of the school's overall extra- curricular offerings:-

  • School Choir
  • Class Young Performers
  • Reader's Cup
  • Instrumental Music Lessons
  • Curriculum focussed  Excursions
  • Mini-Vinnies Student Committees
  • Student Council  Executive
  • Mathematics Olympiad Competition
  • ICAS Competitions
  • Year  6 Charters Towers- Longreach Outback Camp
  • Year  5 Tinaroo Camp    
  • Year 4 Tableland Excursion
  • Prep - Year 3 Local curriculum based excursions
  • School Rugby League teams  10- 12 year olds  
  • School Futsal teams Junior and Senior
  • School Netball teams Junior and Senior
  • After school Sporting skills programs (Rugby League, Soccer and AFL)
  • Tech Heads and Mini Bots - extension robotics, coding and circuit design
  • Extension Groups for creative thinkers

Social Climate

Good Counsel Primary has a culture of being welcoming to all in its community, where each person is viewed as important and valued. The school prides itself on encouraging its students to be self- disciplined and providing an environment where students can learn without disruption. Students are encouraged to maintain appropriate standards of behaviour and to respect the rights of all individuals - "Each child has the right to learn".

GCPS draws its student population from the surrounding Cassowary Coast Region, with families choosing a Catholic education and travelling from as far as Mission Beach to the south, East Palmerston to the west and Babinda to the north.

Good Counsel recognises the importance of parents as the first educators of their children and actively encourages parental involvement. Through the Parents and Friends Association, parents have a role in determining future direction for the school. Parents are also encouraged to assist in classrooms so that children can enjoy their presence at school and play an active role in assisting with student reading, literacy, mathematics and technology rotations.  Meet and Greet Nights are organised by the Parents and Friends Association and have been very successful opportunities for families to meet and mix socially. These nights are combined with the Student Council Discos and Games nights that promote and celebrate the importance of families spending time and having fun together.

The school is in very close proximity with Good Counsel College and shares a combined Schools Board made up of a cross section of Parents from the Schools' communities. The Board assists the Principals in the development of policy and in the future educational directions of the schools. Given this relationship, Good Counsel Primary is ideally placed for those families looking for a linked Prep - Year 12 education for their children.

Parent Engagement

At Good Counsel Primary we encourage strong parental involvement in the life of our school. We believe that children more easily achieve their true potential when parents feel comfortable being an active part of school life.

Each of us has different gifts to share and generous sharing enriches our school and benefits each individual - both adult and child. Staff at Good Counsel Primary are always happy and open in their sharing with parents. In partnership, parents and teachers,   feel it is important to share not only the aspects of what is being done but also the how and why.   Parents want the best education for their children and our Teachers are willing to work diligently to assist in this process.

Parental   involvement is facilitated through the following organisations and activities:-

  • Parents and Friends Association
  • Combined Schools' Board
  • Mother of Good Counsel Feast Day
  • Activity Nights (Prep)
  • Friday Prayer Assemblies
  • Mother's Day Morning Tea
  • Father's Day Activities  
  • Class Assistance Programmes
  • Parent Information Meetings
  • Oral and Written Reports - interviews
  • Cultural Theme days
  • Grandparents' Day
  • Reconciliation Week
  • NAIDOC Celebrations
  • Class open days
  • Camps/Excursions
  • Sports days
  • Talent Showcase
  • Liturgies - both class and whole school
  • Christmas Concert
  • Under 8's Day and related celebratory days

Good Counsel Primary School has a Combined Schools' Board and a Parents and Friends Association (P&F). The active P&F is involved in facilitating and organising and supporting social functions. The School Board plays an active role overseeing policy development and has input into major building projects and the general strategic direction of the school.  The Parish Finance Committee approves and monitors the school budget. The school is involved in parish life through the Pastoral Council and Finance Committee as well as through Sacramental Programs, regular liturgies, masses and class visits by our with our resident Priests.

Parent Satisfaction

MYP Corporation conducted a School Results Survey with staff of Good Counsel Primary School (Innisfail) in July 2018

Survey responses were received from 96 out of a total of 362 eligible respondents. This equates to a response rate of 26.5%.

Good Counsel Primary School (Innisfail) recorded an overall satisfaction score of 85% (4.25 out of 5).

Good Counsel Primary School (Innisfail) provides educational services to students from 140 families.

"¢ Best practice areas include: Leadership, Resources, Learning + Teaching, Improvement Processes, Student Protection, Bullying + Behaviour Management, Catholic Ethos.

89% of parents agreed that GCPS is a welcoming and caring community where everyone is treated with respect.  92% agreed that GCPS provides high quality service to parents and students and offers a broad and relevant curriculum. 92% also agree that GCPS encourages each child to achieve to the best of their ability and that students are prepared for the technological demands of our world.

Data Last Updated Thu 23 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 1 19 3 0

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff28 20.6
Non-Teaching Staff 18 7.74
Indigenous 0 0

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$20718

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

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

  • Joanne Dooner- Morning Routines
  • Mathematics Coaching- Gloria West
  • 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
  • Google Sight
  • NAPLAN Analysis
  • TREWTH Conference
  • Learning Support- Student Data
  • Student Reporting
  • Data Sheets
  • Student Protection Training
  • WHS Training
  • Leading with Integrity Program
  • Enhancing Catholic School Identity

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 year79.00%

Staff Satisfaction

MYP Corporation conducted a School Results Survey with staff of Good Counsel Primary School (Innisfail) in July 2018.

Good Counsel Primary School (Innisfail) recorded an overall satisfaction score of 86% (4.3 out of 5).

Survey responses were received from 33 out of a total of 48 eligible respondents. This equates to a response rate of 68.8%.

- Best practice areas include: Student Protection, Resources, Catholic Ethos, Staff Engagement, Leadership and Improvement Processes.

100% of staff agreed that GCPS provides high quality services to parents and students.  100% also agreed that GCPS delivers quality educational outcomes for students and encourages students to develop a love of learning.

Data Last Updated Thu May 23 2019

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
90.14% 93.98% 91.02% 94.27% 92.94% 94.76% 94.38%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

At Good Counsel Primary it is an expectation that parents make verbal or written contact with the class teacher or administration if their child is absent on a particular day. If students have unexplained absences, parents are contacted. Should students be absent for a period of more than two school days in a row the teacher will offer to organise work to be completed at home. If a pattern of unexplained absences occurs then the parents are contact and an interview with the Principal is organised. All class rolls have tables to indicate the variety of reasons that a child could be absent from school on a particular day. These are saved to the data base and stored at Administration. If Indigenous students are away then the Indigenous Liaison Officer will follow up with the family via a phone call. Our Indigenous Liaison Officer meets with the Principal when required to assist with family visits related to truant students.

Student Satisfaction

MYP Corporation conducted a School Results Survey with staff of Good Counsel Primary School (Innisfail) in July 2018.

Good Counsel Primary School (Innisfail) recorded an overall satisfaction score of 78% (3.91 out of 5).

Survey responses were received from 75 out of a total of 91 eligible respondents (Year 5 and 6 students). This equates to a response rate of 82.4%.

89% of student agreed that doing my best at GCPS is important to me and that I am encouraged to do the best I can.  80% of students agreed that they know what they have to do to improve their learning at school.

Data Last Updated Thu May 23 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 410.9
Average Score for Queensland 437.8
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.7%
Writing Average Score for the school 401.1
Average Score for Queensland 410.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 434.5
Average Score for Queensland 432.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.5%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 390.9
Average Score for Queensland 406
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 395.7
Average Score for Queensland 413.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.7%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 505.6
Average Score for Queensland 517.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 94%
Writing Average Score for the school 468
Average Score for Queensland 469.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 94%
Spelling Average Score for the school 506
Average Score for Queensland 511.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 98%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 500.1
Average Score for Queensland 497.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 501.5
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$3,431,894

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$855,337

Fees, charges and parent contributions$987,467

Other private sources$129,531

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$5,404,229

Deductions 2018

Income allocated to current capital projects$198,614

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$31,880


Total net recurrent income$37,452

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.