2018 Annual Report for St Rita's School, Babinda
Motto Under God's Protection St Ritas Logo.jpg
Address 7-13 Church St, BABINDA QLD 4861
Postal Address PO Box 363, BABINDA QLD 4861
Phone Number (07) 4067 1467
Fax Number NIL
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 23 Mrs Judy Billiau
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mrs Judy Billiau
Parish PriestFr Kerry Crowley PP
Parish Number (07) 4067 1292

About our School

St Rita's School provides a quality education for families located in the Babinda district of the Cairns Catholic Education Services Diocese. Students travel from us far south as Mirriwinni to attend St Rita's. The school is an integral part of the St Rita's Parish of Babinda and the Combined Schools Parish Board of the Innisfail district. Other schools on this Board include St John's Silkwood, St Rita's South Johnstone, Good Counsel Primary and Good Counsel College.

As St Rita's School is a Mercy School, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1926, we hope to perpetuate the spirit of the Mercy sisters who founded the school with a focus on our Mercy Charism. The staff has developed a google site, which is used by both staff and students, to strengthen understanding of this charism. The six Mercy values of Compassion, Respect, Hospitality, Courage, Justice and Service are used to facilitate the newly developed 'Mercy Spirit' student award which acknowledge individual students who demonstrate these values.

St Rita's School is proud to be viewed by the local community as being 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. The children's emotional health is acknowledged as being paramount to their personal wellbeing and growth.

Since 2012, with the closure of the local sugar mill, the school like many others in the Babinda district, has had fluctuating enrolments. Between 30 and 38 children in the 2013 - 2017 period saw St Rita's maintaining a three-class structure. In the past two years, student numbers have further declined to 25 - 29 enrolments. This enrolment includes a significant number of students with diverse cultural backgrounds, including indigenous students, and a group of verified students who are fully integrated into regular classroom programs.

Characteristics of Student Body

  • Student Enrolment - 23
  • Class Structure - Prep/Year 1, Year 2/3/4 and Year 5/6
  • Verified students - 6
  • Indigenous - 36%
  • EAL/D - 3
  • NCCD - 7
  • Catholicity - 16%
  • Attendance - 92%
  • ICSEA -970

Cultural Diversity

  • Indigenous - Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and/or both
  • Vietnamese
  • German
  • Fillipino

School Annual Improvement

Focus Area 1: To identify, renew and enhance our Catholic Identity

Smart goals:

By the end of 2018, the school staff will engage in professional learning focused on the Mercy Charism of St Rita's School.

To develop knowledge of the history and traditions of the Sisters of Mercy at St Rita's School.

Once per term, reflect on, review and develop the Mercy Charism aspect in the Religious Life of the School working document at a designated Staff Meeting.

This will be measured by:

1.    Staff articulation and understanding of the school's Mercy Charism

2.    Staff utilising and understanding the Mercy Charism aspect of the Religious Life of the School document.

Strategies and resources implemented:

1.    Staff workshop with CES Support Personnel on Mercy Traditions in the Cairns Diocese, specifically with St Rita's School Babinda.

2.    Teaching staff to continue the development of a Mercy Charism interactive google site. To be completed by end of Semester 1.

3.    Continued collaboration work with the SSST (Southern School Support Team) on the development of the Mercy Charism google site. Mr Bryan Grech (Education Officer, Identity & Mission) to provide additional assistance with the google site.

4.    Designated Staff Meeting per term to update the RLOS (Religious Life of the School) working document.

5.    Develop and implement the distribution of specific 'Mercy Spirit' Awards at fortnightly school assemblies.

Focus Area 2: To develop effective teaching skills in the specific curriculum area of Writing

Smart goals:

Throughout the year, all classroom teachers will begin the implementation of the 'Seven Steps of Writing Success' pedagogy across all year levels.

English Unit Planning will include Explicit Instruction lessons of these writing strategies.

Improvement in Writing skills will be monitored and assessed by the classroom teacher in Terms 1 and 3.

A sample of student writing will be assessed using the Writing Gain marking guide in Terms 1 and Term 3.

Strategies and resources implemented:

1.    All classroom teachers will attend a Professional Development session in March 2018.

2.    School Curriculum Support Teacher to review English Unit Planning for Writing content.

3.    An embedded Writing focus is in the Literacy Coaching Plan and the Literacy & Numeracy Action Plan for 2018.

4.    Collaboration with CES Literacy Coach Ms Gloria West to implement the Literacy Coaching Plan in Terms 1 - 3.

5.    Review and evaluation of the current Writing Scope & Sequence to cater for multi-age classes.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

St Rita's School offers students a sound academic education in all areas and strands of the Australian Curriculum, including Religious Education. Social and Emotional Learning, using 'Program Achieve' and 'Play is the Way', is an important part of everyday learning and growth for all students. Students in all year levels receive specialist lessons in Health and Physical Education and L.O.T.E. (Japanese).

A number of our students participate in a private Instrumental Music Program managed and taught by a qualified local music teacher, Mrs Jennifer Marks. The school allows the students to use the keyboards and guitars sourced and purchased for these lessons through a community grant.

Many of our students enjoy playing sports, such as AFL and tennis, after school. We also have Homework Club every Monday afternoon, Lego & Robotics Club, School Choir and a 'Community Carers' social justice group. These extra-curricular activities are available for children to extend their abilities and interests during lunch times and after school.

Extra Curricular Activities

 These include:

  • 'Community Carers' social justice student group
  • Australian Sporting Schools programs: tennis, AFL, netball and gymnastics
  • Athletics and Cross Country interschool, district and regional competitions
  • Instrumental Music Program
  • School Choir
  • 'Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden' cooking and gardening program
  • Robotics & Lego Club

Social Climate

St Rita's School is acknowledged by the local Babinda community as being a family-oriented, inclusive and supportive school community where parents and staff work together to provide a safe and challenging learning environment for all students. 

Personal wellbeing is an important consideration for all students at the school and social emotional learning permeates all aspects of the curriculum. The School has a dedicated Learning Support Teacher, a School Counsellor, and experienced School Officers who support integration of students with special needs, high potential learners and positive behaviour programs.

Parent Engagement

St Rita's School has a small yet very active Parents & Friends Association, which meets throughout the year at monthly meetings, coordinates special community events (such as the school discos), manages the school tuckshop, and raises additional funds for the purpose of benefitting the students.

With other schools and a college in the Innisfail district, St Rita's School is a member of the Combined Schools Parish Board. This board plays an active role sharing educational practices and information, and developing policies and procedures in a collaborative and collegial way for the benefit of all the school communities involved.

The school actively engages with St Rita's Parish through participation in Parish Meetings and Parish Finance Committee as well as through Sacramental Programs, regular liturgies and masses with our Parish Priest. Other community involvement includes Curriculum Information Sessions, Assemblies, parent workshops, parental involvement in classrooms, excursions and camps, term discos and twice-yearly parent/teacher meetings.


Parent Satisfaction

In all areas of the parent surveys, Catholic Ethos, Resources, Learning and Teaching, Bullying and Behaviour Management, Leadership, Student Protection and Improvement Processes, excellent levels of satisfaction were recorded by the parents of St Rita's School. These levels of satisfaction were also higher than those of other diocesan schools.

Parents recorded their overall satisfaction with the education provided by St Rita's School by participating in the annual School Satisfaction Surveys conducted by the MYP Corporation in 2018. Overall, parent averages of satisfaction with St Rita's School were higher than those of the Cairns Diocese across all areas that were surveyed.

 100% of parents agreed that St Rita's promotes justice, compassion and service, and provides a relevant and interesting Religious Education program. 89% of parents agreed that St Rita's School encourages them to participate in regular celebration of the Eucharist.

89% of parents agreed that St Rita's School (Babinda) provides high quality services to parents and students, and that each child is encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability. 89% of parents have confidence in the school's teaching staff, agreeing that staff, parents and carers work together to deliver quality outcomes for the students.

100.0% of parents agreed that the school offers a broad and relevant curriculum.

89% of parents agreed that they are aware of the school has processes for the protection of students. 78% of parents agreed that St Rita's clearly communicates expectations and rules for student behaviour, and are supported when requiring further information about the school's processes for student behaviour management. 100% of parents agreed that the school treats students from all backgrounds with respect, and that staff of the school are accessible, respectful and respond promptly to parent concerns.

Although 67% of parents agreed that the grounds, buildings and outdoor facilities are well-presented and maintained, all parents agreed that the classrooms are well presented and stimulating places for learning. 100% of parents also agreed that St Rita's is well equipped with learning and teaching resources. 89% of parents agreed that the school strives to improve and innovate to enhance its educational offerings to students.

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 1 4 1 0

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff4 3.8
Non-Teaching Staff 7 1.38
Indigenous 0 0

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$1599

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

Throughout 2018, the teachers have been involved in professional learning sessions and in a collaborative PLT (Professional Learning Team) in the following areas:

  • Improved Writing skills and developing an Enriched Vocabulary Scope & Sequence
  • Implementation of the 'Morning Routines' teaching practice (Joanne Dooner)
  • Introduction of the new Religious Education curriculum; Religious Life of the School and Mercy Charism
  • Social-emotional learning and wellbeing
  • Differentiated teaching and learning
  • Literacy Coaching
  • 360 Feedback Professional Development program
  • Workplace, Health & Safety Compliance training
  • Student Protection training
  • Disability Standards Education training
  • 'Leading with Integrity' School Governance program
  • Positive Partnerships (Autism Queensland)

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days99%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year42.00%

Staff Satisfaction

All staff actively participated in the Staff Surveys conducted by the MYP Corporation in 2018. In all six of the seven areas of the staff surveys, Student Protection, Catholic Ethos, Bullying and Behaviour Management, Staff Engagement, Leadership and Resources, St Rita's recorded excellent levels of overall staff satisfaction of St Rita's School, and responses of being satisfied that were higher than other diocesan schools. The seventh area, Improvement Processes, which was on a par with the diocesan average, recorded the staff as having good satisfaction levels with the elements surveyed in this area.

In the survey area of Catholic Ethos, 100% of staff agreed that staff live out Catholic values in their words and actions; that St Rita's School is a welcoming and caring community where everyone is treated with respect; prayer and the celebration of Eucharist are an important part of the life of the school; and justice, compassion and service are promoted at the school.

86% of staff agreed that the school is well managed and organised, feedback is provided on their work, policies and procedures are applied uniformly to staff regardless of position, and that they are comfortable expressing their opinions at St Rita's. 100% of staff agreed that they would recommend Catholic Education as an 'employer of choice'. All staff members also agreed that morale is positive among staff at St Rita's School,  that they feel valued and respected at the school, their skills and abilities are utilised effectively at the school, and they have real job satisfaction in their positions. 86% of staff agreed that they are comfortable expressing their opinions at St Rita's School.

100% of staff state that they understand their obligations under student protection processes and that the school sets high standards for student behaviour. All staff members agree that the current student behaviour support programs are effectively implemented across the whole school. Although 100% of staff agree that St Rita's School provides the equipment, training and resources they need to do their work safely, and these resources are readily available, 29% of staff were uncertain of the future direction of St Rita's School.

Data Last Updated Tue May 14 2019

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
72.22% 96.2% 92.27% 96.76% 88.31% 92.75% 95.85%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

St Rita's families are reminded frequently in the school newsletter and at assemblies about the importance of attendance and being at school on time.

The school has processes and procedures in place to address lateness and non-attendance. Following the marking of the roll each morning, unexplained absences are actioned by the school administration officer. If parents have not contacted the school prior to the completion of the roll, a phone call is made and the reason recorded. A Sign-in Register is used for students who arrive late and depart early from school.

Student Satisfaction



In all areas of the student surveys, Catholic Ethos, Learning and Teaching, Resources, Student Protection, Leadership, Improvement Processes, and Bullying and Behaviour Management, students of St Rita's recorded satisfaction responses higher than other diocesan schools.


All students surveyed agreed that they were proud to be a student at St Rita's School, and that their school encourages them to think about other people. Although 86% of students agreed that Religion is an important part of school life, 100% believed that the school encourages them to think and develop their personal faith.

72% of students strongly agree that the school leadership team is respected by the students, and that they tell others that the school is great. 86% of students disagreed that

there is a lot of poor behaviour at St Rita's School, that doing their best at St Rita's is important to them, and that their teachers seem to really like teaching. 86% of students also agreed that they get on well with the other students at my school, that they are comfortable participating in classroom activities, and that they are encouraged to do their best.

100% of students believed that the learning they do is challenging and interesting, they use technology regularly at school, with 72% strongly agreeing that when they have a problem with their learning they will be helped by their teachers. 86% of students indicated that if they felt unsafe at school they know a teacher or staff member who could help them, they have learned about child protection through lessons in the classroom, and that teachers always treat children fairly at St Rita's School.

100% of students agree that there are many resources in the classroom that they can use to help them learn, that the school grounds are kept neat and tidy, and that St Rita's School has enough space for sport and outside activities, with adequate school equipment being available at all times. 86% of students believe that everyone at St Rita's School is trying to make the school better, and more than half of the students strongly agree that the staff is interested in what the students think.

Data Last Updated Mon Feb 11 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 462.5
Average Score for Queensland 437.8
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 439.3
Average Score for Queensland 410.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 490.5
Average Score for Queensland 432.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 495
Average Score for Queensland 406
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 479.2
Average Score for Queensland 413.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 507.8
Average Score for Queensland 517.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 475.9
Average Score for Queensland 469.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Spelling Average Score for the school 516.4
Average Score for Queensland 511.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 490.4
Average Score for Queensland 497.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 517.3
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$642,941

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$70,152

Fees, charges and parent contributions$27,369

Other private sources$21,089

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$761,551

Deductions 2018

Income allocated to current capital projects$5,100

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$1,833


Total net recurrent income$1,859

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.