2018 Annual Report for Mount St Bernard College, Herberton
Motto Luceat Lux Vestra 'Let Your Light Shine' Final _ Correct MSB Logo 2.jpg
Address 15 Broadway, HERBERTON QLD 4887
Postal Address PO Box 14, HERBERTON QLD 4887
Phone Number (07) 4096 1444
Fax Number (07) 4096 2509
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 191 Ian Margetts
Year Levels Offered 7-12
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Ian Margetts
Parish PriestFr Barry Craig
Parish Number (07) 4091 1125

About our School

Mount St Bernard College is located at Herberton, on the Atherton Tablelands. Established in 1921 by the Sisters of Mercy as a day and boarding school, the College enjoys a proud history and a rich tradition.

The Sisters of Mercy began their educational ministry in the Herberton district over 100 years ago with the opening of St Patrick's Parish Catholic primary school in 1910. Responding to the changing educational needs in far north Queensland, the original Sisters of Mercy Boarding School, St Mary's Cooktown, was moved to Herberton in 1921. The Sisters of Mercy gifted the college to the Diocese of Cairns in February 2006 and it is now administered by Cairns Catholic Education Services.

As a Catholic school, Mount St Bernard College is open to all who support its values and are seeking a holistic education. The College serves local students from the Tablelands district.  With Boarding facilities on-site, Mount St Bernard College also reaches out to students from the remote communities of Cape York, the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Torres Strait, Northern Territory & Papua New Guinea.

As a coeducational boarding school, the College enrolment reflects a broad spectrum of cultures and experiences. Mount St Bernard College strives to enable its students to develop a broad range of skills enabling them to become the persons God created them to be.

Small class sizes and excellent pastoral support allows Mount St Bernard College to provide meaningful, personalised pathways for students in a well-supported environment.

Characteristics of Student Body

Students come from far and wide to study at Mount St Bernard College.

  • 21% are 'day' students from Herberton, Atherton, Ravenshoe and surrounding areas
  • 79% are 'boarding' students from the Cape, Torres Strait, Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea
  • 76% of students identified as Indigenous

School Annual Improvement

Each year Mount St Bernard College reviews data to set a school annual improvement plan.

The priorities were;

  • Catholic Identity
  • Essential Skills of Classroom Management
  • Implementation of the new Queensland Certificate of Education

Goals set were (by the end of 2018):

  • an ECSI Team will be established and an action plan developed to implement report recommendations.
    • Outcome:  ECSI committee has met several times since May 2018 and action plan in process of being developed
  • the outcomes and recommendations from the 2017 review of PLTs will be in place. Success of these new changes will be evaluated by the end of the 2018 year.
    • Review complete and feedback received and feedback to be actioned
  • the College will have established and implemented opportunities for staff to collaborate on best practice in teaching methodology.
    • Meeting rotations have been reviewed and rearranged for more efficient use of teacher meeting time
  • teachers to have a broader knowledge of the essential skills of classroom management and implementing new essential core skills strategies
    • Essential skill professional learning took place and staff profiling based on these was rolled out for teaching staff
  • assessment strategies will be significantly more closely aligned to the new QCE system that is to be introduced in 2018
    • Assessment strategies were reviewed, and the process of alignment has begun
  • understanding of Mazano's Taxonomy will be developed
    • Staff professional learning in this area occurred in student free days.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

The Mount St Bernard College curriculum has been designed to provide diverse pathways to meet the wide ranging of needs of the students we serve. We offer a broad curriculum intended to contribute to the deep learning and holistic development of students. Core classes in the junior secondary are purposefully grouped to provide opportunities for extension or learning support

Years 7 to 10 curriculum program includes core subjects Religion, Mathematics, Science, English, Humanities and Health and Physical Education.  Year 7 & 8 students' study 'elective' subjects on rotational basis in areas that include Digital Technologies, Visual Art, Food & Textile, Industrial Technology and Music and in Year 9 & 10 they are able to choose from an extensive list that includes these areas as they explore in more depth their interests and possible career pathways.

In response to the needs of individuals and their breadth of aspirations, a Mount St Bernard College senior (Years 11 & 12) education program can help prepare young people for direct entry into the world of work or lay the foundation for tertiary studies through our academic programs. A range of Vocational Education & Training (VET) offerings complement the academic curriculum. These include VET certificate training in the areas of IT, Engineering, Education Support, Sport and Recreation, Rural Operations, Hospitality and Health.

MSB is renowned for its expedition programme. Individuals have an opportunity to challenge their comfort zone and develop traits of self-reliance, leadership and teamwork through these outdoor education experiences.

Extra Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities throughout 2018 included;

  • Student Representative Council
  • Sporting opportunities - regional, state & national Representatives.
  • Expeditions
  • Cultural Dance
  • Chess club
  • Liturgies
  • School bands
  • Choir
  • Sacramental Program
  • Youth Forums
  • Rosies Outreach Program
  • Homework Club
  • In addition to this the boarding house runs and extensive program to cater for individual students' interests.

Social Climate

Mount St Bernard College is a school in the Mercy tradition. As a Catholic school, the values of Mercy education - love, respect, participation, service and personal best effort - have endured as proud traditions at the heart of the life of the College.

Mount St Bernard College is committed to providing a safe, respectful and disciplined learning environment for students and staff where students have opportunities to engage in quality learning experiences and acquire values supportive of their lifelong wellbeing.

Mount St Bernard College values respect, participation and personal best. Students are supported to respect themselves, fellow students and adult members of the school community. Respect is experienced in positive relationships, affirming language and peaceful actions. Respect for school facilities and the surrounding environment is also promoted. Importantly, student respect for the purpose of school is observed in students' positive engagement in their learning.

Bullying behaviours are proactively addressed by MSB's structured development of students' Social Emotional skills. Mount St Bernard College's Student Wellbeing Team respond to individual bullying incidents to both support students subjected to unwanted and inappropriate behaviours and assist students engaging in bullying behaviours to address their inappropriate attitudes and actions.  Wellbeing support in Boarding

School Wide Positive Behaviour Support is designed to facilitate high standards of behaviour so that learning and teaching can be effective and students can participate positively within our College community. 

A school-wide positive behavior lesson is taught each week in all year levels to support students to make good choices.  A social emotional learning program is also implemented in Year 7 - 10 for 1 lesson per week.

Parent Engagement

We are committed to building strong partnerships with parents through regular contact and encouraging open relationships between staff and parents supportive of students' growth and learning.

This is assisted by formal structures that included in 2018:

  • Information evenings
  • The College newsletter, with editions each fortnight helps the parent and family community maintain awareness of upcoming events, celebrate student and community achievements , stay informed of emerging developments in education
  • Students and families are also encouraged to participate in community social events throughout the school year. NAIDOC celebrations are very popular.
  • The college Facebook page is very popular and a wonderful source of information. Many families access this regularly.
  • Mount St Bernard College has a Parents and Friends Association which meets once per term. Meetings are advertised in the newsletter. Parents are invited to attend or join the group regularly.
  • Monthly College Board meetings
  • Regular Parent / Teacher Interviews, following reports
  • Support for our Boarding families to engage with the College;
  • In 2018 school representatives visited Cape, Torres Strait, Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea communities.
  • Many families visited and stayed in our 'Transition House'.  From here families were able spend time with their children as well as attend classes with them.
  • Our Wellbeing n 2018 included a Transition Officer who support students transitioning into school and liaising with families as well as an Indigenous Liaison Officer who supported indigenous students and made regular contact with families

Parent Satisfaction

Each year Parent satisfaction surveys are released and the following results have been identified in 2018;

  • The most popular response for the question, Reason for school selection was 'individual learning focus'
  • 97.2% of parents agreed (or strongly agreed) each child is encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability
  • 94.4% of parents agreed that Mount St Bernard College prepares students for the technological demands of our world
  • 97.2% of parents agreed: School reports are helpful, easy to read and understand
  • 94.4% of parents agreed: The school treats students from all backgrounds with respect.
  • 94.4% of parents agreed: Staff at Mount St Bernard College (Herberton) are accessible, respectful and respond promptly to my concerns
  • 97.2% of parents agreed: The classrooms are well presented and stimulating places for learning
  • 100.0% of parents agreed: The school is well equipped with learning and teaching resources
  • 97.2% of parents agreed: Mount St Bernard College (Herberton) 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 5 13 9 1

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff33 30.4
Non-Teaching Staff 68 44.61
Indigenous 8 5.63

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$38264

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

Professional development activities in 2018 included:

  • Yumi Deadly Maths implementation - Queensland University of Technology
  • Yumi Deadly Maths sharing summit conference - Queensland University of Technology
  • Practical strategies for Teacher Aides - Catholic Education Services Cairns
  • New Senior English Syllabus Master Class - English Teachers Association Queensland
  • Bronze Medallion Re-certification course
  • Catholic Faith in Action Formation Day - Catholic Education Services Cairns
  • Training & Assessing (TAE40116) Upgrade
  • Evidence based teaching summit - Informa Australia
  • Australian Association of Special Education National Conference
  • Library Assistants Professional Learning Network - Catholic Education Services Cairns
  • Leadership for Middle Leaders Program - QELi
  • Queensland Association of Mathematics Teachers Regional Meeting Cairns
  • Preparing for Endorsement Workshop - Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority
  • Planning for teaching, learning and assessment: Students with disability - Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority
  • Special Education Needs Summit
  • Generation Next Mental Health & Well-being of Young People Seminar
  • Assessing Speaking in EAL/D Learners
  • Yarning for Life early intervention suicide prevention program
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Course
  • Stronger Safer Together - Intensive and Targeted Family Support Training
  • Religious Education in Senior Secondary Working Party Workshop with Br David Hall
  • 2018 Australian Association of Special Education National Conference
  • 2018 Leadership for Middle Leaders Program - QELi
  • Middle Leaders Program
  • ETAQ New Senior English Syllabus Master Class

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days95%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year78.00%

Staff Satisfaction

Each year Staff satisfaction surveys are released and the following results have been identified in 2018;

  • 94.2% of staff agreed: Mount St Bernard College (Herberton) provides the equipment, training and resources I need to do my work safely
  • 85.5% of staff agreed: Mount St Bernard College (Herberton) promotes justice, compassion and service
  • 82.6% of staff agreed: Mount St Bernard College (Herberton) provides high quality services to parents and students
  • 87.0% of staff agreed: My team/department members work productively together
  • 92.8% of staff agreed: The policies and procedures of Mount St Bernard College (Herberton) are documented and accessible to me
  • 100.0% of staff agreed: I understand my obligations under the student protection processes

Data Last Updated Tue May 28 2019

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
YR 7YR 8 YR 9 YR 10 YR 11 YR 12
92.44% 92.4% 89.25% 90.24% 90.79% 90.56%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Parents are encouraged to contact the school on the day that a student is absent. If students are absent without notification, a Mount St Bernard College staff member telephones parents on that day.

Mount St Bernard College has a proactive Wellbeing Team who monitors and supports student attendance. Individual students at risk through non-attendance are counselled and supported to maximise their participation.

Boarding students have regular roll calls.  If a boarding student is unwell they remain in the Morrissey Boarding House or in the Health Centre.

Year 10 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate70.96
Post-School Destination Information

This is a summary of the post-school destinations of students from Mount St Bernard College who completed Year 12 and gained a Senior Statement in 2018.  The results are from the Year 12 Completers Survey, which is conducted approximately six months after students completed Year 12.

5 out of 22 (22.7% response rate) Year 12 completers from this school responded to the 2019 survey.  Due to the very low response rate, care should be taken interpreting these results.

In 2019, four Year 12 completers from Mount St Bernard College were engaged in education, training or employment in the year after they completed school.

Of the five respondents, three continued in some recognised form of education and training.  The most common study destination was bachelor degree.

A further one respondent transitioned directly into paid employment and no further study. 

Student Satisfaction

Catholic Education Services conducted a School Results Survey with students of Mount St Bernard College (Herberton) in 2018.

Mount St Bernard College provides educational services to students from 138 families. 

Survey responses were received from 66 out of a total of 164 eligible respondents. 

Mount St Bernard College recorded an overall satisfaction of 78% (3.9 out of 5).

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

Data Last Updated Tue Nov 19 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 7, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 442.2
Average Score for Queensland 549.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 51.7%
Writing Average Score for the school 397.4
Average Score for Queensland 506.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 33.3%
Spelling Average Score for the school 443.9
Average Score for Queensland 554.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 63.3%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 451
Average Score for Queensland 553.8
% students at or above the national benchmark 72.4%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 473.3
Average Score for Queensland 549
% students at or above the national benchmark 73.3%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 9, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 561.1
Average Score for Queensland 590.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 55.2%
Writing Average Score for the school 432.3
Average Score for Queensland 543.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 35.5%
Spelling Average Score for the school 506.6
Average Score for Queensland 590.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 61.3%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 532.2
Average Score for Queensland 598.3
% students at or above the national benchmark 86.7%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 523
Average Score for Queensland 587.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 61.3%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

No Naplan Data Available
School Funding By Source
Income 2018

Australian Government recurrent funding$7,859,049

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$2,248,864

Fees, charges and parent contributions$4,367,568

Other private sources$583,923

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$15,059,404

Deductions 2018

Income allocated to current capital projects$463,422

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$792,500


Total net recurrent income$819,979

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.