2018 Annual Report for Mother of Good Counsel School, North Cairns
Motto Honour and Truth MOGC_logo_col.jpg
Address 394 Sheridan St, NORTH CAIRNS QLD 4870
Postal Address PO Box 22N, NORTH CAIRNS QLD 4870
Phone Number (07) 4053 6133
Fax Number (07) 4053 6433
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 369 Ms Ruth Mallon
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Ms Ruth Mallon
Parish PriestFr Dariusz Osinski (Admin)
Parish Number (07) 4053 1179

About our School

Mother of Good Counsel School is a parish-based, co-educational school situated in the North of Cairns.  Mother of Good Counsel School provides a quality learning environment for children, in particular endeavouring to retain the 'small school' atmosphere, where every student is known and valued. We provide up-to-date learning resources and facilities, and are proudly staffed by experienced and professional teachers whose pedagogical frameworks are grounded in current research.

The school was founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Mercy and has since grown to accommodate a population of over 370 children. The Mercy tradition of actively displaying Christ's 'loving kindness' is evidenced in the school's awareness and support of community and international concerns.

Mother Of Good Counsel School's commitment to educational excellence is reflected in its strong focus on student well-being, and success in achieving good outcomes for its students. This is due to the high calibre of programs, dedicated staff and encouraged strong parental support.

Characteristics of Student Body

School Annual Improvement

Our future plans are research based and data driven. We continue to ensure and develop successful wellbeing strategies for our students, staff and the wider community, while keeping abreast of current pedagogies and ensuring the availability of up-to-date technologies and infrastructure.

As our iPad one to one program continues to roll through the school, we are ensuring the stability of the necessary infrastructure, and providing ongoing professional development for staff.

The learning and wellbeing needs of individual students remains paramount to our staffing, planning and resourcing decisions.

When students have a sense of wellbeing and safety, they learn better. They can be risk takers with their learning, explore thinking skills and relationships, and have improved learning outcomes.

Mother of Good Counsel School's Improvement Plan for 2019 - 2020 is targeting

  • improving Data Literacy (analysis and interpretation) to drive growth in performance and outcomes
  • improving Writing
  • our Catholic Identity

Ongoing areas for Professional Development and improvement will include

  • student wellbeing
  • teacher feedback and collaborative coaching
  • using resources for optimal engagement and learning

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

Preparing for our future:

Mother of Good Counsel School has adopted strategies and access to online learning resources, to engage and lead students in the classroom. The school has increased its capacity to provide students with iPads and Chromebooks, which are used as learning tools in all year levels, to enhance quality education and diverse needs. A one to one iPad program begins in Year 2 and is proving successful in engaging students' learning. We are providing our future citizens with capabilities to enhance their learning as independent and discerning participants in our community.

Social and Emotional Learning:

Explicitly taught through the Second Step program, Social and Emotional Learning enhances essential life skills for individual and social development. This whole school approach, includes Parent and Staff Educational Programs, Mentoring and other opportunities through a tiered support approach which also includes support programs for parents, through courses run by our qualified staff.

Camps & Excursions:

Our Year 4 & 6 students participate in a 3 day camp, where they embed their teamwork and co-operation skills, while facing individual challenges. Year 5 experience a number of excursions throughout the year, that support their classroom learning and their social and personal development.

Specialist Opportunities:

  • The Arts - Prep to Year 4 engage weekly with The Arts teacher, with opportunities to grow in confident performance skills.
  • Japanese - Years 5 & 6 participate in weekly Japanese lessons, while also learning about the culture of Japan.
  • Phys Ed  - Prep to Year 6 improve their skills and fitness through specialist Phys Ed lessons, which culminate in a variety of school based (Cross Country, Athletics, Swimming carnivals) and some interschool competitions.
  • Hip Hop Dance - All students enjoy a Hip Hop Dance program that is conducted through an external provider. The Hip Hop presentation event is always a highlight!
  • Instrumental music - Lessons are available at school, through external providers.
  • The Sacramental Program - Organised through the parish, all students are invited to participate in this program, which is supported through the Religious Education program.
  • Fitness - Provided by a qualified fitness trainer, students can participate in a fitness session one morning / week.

Extra Curricular Activities

Offered for students across year levels, are

  • Before & After School Sporting Opportunities - Tennis, Basketball, Soccer, Ruby League, AFL"¦ skills lessons are available through our external partnerships with various clubs and organisations.
  • Interhouse and district sporting carnivals
  • Public Speaking competitions
  • Involvement in local spelling, reading competitions
  • Coding Club
  • Hip Hop Dance
  • Drama Club
  • Student Leadership Program
  • Camps and Excursions
  • Buddies Program
  • Instrumental Music

Social Climate

Mother of Good Counsel School has a warm, friendly environment. Mother of Good Counsel strives to foster successful learning based on both the Gospel Values and the tradition of the Mercy Sisters, standing firm in its capacity for effective, life-giving relationships with collaboration involving all those within its school community.

We endeavour to nurture the development of the whole child - academically, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. Through our Positive Behaviour and Relationships Policy, we aim to foster healthy relationships between students and teachers through the promotion of restorative practices and social and emotional well-being. Self-discipline is encouraged, as is respect for the rights of others. Our school strongly espouses the creation of an environment where children can learn without disruption.

Active participation in church events, responding to local community needs (such as assisting the Rosies outreach) and participating in CARITAS and Catholic Missions projects ensures that the school upholds the Christian values that are an integral part of Mother of Good Counsel's culture. This is evident in the school's behaviour management approach, which focuses on responsible and trusting relationships and Social and Emotional Learning. Parent involvement is considered a key element in creating a positive approach to behaviour management.

Our strong focus on student well-being has continued to grow. A tiered approach to intervention has been established, designed to assist children in their journey towards achieving success beyond primary school:

Tier 1 Support: Second Step Program & Christian Meditation (Classroom Teacher)
Tier 2 Support: Social Skills Groups, Circle Time & Mentoring (Classroom Teacher + Specialised Support)
Tier 3 Support: Student Counsellor access

Parent Engagement

Our Parents and Friends Association welcomes all in our community. Meetings are held monthly. Full participation is encouraged.

Our school believes in the strength of working together. Many information sessions are held, and we call for parent feedback throughout the year:

  • Information evenings
  • Parent Surveys
  • Parent / Teacher nights
  • Parent / Teacher interviews
  • School Newsletters and Facebook Page
  • Social Functions
  • Parents involved with reading and classroom activities
  • Weekly Assemblies
  • Class Masses and Liturgies of the Word
  • Curriculum Updates
  • Programs for parents re Cyber Safety; Bringing Up Great Kids

Mother of Good Counsel School has a number of community partnerships in place. The school has participated in local charities and speaking competitions, as well as supporting local sporting associations through participation in events. Our outreach has grown to include visits to entertain and engage with elderly people in our community.

Parent Satisfaction

Parents at Mother of Good Counsel School value the strong leadership and high quality services provided to parents and students. The teaching staff are highly regarded by parents, who recognise that learning and teaching processes are in place to improve student outcomes. Staff at Mother of Good Counsel live out the Catholic values of witness and service in their words and actions. Parents know that the school is well resourced and that their concerns are promptly and respectfully responded to, by staff who make themselves available.

There is a very strong sense from parents that Mother of Good Counsel School is a welcoming and caring community where everyone is treated with respect. It is a learning community where staff, parents and carers work together to deliver quality outcomes for students now, while also looking to the future with resourcing and innovative educational offerings.

Data Last Updated Mon 13 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 14 6 1

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff24 22.8
Non-Teaching Staff 17 9.68
Indigenous 2 1.66

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$29342

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

It is crucial that teachers are confident, competent and knowledgeable in the teaching tools they implement. There is a considerable amount of the school budget dedicated to teaching and classroom resources that support effective pedagogy, which is promoted within the school.

Our staff have been involved in:

  • curriculum based professional development
  • opportunities for collegial and research based discussions and decision making
  • mentoring and coaching around effective pedagogies
  • opportunities to improve data analysis for improved student achievements
  • workplace health and safety training
  • ongoing experiences with using new technologies to enhance learning

The school often initiates its own professional development based on our specific goals and needs eg Literacy, Circle Solutions, Social & Emotional Learning, Assessment, Data Analysis, Student and Staff Wellbeing etc. The professional development of staff focuses on improving wellbeing and outcomes for children.

Mother of Good Counsel has directed much of its staff professional development to keeping teachers and school officers abreast of the requirements of the Australian Curriculum and research based best classroom practices regarding pedagogy and student engagement.

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days96%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year76.00%

Staff Satisfaction

The staff at Mother of Good Counsel are committed to the school and its positive ethos. They feel empowered, knowing that their input is valued and they have trust in the leadership team, who foster effective communication. The staff work collaboratively to encourage a climate of learning, where clear goals and high expectations are agreed upon and met. Professional development opportunities and collegial support reiterate to staff their importance.

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
93.92% 93.21% 93.71% 92.09% 92.4% 90.31% 93.55%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

The school requests that parents phone or send information via the Parent Portal, prior to, or on the morning when students are absent. This information is then relayed to teachers.

If students are absent with no notification from parents, the child is marked as an unexplained absence and an SMS is sent to the primary carer, alerting them that the child is an unexplained absence at school for that day.

As part of our data analysis, we are looking more closely at attendance data and alerting parents if non-attendance is affecting student performance.

Student Satisfaction

Students are proud to belong to the Mother of Good Counsel community. They feel comfortable to participate fully, and are encouraged to do their best by staff who are respectful, approachable and helpful. The students believe that doing their best is important. They believe that their use of computers, iPads and other devices assist them with their learning, and that they are being well prepared for the future.

Students feel safe at school, knowing that they are listened to by staff. Students appreciate the resources, facilities and space our school allows them.

Data Last Updated Mon May 13 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 458
Average Score for Queensland 437.8
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.4%
Writing Average Score for the school 425.7
Average Score for Queensland 410.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.1%
Spelling Average Score for the school 449.2
Average Score for Queensland 432.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 435.8
Average Score for Queensland 406
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 421.5
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 539.3
Average Score for Queensland 517.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.1%
Writing Average Score for the school 489.7
Average Score for Queensland 469.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 94.1%
Spelling Average Score for the school 534.5
Average Score for Queensland 511.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.1%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 504.4
Average Score for Queensland 497.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.1%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 505.4
Average Score for Queensland 501.2
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.1%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

School Funding By Source
Income 2018

Australian Government recurrent funding$1,831,067

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$508,916

Fees, charges and parent contributions$380,139

Other private sources$110,265

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$2,830,387

Deductions 2018

Income allocated to current capital projects$78,137

Income allocated to future capital projects and diocesan capital funds$2,761

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$15,185


Total net recurrent income$15,482

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.