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2017 Annual Report for St Joseph's School, Parramatta Park
Motto With Christ we Live, Love and Learn St Joseph_s logo.jpg
Address 13 Loeven Street, PARRAMATTA PARK QLD 4870
Postal Address 13 Loeven Street, PARRAMATTA PARK QLD 4870
Phone Number 07 4051 4041
Fax Number 07 4031 3963
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 392 Mr Gavin Rick
Year Levels Offered P-6
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mr Gavin Rick
Parish PriestFr Saju Joseph
Parish Number (07) 4051 1337

About our School

Located in the centre of Cairns, St Joseph’s is the school of choice for the many parents who work in the city centre. The community draws upon its 395 students from right across the Cairns region. The school community of St Joseph’s is culturally diverse, enjoying a rich tapestry of languages, life experiences and cultural histories. Established in 1927 by the Sisters of Mercy, St Joseph's has proudly served the Cairns community for over 80 years.

St Joseph’s Catholic school is a place where teachers and  parents, work collaboratively to achieve optimum learning for students. Our vibrant school community provides an safe and supportive learning environment.

The community has claimed its identity as being founded on the values of Learning, Love, Community and Respect, as Jesus Christ showed us. It is in this way that we aim to live out our motto 'with Christ, we live, love and learn.'


Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

At St Joseph’s School, learning is based on the holistic development of each child – physically, emotionally, socially, academically and spiritually.  We, as a learning community, are always looking for opportunities to grow, so that individually and collectively we become the best that we can be.


St Josephs is a community of learners on a quest to answer the question ""What does quality modern learning look like at St Joseph's?' 


St Joseph’s School offers contemporary and engaging learning in all areas of the Australian Curriculum. Learning practices are grounded in current research and in response to the needs of the child as a learner of the modern world.


St Joseph's prioritises English, Maths, Religious Education & Faith Life, and Social & Emotional Learning. We believe that learning is a social and relational activity and as such we employ strategies such as Circle Solutions to assist students to connect, feel they belong and give each child a voice. This enhances wellbeing and capacity to learn.


We have a focus on learning in a modern and connected context with digital as the accelerator. Staff and students learn together through the use of an enquiry model to learning and with the aid of a variety of mobile devices. In Years 4/5/6 each student is provided with an iPad as a valuable and powerful tool for learning.


We have begun the introduction of flexibility and agility into our learning spaces which we believe, better meets the needs of modern learners and enhances comfort and well being.


This year we continue the development of the Stephanie Alexander Garden Project which incorporates our very own vegetable garden and the use of St Augustine's College kitchen facilities to cook using our own produce.


We provide rich and diverse learning opportunities, employing specialist staff in the following areas:

  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Mandarin
  • English as a Second Language
  • Dance    
  • Choir
  • Instrumental Program
  • Cultural Excursion to Taiwan - optional for Year 6

We promote many projects that enhance indigenous perspectives within the curriculum as well as celebrating NAIDOC annually. 

Extra Curricular Activities

St Joseph’s encourages students to participate in a range of activities that are available at lunch time, in school time, before and after school. The following are some of the activities on offer:

  • Choir and choric speaking
  • Mandarin cultural club
  • English As A Second Language Support

  • Student Vegetable Garden and Stephanie Alexander Garden Program
  • Reader's Cup Challenge
  • ICAS competitions
  • Library and Book Activities
  • Instrumental music
  • Sport coaching sessions – Tennis, Auskick, hockey, netball, rugby league 
  • Teams for sporting events such as football, netball, athletics, hockey

Social Climate

At St Joseph's School, the values of learning, respect, community and love permeate our community. Our point of difference is that we view these values through the example of Jesus. We teach and reinforce 'The St Joseph's Way' as being these values in action, using the example of Jesus Christ

St Joseph’s School is a rich and diverse multicultural environment, where all students are encouraged to participate and support each other. As well as providing an engaging and challenging opportunities for learning across all areas, St Joseph’s School encourages students to share their skills and talents as a means of building confidence and community, empowering them to be full contributors to their world. 

On an annual basis we undertake a variety of social justice projects as our Christian Outreach to the local and world communities. We teach that it is our Christian responsibility to assist and support those in need.  These projects are local, within Australia or overseas.

Initiatives that contribute to the community minded climate within the school include:

Program Achieve - You Can Do It

2nd Step (Social & Emotional Learning) 

Circle Solutions

School Counsellor and Care Team  

Student Buddy Class programs

Project Compassion and Caritas  

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

Adopt-a-cop Education programs

Charity collections – Red Cross, Cancer Council

Joint activities with Saint Augustine's College

We have in our playground, a 'Buddy Bench'. A Buddy Bench is a garden bench where students can go if they have no one to play with. Other students then can approach these students and invite them to join in or assist them in finding someone.

In living out ‘The St Joseph’s Way’, bullying behaviours are not accepted. Instead, we explicitly teach about community, respect and love where we accept and celebrate difference, tolerate others and offer forgiveness. A full review of the 'Respectful Relationships Policy (Anti-Bullying)' is underway in 2016.

All members of the school community are encouraged to report any cases of bullying or suspected bullying.  The school community has a zero tolerance towards bullying in all its forms. Students are taught various strategies to practice cyber safety, safety networks and staying safe practices. Opportunities for parents to learn about this important topic are made available.

Parent Involvement

Parents at St Joseph’s engage in learning and are involved at a high level in a variety of ways. We have a very supportive Parents and Friends Association who contribute to community building and fundraising for the school. Their involvement has resulted in the advancement of resource purchases which have directly enhanced the learning of students. The School Board is highly effective in assisting the Principal with strategic planning and policy development and is an important link to the St Joseph's Parish. 

Parents are provided with annual training in Student Protection,  Work Place Health and Safety and Code of Conduct. This then enables them to engage in classrooms and excursion assistance throughout the year.

Opportunities for parent education are offered throughout the year such as Prep Induction, reading, cyber safety as well as a number of topics related to child development and well being. The principal has introduced a Parent Learning Blog in 2016 to engage parents in dialogue about learning matters.

Parents are provided with four opportunities for formal reporting on student progress, two being interviews and the others written. Teachers are available to meet with parents when needed at other times.


Parent Satisfaction

Generally parents rated St Joseph's School in the top category of 'excellent' for all of the six areas surveyed. Their top three reasons for choosing St Joseph's were school reputation, location and school/class size. Others included Catholic ethos and academic excellence.

Parents have indicated quite strongly that staff and students of St Joseph's live out the Catholic values of witness and service in their words and actions. They believe that St Josephs is a caring community where everyone is treated with care and respect. They recommend St Joseph's to others.

Parents rated leadership very highly, stating that information is provided in a clear and timely manner. They recommend the school to others in the community and provides high quality services to parents and students.

Parents indicate that they offer a broad and relevant curriculum and that each child is encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability. Staff are accessible, respectful and respond promptly to parental concerns. Parents indicated that St Joseph's has clear behaviour management procedures that are fair, consistent and effective.

Overwhelmingly, parents indicated that their child enjoys the learning they do at school and that teachers make learning fun.  


Data Last Updated Sat 16 Jun 2018

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 4% 47% 29% 10%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff28 23.4
Non-Teaching Staff 23 10.65
Indigenous 1 0.5

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$69242

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

Professional Development Activities for 2017 included:

  • Feedback Models
  • Positivity and Perceptual Positions
  • Collaborative Team Teaching practices
  • Learner Data including use of the Buisiness Intelligence Tool
  • Best Practice Study Tours (NZ) 'Learning in Innovative Learning Environments'
  • Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project - unpacking the data
  • Zones of Regulation (Social & Emotional)
  • Reading Practices (Decoding and Comprehension) through Professional Learning Teams
  • Workplace Health & Safety
  • First Aid and CPR 
  • Mandatory Student Protection
  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Digital technologies
  • Coaching
  • Essential Skills for Classroom Management & Classroom Profiling 
  • Circle Solutions
  • NAPLAN Analysis  
  • Consistency of Teacher Judgement
  • Teaching of Maths
  • iPads and Digital Learning   
  • TREWTH Conference (Religious Education and Social Emotional Learning)  
  • Assessment and Reporting
  • Writing Report Card Comments 
  • School Wide Positive Relationships Framework
  • Cyber Safety
  • Parent engagement

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days98%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year89.00%

Staff Satisfaction

Staff rated the school in the top band all six sections of the survey.

The staff members of St Joseph's School unanimously believe that school is a place of learning in a Christian environment, where prayer and reflection is encouraged.  They rate the school highly as living out the Catholic values in words and actions. Almost all staff believe that leadership team model and expect high standards from the staff.   Staff indicate that there exists clear goals and expectations at St Joseph's and that they have trust in the school leadership team. Staff highly agree that behaviour management is consistent, that conflict is handled well and that staff set good example for the students.

The staff members are highly committed to the school and Catholic education, believing that the school encourages a climate conducive to learning. Staff  overwhelmingly express a high level of confidence in the future of the school and have a clear understanding of the current improvement plan.


Data Last Updated Sun Jun 17 2018

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
Prep YR 1 YR 2 YR 3 YR 4 YR 5 YR 6
93.45% 93.1% 93.62% 93.36% 92.15% 92.46% 94.11%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Parents are asked to notify the school by either telephone, email or school portal by 9.00am on the day that any student will be away. Any pattern of non-attendance is followed up via a variety of strategies including:  telephone calls, letters and parent meetings.  Late students are required to sign in at the office. The detrimental effects of non-attendance or late arrivals are published in the school newsletter on a regular basis throughout the year. 

The distance travelled

In 2017 the School Board continued its annual school renewal process by building on the work done in 2016. 

In 2017, a major physical redevelopment of the school occurred with 80% of the site rebuilt. The School Board, together with Leadership, staff and CES personnel, worked together to make this as uneventful as possible; this was achieved.

Years of research and planning resulted in a series of Innovative Learning Environments built from Prep-Year 6. Staff, teachers and Learning & Teaching Assistants have been grouped to collaboratively provide high quality learning and teaching for optimal learning and well being for all.

The community collaborated and used data from the National School Improvement Tool to drive the School Annual Improvement Plan into 2018.

Where are we going ?

The SAIP of 2017 included the focus areas of

- lived and celebrated Catholic identity through the Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project

- quality teaching a learning through the development of school wide pedagogical practices for optimal learning in Innovative Learning Environments

- collaborative practices which are data informed and processed through Professional Learning Teams

- building a culture of learning through visible learning practices 

Student Satisfaction

All students from Years 4 - 6 were surveyed on a variety of topics and rated St Joseph's in the top level for five of the six categories. Generally, students are proud to be a learner of St Joseph's and they believe that students show respect for each other. They reported that the school rules are fair and consistent and they tell others that St Joseph's is a great school. Students consistently reported that their teachers really like teaching and that the learning they do is challenging and makes them think. They know that when they have a problem, that the staff will help them.

Most students indicated they felt positive and cheerful about school and that it was important to do their best. Students use technology regularly at school and that there are many resources in the learning spaces that they can use to help them learn.


Data Last Updated Sun Jun 17 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 3, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 430.9
Average Score for Queensland 425.2
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Writing Average Score for the school 407.4
Average Score for Queensland 402.3
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.2%
Spelling Average Score for the school 433.8
Average Score for Queensland 408.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 437.7
Average Score for Queensland 437
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 407.7
Average Score for Queensland 402.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.2%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 5, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 517.8
Average Score for Queensland 502.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.2%
Writing Average Score for the school 469
Average Score for Queensland 461.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 93%
Spelling Average Score for the school 502.8
Average Score for Queensland 496.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 94.7%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 520.1
Average Score for Queensland 496
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.5%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 510.9
Average Score for Queensland 490.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

School Funding By Source
Income 2017

Australian Government recurrent funding$3,149,560

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$864,779

Fees, charges and parent contributions$881,517

Other private sources$189,901

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$5,085,757

Deductions 2017

Income allocated to current capital projects$125,711

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$160,713


Total net recurrent income$4,799,333

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.