Save the Date: Formation for Mission Gathering (Ref: 312/23)

Join other Catholic Educators next year from 13 to 14 August 2024 at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney for an opportunity to share practice in a range of areas related to formation for mission.

This opportunity is open to all diocesan directors and leaders of formation, mission, and religious education across Catholic education and is organised by the National Catholic Education Commission.

More information will be released in the coming months.

Register your interest here.

HSC Data Analysis Seminar (Ref: 272/23)

Teachers, school leaders, and system officers are invited to attend a series of seminars presented by Dr John DeCourcy, discussing the intricacies and importance of understanding and analysing the 2023 HSC Data.

The Seminar Programme spans the following 4 seminars, some with multiple times, and each with a particular audience in mind. Those thinking of registering are reminded to ensure they have a functioning NetID logon and that they can access both the HSC Data Analysis Users portal and an online Tutorial within that portal designed to support intending participants.

More information about the tutorial, prerequisites, and the entire programme can be found here: Seminars-2024-outline

Please see below for the date and time of each seminar with registration links.

Diocesan Officers’ Overview

Who: Diocesan & Congregational system officers.
When: Wednesday 31 January 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: The Assembly, Mezzanine level, 123 Pitt St, Sydney.

Programme description: this seminar will take participants through using the system-level reports in conjunction with school reports to support schools. There will be opportunities for cross-system sharing and a discussion of key features of the 2023 HSC. A NESA representative will also be present to talk briefly about the 2023 results.

Register here: Overview | Catholic Schools NSW (

HSC Analysis #1: Introduction to the Analysis

Who: Teachers, KLA coordinators, school leaders and interested persons who have not previously attended an HSC seminar.
1.  Tuesday 13 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
2. Friday 23 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: The Annexe, Mezzanine level, 255 George St, Sydney.

Programme description:  This seminar proposes to discuss why and how data should be used within schools to shape the direction of pedagogy. It will also cover an introduction to the idea of Comparative Learning Gain and how this can be used to understand HSC data.

Register here:
1. Introduction | Catholic Schools NSW ( – first session
2. Introduction | Catholic Schools NSW ( – second session

HSC Analysis #2: A detailed reading of your Analysis

Who: Experienced users, including teachers, coordinators, APs or Principals who have previously attended at least one HSC Analysis Seminar.
1. Thursday 15 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
2. Thursday 27 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: The Annexe, Mezzanine level, 255 George St, Sydney.

Programme description: Participants will have the opportunity to spend the majority of the seminar in a detailed, guided reading of their own school’s Analysis. This will include a consideration of ways to resolve any problems highlighted by the Analysis.

Register here:
1. Reading| Catholic Schools NSW ( – first session
2.Reading| Catholic Schools NSW ( – second session

HSC Analysis #3: Leading your school in the Analysis

Who: Principals, Aps, Leaders of Curriculum or Pedagogy and anyone with a whole school focus.
When: Monday 19 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: The Annexe, Mezzanine level, 255 George St, Sydney.

Programme description: This seminar will explore the intersection of leadership, data, teacher professional learning and student achievement. Participants will come away having considered a range of leadership responses to their school’s Analysis. Multiple members of a school’s senior leadership team are encouraged to attend.

Register here: Leading| Catholic Schools NSW (

Professional Learning

SAVE THE DATE – 2024 Combined Disability and Behaviour Network Symposium (Ref: 325/23)

Catholic Schools NSW is pleased to confirm the date for the 2024 Combined Disability and Behaviour Symposium, as Friday 10 May 2024.

Further details about guest speakers for the symposium will be shared soon. But please save the date so that you don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Registrations will open in February 2024.


NCEC Maths Webinars (Ref: 323/23)

The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) has recently produced a series of six primary mathematics webinars which focus on Effective Mathematics Teaching.

This professional learning series is designed to be used by the leaders of primary schools to help improve mathematics teaching and learning.

The first webinar gives a series of tips for leaders in primary schools on how to improve mathematical understanding. In the next five webinars, three to five questions are examined across various stage levels.

You can access the Resources here, and you can find more information on the NCEC website.


Anzac Memorial and NSW Parliament Joint Teacher Preview (Ref: 319/23)

Join the NSW Parliament and Anzac Memorial Education teams at the Joint Teacher Preview evening on Thursday, 7 December!

Visit the NSW Parliament’s historic Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council Chambers, explore excursion options for your students, and discover teaching resources specially developed for teaching the HSIE History K-6 syllabus and the Stage 6 Legal Studies syllabus.

Experience how the Anzac Memorial’s Learning Team uses live theatre and creative expression to bring Anzac stories to life across the History, English and Creative Arts syllabuses.

Discover excursion options for Stages 2-6, exploring Australians at war, community and remembrance. Learn about the history of the building and the meaning behind its art and architecture.

The program ends with an opportunity to connect with your colleagues over drinks.

Thursday, December 7, 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Commencing at: NSW Parliament House, 6 Macquarie St, Sydney

Followed by: Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park

Register now:


Save the Date: 2024 CSNSW Curriculum Reform Conference (Ref: 318/23) 

CSNSW will hold its second Curriculum Reform Conference on Monday 30 September & Tuesday 1 October 2024 in the Sydney CBD.

More information will be released early next year.


Catholic Schools New South Wales CSSA Symposium – 'Writing across the curriculum’ (Ref: 316/23)

The Catholic Schools NSW (CSSNW) CSSA Symposium ‘Writing across the curriculum’ will be held on Monday 18 March 2024 in Sydney, CBD. Please note that this is a date change from previous CSNSW communications.

The Teaching Writing: Report of the Thematic Review of Writing (NESA 2018) highlighted the ability to write is critical to educational success. In response, the reformed NSW syllabuses have a strengthened focus on the teaching of writing.

In support of the NESA curriculum reform, this CSSA Symposium will explore the theme ‘Writing across the curriculum’ and reflects our shared commitment to engaging in current and emerging issues in secondary education in Catholic schools. The symposium program will engage participants to reflect upon how they can embrace change and optimize learning and engagement within their school and beyond.

This event will bring together education and industry leaders to explore how evidence-based practices can be implemented in a secondary education context.

CSNSW invites Diocesan Representatives, Principals, School Leadership, Key Learning Area Coordinators, Stage 4–6 Year Coordinators and teachers in Catholic education to join us at the CSNSW CSSA Symposium – ‘Writing across the curriculum’.

 Event Details

Date:                                         Monday 18 March 2024

Time:                                        Registration opens at 8am for commencement at 8.30am-4:00pm

Location:                                  The Amora Hotel, Jamison Street Sydney

The location is close to Wynard Train Station, the Light Rail, Buses or Secure Parking Stations.

Cost:                                          To be advised

NESA Accredited PD:               To be advised


Primary Curriculum Collaborative (Ref: 315/23)

The Curriculum Implementation Collaborative is an initiative developed in partnership between Breakspear Learning and Catholic Schools NSW as a dynamic and practical professional learning response. It will provide content, community and support to ensure all leadership teams are equipped to make meaningful progress every term.

This community program is designed for leaders and their leadership teams who are currently working in NSW Catholic primary schools. To express interest or to find out more information about the Collaborative please click on the link below and complete and submit an expression of interest form.

Further information is available from Joanne Hack


NEW: Introduction to Complaints Handling Module (Ref: 314/23)

Schools are required to have policies and procedures that make provision for the welfare of students. Whether you are an indvidual non-government school or part of a system of non-government schools, you must comply with the requirement to provide a safe and supportive environment (see 5.6..2 of the RANGS Manual) for students by having a documented process for complaints or grievances from students or parents.

The purpose of this course is to describe the essential characteristics of a robust Complaints Handling process.

You can access the course by clicking here. (You will need to log in to the CSNSW learning platform to access the course).


An Introduction to RAP and the Standards for Teachers​​​​​ (Ref: 305/23) 

Specifically designed to meet the needs of teachers new to the RAP or those desiring a refresher, NESA staff will provide teachers with an understanding of key features and how to use RAP data sets to create teaching and learning goals.

Completing this course will contribute 1 hour of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Accredited PD in the priority area of the delivery and assessment of the NSW curriculum/EYLF addressing standard descriptors 5.1.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

This course will be delivered via Teams and is suitable for participating as an individual or as a group.

Date:              15th December 2023

Time:             9:00 – 10:30



Resources for Learning

ACARA NEW key curriculum Opt-in online assessments available from 2024 (Ref: 322/23)

From 2024, Australian schools can opt-in Year 6 and Year 10 students to take part in NAP Opt-in assessments in key curriculum areas.

Participation in NAP sample assessments is still required by those schools selected as sample schools.

These new optional assessments are part of the National Assessment Program and will be phased in over 3 years, starting with science literacy in 2024, with civics and citizenship added in 2025, followed by ICT literacy in 2026. From 2026, NAP Opt-in assessments in all 3 domains will be available each year.

The assessments are run directly by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and its appointed contractors. There is no fee for schools registering to take part.

Schools choosing to take part in NAP Opt-in assessments will be able to:

  • Measure student performance against national standards in key curriculum areas beyond literacy and numeracy.
  • Use the results (available only to the participating school) to review, plan and adapt teaching and learning programs.
  • Run the assessments using the online platform at a time that suits them in the testing window, which in 2024 will run from Monday 6 May – Friday 31 May.
  • Schools receive results and provide principals with school-level reports  July -August 2024.

Schools have the option to enrol both Year 6 and Year 10 students, or one year, or individual classes of students within either year. When schools enrol full-year cohorts, they benefit from more data for school-wide planning.

Schools interested in taking part are encouraged to complete a short Expression of Interest form, available here, by 8 December 2023.

Formal registration for the assessment will open on 26 March 2024 and close on 30 April 2024.

More information for schools is available here and in the NAP Opt-in assessment information for schools sheet here.

For further information, please contact Karen Ferrante via email here.


School Updates & Newsletter

Sextortion safety information from the Australian Federal Police (326/23)

In the lead up to the end of year school holidays, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) is asking education departments to share important safety information within their departments and school communities to help prevent sextortion.

Sextortion is a form of online blackmail where someone tricks or coerces you into sending sexual images of yourself and then threatens to share the images unless you comply with their demands. The ACCCE is receiving around 300 reports of financial sextortion per month, with the majority of reports involving 13-17-year-olds. There are serious safety concerns for victims, with instances of self-harm attributed to this crime.

The ACCCE has a number of resources to support school communities including:

  • Downloadable posters
  • Animations
  • ThinkUKnow online blackmail and sexual extortion response kit
  • Messaging kits and social media assets

To continue raising awareness of this issue amongst young Australians, the ACCCE recently launched a new education initiative to increase sextortion support for young people alongside Kids Helpline, Meta and US youth prevention program NoFiltr.

For more information and access to resources visit

Online child sexual exploitation, including sextortion, can be reported to

The ACCCE would like to remind victims of this crime they will never be in trouble for seeking help at any stage, even if they have already sent images and paid money.

2024 Registrations Now Open – Transition to Year 7 Available to CSNSW Schools (Ref: 309/23)

Transition to Year 7 is a free online literacy and numeracy assessment package available to secondary schools on an opt-in basis in Term 1. The assessment is developed by the NSW Department of Education. Assessments are completed online by students in participating schools between 5 February to 8 March 2024. Cohort and student results reports are immediately made available to schools in Scout.

More information about the assessment may be found here.

There is no cost to participate in the Transition to Year 7 assessment.

All schools wishing to participate in 2024 will need to complete the Transition-to-Year-7-2024-Opt-In-nonGov form by Friday 1 December 2023. .

Important dates

Term 4, 2023

  • 1 December Opt-in for 2023 Transition to Year 7 closes
  • 4 December – Next steps emails sent to participating schools

Term 1, 2024

  • 5 February Assessment platform username and password link emailed to nominated assessment coordinator.
  • 5 February Assessment window opens.
  • 8 March Assessment window closes.

Further information contact Karen Ferrante

Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace (Ref: 306/23)

The Abraham Conference Organising Committee invites believers from all faiths and people of goodwill to pray for peace in Israel and Palestine at the Prayer Service for Peace.

Representatives from the three Abrahamic faiths – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – will share in scripture, prayer and silence in a call for peace in Israel and Palestine.

The event will take place on Thursday 30 November from 12:30 – 1:00 pm. It will be held at Ferguson Hall (St Stephen’s Uniting Church), 197 Macquarie Street, Sydney (opposite NSW Parliament).

Places are limited. Free tickets can be obtained here.

Scholarships and Awards

Nominations Now Open For 2024 Prime Minister’s Prizes For Science (Ref: 320/23)

Nominations for Australia’s most prestigious science prizes are now open and the search is on for Australia’s most outstanding scientists, research-based innovators, and science teachers.

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognise significant advancement of knowledge across a diverse range of science fields, and the critical role teachers play in inspiring the next generation of scientists.
Nominating someone for a Prime Minister’s Prize for Science is the first step – no one can be recognised unless you nominate them. Nominations can be made by peers or colleagues.

Nominations are open until February 8 with $750,000 in prize money to be distributed across seven categories:

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation
  • Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year
  • Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
  • Prize for New Innovators
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.

The 2023 Prizes celebrated Australia’s excellence in quantum computing and pharmaceutical innovation and outstanding science teaching, highlighting the important contribution science makes to our nation.

Nominations close at 5pm on February 8.

More information about the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science and how to nominate can be found at:


30th Australian Training Awards (Ref: 317/23)

The Australian Training Awards are the peak national awards that showcase best practice in vocational education and training (VET). The Awards recognise and celebrate excellence and are an important mechanism for promoting the benefits of VET.

Winners from each state and territory training awards compete for a national award title. Direct entry is also available for some award categories. This has led to Australia-wide awareness and respect for skill-based careers and skills excellence.

Molly Smith, from McCarthy Catholic College, was the Australian School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year Award runner-up. She was inspired to undertake her Certificate III in Health Services Assistance following an illness in the family. “My traineeship lets me study something I’m passionate about, but it’s also given me a place where I feel at home. Nursing has had a massive impact on my life. I’ve gained confidence valuable skills, and a sense of belonging – I’m excited about my future.”

CathWest Innovation College has campuses in two Western Sydney locations where they provide young people with a wider range of educational options, to ensure more choices for a bright future. Winning Silver for School Pathways to VET Award, “CathWest puts students in the driver’s seat when it comes to their learning journey. Our students achieve because we teach them to believe in themselves the way we believe in them.”

At John XXIII Catholic College, secondary learning goes way beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom. They won bronze in the Innovation in VET Award, “We challenge traditional learning spaces and traditional pathways. Education has no physical boundaries. Learning extends way beyond classroom walls and embraces vocational options, accelerated pathways and university subjects in senior years.”


Career Advisers from NSW Catholic Schools among Award Recipients (Ref: 313/23)

Eight Career Advisers from Catholic Schools Across NSW were among the 28 award recipients at the recent Career Advisers Association in NSW & ACT (CAA) Annual Conference, held at Dockside Darling Harbour.

CAA represents Career Education and Career Advisers in Government, Catholic, and Independent Schools in NSW and ACT, as well as other Career Development working in associated fields. CAA promotes career education as a central and vital part of schooling and supports the work of Careers Advisers in assisting young people in making decisions about work, study, and training.

Jennine Smith, Life Membership, Rosebank College (Sydney)

Juliana Dignam, Career Adviser of the Year, St Edwards College (Broken Bay)

Joanne Kingham, Industry Collaboration, James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange (Bathurst)

Michael Ivancic, Innovation in Careers Practice, St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown (Wollongong)

Bernadette Hicks, Industry Collaboration, Lasalle Academy (Bathurst)

Caroline Wilson, Margaret Gambley Award, Catholic Education Diocese Bathurst

Jennifer Hodson, Margaret Gambley Award , Edmund Rice College (Wollongong)

Helen Lyons, Rising Star Award St Francis College (Wollongong)


NSW Government's Community War Memorials Fund 2023/24 (Ref: 307/23)

The NSW Government established the Community War Memorials Fund to help conserve, repair and protect war memorials across NSW. Since the establishment of the program in 2008, grants have been provided for a wide range of projects including conservation assessments, honour roll repair, war memorial cleaning and conservation work, arborist advice for war memorial trees, security measures for memorials, repairs to war memorial halls and improvements to the accessibility of memorials.

Two application rounds are run each year. The rounds open on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.

Grant applications are assessed by the State War Memorials Committee, which is comprised of senior representatives of the Returned and Services League of Australia NSW Branch (RSL NSW), NSW Public WorksHeritage NSW and the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs.

Eligible organisations including local councils and community groups can apply online for grants of up to $10,000 to conserve local war memorials.

Further information about the Community War Memorials Fund can be found on the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs website here.