Priority Items

2020 Non-Government Schools Census (Ref: 129/20)

Catholic Schools NSW issued updated advice to Diocesan Offices and RI PJP schools this week after the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) issued its 2020 Non-government Schools Census Update on Friday 19 June 2020. This advice confirms Friday 7 August 2020 as the census reference date. It also outlines a range of changes to the census specifications. For more information visit the DESE website.

Further information for systemic schools is available from their Diocesan Office, whilst RI and PJP Schools are invited to contact Catholic Schools NSW via a dedicated Census Support Centre using the details below:

Tell us about your famous Catholic school alumni! (Ref: 126/20)

Catholic Schools NSW are reaching out to our stakeholders for a list of any famous or notable alumni that have previously graduated from a Catholic school.

Think sports stars, actors, musicians, politicians, doctors, lawyers – anyone recognisable, we want to know!
Send your list to Milly Waldren, Manager Media & Communication at Catholic Schools NSW via email


Professional Learning

NESA On-line Professional Development: Awarding Year 11 ROSA Grades (Ref: 154/20)

NESA is making this online course available on a number of dates between 30 July and 13 August 2020. In addition to revisiting the basic features of the Standards Referenced Framework, this course will provide an opportunity to discuss the changes to Year 11 assessment requirements in 2020 and to share strategies and ideas.

Duration: 1 hour. Completion contributes 1 hour of NESA Registered PD towards maintaining Proficient Accreditation in NSW.

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: 5.3.2

Cost: Free

Register for an online workshop


‘Copyright for Educators’ free webinar for NSW schools (Ref: 151/20)

A ‘Copyright for Educators’ webinar will be run for NSW schools on July 30.

The webinar is presented by the National Copyright Unit and is free. It is open to NSW school staff, specifically targeted to teachers, teacher-librarians from K-12.

The course will cover topics such as:

• Basic introduction to copyright

• Practical copyright case studies and FAQs

• Hot topics such as using online learning during COVID-19, YouTube, Netflix, Audiobooks etc

• Finding and using ‘Creative Commons’ licences and ‘Open Education Resources’

It will run from 10am to 4pm and be run over Zoom.

If you would like to register for the webinar please contact

For more information on this webinar and other webinars that are being run for each state throughout the year, please visit the Smartcopying website.


GETVICO24 2020 - For Teachers of German (Ref: 145/2020)

Teachers of German from Australia will be able to participate in the global virtual conference GETVICO24. This free of charge professional learning will commence on Wednesday 21 October Australian time and offer 140 presentations from around the globe.

For more information please click here. 


Premier's Teacher Scholarship 2020 Cancelled (Ref: 147/2020)

The 2021 Premier’s Teacher Scholarships were placed on pause due to uncertainty around COVID-19.  Due to continuing travel bans and related concerns, the decision has now been made to cancel the scholarships for this year, with the aim of resuming for 2022 Premier’s Teacher Scholarships study tours.

DoE will be in touch as the 2022 scholarships open. Please also refer to the Scholarships and programs site for updates during this time.


COVID-19 Update

Three Schools Affected by COVID-19 (Ref: 158/20)

Three schools will be non-operational due to COVID-19 on Monday 27 July and Tuesday 28 July including:

  1. Freeman Catholic College, Bonnyrigg
  2. Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary, Bossley Park
  3. Cerdon College, Merrylands

Schools should report any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to your Diocesan office (Systemic schools) or Catholic Schools NSW (RI and PJP schools) and contact the local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 to provide details so that the Public Health Unit can follow up as necessary.



Students on bridging visas – clarification from Commonwealth Department of Education about recurrent funding status  (Ref: 152/20)

We have recently been liaising with one of the Diocese offices about how to classify students on bridging visas where the student’s initial substantive visa has expired. The Commonwealth Department of Education has now provided clarification as follows:

  • Where a student has a bridging visa and the student’s substantive visa has not expired, then the student is classified according to their substantive visa. For example, if the student holds a Class 500 substantive visa which has not expired as well as a Class 010 bridging visa, then they should be classified pursuant to the Class 500 substantive visa (that is, as an overseas student).
  • Where the student has a bridging visa and the student’s substantive visa has expired, then the student is classified according to their bridging visa. The Commonwealth Department of Education has confirmed that in these circumstances, students on bridging visas will not be classified as overseas students and will therefore attract Commonwealth recurrent funding.
  • The practical effect of this is that the student will only need to pay the tuition fees levied by the school. Note that whilst students on bridging visas attending NSW Government schools need to pay an administrative fee and a temporary residents’ education fee per week (pursuant to the Education Act 1990 (NSW)), there is no such requirement for non-Government schools to charge these fees.
  • Schools will also need to keep apprised of the status of the bridging visa, as this will expire at the earlier of either:
      • The student obtaining the new substantive visa that they have applied for. In these circumstances, the student then needs to be classified according to the new substantive visa. For example, if this is a Class 500 substantive visa,  then the student would then be classified as an overseas student and would no longer attract Commonwealth recurrent funding; OR
  • The expiry date of the student’s bridging visa. In these circumstances, the student may no longer hold a visa and may therefore not be able to legally study in Australia. If this occurs, it should be checked whether the student has obtained any further visa to legally permit them to continue their studies.


Copyright - Sheet Music (Ref: 146/20)

APRA AMCOS has extended the gratis print music licence, which allows schools to make and share digital copies of sheet music, until 31 December 2020.

For more information please click here. 


School Newsletter

Engage your students in a creative challenge (Ref: 157/20)

Over the years we’ve heard from many schools that the Write a Book in a Day competition is a collaborative activity that students love to participate in. The competition can be completed online or in person.

Register your team or teams now for Term 3 and watch your students thrive in an activity that encourages:

  • literacy development
  • problem-solving skills and
  • lasting community impact through support of childhood cancer research

Please click here to register.

Your team(s) will have until Wednesday 30 September to write and illustrate their books. If you have any questions, please contact the Write a Book in a Day team on 02 8394 7711 or

Sun and UV at School Challenge (Ref: 153/20)

As part of the release of our new Sun and UV at School classroom resources in September, the Cancer Institute NSW will launch a Sun and UV at School Challenge for NSW schools.

Separate primary and secondary school challenges will encourage K–to10 students to work individually or in groups to solve real-world problems linked to skin cancer prevention. They will be tasked with demonstrating how to best protect themselves, their friends, and the wider community from the harmful effects of the sun.

Inquiry and project-based learning is at the core of this initiative. Students will build on existing ideas of what it means to be sun safe and develop contemporary solutions to shade provision. The challenge draws on the new classroom resources’ learnings and activities and the objectives, content, skills and outcomes of the aligned K–to10 PDHPE and Science syllabuses.

For more information please click here.

St. Merkorious Charity (Ref: 156/20)

Established in 2013, St. Merkorious Charity is a local, not for profit charity assisting those in need of financial support. We currently provide over 4,000 nutritious meals a week to individuals and families who are financially stressed the elderly, disabled and the homeless.

We provide cooked nutritious meals for those that are unable to cook (mainly the homeless, elderly and disabled), and fresh and dry hampers for those that can cook for themselves but are unable to afford essential items.

Recently we have also joined Bass Hill High School’s Breakfast Club in supporting them to provide nutritious breakfast and lunch meals for those students who are going without. This is turning out to be a huge success in benefiting the students to start of their day right. As you know that running a charity involves a lot of different activities, which is why we are reaching out to teachers all over Sydney who would like to volunteer their time for a wonderful cause.

All our volunteers feel a great amount of satisfaction when they volunteer with us.

Please call St. Merkorious Charity on 0478 760 450 or email for more information or if any teachers would like to spend even a few hours as a volunteer. It will be one of the most fulfilling things they have ever done.

2020 NAIDOC Week Initiatives (Ref: 155/20)

Due to COVID-19, NAIDOC Week Initiatives have extended the closing date for student’s entries to coincide with the new national NAIDOC dates 8-15 November.

Please click here for the entry form for the 2020 NAIDOC Week School Initiatives.

Young Australians studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are encouraged to apply for the newly launched Australian Defence Force (ADF) Future Innovators Award (Ref: 149/20T

Young Australians studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are encouraged to apply for the newly launched Australian Defence Force (ADF) Future Innovators Award.
The award is a cash prize that encourages Year 10 and Year 12 high school students in their STEM pursuits, and recognises their innovative talents.

For more information please click here.

ANZAC Memorial Remote Learning Program Launch (Ref: 150/20)

The Anzac Memorial is excited to launch its Remote Learning Program with a range of online learning modules for primary and secondary students. Guided by a team of actors and educators, each module utilises drama and storytelling to explore the Memorial’s art and architecture, its unique collection of objects and artefacts and the Australian experience of the First World War.

The modules are designed for flexible delivery in the classroom or at home and are now available to order free of charge until the end of Term 3, 2020.

Click here for more information.

National Children's Day (Ref: 144/20)

A new website has been launched by SNAICC-National Voice for our Children for the upcoming National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (4 August). It features background information, merchandise, ways to get involved, downloadable resources, activities and a visual showcase of how the day has been celebrated in the past. Discover more here.

Put Your Feet First and Step Into Spring on National Walk Safely to School Day  (Ref: 139/20)

Primary school aged children across Australia are encouraged to start incorporating regular walking back into their daily routine with the Pedestrian Council of Australia announcing National Walk Safely to School Day has been rescheduled to Friday 11 September 2020 following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

National Walk Safely to School Day is a community initiative that aims to raise awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking (especially to and from school) can provide for the long term well-being of our children. Apart from the physical benefits, regular walking also has a favourable impact on their mental health and academic performance.

The national initiative also promotes improved diets (by asking schools and P&Cs to Host a Healthy Breakfast), positive environmental action, better use of public transport with reduced car-dependency and the vitally important road safety message: “Until they are 10, children must always hold the hand of an adult when crossing the road”.

It also encourages parents and carers to walk more, reducing dangerous traffic congestion around schools, while minimising the risk of Australian children developing heart disease and diabetes.

For more information please click here.

Have you registered for Fruit & Veg Month 2020 yet? (Ref: 140/20)

Register for Fruit & Veg Month now! 

Don’t leave it too late. Hardcopy resources are strictly limited and are being sent out to registered schools now.

What do participating schools say about the event?

“Fantastic resources and an absolutely amazing initiative and my school loves participating in it every year. I continually have parents coming up to me and commenting on the change in their children and their willingness to attempt more fruit and vegetables at school and at home.”

Fruit & Veg Month is a primary school health promotion event funded by NSW Health.

The event will be held during the last 4 weeks of Term 3, Monday 31 August to Friday 25 September.

For more details on Fruit & Veg Month, and to fill out the quick and easy online registration form, go to:

$1500 Scholarship for ATSI Orchestral Musicians (Ref: 130/20)

One Day In January – a summer intensive for young ATSI orchestral musicians will be held in Melbourne from Jan 23 – 25 and led by Yorta Yorta composer Professor Deborah Cheetham AO. ODIJ is Australia’s only Indigenous led orchestral music program. This scholarship is open to ATSI musicians studying an orchestral instrument and will cover:

– Participation in the One Day In January project
– All tuition during the intensive
– Travel and accomodation*

Selection Criteria:

1. You must be an active member of your local ATSI community eg. participates regularly in community activities such as, but not limited to, traditional dance group, traditional language studies, art and music group or sporting team

2. Further to point 1 the Scholarship application form must be accompanied by a letter of introduction from a local registered ATSI organisation from the place of residence.

3. Age range 14 – 25

4. Currently studying an instrument with at least 2 years experience

5. Available to travel to Melbourne in January 2021.

6. If you are under 18 years of age at the time of the intensive travel will be provided for 1 parent or guardian to attend. No additional siblings.

7. 18+ will be expected to travel unaccompanied and be accommodated at Quest apartments in Southbank with a staff member from SBO or fellow participant

This Scholarship, valued at up to $1500, will provide the recipient with an opportunity to study with some of Melbourne’s finest musicians in a culturally empowering environment.

This Scholarship will help to develop a pathway for the recipient into Short Black Opera’s new ATSI Orchestra – Ensemble Dutala.

Ensemble Dutala
Ensemble Dutala emerges from Short Black Opera’s One Day in January project, established in 2019 and is designed to increase the visibility and status of professional ATSI orchestral musicians in Australia. Inspired by the language of Prof. Cheetham’s grandmother, the Yorta Yorta word Dutala, meaning Star Filled Sky, was the inspiration for this new ensemble

For more information please click here.

ARTEXPRESS Virtual (2019 HSC Students) (Ref: 124/20)

The NSW Department of Education and NSW Education Standards Authority have officially launched ARTEXPRESS Virtual 2020.

Please click here to explore the interactive website. We welcome you to share the invitation with your colleagues, friends and family.

If you have any questions please contact the ARTEXPRESS team at