Priority Items

Work Experience/ Work Placement Insurance (Ref: 027/21)

Catholic Schools NSW (Catholic Schools New South Wales), working with broker Marsh Pty Ltd, has secured employer liability cover for students in work experience and work placement programs in 2021. Ansvar Insurance Limited is our new insurer and offers cover at the same level as previous years.

Dioceses and schools are asked to:

  • Confirm their participation in the Catholic Schools New South Wales Ansvar Insurance Limited Public Liability Policy for 2021.
  • Confirm the number of participating students for both work experience and work placement for 2021.

This online pro forma must be completed by COB on Friday 5 March 2021.

A return is required from all Dioceses or RI & PJP Schools, including those who tick ‘no’ confirming they do not wish to join in the Ansvar Insurance Limited coverage. These schools will be assumed to have made alternative public liability insurance arrangements for any work placement/work experience students.

Please find more information about the insurance and how to submit, including the new Certificate of Currency, here.

Forum: Senior Students Pathways (Ref: 028/21)

Catholic Schools New South Wales Professional Learning: CSSA Forum registration and agenda

Monday 22 March 8:30am – 4:00pm Sydney Masonic Centre

Forum Agenda

The CSSA Forum and final AGM will be held on Monday 22 March 2020 at Sydney Masonic Centre. The focus for this Forum will be Senior Student Pathways and Professor Peter Shergold, the NESA Chair, will be a keynote speaker. Please notify your nominated school representative/contact of your interest in attending the Forum.

For any questions regarding the Forum please contact


My School data set available for School Principal's preview on Thursday 25 February (Ref: 029/21)

On Thursday 25 February 2021, the My School Principal’s preview will open on the Principals’ Portal.

From Thursday 25 February, ACARA’s call centre will be ready to receive the expected increase in calls and enquiries related to the preview. The preview period will end on Friday 12 March 2021. The Principals’ Portal will be  continually available up to and beyond the release date for the 2021 My School update for principals to update their profile text, school website address, governing body and map location.
The release date (pending ACARA Board approval) for the 2021 My School update is scheduled for Wednesday 17 March 2021.

Practice tests NAPLAN Online (Ref: 031/21)

2021 NAPLAN Online

Catholic Schools New South Wales is working with NESA to prepare for participation in the delivery of 2021 NAPLAN online.

Practice tests and training will be available to ensure staff and students are familiar with the online assessment platform.

 Practice tests

Catholic schools will participate in practice tests using the online assessment platform during a limited testing window between 23 March and 26 March; with preference for schools to schedule some tests during the co-ordinated national practice test on March 25 if possible.

The limited testing window will provide:

  • An opportunity for Dioceses/ School Authorities to test local IT and support structures i.e. a dress rehearsal for the real event.
  • An opportunity for a national platform resilience test.
  • Scope for schools to complete the writing and omnibus test on one day so that there is less disruption to the school routine.
  • An opportunity for students to experience a mini version of a real test schedule and have the opportunity to engage with the test platform (noting that schools should also direct students and parents to the public demonstration site).

It was also noted that the ACARA advertised national practice test window dates extended into 2021 Holy Week which was not considered an ideal time for Catholic schools in particular.

All schools participating in NAPLAN Online are expected to participate in practice tests.

General questions regarding NAPLAN Online please contact the NAPLAN team on 1300 119 556, 02 9367 8382 or

For specific advice on Catholic school preparations please contact or

Supporting Diverse Learning in Catholic Schools (Ref: 32/21)

Last week, CCSP posted a small package to the principal of each Catholic school in NSW and ACT.

The envelope included:

  • A hard copy of the booklet Supporting Diverse Learning in Catholic Schools  and information how to make best use of the guide
  • A one page leaflet with information about the Council of Catholic School Parents
  • Details about two free webinars CCSP are running in partnership with the eSafety Commissioner
    • Tech, Teens and Time online 7.30- 8.30pm Tuesday 23 March 2021
    • Helping kids thrive online 12.30- 1.30pm Thursday 25 March 2021

We have included links to these resources below:

1 Supporting Diverse Learning in Catholic Schools Booklet

2a How schools can make best use of SDLCS booklet

2b A5 Parent Access Flyer

2c Parent Access Newsletter Insert A6

3a About CCSP A4_portrait

3b About CCSP A5_portrait

3c About CCSPA5_landscape

3d For inserting into school newsletters

4 Flyer for Webinars March 2021

New mental health initiative #MakingTime (Ref: 033/21)

Staff & Student Wellbeing

Following a difficult 2020 the National Mental Health Commission has created a new mental health initiative called #MakingTime.

This initiative encourages all Australians to make time for things that help them in difficult times. It is free of charge and the link to the resource can be found here: 

Youth Mental Health Screening Tool (Ref: 35/21)

Emotional Health in Schools

Schools have a unique and important role to play in the prevention of emotional disorders in children & adolescents. Despite continued efforts by policy makers, educators, researchers and parents the number of students with mental health issues continues to rise. Macquarie University Centre for Emotional Health has developed a new Youth Mental Health Screening Tool which will help identify students at risk. They hope to run a study across all school sectors in term 2 which will also go toward developing Australian ‘norms’. Any  secondary school interested in participating should contact Jennifer Coen, State Manager Wellbeing,

Changes to School Developed Board Endorsed Courses (SDBECs): Catholic Studies and Studies in Catholic Thought (Stages 5 and 6)  (Ref: 019/21)

As part of the NSW Curriculum Reform process, there are changes to School Developed Board Endorsed Courses (SDBECs) from 2021 that affect Catholic studies and Studies in Catholic Thought courses for Stages 5 and 6.

In general, any Stage 5 SDBECs currently endorsed by NESA will still have this endorsement until the end of 2022, unless the endorsement period was scheduled to end earlier. These courses can continue after the NESA endorsement ends, and schools may still choose to develop their own Stage 5 courses, but they will not be endorsed by NESA, nor will they be included on NESA credentials such as the RoSA. Please note that Stage 5 Catholic Studies courses are subject to a number of different NESA applications and therefore have differing endorsement periods. Some endorsement periods expired at the end of 2020 and others will expire at the end of 2021 or 2022. Schools should check the scheduled expiry dates for their school.

Stage 6 SDBECs that are currently endorsed and already selected by students for the HSC will continue in 2021 and 2022 only. From 2023, these courses will be subject to new endorsement criteria.

Individual schools and/ or systems that did not submit their applications to deliver a new Stage 6 course or renew an existing Stage 6 course for 2021 by the published deadlines in Schools Online may have found that they do not have NESA endorsement. NESA will only consider reviewing these cases in very limited circumstances. These schools should contact the Board Endorsed Programs Unit at or 9367 8579.

World Day of the Sick (Ref: 011/21)

On February 11 we come together as a community to pray for the sick and those who care for them.

Here is what you can do to observe WDOS:

  • Say the prayer tonight to thank the nurses, doctors and all the wonderful carers for taking care of us during COVID;
  • Commit to washing your hands frequently, keeping surfaces clean and wearing a mask on public transport;

Please find attached a letter to principals and World Day of the Sick flyer.

Professional Learning

2021 GERRIC Professional Learning (Ref: 036/21)

2021 GERRIC Professional Learning
Mini-COGE & Mini-COGE Advanced registrations now open
Registrations for the 2021 Mini-Certificate of Gifted Education (Mini-COGE) and Mini-COGE Advanced courses are now open.

Course information is available at this link.



Staff training NAPLAN Online (Ref: 037/21)

2021 NAPLAN Online

Catholic Schools New South Wales is working with NESA to prepare for participation in the delivery of 2021 NAPLAN online.

Practice tests and training will be available to ensure staff and students are familiar with the online assessment platform.

Staff training

Training is available from mid-February. All staff involved with NAPLAN Online are strongly encouraged to participate in training, even if schools have already delivered NAPLAN Online. Registration is now open for live online sessions. Read more about the training options on the NESA website.


Catholic Schools New South Wales Professional Learning: Principal Workshop Highly Accomplished & Lead Teachers (Ref: 038/21)

Catholic Schools New South Wales Professional Learning: Principal Workshop Highly Accomplished & Lead Teachers

Thursday February 18 9:30 – 10:30am or 3:30 – 4:30pm via Zoom

Join other Principals and school leaders in conversation with AITSL Chair and Laurette Professor John Hattie to talk about higher levels of accreditation, Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers. Why are they a national priority? What benefit can they bring to your school? What is your role in supporting expert teachers moving towards higher levels?

To register please follow the two simple steps below

STEP 1: Access the Catholic Schools New South Wales Professional Learning Dashboard click here

STEP 2: Access the event here

If you have any issues with access please email

For any other support please contact


School Newsletter

Recruitment for the NSW Youth Advisory Council Open (Ref: 018/21)

Recruitment for the NSW Youth Advisory Council (YAC) 2021 is currently open.

Last year, with your support, a diverse and dedicated group of children and young people were appointed to the YAC, who provided feedback to the government over the year. I am writing to ask you to kindly support our recruitment of the YAC again this year by reaching out to the children and young people in your networks and encouraging them to apply.

Membership of the YAC is open to children and young people between 12-24 years of age residing in NSW. Applications are particularly sought from diverse locations, backgrounds and life experiences.

The 12 member YAC provides a direct avenue of communication between young people and the NSW Government. The YAC meets regularly throughout the year to discuss a range of topics and provide feedback on policies, procedures and resources affecting children and young people.

Members also provide feedback to community groups, government agencies and Departments and Ministers on issues concerning children and young people.

Applications close 14 March, 2021.

For further information about the YAC and for young people to apply, please use or share the link below:

Please find the media kit link below with a sample newsletter article, poster and social media posts you may wish to use to promote recruitment for the YAC 2021.

If you have any questions feel free to call the office on (02) 9248 0970 or email us at

Thank you for your support in ensuring that as many children and young people as possible have an opportunity to apply for the NSW Youth Advisory Council 2020.

Public Transport reminder to all students: COVID-Safe travel notifications (Ref: 034/21)

Public Transport reminder to all students: Covid safe travel notifications

All students should be reminded to ‘tap on & off’ with their Opal cards as they travel to & from school. Whilst travel is free of charge for many students,  validating travel is particularly important during Covid for the purpose of contact tracing.

Here is a link to some general info re school students & Opal.

All school students over 12 years of age must wear a face mask when travelling on public transport.

Vegetable Week & The Big Veggie Crunch (Ref: 021/21)

Welcome to the second of our Resource eNewsletters for Vegetable Week & The Big Vegie Crunch 2021 (missed the first one? You can find it here).

This eNewsletter has information on all the resources available for this super-fun, quick and easy health promotion event. You can also find all the resources via the event’s resource webpage.

In 2021, we’re aiming to ‘beet’ these incredible records from previous years:

  • 50,260 students crunching simultaneously in 2018
  • 14,991 students crunching at another time of Vegetable Week in 2019

In doing so we hope to make vegetable eating exciting and encourage kids, and their families, to eat more vegetables every day!

Get Ready, Get Steady, Get Crunching, has tips on communicating with colleagues, parents and your local community and accessing support. You’ll also find a comprehensive dated planning template which you can use to tick off preparation tasks.

You will need the help of parents to make The Big Vegie Crunch a success. Let them know about your plans to run the event and what is needed from them (vegetables!) – with plenty of notice. You can find two ready-to-insert snippets for your school newsletter, app or social media posts here.

Use Snippet 1 in the month leading up to the event. Use Snippet 2 in the days before The Big Vegie Crunch to remind parents to send in vegetables for their child/ren on the big day.

Find the Media Release here.

To help you spread the UP THE VEG message throughout your school we have developed a set of eye-catching resources with a whole bunch of fun and educational ideas.

UP THE VEG in the Classroom provides information on educational resources that are available to teach about and promote vegetables to your students.

UP THE VEG over the Whole School has lots of ideas for veg-positive activities to run over the whole school.

UP THE VEG at Home provides helpful hints on how families can encourage their kids (and themselves!) to eat more veg. More detail can be found in the Veg up your families resource section below.

We know that health promotion activities in schools have the most impact when families are engaged. Get parents on board with the ‘eat more vegetables’ message by using these tools:

  • The UP THE VEG at Home resource. The information provided in this resource is based on feedback from parents on what they wanted to know: how much vegetables do family members need; how to encourage their kids to eat more veg; and, of course, meal and snack ideas! Send parents the link to the resource via Newsletter Snippet 1
  • An A4 size poster, and notes page, for families so that they can challenge themselves to increase the amount and variety of vegetables they eat over Vegetable Week (and beyond!)
  • School Newsletter Snippets so you can inform families about your involvement in The Big Vegie Crunch and how they can support it

You can include these resources in your school newsletter, school app notifications or your social media posts. Or print out copies for those parents where hardcopy resources are more successful.

Instructions on how to print the stickers can be found here.
To print in house, on your office printer, use these templates (full colour or reduced colour). For commercial printing use this template.

You can print it out in A3 or A4 size. There is even a notes page for teachers to provide more information on how to use it.

play The Big Vegie Crunch Song to boost the vegetables-are-funky vibes! You can access the song, and the lyrics, on the song webpage.

Want your students to be included in a music video for the song? 
We would love to put together a video of kids dancing to The Big Vegie Crunch song to make available on our website and use in promoting the event. If you think this is something your students would love to do then please send us some video footage of the kids (or vegetables) dancing to the song. Be creative! Perhaps students could dance with vegetables in hand, or do a routine in the vegetable patch or even make a stop motion video of vegetables dancing? Contact us via email so we can determine the best way for you to share the files.

Please note: you will need to confirm that you have permission to share images of the students for publication.

Student Voice Surveys  - eSafety resources (026/21)

eSafety has released a new Toolkit resource, Student voice surveys. The surveys are designed to help schools understand the attitudes towards online safety from the perspective of students and are a great opportunity for schools to start the conversation early about online safety with their students.

Three surveys have been released including:

  • lower primary (F- Year 3)
  • upper primary (Years 4-6)
  • secondary (Years 7-12).

Each survey includes an Educator guide to help implement the survey, along with resource recommendations to assist schools in identifying opportunities to improve or strengthen online safety knowledge and practices.