Priority Items

Expression of Interest: 2021 ACARA NAPLAN Writing Assessment review study (Ref: 050/21)

Schools are invited to express interest in volunteering to take part in the 2021 ACARA NAPLAN Writing Assessment review study.

ACARA is reviewing the NAPLAN assessment of writing with the aim of :

    • assessing a broader range of writing purposes more closely aligned to the Australian Curriculum
    • improving the efficiency of marking processes
    • being innovative in the assessment of writing

Principals can nominate a class or classes from years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Full cohort participation is not required.

The three-week test window will run 7–25 June 2021. ACER , the contactor appointed to run the study, will work with schools to schedule a time within the test window that best suits each school.

Testing will be online; schools will need the infrastructure/technology to accommodate the nominated number of students sitting the test online at one time.

Information about technical requirements and advice regarding devices can be found at

While it is not envisaged that year 3 students will be required to do NAPLAN writing tests online, year 3 students participating in the pilot will be required to do so. This is consistent with current NAPLAN trialling specifications whereby the majority of year 3 students complete the writing tasks online.

Schools will need to block out approximately 60–90 minutes to cover initial room/device set up and the full test session. An ACER invigilator will be responsible for the delivery of the assessments in schools.

Year No. of tasks Test duration Administration (log in/log off, instructions) Total
3 2 40 min (15, 25) 15 min 55 min
5 2 45 min (25, 20) 10 min 55 min
7 2 50 min (20, 30) 10 min 60 min
9 2 55 min (30, 25) 10 min 65 min

Tasks will be administered on ACER’s online test delivery platform. There will be no online audio component to the tasks so there is no requirement for headphones. Invigilators and teachers will be allowed to read prompts aloud to students.

Schools will receive an outline of the writing assessment tasks and a raw score result for each student who participates in the study. As this is a pilot for a new rubric and assessment tasks NAPLAN scale scores will not be available.

Please contact Karen Ferrante for further details

Expressions of interest to by Friday 5 March, 2021.

68th Annual RSL and Schools Remember ANZAC Commemoration (Ref: 51/21)

The RSL & Schools Remember ANZAC Commemoration is coordinated by the Returned and Services League of Australia (NSW), the NSW Department of Education, Catholic Schools NSW and the NSW Association of Independent Schools.

In 2021 the RSL and Schools Remember ANZAC Commemoration will be held virtually due to the ongoing health pandemic, this however will allow students to still honour the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and women.

A video will be produced of the service which will be available for your school to play to students the week of ANZAC Day, Monday 19 to Friday 23 April 2021. This virtual service will be approximately 30 minutes long.

The interactive components will include the opportunity for a student to recite The Ode and also for a floral tribute to be laid locally. More information on how this can be incorporated during the service will be sent with the video.

We ask that you please register your schools’ interest in receiving the video by providing your details via the following link the by no later than 26 March 2021.

Please use this link to register

Distribution of the video will occur by 19 April 2021.

Please contact Gerard Delany (State Manager – Education Policy and Program) of this office ( or phone 02 9287 1549 if you have questions/advice.

RANZCOG Secondary Schools Literary Competition (Ref: 52/21)

Applications are open for the RANZCOG Secondary Schools Literary Competition. Students must be in years 10, 11 or 12.

Each year RANZCOG invites senior secondary students resident in Australia or New Zealand to apply for the Liam and Frankie Davison Award for outstanding achievement in literary writing on Women’s Health. Entrants can write about any issue in women’s health that interests them. Previous submissions have included fictional and non-fictional pieces addressing a broad range of issues including for example; body image and anorexia, ethics, mental health, child marriage, pregnancy in third world countries, assisted reproductive technology and violence against women.

The award for the best entry provides an exciting opportunity for students, whether they are interested in medicine, science, mental health, sociology, politics or law.

For further information please visit the RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation website  here  or email .

Secondary Students Literary Competition

Terms and Conditions of Entry

AEDC National Virtual Conference 15-19 March (Ref: 048/21)

Trends in Child Development – The Future of Australia

  • The AEDC provides a national measure of early child development. AEDC National Conferences bring together educators, practitioners, policy makers and researchers to share how the data has been used to advance our knowledge and shape our practices.
  • This year’s  conference will be held virtually, with opportunities to meet, communicate, learn, and engage with a diverse audience from a range of professional backgrounds.

To find out more about the conference, visit

AEDC Data Collection 3 May – 25 June (Ref: 049/21)

Every three years Government, Catholic and Independent schools across Australia participate in the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC). The AEDC is a population measure of how children have developed by the time they start their first year of full-time school, and provides evidence to support health, education and community policy and planning.

Click here to download a poster with key dates for this collection.

Be on the lookout for your AEDC School Leader and Teacher Packs, which will be arriving in the mail in March 2021. The AEDC School Leader Pack has all the information you need to help you plan for and participate in the AEDC data collection, which is taking place between 3 May and 25 June 2021.

The AEDC School Leader Pack also includes a comprehensive set of resources you can use to inform your school community about the AEDC. The Teacher Packs contain all the material for teacher training.

To learn more about the AEDC visit the national website.

Click here to watch the video ‘Introduction to the AEDC’.

Your school’s participation in 2021 is vital to ensure we understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s development. Your time and effort make a significant contribution to the nation. It ensures every child is visible and provides rich and robust data that supports high quality planning to improve the lives of children.

If you have any queries regarding the AEDC data collection, please contact the AEDC Helpdesk or your State Coordinator Mary Taiwo,, (02) 7814 3083.

My School Website – Principal Portal access (Ref: 058/21)

The My School website is being updated in March 2021 with 2020 school profile, 2019 school finance and 2019 senior secondary data.

The release will not include 2020 NAPLAN data. This follows education ministers’ decision that NAPLAN would not proceed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will also be no 2020 attendance data. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted governments to enact differing schooling arrangements across the country in response to jurisdictional circumstances. As a result, it was considered that the attendance measures were not sufficiently consistent on a national basis to support reporting of results on My School. Appropriate footnotes will be included on the relevant My School pages explaining this.

The 2021 My School Principals’ Preview will be published at 1pm AEDT on 25 February 2021. School principals will be able to access the My School website’s Principals’ Portal to preview their latest year of school data before the site goes live on Wednesday 17 March 2021 (pending ACARA Board approval), and update school’s profile comment, website address, location and governing body.

The Principals’ Portal will be closed from Tuesday 23 to Thursday 25 February 2021 (to prepare the preview site) and from Monday 15 to Tuesday 16 March 2021 (to prepare the My School update).

Instructions on how to access and use the Principals’ Portal are provided at Attachment 1 and how to write your school profile at Attachment 2. All updates should be submitted before close of business Friday 12 March 2021 to ensure they take effect before the 2021 My School update.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at

  1. Attachment 1 – Instructions for schools on how to use the Principals’ Portal
  2. Attachment 2 – Writing your school profile
  3. Memo 05820 My School Principal Portal

K-2 English & Mathematics Curriculum Reform Information Session (Ref: 044/21)

You are invited to participate in a special K-2 English & Mathematics Curriculum Reform Information Session.

Catholic Schools NSW will be hosting a webinar where NESA officers will share information about K-2 English and Mathematics curriculum reforms. The webinar will provide background on the draft outcomes and content for K-2 English and Mathematics, presenting a clear rationale for the changes and discussing what to expect when they are released for consultation.

Please distribute to your teacher networks. This is a unique opportunity for classroom teachers to have direct access to NESA officers. The Webinar Registration link is provided below.

Wednesday 3 March 2021
3:45pm – 4:45pm

Click here to register


Professional Learning

Perspectives on writing: from theory to practice (Ref: 53/21)

The English Teachers’ Association is providing a course titled “Perspectives on writing: from theory to practice”. This is in line with the discussion initiated by NESA’s Thematic Review on Writing with a view to raising the standard of writing in schools.

You may include your completion of this online event as 9 “elective” hours towards your 100 hours of PD.

The opening panel, free of charge, offers a variety of perspectives into current teaching practice from research to classroom. The webinar will include lectures from international and national experts on how students develop their own voice and style through rhetoric and grammar.

  • Professor Richard Andrews on Rhetoric and Writing
  • Professor Debra Myhill on Grammar and Writing and
  • Dr Lucinda McKnight on Going beyond the formula.

Each of these will be followed by a session on related classroom applications developed by Mel Dixon, Ann Small and Eva Gold.

The live sessions run on Tuesdays from 7.30 – 8.30 pm.

Recordings can be viewed in your own time. Beginning the event a week or two into the course will not affect your finishing, as recordings will be available for a month after completion.

The full program and registration are available at .


Professional learning modules - Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers - now available (Ref: 054/21)

Catholic Schools New South Wales is pleased to provide the following professional learning modules.

    • Introduction: The what and the why of higher levels of teacher certification.
    • The Tin Tacks: What the principal needs to know.
    • Is there a HALT sized hole in your school? (available next week).
    • From graduate to lead: A journey through the standards (available next week).

If you have never accessed the platform before you will need to follow the 2 steps. Otherwise jump to step 2.

Step 1: Activate your account

Step 2: Access the Learning Modules

If you have any issues with access please email

For any other questions please contact


Copyright For Educators Webinars (Ref: 57/21)

The National Copyright Unit, which is responsible for copyright policy and administration for the Australian school sector, is offering a series of free webinars to help teachers navigate copyright. These free webinars are open to all Australian Government and non-government schools and are targeted to teachers and teacher-librarians from K-12. They cover a range of topics including statutory and voluntary licences, free use exceptions, Creative Commons and Netflix.

Thursday 31st March (9am – 3pm AEDT)
Friday 30th April (9am – 3pm AEST)
Thursday 20th May (9am – 3pm AWST/11am – 5pm AEST)
Friday 11th June (9am – 3pm AEST)
Wednesday 21st July (9am – 3pm AEST)
Friday 6th August (9am – 3pm AEST)
Wednesday 15th September (9am – 3pm AEST)
Friday 15th October (9am – 3pm AEDT)
Thursday 11th November (9am – 3pm AEDT)

Click here to register


One-off credit of five hours towards professional development (055/21)

All teachers maintaining NESA accreditation will receive a one-off credit of five hours towards the 100 hours of professional development, in recognition that teachers adjusted their practices to transform learning to an online environment in the context of changes due to COVID-19.

The five hours of NESA Accredited Professional Development will be added to teachers’ records by the NSW Education Standards Authority by the end of February.

Media Release



Registration for CSSA Forum closes Monday 15 March (Ref: 042/21)

Catholic Schools New South Wales Professional Learning Forum & Final AGM

The Sydney Masonic Centre

Monday 22 March 2021

8:30am – 4:00pm

The focus of the Forum will be Senior Student Pathways.

Professor Peter Shergold, Chair of NESA, will be the keynote speaker.

To register for the forum follow the instructions below. Registration closes Monday 15 March.

If you have never accessed the platform before you will need to follow the 2 steps. Otherwise jump to step 2.

Step 1: Activate your account

Step 2: Access the Learning Modules

If you have any issues with access please email

An invoice will be sent directly to your school’s accounts department once you are enrolled.

For any other matters please contact


School Newsletter

Veg up your school in 2021! (Ref: 56/21)

Vegetable Week & The Big Vegie Crunch is back for 2021.

It’s the free, school-based health promotion event that brings the excitement to vegetable eating and helps to encourage students, and their families, to eat more veg!

The event has a whole vegetable patch full of ready-to-go resources to help with: planning and preparing for the event; educating your students on vegetables; promoting vegetables to students and families; communicating your plans to parents and the wider school community.

Register now so you can receive the resources straight away and start getting ready for the fun!

Vegetable Week is on during Week 8 of Term 1 – from Monday 15 March to Friday 19 March 2021

The Big Vegie Crunch: 10am on Thursday 18 March.

For more details and to register, visit the Vegetable Week & The Big Vegie Crunch webpage.