Priority Items

Register NOW: Kathleen Burrow Research Institute Lecture (Ref: 213/23)

Catholic Schools NSW proudly presents the 3rd Annual Kathleen Burrow Research Institute Lecture 2023. The lecture will be delivered by 47th Premier of NSW, The Honourable Christopher Minns, MP.

Catholic Schools NSW invites board members, school principals, relatives of Kathleen Burrow and other stakeholders in Catholic education to join us for this exciting and unique opportunity to hear from an important member of the NSW political community.

Date: Tuesday 24 October 2023

Time: Commencing 6pm

Venue: St John’s College, The University of Sydney

Guests are invited to enjoy drinks and canapes following the lecture.

The Kathleen Burrow Research Institute is a research unit within Catholic Schools NSW that conducts and publishes research on contemporary issues in school education to promote the advancement of education in all school sectors in Australia.

The work of the Institute seeks to provide an evidence base to support Catholic Schools NSW in advocating for best practice in all schools and particularly in Catholic education, and to inform and engage with sector leaders and policymakers.

Please click this link to register and find out more.

eSafety Commissioner guidance on distressing online content (Ref: 274/23)

Online spaces should be safe for everyone, but sometimes online content might depict harm or violence, which is not only distressing but illegal.

Under Australian law, the eSafety Commissioner can issue a takedown notice to a platform to remove such content, or block access to protect Australian users from viewing this content.

To support this work, the eSafety Commissioner encourages you to read the following guidance and factsheet, and report content where appropriate.

This guidance is meant to supplement existing school or system policies and procedures for communicating with students, staff and families about disturbing online content.

NESA update on draft 7-8 Technology Syllabus (Ref: 275/23)

NESA will be providing  Stage 4 Technology leaders and teachers with an update on the Draft Technology 7-8 Syllabus on Monday 23 October 4-5 pm.

The purpose of this meeting is to share refinements on the Draft Technology 7-8 syllabus after the recent ‘Have your say’ consultation.

This meeting will take place online over Microsoft Webinar.

The Microsoft Webinar information for the meeting is below, where you will be asked to register for this Webinar.

Further inquiries can be directed to Joanne Hack

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

Building Leadership in Aboriginal Education across Catholic Schools in NSW/ACT (Ref: 242/23)

Senior system and school leaders are encouraged to register for a symposium designed to support educators in leading initiatives to deepen an understanding of and respect for the histories, cultures and languages of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Participants can expect to learn ways in which they can facilitate greater learning outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and can expect to leave with an increased awareness of ways in which they can create culturally safe learning environments for their students.

The symposium will be held from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm on 2 November at the Raddison Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney.

Find out more and register here. (You will need to log in to GO1 to access).


Bringing Mathematics to Life: Thinking and Working Mathematically​​​​​​​ (Ref: 277/23)

The NSW Institute for Educational Research, in association with the University of New South Wales, will convene the 2023 conference ‘Bringing Mathematics to Life: Thinking and Working Mathematically’ at UNSW on 23 November. It will build on the popularity and success of the inaugural conference in 2022 with a focus on teaching mathematics in years 3-10.

The conference offers exceptional value, with keynotes from Eddie Woo, Di Siemon and Anna Wethereld that will offer insights into the successful implementation of the new 3-6 and 7-10 syllabuses. Read more in the conference flyer and register to secure a place, as the 2022 conference sold out quickly.

Register here.


Stage 6 English, Mathematics, Ancient History and Modern History Inform Sessions (Ref: 267/23)

NESA has determined that curriculum reform in Term 4 in NSW will focus on Stage 6 syllabuses and in 2023 the draft English Mathematics, Ancient and Modern syllabuses with the associated Life Skills syllabuses are up for consultation and will have a two-week inform period. Changes to the syllabuses have been summarised by NESA in video presentations that have been uploaded to the CSNSW Curriculum Reform Hub and can be accessed via this link.

Further inquiries can be made by contacting  Joanne Hack


Positive Partnerships workshop series (Ref: 273/23)

Positive Partnerships are running their newest National Online Professional Learning workshop series again this term. This is a free, 3 session interactive workshop series where participants will learn about the components of an online planning tool designed to help support the needs of autistic students.

See attached for further information on these sessions.

Please note that participants are required to commit to attending all 3 sessions. They must also have capacity to have 2 screens/split screen options or a second device. This Professional Learning is for classroom teachers and/or school leadership staff.

Interested staff can email Rachael Dillon at for further information and the registration link.


Master Class Webinar – Assessment and Data (Ref: 255/23)

Master class: Tuesday 31 October from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, via TEAMs. 

Using data: A master planning session.

Master Planning with Data for Leadership Teams

This session provides participants time and support to unpack an element of their school’s vision and break it down into a tangible objectives-to-initiative map linking a broad school-based objective with action on the ground. This process will involve participants transforming a specific objective into measures/metrics, thinking about baseline information, setting practical goals, identifying a broad strategy with improvement initiatives/actions, and outlining a more detailed initiative action plan.

In advance, participant teams should identify a strategic priority of interest and begin thinking about the measures of interest and the types of actions being undertaken to achieve the intended outcomes.

Register via this link.


Webinar resources - Donna Cross: Leading Wellbeing Through Equity and Excellence ​​​​​​​(Ref: 268/23)

Pastoral care and wellbeing programs can significantly impact the culture within a school. This suite of resources, developed in consultation with Professor Donna Cross, will highlight evidence-informed practice that shows how wellbeing can contribute to the achievement of equity and excellence in schools. Practical tools have also been included to ensure that school leaders are equipped with tangible strategies to implement in order to achieve success.

Simply click here to access this invaluable resource.


Australian Catholic Education Symposium (Ref: 256/23)

Join the National Catholic Education Commission on Wednesday 25 October from 3:30 – 4:50 pm for an online symposium with speaker Prof Anna Graham.

This year’s symposium will discuss how Catholic schools can respond to student views for wellbeing, faith formation and learning. This discussion will provide participants with key insights into why we should affirm the purpose and mission of Catholic education in supporting learning, faith formation and wellbeing.

The symposium is held in October to celebrate World Teachers Day and is designed for Catholic system and school leaders, educators and staff to stimulate professional dialogue in their communities around topics of interest.

Prof Anna Graham is a Professor of Childhood Studies and is the Founding Director of the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University. She has a background in primary education, has led over 70 research projects, and was recognised for her service to education with the award of an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Click here for more information and to register for the online symposium.


Resources for Learning

The Diocese of Lismore Online Education Centre (Ref: 265/23)

The Diocese of Lismore Online Education Centre (OEC) is now taking enrolments for 2024 Preliminary HSC Students in several 2 Unit subjects:

  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Ancient History
  • Economics
  • Japanese Beginners
  • Engineering Studies
  • Enterprise Computing – commencing in Year 11, 2024 (replacing Information Processes & Technology)
  • Software Engineering – commencing in Year 11, 2024  (replacing Software Design and Development)

If you have any students who may be interested and would benefit from studying one of these subjects via our online school, please follow the link to the 2024 OEC Enrolment Form.

If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out at


Kids News Junior Journalist Competition (Ref: 258/23)

Kids News is running a competition to find the next generation of news breakers. Children from Years 3 to 9 have an opportunity to compete for the grand prize of a guest appearance on Channel 10’s Studio 10 program, hosted by Narelda Jacobs.

Children can choose to present a story about something that has happened or is about to happen in their school or local community. The following four categories are open for submissions:

  • News story – print
  • News story – video
  • Sports story – print
  • Sports story – video

Kids can send in their submissions via email to before Friday 27 October at 5:00 pm. 

Check the website here for more information and for terms and conditions.


School Updates & Newsletter

Managing bomb threats in schools including during HSC exams​​​​​​​ (Ref: 266/23)

In previous years a number of schools have received bomb and other threats during the HSC exam period and it is important that we remain vigilant. NSW Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), NSW Police and NESA are requesting all Principals to monitor the school for potential threats over this year’s HSC period and beyond, and to follow the advice below if you receive one of these threats.

Upon receipt of a bomb or other significant threat schools must:

  • Call 000 (triple zero) immediately and promptly relay all information to NSW Police. If the threat relates to a bomb being present on the school site, the school should activate its critical incident plan and arrange an immediate evacuation, which is to be maintained until such time as Police attend and the site is deemed safe to re-enter.

All schools must ensure their evacuation area for bomb threats or suspected devices is an identified and cleared space, far enough away from the school to prevent people being injured by glass or other material if an explosion occurs.

As soon as practicable, notify the NSW Department of Education, Incident Report and Support Hotline of the bomb threat on 1300 495 051. No one should touch, tilt or tamper with a suspicious object in case it is an explosive or incendiary device.

Systemic schools should also notify their diocesan schools office and RI/MPJP schools should notify Catholic Schools NSW – David Walker (0432 335 695 or

Read the full memo on managing Specific HSC exam considerations in managing bomb or significant threats here. 

Change to HSC Illness/Misadventure Process for COVID (Ref: 259/23)

NESA has made changes to the Illness and Misadventure process for students who test positive to COVID-19 during exams. Schools remain responsible for their own COVID-smart protocols.

NSW Health recently closed the COVID-19 Register and the requirement for members of the public to register positive PCRs and RATs.

The registration of a positive PCR or RAT test was previously acceptable evidence for HSC students applying for Illness/Misadventure.

The change to NSW Health requirements means students will now be required to provide a doctor’s certificate if they test positive to COVID-19, covering missed exam date(s), the same as any other illness.

In summary:

  • contact their school if they are unwell
  • their school will support with applying for Illness/misadventure
  • their health and safety is the priority during exams.

Strategies for Addressing School Refusal – Online Webinar (Ref: 270/23)

Children and young people are sometimes reluctant to attend school and the reasons will be different for each child or young person. School refusal can happen at any age but is more likely to occur during times of transition (such as, starting primary or secondary school) or major family events (such as separation or family bereavement).

Join us from 3:30 – 4:30 pm on Wednesday 1 November, 2023 as we discuss some early intervention strategies for school refusal and proactive strategies to support positive attendance.

Register using the link here. 

Access the resource here.

Feedback sought on changes to NAPLAN 2023 (Ref: 264/23)

ACARA is seeking feedback on changes to NAPLAN, including the change of date from May to March this year, and changes made to reporting in order to provide simpler, clearer, and more meaningful results. ACARA is keen to hear from principals and teachers, as well as parents and carers, on these changes.

A link to the survey is here:

Scholarships and Awards

Thoroughly Schooled VET Partnership Program (Ref: 263/23)

Congratulations to the students from Catholic Schools who successfully accessed the highly contested The Thoroughly Schooled Program for five days in September:

  • Hannah Mclean, St Brigid’s Catholic College, Lake Munmorah
  • Jaxon Griffith, St Matthews Catholic School, Mudgee
  • Jorja Woods, St Pauls Catholic College, West Kempsey

This immersive career and industry experience, developed through the Regional Industry Education Partnerships program in collaboration with Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association and TAFE NSW, aims to build practical skills for Year 10-12 students and expose them to the many multi-layered facets of the thoroughbred industry.

Activities included a non-accredited course at Scone TAFE campus to gain basic understanding of the equine industry including WHS, visits to the Scone Equine Hospital, and Race Club and visits to three world-class thoroughbred stud farms. Each excursion provided opportunities for students to discover and learn about the Thoroughbred industry employers and employees and highlights the career pathways open to them.

The Program included a work-experience component, opening future job opportunities in this growing sector, advantageous to both the students and the stud-farms.


Catholic Schools in VET State Success (Ref: 262/23)

We are thrilled to congratulate our NSW Training Award State finalists and winner. Catholic Schools were well represented by nine Regional Winners interviewed for the State Awards, resulting in three finalists who were celebrated at the Sydney Town Hall event in September.

In the School Student category, 2 Catholic Schools students were finalists:

  • Montayah Astruc, Caroline Chisholm College Glenmore Park, Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
  • Charlize Ashby, Brigidine College Randwick, Certificate II in Kitchen Operations

The winner of the School-Based Apprentice and Traineeship (SBAT) category was:

  • Molly Smith, McCarthy College Tamworth, Certificate III in Health Services Assistance

It is wonderful to have the incredible work of Vocational Education and Training in our Catholic Schools across NSW celebrated through success in these awards. Finalists at State level are offered the opportunity to become VET Ambassadors for NSW. Additionally, as a State winner, Molly will be interviewed for the Australian Training Awards which will be celebrated in Hobart in November.

The prestigious VET Ambassadorship program initiative opens opportunities for participants to further grow their confidence, competence and capacity by being mentored to share their career journeys, the VET qualifications they have attained, the experiences of establishing themselves in the industry and how VET has worked as a tool to enable them to excel professionally.

Congratulations also to the following direct entry finalists representing NSW (and CSNSW) at the Australian Training Awards in November:

  •  Innovation in VET Award: St John Paul II Catholic College
  • School Pathways to VET Award: CathWest Innovation College


ANZAC Community Grants Program 2023 (Ref: 257/23)

Applications are now open for the 2023 ANZAC Community Grants Program.

The NSW Government’s ANZAC Community Grants Program aims to provide non-government organisations and educational institutions with funds for a variety of projects. Eligible projects for grants of up to $3,000 include projects which commemorate and educate NSW communities about the service and sacrifices of current and former military servicemen. Activities which benefit the NSW veteran community in some way will also be eligible.

For more information and to submit an application, please visit the grants program website.

Applications close Saturday 11 November at 5:00 pm.