Priority Items

National Launch of 200 Years of Catholic Education (Ref: 043/21)

The National Launch of 200 Years of Catholic Education will take place on 18 February. Due to COVID restrictions in NSW, it has been decided this event will be held as a virtual launch. It will be broadcast at 10.00am and again at 2.00pm (AEDT) on the day. Please pass this information onto your local Diocesan office
and your education office.

More information is available here.

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

On Wednesday 3 March 2021, 3:45pm–4:45pm, 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.

Further details about the webinar will be available shortly.

Network of expert teachers to support curriculum reform (Ref: 040/21)

The NSW Government has announced that it has established a new network of more than 200 expert teachers who will support the curriculum reform already underway.

Media release.

Boost to Canberra Civics and Citizenship travel rebate (Ref: 039/21)

The Commonwealth Government has increased the rebate for school students traveling to Canberra this year as part of their civics and citizenship education. Rebates for travel under the PACER program have been increased by 50 per cent.

Media Release.

For information about the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate visit:

Curriculum review "to declutter" by "reducing unnecessary subjects" (Ref: 041/21)

Last week, responding to a question in Parliament, the Premier provided some detail on the government’s intentions for the curriculum review.

“… I am pleased that one of the three major planks of our curriculum review is to declutter the curriculum by reducing unnecessary subjects. The Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning and I announced recently that already about 80 courses have been removed. Those courses included subjects like
circus skills and bushcraft puppetry. They are noble professions but those subjects can be included in an art course or another area of study rather than being a specific study course. This allows teachers both the time and resources to deliver those essential things for students. In addition to decluttering the curriculum, the second plank of the  curriculum review is to make sure that we get back to basics so that every child, no matter their postcode, no matter their circumstances, has the ability to be their best through having a good grounding in literacy and numeracy. We are making sure that as well as literacy and numeracy the teaching of science and the teaching of technology are key platforms in all the areas that I have outlined. Our students need to be equipped with the skills to be able to transfer their learnings from one occupation or one job to another, and that has been brought home to us in the past 12 months…”

Read the full exchange here.

Notice of CSSA Annual General Meeting (Ref: 046/21)

22 March 2021 and Transfer Motion

Pursuant to clauses 23 and 24 of the CSSA Constitution notice is now given that the annual CSSA AGM will be held 22 March 2021 in conjunction with the joint CSSA/Catholic Schools New South Wales Forum on Senior School Pathways.

Consistent with the written advice provided to CSSA member schools on 20 August 2020 by CSSA Chair, Kate Rayment, Principal St Scholastica’s Glebe, the AGM will be asked to approve the following motion:

“That the transfer of the Governance and functions of CSSA to the management and operations of Catholic Schools NSW be endorsed”

AGM Agenda.


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.

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.

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: 

Professional Learning

Registration for CSSA Forum is now open (Ref: 042/21)

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

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

The Catholic Secondary Schools Association (CSSA) Forum and final AGM will be held on Monday 22 March 2020 at the Sydney Masonic Centre. The focus of the Forum will be Senior Student Pathways. Professor Peter Shergold, Chair of NESA, will be the keynote speaker.

The full agenda and registration for the Forum is available through the Catholic Schools New South Wales Professional learning site which can be accessed by following the two simple steps below,

STEP 1:  Activate your account with Catholic Schools New South Wales Professional Learning Dashboard

STEP 2: Register to attend using this link

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


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: A conversation with Laureate Professor John Hattie (Ref: 045/21)

Catholic Schools New South Wales Professional Learning: A conversation with Laureate Professor John Hattie.

Thursday 18 February

Morning session 9:30 – 10:30am

Afternoon session 3:30 – 4:30pm via Zoom

Catholic Schools NSW welcomes Professor Hattie to share his insights on 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 level recognition?

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

STEP 2: Access the event here.

A link to attend via Zoom will be sent mid-week.


School Newsletter

Public Warning: Sydney Dental Service (Ref: 047/21)

The Health Care Complaints Commission (the Commission) has issued a public warning regarding dental services provided by Sydney Dental Service (SDS).

SDS provided mobile dental services to children aged between 3 and 7 at a number of early childhood education and care services in Western and South Western Sydney between 27 February 2019 and 20 September 2019.

The Dental Council of NSW conducted an inspection of SDS and reported concerns in relation to:

  • inappropriate and excessive treatment on young children
  • lack of informed consent for extensive treatment on young children
  • lack of parent/carer attendance at appointments where extensive treatment was being undertaken, and
  • inadequate record keeping practices.

The Commission has since undertaken an investigation into the structure and operations of SDS as a health organisation and concluded that the organisation is a risk to public health and safety.

Services should share this warning with families if relevant.

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

All schools participating in NAPLAN Online are expected to participate in 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 engage with the test platform (noting that schools should also direct students and parents to the public demonstration site).

Note that the ACARA advertised national practice test window dates extend into 2021 Holy Week.

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

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:

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.