Priority Items

8 NESA Priority PD Hours DISruptABILITY Conference (Ref: 244/21)

This inaugural conference will build upon the high-quality professional learning that Catholic Schools New South Wales has been delivering as schools navigate the dynamic policy space for both education and disability. As Catholic educators, we are called beyond fulfilling our legislative obligations for students with disabilities and should always be in a reflective cycle of more effective ways of delivering successful outcomes for students. The virtual conference will be grounded in internationally recognised best-practice evidence. An engaging and interactive conference program will provide participants with insights, knowledge and skill acquisition in evidenced based practices, as well as opportunity for collaborative networking. It will be an opportunity to engage critically with the disruptive trends in education and inspire in our Catholic school educators and leaders a continuing commitment to excellence, with an emphasis on how to create and sustain positive partnerships between all stakeholders, which ensures every child achieves their potential in every classroom, every day.

REGISTRATION: One-flat rate $495 – creating a high-quality virtual experience, live and on-demand.

This conference seeks to be inclusive of all those who provide educational support and care for students with disability in our schools, and so schools are encouraged to bring teams including:

  • School leadership teams
  • Learning support and/or diverse learning teachers
  • Pastoral care and wellbeing coordinators
  • Leaders of learning and/or pedagogy
  • Classroom teachers and teachers’ aides
  • Parent & carers, Diocesan Parent Organizations
  • Parish Priests & Pastoral Parish Staff
  • System staff


WHEN: Thursday 18 & Friday 19 November, 2021

WHERE: Virtual & On Demand



We are pleased to announce that participation in the conference will give 8 hours of NESA Priority Professional Learning in the priority area of Students/children with Disability addressing standard descriptors 1.6.2, 1.5.2 and 7.3.2 towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.



Opportunity Class Placement Test (Ref: 283/21)

The Department of Education has revised its advice to families wishing to have their children sit the Opportunity Class Placement Tests in 2021. You may be approached by families and the following is provided so that you can make an informed response. Please note, there is no obligation for your school(s) to provide access to the tests on school site.

To ensure Opportunity Class placement offers can be provided in early January 2022 before the school year starts and to comply with the current heath advice which prevents mingling of student cohorts, the Department is proposing the below changes for the Opportunity Class placement test this year:

  • Conduct the placement test in the students’ home primary school supervised by teaching staff; to comply with the current heath advice which prevents mingling of student cohorts.
  • Conduct the placement test as a computer-based test; to reduce the time required to ship, scan and mark the paper-based tests.
  • Rescheduled the test date to occur on Wednesday, 17 November 2021.
  • Structure the placement test as a single test of approximately 60 minutes in length covering Reading, Mathematical Reasoning, and Thinking Skills questions; to streamline the test management for schools.
  • Provide a computer-based practice test for students in the lead up to the test; to allow familiarisation of the computer-based test experience.

2022 BEST START Year 7 Assessment (Ref: 276/21)

Best Start Year 7 is an optional literacy and numeracy assessment package for secondary schools, offered to schools since 2019. The assessment will be available to NSW Catholic schools again in 2022. The assessment:

  • provides a current snapshot of the literacy and numeracy skills and understandings that students bring to secondary school, and
  • supports teachers in the planning of targeted teaching strategies across all subjects.

Schools may choose to use Best Start Year 7 to supplement their existing primary to secondary transition practices.

Schools that choose to participate in Best Start Year 7 will be provided with professional learning and support to help prepare and administer the assessments, and to access post assessment feedback. Professional learning will be made available on-line. More information can be found here.

The BSY7 assessment window for non-government schools is Wednesday 9 February- Friday 11 March 2022.

The cost of participating in 2022 Best Start Year7 is $2.00/ student.

Please use this link to register your interest in participating in 2022 Best Start Year 7 before 12 November 2021

Note that continuing schools (those that have participated in Best Start in previous years) will still need to complete the online Opt-in registration form so that school details can be updated.

More information regarding the assessment will be available at the following sessions:

  • Wednesday 20 October 3:30 – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 26 October 3:30 – 4:00 pm

Meeting ID: 653 3979 5930

Passcode: 091549

Further details contact:

2022 CSA Trial HSC Examinations: Expressions of Interest for Committee Members (Ref: 277/21)

The CSSA Trial HSC Examinations are prepared by committees of practicing teachers, university lecturers and educational consultants in a variety of HSC courses.

The Head of CSSA Exams is seeking expressions of interest for the following positions:

Committee Members for the following 2022 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations

  • Biology
  • Textiles and Design

Click here for a letter regarding the Expression of Interest requirements for the role with the CSSA and the application process.

Interested applicants are asked to send a Cover Letter and current Curriculum Vitae to Monica O’Brien, Head CSSA Exams at by 9am Monday 18 October 2021.

Professional Learning

GERRIC Professional Learning Calendar 2022 (Ref: 278/21)

GERRIC at UNSW’s School of Education offers courses for educators to support high potential and gifted students.  UNSW has added extra online and face to face sessions in 2022

GERRIC’s Mini-COGE courses are practical professional development for educators to support high potential and gifted students. High potential students are not necessarily high achievers. The courses focus on how to engage and support these students to reach their potential.

For 2022, UNSW has added some sessions that focus specifically on the primary and secondary school contexts. The Mini-COGE is applicable across contexts, but these sessions will focus only on the school level specified, whilst the other sessions are applicable to all. There are both online and face to face sessions.

Mini-COGE online

19-20 January
13-14 Apr (secondary focus)
20-21 April (primary focus)
11-12 May
6-7 July
27-28 July
17-18 Aug (secondary focus)
24-25 August (primary focus)
19-20 October
7-8 December

Mini-COGE face to face

9-10 Feb (secondary focus)
16-17 Feb (primary focus)
9-10 March
8-9 June
28-29 September
16-17 November

Mini-COGE Advanced: Gifted learners with disability online

25 February
9 September

Mini-COGE Advanced: Gifted learners with disability face to face

6 May


Upcoming seminar - Problematic Sexualised Behaviour (Ref: 279/21)

Catholic Schools New South Wales is pleased to invite wellbeing, child protection and school counselling staff to a 90 minute webinar that will examine the topic of how to best respond to problematic and harmful sexual behaviour in schools.

Dr Lesley-Anne Ey, from SA Uni has conducted research into this area which aims to support staff to effectively recognise and respond to such behaviour; and to inform teacher training and curriculum.

Dr Lesley-Anne Ey Bio

To register please contact Jennifer Coen, State Manager – Wellbeing Catholic Schools New South Wales.



Let’s talk about…Principal wellbeing (Ref: 245/21)

School leaders, after a few challenging months it is timely to consider what you can and should be doing to care for yourself.

Self care isn’t selfish: we know that in times of emergency the best way to help others is to put on our oxygen mask first.

Take some time to attend this webinar and listen to some practical ideas about caring for yourself in this last term.

Presenter: Carrie Benedet

Carrie is the founder of Global Leaders Thrive and has significant experience in education and emotional intelligence and leadership.

When: Thursday 21 October 9:30-10:30 and repeated 3:30-4:30

Register here for the morning or afternoon session

If you have not visited Catholic Schools New South Wales PL before you may need to visit the dashboard first by clicking here before accessing the link above

For further information contact 0409 606 437


School Newsletter

National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy (Ref: 280/21)

The Federal Government has launched the world’s first National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The Strategy provides a framework to guide the development of a comprehensive, integrated system of services to maintain and support the mental health and wellbeing of children aged 0-12 and their families.

The strategy outlines four focus areas of intervention, one being education.

For more information click here.

Resources to prevent and manage anaphylaxis (Ref: 281/21)

As a part of the National Allergy Strategy,  new resources & guidelines to support schools to manage anaphylaxis were launched on October 7, 2021.

These can be accessed via the newly developed Allergy Aware resource hub:

Return of School Vaccination Clinics (Non-COVID-19) (Ref: 282/21)

School vaccination has been significantly impacted by the disruption to school-based learning in Term 3, particularly in Greater Sydney. As students return to school sites in Term 4, NSW Health will be again offering onsite vaccination clinics, in line with COVID-19 restrictions.

School principals will be contacted directly by the NSW Primary Health Unit in their area, to negotiate clinic schedules.

For more information including, parent advice please visit:

2022 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations (Ref: 246/21)

The 2022 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations are scheduled for Monday 1 August – Monday 15 August with a security period until 8am, Thursday 18 August.

The 2022 dates are available on the CSSA website

The 2022 DRAFT CSSA Trial HSC Examination Timetable will be available on the CSSA website from Week 2, Term 2 2022.

World Teachers’ Day Celebration (Ref: 261/21)

World Teachers’ Day will be celebrated across Australia on Friday 29 October 2021, a bit later than the international day due to our school holidays. It’s a chance to celebrate teaching and for communities to thank teachers.

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has developed a how-to guide for schools and free World Teachers’ Day Celebration Kit (instant download). These resources provide everything needed to plan World Teachers’ Day celebrations in your school or virtually if you’re in lockdown.

AITSL has also published 10 easy ways to thank a teacher on World Teachers’ Day in case you’d like to share this on social media, or subtly (or even not so subtly) include in your school newsletter or send to your local paper.

If you’re not in a school, this is the World Teachers’ Day article for you!