Priority Items

8 hours Priority Professional Learning - 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.



2022 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations: Expressions of Interest for Committee Members (Ref: 285/21)

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 Examination

  • VET Construction

Attached is 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 1 November 2021.

2022 CSSA TRIAL HSC EXAMINATIONS-EOI-Committee Members-VET Construction-amended version

Professional Learning

Wednesday 27 October - 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 on responding to problematic & harmful sexual behaviour in schools.

Dr Lesley-Anne Ey (SA Uni) is an expert in this field. Her research into this area aims  to support staff to effectively recognise and respond to such behaviour; and to inform teacher training and curriculum.

Wednesday 27 October, 10am

Zoom Link

For further information please contact Jennifer Coen, State Manager – Wellbeing Catholic Schools New South Wales.



Supporting students: return to face-to-face learning - Psychologist Dr Lyn O’Grady (Ref: 290/21)

Listen to the video recordings of Dr Lyn O’Grady child mental health and wellbeing expert, Jenny Coen State Manager Wellbeing Catholic Schools New South Wales and Sam Giles State Manager Policy & Programs (Disability Support) Catholic Schools New South Wales, discussing the mental health and wellbeing of students on their return to face to face schooling and strategies to support a successful transition. Teachers can log this as 1.5 hours NESA Elective PD addressing Standard 6.2.2 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Register here

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

For further information contact 0409 606 437


Graduate Certificate in Education (Highly Accomplished & Lead Teacher) (Ref: 296/21)

The Australian Catholic University and Catholic Schools New South Wales invites you into conversation with Dr Therese Barrington, course coordinator and mentor, Graduate Certificate in Education (Highly Accomplished & Lead Teacher).  Dr Barrington will explain how this course can help you meet your professional goals and will share with you feedback and experience of the first cohort in 2021.

Dr Therese Barrington

Wednesday 3 November 6-7pm

Register HERE

For further information contact 0409 606 437


National School Chaplaincy Program Professional Learning (Ref: 297/21)

The mental health of staff and students is a high priority as we transition back to school sites.

There are two Professional Learning opportunities for chaplains worth noting:

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (2 day certified course) in Wollongong. Date: 16-17 November 2021. Cost: Free
  • Justin Coulson,  “Self Care” webinar.  10 November 2021, 10am-11am.

Anyone who is interested in participating in either of these opportunities should contact their NSCP Diocesan Co-ordinator or Jennifer Coen (State Manager-Wellbeing) by email:


Supporting students through change & uncertainty (Ref: 298/21)

Seasons for Growth is offering to schools a suite of programs that support children and young people, parents/carers and other adults in sharing their experiences of change and loss in safe and creative ways.

These free online seminars discuss helpful ways to support children and young people adversely affected by change and loss events.

Northern Region
For Professionals – here
Tuesday 9 Nov – 3.30 to 4.30pm

For Parents & Carers – here
Tuesday 9 Nov – 7 to 8pm

Southern Region
For Professionals – here
Tuesday 2 Nov – 3.30 to 4.30pm

For Parents & Carers – here
Tuesday 2 Nov – 7 to 8pm

Central Region
For Professionals – here
Tuesday 2 Nov – 3.30 to 4.30pm

For Parents & Carers – here
Tuesday 2 Nov– 7 to 8pm

Please brochures below for more information.

Supporting Children Through Change and Uncertainty – Catholic Schools NSW Nov Sessions

Supporting Children Through Change and Uncertainty – General Nov 16


Webinar on self-care - Dr Justin Coulson (Ref: 299/21)

Self care strategies for when everything is too much. Dr Justin Coulson is presenting a 60-minute webinar on self-care.

Dr Justin Coulson is a psychologist and one of Australia’s leading relationship experts. He is well known for his work in promoting healthy lifestyles and healthy families.

Wednesday 10 November

10:00am – 11:00am

Zoom link here


Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) Professional Learning for School Leaders (Ref: 286/21)

New Professional learning: School leaders engaging with Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) 2021 school report

This session focuses on the value of AEDC data set in supporting planning and practice in schools. The course explains how to interpret and engage with the AEDC early school preliminary snapshot and AEDC school profile from the 2021 AEDC data collection. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on questions that can guide their engagement with their school snapshot report and profile. The professional learning is available here.

Target audience: School leaders and teachers

Mode of delivery: Video of school leaders engaging with Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) 2021 school report (34:12)

To access previous Australian Early Development Census e-learning, click here


School Newsletter

Treasurer's Financial Literacy Challenge (Ref: 300/21)

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has partnered with the NSW Department of Education to develop resources to support financial literacy education for students Years 5 – 8 in NSW schools. These resources, based on the NSW K-10 syllabuses for English and Mathematics focus on understanding the costs of real-life financial decisions such as owning a pet or buying a car.

Schools are invited to participate in the pilot program during Term 4. Feedback from the pilot will inform further development of a broader range of resources. Further information and access to registration can be found here.

NSW Treasurer’s Financial Literacy Challenge

Youth Development Scholarships – Applications Now Open! (Ref: 301/21)

NSW students in Years 10, 11 and 12 or TAFE equivalent can now apply for scholarships worth $1,000 through the NSW Youth Development Scholarships program. Students in the Catholic sector can apply for these scholarships if they are studying in Year 10, 11 or 12 in 2022 and are a social housing client or living in out-of-home care.

The Youth Development Scholarships program:

  • supports disadvantaged students by reducing financial barriers so they may engage in study
  • assists young people living in social housing or on the housing register, students receiving private rental assistance, or those living in supported accommodation or out-of-home care
  • helps pay for education-related expenses such as textbooks, IT equipment and internet access.

The NSW Government will be offering up to 1,200 scholarships to students enrolled in education or training in 2022. Applications are open from now until 18 February 2022.

For more information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit Youth Development Scholarships 2022.

STANSW Meet the Markers Conference - Save the date (Ref: 302/21)

The Science Teachers Association of New South Wales is holding a Meet the Markers HSC  Science Exam Analysis Conference in March 2022.

Attending the Meet the Markers conference presents a unique opportunity to hear from HSC Markers giving their advice and strategies arising from marking the HSC science examinations. These invaluable insights can help guide teaching and improve teaching practice to positively impact on our students’ learning.

31 March & 1-2 April 2022

Further information can be found here.

2022 School Travel Applications Now Open (Ref: 291/21)

Applications for student travel in 2022 are now open. From October 2021, information on the School Student Transport Scheme and the School Portal will be available via Transport for NSW.

Students who need a School Opal card or travel pass for 2022 can apply now. Parents/students will need to submit a new application if they are applying for a school travel pass for the first time, or if they are requesting an additional travel entitlement as a result of a new shared parental responsibility situation.

Students who change address, school, campus location, or who have repeated a year or received an expiry notification from Transport for NSW for their school travel entitlement should renew or update their details before the end of term 4. This will ensure that schools can endorse applications and current entitlements are updated and remain valid. School Opal card holders will have the changes applied to their existing card.

Students who have an entitlement approved under a medical condition that is due to expire will receive a notification advising them to re-apply.

Term Bus Pass holders will also receive a notification to re-apply.

Students in the Opal network applying for an Opal card (including a Term Bus Pass) for the first time will receive their Student Opal card at their nominated postal address. Cards will be mailed out from January 2022.

Students living in rural and regional areas should receive their travel pass at the start of the new school year from their nominated transport operator.

For more information on school student travel, please visit the Transport for NSW website.

2022 Vegetable Week, Fruit & Veg Month, and the Big Vegie Crunch (Ref: 287/21) 


  • Vegetable Week & The Big Vegie Crunch will run from Monday 28 March to Friday 1 April, with the Big Vegie Crunch on Thursday 31 March at 10am.
  • Fruit & Veg Month will run from Monday 29 August to Friday 23 September. This is the last 4 weeks of Term 3 as per usual.


Registration for both events is now open.

Schools can register right up until the end of the each event.

Australian Reconciliation Convention (Ref: 288/21)

The 2021 Australian Reconciliation Convention is a once in a generation event, the first national reconciliation gathering in more than 20 years.

Delivered over three half-days exclusively via EventCast, an award-winning, immersive and interactive event platform, the Convention will be a vibrant and historic landmark event in Australia’s reconciliation journey.

You will be able to connect with audiences and organisations from across Australia, interact during panels, share your reconciliation stories, and more – all from the comfort of your own home or workplace.


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:

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.

Resources to help schools commemorate Remembrance Day (Ref: 289/21)

Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of guns falling silent on the Western Front in the First World War: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Our nation stands in silent reflection for one minute each year to commemorate and honour those Australians who have died or suffered in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

To assist schools, ex-service organisations and community groups plan for 11 November, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has prepared a Remembrance Day educational resources pack or ‘digital kitbag’ to highlight the importance of honouring Australia’s veterans and servicemen and women.

A range of digital resources can be accessed on the Anzac Portal.

Media Release: Remembrance Day