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Minister Piccoli says phonics is a key skill

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has announced that providers of teacher education courses in NSW will risk losing their accreditation if they do not provide comprehensive instruction in phonics.

"Phonics is a key skill in the teaching of reading. We want to ensure it is treated as a ‘must do' in teacher education courses," Mr Piccoli said.

"The clear verdict of international and national research supports the teaching of phonics. I have been unapologetic in saying that we need high standards in education — and we have moved to lift those standards through our Great Teaching, Inspired Learning reforms."

For the full media release click here.

NCEC Statement on Indigenous Education Program

Friday, August 01, 2014
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) and the University of South Australia’s More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative (MATSITI) today jointly launched a $500,000 Indigenous education program.
The program will help fund innovative systemic programs across Australia, helping to take on and mentor more Indigenous teachers and support Indigenous students on a pathway to the teaching profession.
To read the full report click here.  

ACARA Letter to Parents About NAPLAN

Friday, August 01, 2014

Read here, an open letter from The Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority on the release of NAPLAN results this year.  

In the letter, ACARA encourages teachers and parents to continue on with the rest of 2014, keeping NAPLAN student reports in context. It says:  don’t stop any activities your child enjoys; don’t focus your child only on literacy and numeracy. Evidence shows that a well-rounded education, including the pursuit of other activities such as sport and art, contributes to the development of literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills. All activities are crucial to the school program and contribute to developing informed, happy children who are confident in their own abilities. 

To view the letter click here.  

Teachers to continue to use NSW Languages Syllabuses

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The recently released Australian curriculum for Chinese, French, Indonesian and Italian have not been endorsed for use in NSW schools.

Teachers are to continue to use existing NSW languages syllabuses.

BOSTES is responsible for developing, in close consultation with teachers and other stakeholders, the mandatory curriculum, K–12, to be taught in NSW schools. Teachers and administrators from all school sectors need to refer to communication and advice from BOSTES when planning their teaching programs based on BOSTES syllabuses.

The syllabuses currently being developed by BOSTES include K-10 Geography and HSC English, Mathematics, Science and History.

Schools and teachers can be assured that BOSTES will only implement new syllabuses after extensive consultation, including consultation on any implementation timetable.

For more information, contact:
Howard Jacobs
Inspector, Languages
(02) 9367 8152

Industrial action by teachers in NSW Catholic schools

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Council of Catholic School Parents supports the Catholic education community as a whole and has faith that the process will resolve in a way that continues the high standard of education and care that students currently receive in Catholic schools.

If parents have concerns or queries they can direct them to their diocesan offices listed below:

Diocese of Armidale
Catholic Schools Office  02 6772 7388 

Diocese of Bathurst
Catholic Education Office  02 6338 3000

Diocese of Broken Bay
Catholic Schools Office  02 9847 0000

Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn
Catholic Education Office  02 6234 5455

Diocese of Lismore
Catholic Education Office  02 6622 0422

Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Catholic Schools Office  02 4979 1200

Diocese of Parramatta
Catholic Education Office  02 9840 5600

Archdiocese of Sydney
Catholic Education Office  02 9569 6111

Diocese of Wagga Wagga
Catholic Schools Office  02 6937 0000

Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes
Catholic Education Office  02 6853 9300

Diocese of Wollongong
Catholic Education Office  02 4253 0800

Four New Languages in National Curriculum

Monday, July 21, 2014
Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has released the Australian Curriculum for four languages: Chinese, French, Indonesian and Italian.  ACARA’s CEO Rob Randall said that the opportunity for Australian children to learn a language in addition to English from a young age will give them an edge in the future when they participate in our linguistically and culturally diverse world.  ’Learning a language will allow students to develop linguistic and cultural resources that will help them embrace opportunities in the future,’ said Mr Randall. 

’It will enhance young people’s skills to engage socially, culturally and economically in areas of business, trade, science, law, education, international relations and many other domains when they are adults.’ Chinese, French, Indonesian and Italian are the first in a suite of languages to be released and are now available on the Australian Curriculum website. The website has been recently redesigned after extensive feedback from key stakeholders, with improved navigation and functionality, including a curriculum browser that allows users to select and filter curriculum elements such as subjects, strands and year levels. 

The remaining languages, including the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres  Strait Islander Languages, Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese, are currently under development. Funding for the additional languages –  Turkish, Hindi, AUSLAN, and Classical Greek and Latin – has been provided by the 
Australian Government. 

Catholic Parents Unite for Distinct New Voice on Education

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Not since the famous ''Goulburn strike'' have Catholic school parents throughout Australia united to ensure their voice will be heard until now. Recently formed Catholic School Parents Australia, is a national parent body that for the first time in the history of Catholic schooling in Australia will represent a "distinctly Catholic voice".

In this opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, author Tim Smith highlights the difference between 'parent involvment' and 'parent engagement' in their child's schooling and how it is becoming a part of the educational and political landscape. As Tim points out: Parent engagement has always been a strong ethos of the Catholic school. Recognising that there is still work to be done in advancing this agenda, he reinforces that the timing has never been more opportune.

Read more:

CCSP Celebrates Catholic Schools Week

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Council of Catholic School Parents celebrates Catholic Schools Week To join in the celebration order your free prayer and acknowledgment resources here. 

CCSP recognises that Catholic Schools offer More Than A Great Education and are all about the Great Partnership between parents, parish and schools that nurture our students in their faith and wellbeing. As part of this week's celebration, CCSP is offering two resources to assist schools and families in the great work they do for our students: An Acknowledgment Card developed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parent and Carers Committee of the CCSP and a Booklet of Prayers. These can be used at P&F meetings, parent group or School Council/Board meetings, and any school gathering. To download resource click on the PDF below or contact us for hard copies.

Pope Francis asks families to pray for Synod in a letter

Thursday, February 27, 2014

In a letter to families around the world, Pope Francis asks for their prayers for the upcoming Bishops' Synod in October saying that their prayers are a precious treasure for the Church. It is the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is being convened to discuss the theme of pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization. 

In the lead up to the Synod, bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful of the particular Churches of the entire world, are actively participating in preparations for the meeting through practical suggestions and the crucial support of prayer. Pope Francis reminds famililes in the letter that "This Synodal Assembly is dedicated in a special way to you, to your vocation and mission in the Church and in society; to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the Church." The following year a World Meeting of Families is scheduled in Philadelphia in September to further the theme. To view the contents of the letter follow this link:

Pyne Announces Review of National Curriculum

Friday, January 10, 2014

Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne today announced the review of the national curriculum to be completed mid-way through 2014 for schools to implement in 2015.

Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP announced today the review of the national curriculum headed by Professor Ken Wiltshire AO and Dr Kevin Donnelly. He said the appointment of Professor Wiltshire and Dr Donnelly was an important step on the path to a world class national curriculum.

The purpose of the review is to evaluate the robustness, independence and balance of the Australian Curriculum to help ensure the curriculum improves student outcomes, as part of a focus on putting students first in the Government’s education policies.

Professor Wiltshire and Dr Donnelly will provide recommendations to the Government in mid-2014. Comments on the review will be accepted from public until Friday 28 February 2014. The Terms of Reference and FAQs can be found at the Students First website at