- Welcome to Parent Talk
- Congratulations St Joseph's Primary School, Coraki
- National Catholic Education Conference
- The future is listening - are we ready to listen, engage and act?
- Are you concerned about cyberbullying?
- Helpful tips for families with HSC students
- Helping your child explore career options
- Have you ever wished there were things you could change about your parenting or family life?
- Supporting the needs of students with diverse learning needs
- Vapes are not safe - Hints to help young people quit vaping
- Created and Loved: A guide for Catholic schools on identity and gender
- Transforming with the Spirit
- Help shape the new curriculum
- Sharing and signing up to Parent Talk
Welcome to Issue 6 2022 of Parent Talk.
Where has the term gone! It doesn’t seem that long ago I was writing my first article for Parent Talk and introducing myself as the new Executive Director.
I want to thank the many people who have reached out and offered their congratulations and support. I’m a firm believer in collective wisdom and am eager to listen to your thoughts and ideas!
As I write this, I am aware many families will be walking alongside their child as they prepare for HSC written exams commencing on 12 October. Our youngest daughter completed her HSC exams in 2020. Challenged by the impact of Covid-19 and the need to pivot to home learning, we were buoyed by the “village” that embraced her and her fellow peers, encouraging and praying for them as they entered the final stages of their school career.
I want to offer my warmest wishes to every student and family as you approach this exam period. Please know the CCSP is holding you all in our prayers.
The past few weeks have been wonderfully energising. I have attended meetings with NESA, the National Catholic Education Commission Conference where I presented on a new model for family engagement in schools, we have held CCSP Council and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander meetings where parents and carers have shared ideas and are “dreaming big” – developing new ways to connect with you and offer support.
My little road trip to the Diocese of Bathurst, Wilcannia-Forbes, Wagga Wagga, Canberra & Goulburn and Wollongong is drawing closer and I am so looking forward to visiting schools across NSW and meeting our wonderful families, students and staff.
The CCSP is continuing to seek out new and innovative ways to build the capacity of our parents and carers as the first educators of your child. We believe, and research informs us, that when parents and carers are engaged in their child’s learning – educational outcomes improve. At CCSP, we want to help you along that pathway.
We are delighted to offer a FREE webinar on 20 September where we welcome the eSafety Commissioner to share knowledge on Cyberbullying and Online Drama. Scroll through this newsletter to access the registration link.
Finally, we will be welcoming Paul Dillon, Director of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA) in Term 4 to speak with us about helping to keep our kids safe. A must attend event for all parents and carers of young people! Keep an eye out in the next Parent Talk for registration details.
I hope you enjoy the school holidays ahead, find time to stop, reflect and find much to smile about and give thanks for.
Stay safe and take care my friends,
CCSP, Executive Director
CCSP would like to acknowledge, thank and congratulate the school communities for their effort and commitment to building partnerships between home and school to enhance the learning outcomes of students.
The independent judging panel noted the first place submission is a result of advice obtained in a survey of the community and supports students' learning of local knowledge and understanding as well as environmental growth.
The community of St Joseph’s Primary School, Coraki will be presented with their First Place award on Tuesday 20 September. St Mary’s Primary School, Grafton will be presented with their second place award on the afternoon of September 20. The community of St Michael’s Primary School, Dunedoo will be presented their award in October.
2022 First Place
St Joseph’s Primary School, Coraki, Diocese of Lismore, for their School Improvement Plan Visual Appeal, Meeting of the Waters.
2022 Second Place
St Mary’s Grafton, Diocese of Lismore for their Family Faith and Fun Night initiative.
Highly Commended Award
St Michael’s Primary School, Dunedoo, Diocese of Bathurst for their St Michael’s parent engagement in the faith formation of the child initiative.
Holy Family, Catholic Primary School, Lindfield, Diocese of Broken Bay for their Amazing me initiative.
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Mona Vale in the Diocese of Broken Bay for their Faith and Learning Walks initiative.
Loreto Kirribilli, Archdiocese of Sydney for their Mentoring and networking program.
Delegates from CCSP were among the nearly 1500 attendees at the recent National Catholic Education Conference organised by the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC).
Fr Anthony Gittins CSSp PhD, Emeritus Professor of Theology and Culture, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, joined Madeline Forde, Australian representative, International Youth Advisory Body, Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, in giving the opening address, focused on the theme of the conference, The Future is Listening.
Dr Jordan Nguyen, Futurist, facilitated a discussion on learning, teaching and the digital age. Image credit NCEC/The School Photographer.
Federal Minister for Education and Minister for Youth Jason, Clare MP, delivered the opening address on the third and final day of the conference.
“Education is the most powerful cause for good in this country, it changes lives", he told the conference, acknowledging the important role Catholic education plays in providing the “life-changing opportunity of a great education”.
The most recent issue of Australian Catholic Education News contains more information about the conference.
Invest time, support and love in young people and actively listen to what they have to share.
If we as a Catholic school community invest in our young people what a wonderful future we are creating. And if we broaden this statement to our whole school communities inclusive of parents, then imagine the traction we could create in achieving holistic education for our children that values people and what we all bring to the table.
Educators, Bishops, Priests, school leaders, parents and researchers came from all parts of Australia to network and take part in the many sessions looking at faith development, wellbeing, lifting educational standards, building community, learnings from lockdowns and adapting to change. There were some robust panel discussions, presentations that were provocative and challenging to one’s own sense of faith and ideals but across the three days, there was a strong commitment to see catholic education be more to a student than a religion. Dr Jordan Nguyen challenged us change makers to guide our children to dream big and let them “Find their inner voice and train it to be strong, confident and to be brave to take up challenges.” Madeline and Fr Anthony challenged us to look at young people’s connection to spirituality not religion as a base to provide them value and meaning. Donna Cross challenged educators and school leaders to look at the equity across their student cohorts, which students are hiding based on their circumstances, pastoral connections made with teachers or their abilities?
I was hopeful and energised that authentic parent engagement is a priority and possible when I attended a session entitled, Utilising parents and students experiences of remote learning to strengthen family engagement.
This is a research project in Melbourne that is partnering with parents and students to look at the effect of lockdown on family engagement and creating professional learnings for teachers on how they can up skill themselves and their students to affect positive change and inclusion of families in their students education. One of many takeaways from this session was the following quote, “ when parents have an awareness of what is happening at school, however, they can ask the ‘right’ questions to start and prolong conversations.” With knowledge comes power and I was reminded of the privilege that I have in my ability to confidently interact with my children and their school. Many of our families don’t hold the key to this knowledge…..yet……but with compassion, listening, time, appreciation and resources, we can change this.
By doing this, our children will receive a holistic education that sets them up to be productive and successful global citizens and will have many villagers in their canoes with them on life journey.
One in five young Australians aged 8 to 17 years say they have been socially excluded, threatened or abused online.
Cyberbullying is sending or sharing seriously threatening, seriously intimidating, seriously harassing or humiliating online content to or about someone under 18. The behaviour might include abusive texts and emails, hurtful messages or creating fake accounts to trick someone or humiliate them.
In partnership with the eSafety Commissioner the Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT will run a free webinar for parents and carers of students aged 10 -18 years.
- Tuesday 20 September 7.30-8.30pm
- Register here
We are grateful that the class of 2022 can celebrate these important milestones without the restrictions placed on the graduating class of 2021. CCSP congratulates all students for their perseverance and thanks school communities for their care of students and families during their education journey. It is important to look after your own and your student's wellbeing especially during what can be a stressful period. Stay Healthy HSC offers practical advice for students, and their families, completing the HSC. a timely reminder for students is
Remember that you are still in control of your own path, and there are lots of different pathways to study and to work.
Stay active - go outdoors and get some fresh air
Sleep - Get a good night's sleep before exams
Hydrate - drink water and fluids
Eat breakfast before exams
You can encourage your students to explore different occupations by learning about others' experiences.
In 80 seconds you can discover how Jade Louise, a counsellor/case manager, and Tameeka, a mechanical fitter apprentice, started in their careers. They discuss the pathways they took to their current roles, and why they love what they do. You can watch the videos here.
The new videos form part of myfuture's new Occupation spotlight series showcasing different occupations. The government funded website is designed to assist students to make informed career choices. The practical information in the website provides parents and teachers up-to-date information to better enable them to assist students to make career decisions.
Have you decided to overhaul your home because you wanted to transform it into something more peaceful, harmonious, joyful... or just one with a lot less stuff dropped in random piles everywhere?
Catholic Schools Parent Assembly, Diocese of Lismore have produced a one page brochure with practical advice about creating change in your family including words from Mother Theresa.
I used to think prayer changed things. Now I know prayer changes us, and we change things"
The Australian Government has released new information resources on the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Standards) that were co-designed with people with disability with the help of Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA).
What are the resources?
The new resources provide easy-to-use information about the Standards and offer practical advice on how to navigate education systems from early childhood through to tertiary education.
There are four new resources:
- Explaining the Disability Standards for Education – this resource outlines what the Standards are and what they are designed to do.
- Milestones and Transitions – this resource is to help students and their parents and caregivers make their way through their education journey.
- Advocating with and for your child: Primary School – this resource is for parents and caregivers of primary school students.
- Disability Standards for Education in Practice: Action Plan – this resource is for students who are in high school or tertiary education.
Each resource has been translated into Easy Read format and Auslan, and Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Farsi, Hindi, Khmer, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Health professionals are concerned about the popularity of vapes and increase in young people trying vaping.
On November 17 CCSP in conjunction with the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will be offering parents and carers the opportunity to attend a webinar with Paul Dillon, Director and founder of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA). Details how to register for this event will be available on the CCSP website Upcoming Webinars.
Some facts about vapes. Young people may think they are simply inhaling flavoured water, this is far from the truth. Vapes can have the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray. Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, often called ‘vapes’, are electronic devices designed to deliver vapourised liquids into the lungs. There are many different styles of vapes available and they can be difficult to spot. The main ingredient in vapes is propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine or glycerol, and they often also contain nicotine, flavours and other chemicals. Vapes may contain harmful chemicals that aren’t listed on the pack.
The biggest misunderstanding about vapes is that they are harmless compared to cigarettes. This is not true. Vapes are not safe. Source NSW Health.
NSW Health is urging parents and carers to find out more about vaping and talk with young people about the risks.
There is a separate factsheet for young people.
What you can do as a parent or carer?
There are ways you can help protect your children from vaping:
- Whether you suspect your child is vaping or not, take the time to talk to them about it and help them understand all of the risks. It is never too late to have the conversation.
- Try to start the conversation with your child in a relaxed easy-going way, perhaps taking the cue from around you, such as a note from school, a news story about on it, or seeing people vaping on the street.
- If your child is vaping, encourage them to stop, let them know that help is available and you are there for them.
- Learn about the different types of vapes available and the risks associated with using these products.
- Set a good example by being tobacco or vape free.
Support to help your child quit vaping
- Book an appointment with their general practitioner or other health service for help to quit vaping.
- Quitline counsellors are available to answer any questions about vapes on 13 7848 (13 QUIT). Quitline is a telephone-based service, offering information and advice. Quitline counsellors provide tips and strategies, and help to plan your child's quit attempts, based on their own needs and preferences. They can also help you think of ways to approach a conversation with your child or loved one about vaping.
- The Aboriginal Quitline is also available on 13 7848. Run by Aboriginal counsellors, the Aboriginal Quitline is a telephone-based confidential advice and support service.
- If you require assistance in a language other than English, Quitline has counsellors who speak Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese, you can ask to speak to one of these counsellors. For people who prefer to speak in a different language, Quitline uses the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS).
- The Cancer Institute NSW iCanQuit provides information on quitting methods, links to support groups and top tips to help your child quit.
Last year Paul Dillon and Jennifer Cohan, CSNSW, Senior Manager, Wellbeing, recorded a 24 minute podcast about vaping. You can listen the podcast here.
CCSP suggests if you have concerns about your child vaping speak with your child and teacher.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has released a guide on gender and identity to support Catholic schools in responding to the individual social and pastoral needs of students.
The guide was released and discussed during the recent National Catholic EducationConference. Each diocesan school system will review and discuss implementation within their diocese.
The recent National Catholic Education Commission eNewsletter contains an article with background about the development of the guide. You can read it here.
From the 11th to 13th October 2022, Catholic Schools NSW and Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta will co-host the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Education NSW State Conference.
What needs to be said? What needs to be heard? What needs to be experienced? What needs to be enacted?
are some of the themes that will be explored during the conference.
Education and community practitioners will share unique perspectives on building systems and practices that allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families to thrive.
‘Transforming with the Spirit’ reflects a commitment to make a difference to the lives of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and is an opportunity to more fully understand the contribution we can all make to reconciliation and healing. The program will feature presentations on country experiences and discussion panels from local and national keynote speakers. There will be up to 50 sessions, including panel discussions and workshops.
CCSP Executive Director, Cath Garrett-Jones will present on Community Engagement and Cultural Connections. Focussing on
being led on the path
Cath is looking forward to hearing directly from parents and carers about any barriers to engagement and together identifying strategies to overcome them.
For more information visit
You are invited to have your voice heard about the development of the new NSW curriculum.
During the consultation period you are invited review the draft curriculum then complete a survey.
CCSP represents Parent and Carers at Parent Roundtable meetings however this is an opportunity to make comments that are pertinant to your location.
You can comment on
Music Years 7-10 and Dance Years 7-10 "Have your say" period.
The draft syllabuses are available:
You have until 26 September 2022 to provide your opinion.
All feedback in this ‘Have your say’ period will be used to inform the development of the final syllabuses.
For more information on the NSW Curriculum Reform please visit the NSW Curriculum Reform website.