Quality Teaching for All Learners

What’s on this page:

 

 

Catholic Education Services

 

Improved Learning Outcomes

The Improved Learning Outcomes Team provided schools with services and policy direction in the following areas:

 

 

Initiatives

 

Horizons of Hope – Education Framework for the Archdiocese of Melbourne

Resources developed to support teachers to implement the Horizons of Hope Education Framework for the Archdiocese of Melbourne included the Catholic Education Melbourne Learning Schema, Horizons of Hope Dialogue Cards and Students as Designers. In 2017 the following foundation statements were also developed:

 

 

Building Capabilities

This aim of this action research project was to support schools in the teaching, assessing and reporting underpinned by Catholic beliefs and practices and in line with the new Victorian Curriculum. The Catholic Education Melbourne Building Capabilities project supported over 70 participating teachers and was delivered over five days throughout the year. The project built teacher capabilities over time using an action–research cycle to understand, design and assess for deep learning experiences.

 

Learning Sprints

Thanks to the focused tools and disciplined processes it delivers, Learning Sprints has been a practical support for teachers to take more precise action in the classroom. Fifty-eight schools participated in learning sprints in 2017, and teachers reported a noticeable shift in their ability, their understanding and their knowledge to differentiate instruction that resulted in improved learning outcomes for their students.

 

Languages

 

Leading Languages Professional Learning Program

During our four-day professional learning program on employing key development strategies for reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in second-language learners, 50 language teachers took part, and focused on the effective use of target language between teacher and student that catalyses progression in Languages.

 

Developing Autonomous Language Learners (DALL)

In this revised pedagogical approach, teachers employ new tools to measure oral language development toward their students’ autonomous learning. To ensure they achieve their objectives they set targets, monitor their own progress and expand their personal learning strategies. These are particularly emphasised in the first semester for their students to establish a functional classroom competency in the target language.

 

Science

 

Science Partnerships

Experiencing science in the real world was the aim of these partnerships. Twenty-one schools participated in 2017, with students and teachers collaborating with scientists in universities, zoos and marine research vessels to discover the role of science in life on, under and around our beautiful blue planet.

 

Experiments in Space

Cuberider is an educational organisation developed by young astrophysicists and mechatronics engineers to inspire secondary students with experiment assignments to design, code and test in space on the International Space Station (ISS). Our partnership in 2017 gave Year 9/10 students the enviable chance to design a series of experiments coding a Raspberry Pi mini-computer onto a Sagan board of sensors. This was then launched by rocket into space and run on the ISS. The project taught students creative and critical thinking through designing and coding space experiments, then analysing the data received back from the ISS through organised data dumps.

 

CECV Pathways and Transition Team

The commitment to maximising every student’s ability to complete Year 12 or its equivalent is at the heart of this program. During 2017, we continued to provide our schools with the kind of assistance that enables teachers to offer an appropriate range of study options through the following activities:

 

Providing Multiple Student Pathways

We provided schools with funding assistance to access Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs as part of their senior secondary certificate (the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)), and managed the distribution of VET Band Funding and VCAL Coordination Funding to Victorian Catholic secondary schools.

 

Partnership Arrangements

The CECV Pathways and Transition Team worked collaboratively to develop strategic partnership arrangements to enhance senior secondary provision, including the Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

 

Communication and Networking

As part of our overall activities in 2017, we produced and provided relevant information and updates to support key personnel responsible for the coordination of Pathways and Transition. Activities included the production of the CECV Pathways and Transition eBulletin twice a term, and the distribution of Supporting Pathways and Transition in Catholic Schools 2017 (hardcopy and online versions) to all secondary schools.

 

Advocacy

On specific matters related to Pathways and Transition, the Team advocated on behalf of Victorian Catholic secondary schools and assisted with the coordination of input into sector, state and federal policies and initiatives.

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Professional learning

Activity / Course PARTICIPANTS
PRIMARY SECONDARY TOTAL
Building Capabilities 72 12 84
Learning Sprints 132 38 170
VCE English program 152 152
Science Partnerships 68 23 91
STEM challenges and experiments 73 25 98
Leading Languages 50 50
Autonomous Language Learners 20 20
Collectives 96 32 128

 

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Literacy

Success in literacy leads to confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed learners. It makes for people who can analyse, understand, communicate and form relationships with others. Explicit teaching of literacy pays attention to developing skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing, creating, critiquing and reflecting. In short, literacy is an essential skill for every student as well as the foundation for being successful across all learning areas.

 

Our Literacy Stream continues its focus on the priorities outlined in To Serve and Lead: Strategic Plan 2015–2019:

 

 

Initiatives

 

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English Project

In response to the new English Study Design, the VCE English Project was instigated to support VCE English teachers implement the new design and develop a collective expertise in the teaching of VCE English. Firstly, it addressed the type of instruction required for students to excel in VCE English and secondly, it aimed to extend mid-to-high-achieving students via high expectations and exposure to strong samples of writing. Delivered as a two-tiered support model, the face-to-face professional learning sessions were followed by access to resources published on the Catholic Education Melbourne VCE English Google Community.

 

Phonics in Context Project: Professional Learning and the Resource

Providing teachers with important content knowledge and evidence-based pedagogy to improve students’ early literacy learning was the aim of the Phonics in Context: Successful and Animated Readers and Writers program. Using quality literature to animate and engage participants, this professional learning program focused on the role of phonology as a foundational skill in learning to read and write.

 

The Phonics in Context Resource for Teachers was produced to complement the professional learning and supports all Catholic primary schools with current educational research on best practice in early years literacy schooling.

 

EAL/D Mapping Students’ Language Resources

In partnership with Monash University, this professional learning research project supported a pilot group of 15 teachers to identify ways in which home languages can assist students’ learning at school. This involved a process of mapping students’ language use outside of school and then using the information to capitalise on the varied language resources all students bring to school.

 

Networks

‘A groups of interconnected people usually with a common role’ is how Catholic Education Services Engagement Model defines Networks. In the Literacy space, we necessarily adapt this definition within the context of each Region, and its participants’ needs.

 

Primary Literacy Leader Networks

In 2017, all regional offices facilitated four Network days and engaged strongly with Horizons of Hope and the Catholic Education Melbourne strategic plan. Two regions focused on developing the participants’ leadership capacity by combining the Literacy Leaders Network with the Mathematics Leaders Network. Two other regions worked solely with literacy leaders with emphasis on both leadership and literacy content knowledge.

 

Secondary Literacy Leader Networks

The Secondary Literacy Leader Networks’ prime focus in 2017 was supporting the application of teacher learning from system-wide, large-scale professional learning programs. The Networks were localised to enable a more collaborative approach to the design and delivery of each Network. To ensure relevance to each region’s context, participants worked closely with regionally-based learning consultants to facilitate the Networks.

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Professional learning

Activity / Course PARTICIPANTS
PRIMARY SECONDARY TOTAL
Phonics in Context: Successful Animated Readers and Writers 332 332
Reading to Learn 25 9 34
Reading Recovery 149 149
VCE English Masterclass: From Coursework to EXAM 62 62
VCE English Study Design Day and Support Network 67 67
New Literacy Leaders Eastern 6 6
New Literacy Leaders Southern 9 9
Primary Network – Eastern Literacy Leaders 61 61
Primary Network – Northern Leaders (Literacy and Mathematics) 131 131
Primary Network – Southern Middle Leaders (Literacy and Mathematics) 82 82
Primary Network – Western Literacy Leaders 56 3 59
Secondary Literacy Leaders Networks 36 36

 

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Mathematics

As part of the Improved Learning Outcomes Unit, Catholic Education Melbourne Mathematics Stream aims to build system capacity to:

 

 

All professional learning opportunities are designed to use elements of the Customised School Engagement Model.

 

Initiatives

 

Improved Pedagogical Practice in Mathematics

Opportunities to focus on the elements of quality teaching that improve student learning is what this program offers the mathematics leader and teachers. Because this professional learning is closely connected to classroom practice, participants trialled different types of assessment tools, as well as designed and implemented sequences of learning to not only evaluate results but also to address the learning needs of their students. Three distinct versions of Improved Pedagogical Practice in Mathematics related to classroom level were offered.

 

Learning Framework in Number: Foundation

The Learning Framework in Number: Foundation program provided opportunities to explore ways of teaching numbers to improve the outcomes of all students. The program consisted of three days of professional learning for mathematics leaders and Foundation teachers, as well as the opportunity to share practice through regional collectives.

 

Number Intervention F–4

The early years of schooling are critical in establishing a solid foundation in numbers for future success in mathematics. This program was designed to train specialist teachers to identify and support students performing in the lower levels of achievement.

 

Effective Team Leadership

A true measure of effective educational leadership is the impact it has on the everyday classroom experience for students. The Effective Team Leadership program consisted of three days of workshops focusing on strategies to successfully lead and shape learning and teaching in mathematics. Facilitator strategies included coaching, techniques for helping teachers improve instruction, managing challenging conversations as well as practical ways to implement change.

 

Master of Education (Mathematics Leadership)

School-based mathematics leaders need a deep knowledge for leading mathematical learning. They also need a sound understanding of the specialised content knowledge and inclusive pedagogies for teaching and learning mathematics. In 2017, Catholic Education Melbourne supported 17 teachers to study for a Master of Education (Mathematics Leadership) at Australian Catholic University.

 

 

Professional learning

Activity / Course PARTICIPANTS
PRIMARY SECONDARY TOTAL
Effective Team Leadership (Mathematics) 24 1 25
Improving Pedagogical Practice in Mathematics F-2 99 99
Improving Pedagogical Practice in Mathematics 3-4 78 78
Improving Pedagogical Practice in Mathematics 5-8 61 3 64
Learning Framework in Number Foundation 73 73
Learning Framework in Number Year 1 – Assessment Workshop 92 92
Master of Education – Mathematics Leadership (ACU) 6 11 17
Number Intervention Training F-4 Year 1 19 19
Number Intervention Training F-4 Year 2 16 16
Number Intervention F-4: Ongoing Support 24 24
Targeted Teaching in Secondary Mathematics 48 48
Analysing & Interpreting NAPLAN Numeracy Data 10 10
Beginning Teacher Network 16 16
Collaborative Lesson Planning in Mathematics 23 23
Developing a Learning Continuum for Mental Strategies 9 9
Developing a Mathematics Yearly Overview 14 3

 

17
Developing Learning Progressions 18 18
Differentiation in the Mathematics Classroom 83  

 

83
Early Years Mathematics: Collaborative PL Forum 18 18
Engaging Families to Support Mathematics Learning 14 14
Northern Regional Office Literacy and Mathematics Network 67 67
Southern Middle Leaders (Literacy and Mathematics Network) 43  

 

43
Southern Region New Leaders Mathematics Workshop 14 14
Understanding and Using Standardised Assessments 27 27
Understanding and Using Standardised Assessments – PAT Maths 40 40
Western Region Mathematics Leaders Network 26 26
Western Region Primary Mathematics Leaders Network 55 55
Western Region Secondary Mathematics Teachers Network 4 4

 

 

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Learning Diversity

To improve the learning outcomes of educationally disadvantaged students (particularly in literacy and numeracy) by contributing funding to support the student’s teaching and learning program is the objective of the Students with Disabilities (SWD) program.

 

Eligible students are funded under the categories of chronic health impairment, physical disability, vision impairment, hearing impairment, severe language disorder, intellectual disability or social/emotional disorder.

 

In 2017, a total of 7,325 students were eligible to receive funding in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Of the 7,325 eligible students, 57.5% were primary students and 42.5% were secondary students. Based on the total student population in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, 4.77% of students received funding.

 

Scope was contracted by Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) to deliver services and support to students with physical disabilities or chronic health impairments in Catholic primary and secondary schools across Victoria. In 2017, there were 238 students eligible for therapy in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

 

In 2017 the eligibility and appraisal process was completed by Assessments Australia in conjunction with Catholic Education Melbourne staff. Requests for equipment were available for eligible students funded under the categories of physical disability, chronic health impairment, hearing impairment and vision impairment. In 2017, 55 students in Melbourne were provided with equipment that was considered integral to their access and participation at school.

 

Initiatives

 

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Student with Disabilities (NCCD)

This annual data collection counts the number of school students with disability and the level of reasonable educational adjustment they receive. The aim is to gather information to help build knowledge and insight about school students with disability in Australia. This has heightened leaders’ and teachers’ awareness of how to provide effective supports and resources that benefit students living with disability.

 

The data collection also assists schools to audit their practices and ensure they are providing equitable access to high quality education for all students. In 2017, all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne participated in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) and data to date has highlighted the value of the professional learning that has been provided to Catholic schools in this area.

 

Changes to Learning Consultant Roles

Evidence and data gathered from schools has reshaped the role of the Learning Consultants Additional Learning Needs to be more responsive to schools’ needs. Relevant personnel in schools expressed a need to have increased expertise, in relation to their referrals for support for students with challenging behaviours and increased expertise to analyse and respond to students’ learning needs.

 

This led to the appointment of one Learning Consultant Additional Learning Needs in each regional office and one Learning Consultant – Behaviour/ ASD, which is a newly created role.

 

Inclusion Online

Since the introduction of this online learning space, teachers have been able to update their knowledge and understanding of how to meet the diverse needs of learners. The Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) requires all teachers to complete 20 hours of professional learning annually. One of these learning components must be in relation to students with additional learning needs. In 2017, five online learning courses were offered:

 

 

A quote from one participating teacher highlights how the course instilled greater understanding and confidence, ‘After doing this course I ensure that my students’ needs are addressed and I am better equipped to identify and address the needs of all of my students’. In fact, many teachers who have completed the course and training as a tutor have begun creating cohorts of learning within their own schools to build capacity at the local school level.

 

Credentialed training

 

Masters of Allied Psychology

Sixteen teachers commenced their first year and 15 teachers began their second year of the Master of Allied Psychology in 2017. This course builds teacher knowledge in relation to learner differences and needs by providing training in the following areas:

 

 

Autism Teaching Institute

Designed to provide teachers with competency-based training to support the increased number of students diagnosed with Autism, this course introduces participants to highly-esteemed speakers (paediatricians, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and experienced educationalists) and features an Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD)-specific teaching practicum with an approved setting equivalent to Western Autistic School.

 

Throughout the course, participants receive support, coaching and mentoring from an experienced teacher of students with ASD. In 2017, 13 of our teachers completed their Diploma in Teaching students with ASD.

 

Certificate in Early Intervention

The Graduate Certificate in Literacy Intervention provides practicing teachers with three specialist skills to assist students in need of educational intervention in Literacy. The first is identifying students in need of literacy intervention and assessing their learning needs. The second is advanced knowledge and understanding of literacy learning, and its formative links with oral language, to design and implement inclusive, evidence-based interventions. The third is competency in exploring, analysing and identifying complex problems related to school improvement and providing recommendations for change.

 

In 2017, 25 new participants were accepted into this course.

 

TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

Twenty-five per cent of students in our Catholic primary and secondary schools come from a non-English speaking background. This makes English as a Second Language (EAL/ESL) support an essential element the Catholic education system. Particularly in the context of the Australian Government’s National Curriculum goal of high quality education and training for lifelong learning. TESOL was therefore designed to meet the professional learning requirements in the area of EAL.

 

Nineteen teachers in 2017 participated in the Graduate Certificate in Education (TESOL) through the Australian Catholic University.

 

Professional learning

2017 Learning Diversity programs Primary Teachers Secondary Teachers Learning Support Officers Total
SWD Briefings 277 106 383
NCCD briefings 196 61 257
New Student Support Coordinators 39 18 57
Inclusion Online: Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) 181 33 214
Inclusion Online: Understanding and Managing Behaviour 56 6 62
Inclusion Online: Speech, Language and Communication Needs 40 5 45
Inclusion Online: Understanding Significant Reading Difficulties 193 14  207
Enhanced Reading Intervention Knowledge (ERIK)  34 0 34
Phonological Early Reading Instructions (PERI) 196 0  196
Supporting the Education Needs of Refugee Students 29 2 31
Support New Arrival Teachers 29 2 31
Cued Articulation 30 30
Severe Language Disorder Strategy Support 15 15
Colourful Semantics 43 4 47
Learning Support Officer Training Day 40 40
TOTAL 1358 247 44 1649

 

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education

Two key strategies underpin and support the education of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Catholic schools and these are:

 

  1. Catholic Education Melbourne Strategic Plan 2015—2019
  2. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015

 

The key priorities of these two strategies include:

 

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Data 2017
Primary 302
Secondary 306
North Melbourne Flexible
Learning Centre (NMFLC)
43
Total 651

 

Initiatives

 

Student support

Funding was provided to 34 schools for 154 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ school-based or tutoring needs. Those identified as having additional learning needs were assisted through a case management model from Catholic Education Melbourne. To ensure the students’ progress, clear targeted goals were established and documented in a Personalised Learning Plan.

 

A review was conducted and determined effective ways to enhance and optimise educational outcomes and improve school retention. Further support was provided from Catholic Education Melbourne and the Koorie Education Workers by consulting and guiding teachers and leaders in how to best meet their student’s needs culturally and educationally.

 

Leadership, quality teaching and workforce development

 

Koorie Education Workers (KEWs)

There is no doubt that the placement and ongoing employment of KEWs in Catholic schools has been of immense assistance and value in these key areas:

 

 

Partnerships

 

Watta Watnanda Education and Cultural Day

Yet another successful Watta Watnanda Education and Cultural Day was held for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Catholic secondary schools on 28 July 2017. The fruitful partnerships between Catholic Education Melbourne and Australian Catholic University, Opening the Doors Foundation, Office for Justice and Peace, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria, Korin Gamadji Institute and Richmond Football Club continues to connect students on a cultural, educational, spiritual and social level.

 

Darebin Best Start Early Years

Educators and professionals who attended our biennial conference (Darebin Wellness and Wellbeing Conference for Educators, 12 May 2017) had a valuable opportunity to focus on health, wellbeing and the tools for positive transformation within one’s self and our early years community.

 

This occasion also provided attendees with valuable knowledge on how to work in a culturally sensitive way with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in their early years at school. A wealth of cultural and educational resources for Catholic Education Melbourne Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education personnel was provided by our partners — the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Yappera Aboriginal Children Services and Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.

 

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New Arrivals

The English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) – New Arrivals program is designed to enhance our teachers’ capacity to build sustainable improvement in learning outcomes for newly arrived students with EAL/D. Program initiatives include targeted financial, consultancy and professional learning support that respond to schools’ needs, and strengthen engagement and learning. To make sure we meet the needs of new arrivals and refugee students, Catholic Education Melbourne works closely with the following agencies:

 

 

Initiatives

 

New Arrivals Program

To properly meet the settlement and education needs of newly arrived migrant and refugee students, it makes sense that our New Arrivals program is regionally-based. This way, Learning Consultants – New Arrivals can provide consultancy and professional learning support to schools with newly arrived students who have English as an additional language.

 

Refugee Support Strategies

Some of the support strategies Catholic Education Melbourne has implemented to assist teachers address the educational and trauma needs of our refugee students include additional funding:

 

 

Mercy Connect Refugee Volunteer Program

Thanks to our partnership with Mercy Works, a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, we trained over 80 volunteers in 2017. The Mercy Connect Refugee Volunteers supported, mentored and helped settle refugee and asylum seeker students across 30 Catholic schools in Melbourne.

 

Professional Learning

The suite of professional learning opportunities provided for leadership teams and teachers working with EAL/New Arrival/Refugee students included:

 

 

Activity / Course PARTICIPANTS
PRIMARY SECONDARY TOTAL
New Arrivals Networks 29 1 30
Supporting the Educational Needs of Refugee Students 29 2 31
Goal setting Refugee Accountability statement 30 22 52

 
Sponsored Study: Graduate Diploma for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

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Leadership & School Development

A major focus of the Leadership and School Development Unit work in 2017 was the design of a more responsive approach to Cyclical Improvement Reviews. One that was highly adaptive to individual school needs in the areas of school development and improvement, leadership capacity building, and school governance.

 

Initiatives

 

Cyclical School Reviews and Minimum Standards Compliance checks

The Catholic Education Melbourne school review process occurs every four years and is an integral component of the School Improvement Framework (SIF).

 

Seventy-five Catholic schools engaged in one of three models of school review during 2017 – (Standard) School Review, Negotiated Review and School Review using the National School Improvement Tool. The school review process has two dimensions – Strategic Planning and Compliance.

 

Strategic planning involves an analysis on recent growth in school improvement and planning for future growth. The school review process also includes compliance verification of the Minimum Standards for School Registration and Other State and Federal Requirements for Victorian Catholic Schools. In 2017, we introduced compliance verification of the Child Safe Standards as part of the school review process.

 

National School Improvement Tool school reviews and evaluation

Sixteen primary and two secondary schools from across all four regions took part in a pilot review during 2017. Using the National School Improvement Tool (developed and facilitated by the Australian Council for Educational Research) as a means to provide schools with broader choice in selecting a model of review that best meets their needs.

 

This review model enabled schools to reflect on their current practices within a Catholic school context, to identify areas for improvement and monitor those improvements in practice, over time, across a framework of nine domains.

 

At the end of the review, school leaders were given a live presentation of findings plus a detailed evaluation report specific to each of the eighteen school.

 

The overall feedback from the pilot schools was a positive one: rating the National School Improvement Tool process as an authentic review experience and providing long-term school improvement support that will influence improved student outcomes.

 

School Governance – Parish Education Boards

Our Leadership and School Development Team continued to give governance support to our primary and secondary schools, and multi-level assistance to our parish education boards, secondary school boards as well as parish priests and principals. Three key support programs included facilitating workshops for parish education boards, reviewing and ratifying school constitutions, and developing new resources on the Catholic Education Victoria Network website for school leaders and canonical administrators.

 

Principal Formation, Review and Recruitment

Thirty-eight principals participated in the 2017 Principal Induction Program; this module series is spaced over two years, beginning with a two-day retreat. In Year 1, participants receive individual mentorship and a collegial professional learning group. In Year 2, participants are matched with a coach.

 

Throughout both years, participants engage in online collaboration and communication, development of action learning plans, and 360 degree feedback back in their schools.

 

Sponsored Study Coordination

Appointing a Sponsored Study Registrar in 2017 has helped coordinate and streamline administration of Catholic Education Melbourne sponsorship of school leaders and teachers engaged in graduate and post-graduate studies across 13 courses. As a result, the whole enrolment process was a much smoother experience for the 451 teachers and school leaders enrolled in the Australian Catholic University, Yarra Theological Union and Catholic Theological College.

 
 

Professional learning

Activity / Course PARTICIPANTS
PRIMARY SECONDARY CEM TOTAL
Principal Induction Program 38 13 1 52
School Reviewer Training 17 17
Master of Business Administration – Executive 7 6 13
Master of Leadership 10 17 1 28

 

Key events

Graduate Teacher Welcome Mass and Function

MBAE Graduation

 

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Student Wellbeing

Catholic school communities are supported by the Student Wellbeing Unit to strengthen knowledge and professional practice that helps maximise student health, wellbeing and engagement so all young people can grow, learn and flourish.

 

Student wellbeing policies and initiatives across Catholic schools are driven by four strategic pillars:

 

 

Initiatives

 

Horizons of Hope: Wellbeing Foundation Statement

 

 

These are the five key themes that underpin the Horizons of Hope: Wellbeing Foundation Statement.

 

By revealing the interdependence of learning excellence, good health and life success, the Wellbeing Foundation Statement engages all of us in a dialogue that engenders safety, connectedness and resilience for all our students.

 

A Discussion Guide was developed to support Catholic school communities engage with the Wellbeing Foundation Statement.
 

Enable, Connect, Grow, Flourish: professional learning series

 
Using the latest wellbeing and learning research, this learning series focused on strengthening the capacity of school leaders, Student Wellbeing Leaders and teachers to make student engagement, wellbeing and learning a more holistic experience.

 

Delivered in partnership with Berry Street Childhood Institute, five domains were explored, drawing on a strengths-based focus and trauma-informed practice:

 

BODY: physical and emotional regulation of stress responses

RELATIONSHIP: attachment and attunement principles to build the relational capacities in staff, students and families

STAMINA: resilience, emotional intelligence and a growth mindset

ENGAGEMENT: empowerment through students being the co-designers of their own learning and development

CHARACTER: self-confidence through harnessing values and character strengths.

 

Master of Education (Student Wellbeing)

Systemic and individual school leadership in prevention and early intervention strategies to protect and preserve young people’s mental health, emotional resilience and social wellbeing is an enduring commitment of ours. Sponsorship in the Master of Education (Student Wellbeing) enables school leaders and teachers to advance their ability to:

 

 

In March 2017, fifty staff commenced this ‘Wellbeing in Inclusive Schooling’ tertiary training.

 

Student voice collaborative partnership

Catholic Education Melbourne continued its collaboration with Victoria’s Student Representative Council (VicSRC) to strengthen student voice, reinforce statewide networks and create opportunities for student leadership and learning.

 

Victorian Catholic schools were well represented across a range of Vic SRC’s initiatives. Hosting regional conferences, delivering the Teach the Teacher program and attending professional learning activities were just some of the highlights, and 2017 culminated in Sacred Heart College, Geelong, being presented with the Victorian ‘SRC of the Year’ by the Minister for Education at the annual VicSRC Recognition Awards.

 

Respectful Relationships

As part of the Victorian Government’s campaign to end family violence and promote gender equity through education, Respectful Relationships encourages schools to review existing procedures, practices and policies to create a culture of respect and equality in schools.

 

Fourteen Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne were awarded ‘Lead School’ funding ($10,000 per year for 2017/18) to support professional learning and explore whole-school approaches to respectful relationships and long-term behaviour change in the community.

 

Professional learning

Activity / Course PARTICIPANTS
PRIMARY SECONDARY TOTAL
Enable, Connect, Engage, Learn (x 4 days) 165 71 236
PROTECT: Unpacking the Protocol (8 sessions) 402 76 478
Alumni Masterclass: Enable, Connect, Engage, Learn 138 18 157
Student Wellbeing Leaders Induction 37 37
Student Voice in Action 21 3 24
An introduction to school, family and community engagement 62 1 67
Safety in the online world 16 3 19
Restorative Practices (introduction) 78 4 82
Restorative Practices: Advanced skills training 19 17 36

 

Key events

ARACY Parent Engagement Conference – Melbourne, June 2017 (workshop presentation & display)

 

 

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Child Safety

Our Student Wellbeing Unit (SWU) continued to build on the 2016 first-wave implementation of the Victorian child safety reforms in Catholic schools. In 2017, initiatives concentrated efforts on cultural change and deepening understandings about child safety within all institutions.

 

In collaboration with the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) Child Safety Working Party, Diocesan Offices, the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA), the SWU provided policy updates, workshops, resource guidelines, courses and pilot projects to our schools.

 

Initiatives

 

Statewide Partnerships

Catholic Education Melbourne worked with Victoria’s other Diocesan offices via the CECV Child Safety Working Party (CSWP), DET and the VRQA to introduce strategies toward building a culture where the protection of children is an organisational priority.

 

Key strategies included:

 

 

The Feedback Project set out to remove obstacles schools face in implementing the Standards, and benchmark best practice.

 

Partnership with Australian Catholic University

In 2017, Catholic Education Melbourne initiated a number of projects with the Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) at Australian Catholic University (ACU). One of these was the Graduate Certificate in Education: Safeguarding Children & Young People. Drawing on the ICPS’s qualitative research on children’s participation, community empowerment and child-safe communities, the four-unit course equips Catholic school leaders with the knowledge, skills and understanding of contemporary issues and responses to safeguard young people within Catholic educational settings. Thirteen Catholic educators completed the course in 2017.

 

Incorporation of Child Safety Compliance within School Review Cycle

First trialled with schools through a pilot program in late 2016, the VRQA Child Safe Standards Compliance Tool was officially incorporated into our school review cycle in 2017. The finalised VRQA Compliance Tool frames 57 requirements in the Ministerial Order No. 870 around five key questions.

 

From now on, all schools must provide evidence of these compliances in the form of policies, plans, systems and procedures for child safety. This VRQA Compliance Tool was used to verify compliance of the 73 schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne in the 2017 school review cycle.

 

Re-launch of the Child Safety page on the CEVN website

The original Child Safety page on the Catholic Education Victoria Network (CEVN) website was developed in 2016 to facilitate the first wave implementation of the Child Safe Standards. Early 2017 saw the site’s re-launch with new content on ongoing child safety planning and deeper implementation of the Child Safe Standards.

 

These updates build on the previous year’s efforts by schools by sharing school practice, providing further resources, and linking to research and professional learning supports.

 

Resources include:

 

 

Introduction of Reportable Conduct Scheme in Catholic schools

In February 2017, the Victorian Government passed legislation introducing a Reportable Conduct Scheme (RCS) from 1 July 2017. This new scheme now forms part of the broader child safety framework, ensuring that organisations prioritise safety and wellbeing in children services.

 

To support the introduction of the RCS in Catholic schools, Catholic Education Melbourne worked with the Commission for Children and Young People, the VRQA, DET, diocesan colleagues and principal representatives to develop initial advice and guidance material.

 

Professional learning

Activity / Course PARTICIPANTS
PRIMARY SECONDARY TOTAL
Child Safe Standards: Next Steps on the Journey Workshops

(Northern and Western)

62 19 81
Child Safe Standards: Next Steps on the Journey Workshops

(Southern and Eastern)

56 22 78
Inaugural Graduate Certificate in Safeguarding Children and Young People (Unit 1 – 2016; Units 2, 3 and 4- 2017) 7 3 10 + 3 Other
PROTECT: Unpacking the Protocol (NORTH) 83 5 88
PROTECT: Unpacking the Protocol (SOUTH) 42 27 69
PROTECT: Unpacking the Protocol (EAST) 59 10 69
PROTECT: Unpacking the Protocol (WEST) 50 6 56
PROTECT – Unpacking the Protocol (NORTH) Repeat 48 5 53
PROTECT Unpacking the Protocol (SOUTH) Repeat 32 6 38
PROTECT: Unpacking the Protocol (EAST) Repeat 73 12 85
PROTECT: Unpacking the Protocol (WEST) Repeat 22 5 27

 

Key events

16 February 2017 Attendance (public gallery) at Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Case Study 50, Institution review of Catholic Church
authorities, Panel 9.1 Catholic Education)
September 2017 Child safety: An evolving Journey presentation to Australian Catholic University Conference