Issue 290 -  30th November 2021

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Dear colleagues,

We continue to keep in our prayers the communities that are being impacted by floods across our region. In particular the communities in Wee Waa, Gunnedah and Narrabri. Your resilience in the face of yet another adversity is admirable. I know you will continue to take care of each other.


Last week we held our final Principals Meeting for the year. During the meeting there were many sessions that spoke to leadership and the building of relationships to create a high trust environment; the importance of collaboration at a systemic level (CSO to school to classroom); teachers and leaders having a spirit of inquiry in their daily work; initiatives in literacy that provide equity for students and lifelong opportunities in a rural, regional and remote setting; the use of data to inform the next best steps in improving the learning and wellbeing of our students.


This work was supported by examples of strong women in leadership roles. These women represented the past, present and future for leadership in our communities. Sister Christine Belling rsm (former principal of St. Mary’s Gunnedah) helped us to reflect on the history of Catholic education which this year celebrates 200 years in Australia. Professor Brigid Heywood (Vice Chancellor of UNE) challenged us to consider leadership in a contemporary and competitive setting. Several members of our Mission and Learning Team—and definitely female leaders of the future—outlined the literacy initiatives that have brought us improved student learning outcomes. A combination of leadership infused with experience, expertise and passion for our vision and mission will continue to ensure ongoing system and school improvement.


The production of the Literacy Placemat will enable schools to further review their current practices and provide a very important induction tool for all new staff in our schools next year. This tool complements the Foundations of the Armidale System of Catholic Schools .


I hope all school leaders can see the importance of including these two tools in your induction processes for new staff in 2022, they could be complemented by the ‘best of e-bulletins’ collections previously published in these 3 books:

1.Supporting and Challenging Our System of Schools in 2020 and Beyond

2. Further Developing the Catholic Professional Learning Community Vision 2018- 2019

3. Faith Formation, Learning and Teaching in a Catholic Professional Learning Community 2015-2017


God bless,

Chris Smyth

Director of Schools

Waiting in Hope

At the beginning of the secular New Year on January 1 people have a habit of making resolutions for the year ahead.  Yesterday, the First Sunday of Advent, we began the New Church Year, where we commenced our spiritual preparation for Christmas.


As Fr Paul reminded us at Mass yesterday, Advent is a time of hope.  Hope in the future because of our belief in the person of Jesus Christ and His teachings.  This hope comes from the belief that God’s love came into our world through Jesus and we believe this presence is amongst us everyday - not just Christmas day. 


As we journey through the four Sundays of Advent we journey through the story of Staying Awake, Prepare, Rejoice and Receive. As the Carmelites put it so beautifully, we journey from Maranatha (Come Lord Jesus!) to Emmanuel (God with us!)


So what will your Spiritual new year’s resolution be?  Think about it and use this time, this journey of Advent, to decide on what you need to do and how you will focus on becoming a more loving, more hopeful, other centred person in the year ahead - to be more open to the presence of Christ in your life.
Gary Burdett: Deputy Director

View the CSO Calendar

Term 4 Data Collection and Celebration

Data Communique

(Claire Ryan)

Staff Retreat 7 - 11 March 2022

Unfortunately COVID-19 meant CSO could offer only one retreat in 2021. Those who took part were all very loud in its praise  Please see links for information and the opportunity to express a retreat set for March 2022.  Note that this retreat is not open to those in school leadership positions nor to employees based at Catholic Schools Office.

Information Flyer

Expression of Interest Form.

(Gerard Hore)

Vinnies’ Christmas Tree

As always, the Society of St Vincent de Paul seeks to share the peace and joy of Christmas with the poor of our communities. See this from Cassie Croft about how your school can be involved.

(Gerard Hore)


New Bibles? They've Arrived! 

I wrote to RECs late last term about the soon to be published Holy Bible CEV Catholic Edition with Encyclopedia. I think it looks excellent, a wonderful resource. I’ll arrange distribution via CSO personnel visiting schools or by post.

(Gerard Hore)

Caritas Advent Resources

Quality resources for the coming season can be accessed here.
(Gerard Hore)

Online Advent Retreat?

Some members of school communities may be interested in this online event running through Advent from FRG Ministry.
(Gerard Hore)

Tree Assessment Change to Schedule Due to Flooding

Schools that we will be attending this week instead of next week:

St Mary of the Angels Guyra; St Michael's Manilla; St Joseph's Barraba; St Joseph's West Tamworth; St Edward's South Tamworth; St Edward's Infant School South Tamworth and St Nicholas' PS Tamworth

Schools that will be moved into next week (week beginning 6th December):

St Joseph's Wee Waa; Wee Waa Residence; Sacred Heart Boggabri & Residence; St Francis Xavier's Narrabri; St Joseph's Walgett & Residence; St Mary's College Gunnedah; St Xavier's PS Gunnedah; St Mary's College Gunnedah Ag Plot and St Joseph's Quirindi.

Everything else on the itinerary will stay the same.
(Geraldine Chapman)

Pre-2004 Teachers Maintenance of Accreditation

NESA is allowing pre-2004 teachers to submit your maintenance between the start of Term 2, 2022(/2024) and 31 December 2023(/2025) once you  have met the requirements.

This will give you the opportunity to complete your maintenance requirements earlier so that additional professional development (PD) can count towards your next maintenance period or later if you need more time.

Please contact me if you need support or have any questions.
(Millie Woolaston)

Week 8 Cut Off for Proficient Teacher Submissions

This term, the end of Week 8 will be the cut off for Proficient Teacher submissions for 2021. Please contact me if you need support with your submission or have any questions.
(Millie Woolaston)

For Further Information See OUR VACANCIES

Aboriginal Education Assistant (AEA), St Patrick's Walcha

Permanent part-time 10 hours per fortnight

Closes 06/12/2021


Cleaner, St Patrick's Walcha

Permanent part-time 32 hours per fortnight

Closes 06/12/2021


Service Delivery Officer, Catholic Schools Office Armidale

Permanent full-time

Closes 05/12/2021


Studies of Religion, Religion (and one other subject) Teacher, McCarthy Tamworth

Temporary full-time

Closes 03/12/2021


Education Assistant, St Mary of the Angels Guyra

Temporary part-time 15 hours per week

Closes 03/12/2021


K-12 Learning Community Coordinator, Gunnedah

Permanent Teaching role + 2-year Coordinator Contract

Closes 03/12/2021


Secondary Teacher, St Mary's College Gunnedah

Permanent and temporary, full-time and part-time

Closes 08/12/2021


Aboriginal Education Assistants, St Joseph’s Wee Waa

Permanent part-time and temporary part-time

Closes 10/12/2021


PDHPE Teacher, O’Connor Armidale

Temporary part-time 0.5 FTE

Closes 10/12/2021


Classroom Teacher, St Joseph’s West Tamworth

Permanent and temporary, full-time and part-time

Closes 03/12/2021


Leader of Inclusion, St Mary’s College Gunnedah

2-year Coordinator contract + Permanent teaching role

Closes 10/12/2021


Teacher Librarian, St Mary’s College Gunnedah

Permanent full-time

Closes 08/12/2021


Positions in other Diocese:
Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes
For a full list of positions vacant, please click here


Catholic Education, Diocese of Cairns

For a full list of positions vacant, please click here

Follow this link for the latest National Catholic Education Commission Newsletter:

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