Issue 278 -  24th August 2021

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Dear colleagues,

Thank you to all of our leaders, teachers, support staff and CSO team during this lockdown period. Your commitment to ensuring the learning and wellbeing of staff and students remains our primary focus is greatly appreciated by the students and the families in our care. The teaching profession is really under the spotlight at this time and there has never been a better time to show our professionalism. The knowledge and skills being applied to support student learning under remote conditions are not going unnoticed by the parent community. The need for parents to just love their children and focus on their wellbeing must be a consistent message. Parents cannot be expected to be teachers to their children, just like teachers cannot be parents to their students. Our role is to use our skills to support the learning, despite the challenges that exist. Thanks so much for your hard work in achieving this. 


As professionals we must also turn our attention to planning for the future. At the recent Principals Meeting we considered a draft plan—not just for 2022, but for the future—so that we can be confident that we are preparing to meet the emerging challenges for Catholic education. The CSO Leadership Team has carefully considered the feedback, and has now distributed to principals a Draft AIP 2022 for additional feedback, and to encourage schools to begin their planning processes for 2022. In the relentless pursuit of improved school performance, embedding evidence-proven practices is what works. In our system of schools, change is deliberately being minimised in order to maintain our clear vision, and because we remain cognisant of leader and teacher workloads. The School Performance Leaders will soon be starting conversations with school principals to assist with this local strategic planning.


In order to assist the strategic planning process we have also revised the Non-negotiables of a CPLC. The process of seeking feedback on this 2021-2023 version of the Non-negotiables also began at the Principals Meeting. This document continues to reflect the Foundations of the Armidale System of Schools which provides links to the detail required to develop a deep understanding of many of the Non-negotiables. These practices are supporting our success which has again been reflected in our NAPLAN performance. When we have completed the system analysis of the 2021 NAPALAN data, we will share the good news.


Again, I offer my sincere appreciation for what you are doing in these challenging times and please do not hesitate to reach out to the CSO—through your School Performance Leader—if we can be of any assistance.


May your God bless your efforts,
Chris Smyth
Director of Schools

What makes most people follow the current Covid restrictions and some people not?  In yesterday’s Gospel, people were finding the language of Jesus intolerable and were leaving.  So He asks his disciples if they want to leave as well.  They respond with, ‘Lord who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life.’


I wonder whether the reason we follow health directions or not, comes down to our spirit.  Do we have a spirit that is consumed with ‘me’ OR do we have a spirit that gives life and sees the power of true love?  I look at our health professionals - exhausted and working such long hours to protect members of their communities - then going back the next day.  I see staff in our schools adapt and put in the extra time and effort to support their students in their learning and well-being - and fronting up the next day.  I see business owners whose business is on the verge of collapse providing meals and services for those in need to help them through these tough times day after day.  These people have God’s spirit, a spirit of true love for the other, within them.  They get up each day to support and care for those vulnerable others.


The words of yesterday’s Gospel come alive in these people, ‘It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer.’  I see Jesus and His spirit every day in these people. Never forget we carry God within us.  We carry the ability of sharing a great love to others - and with the Spirit’s help, giving life to those around us.
Gary Burdett
Deputy Director

View the CSO Calendar

Working With Children Check Extended For Three Months

The Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG)  has advised that working with children checks due to expire between 19 July 2021 and 26 September 2021 have been extended for three months. The three-month period applies from the date of the person’s current expiry date. Anyone granted an extension will be advised by email from the OCG.

(Leanne Woods)


Income Statements for 2020-21 Financial Year

The Catholic Schools Office has finalised our employee’s pay and superannuation data for the 2020-21 financial year and this information has been forwarded to the Australian Taxation Office.

With the introduction of Single Touch Payroll the Catholic Schools Office is no longer required to issue Payment Summaries (aka Group Certificates) to our employees. Your end-of-year financial information (Income Statement) is now available in your ATO online account (via myGov) or from your accountant.

Click here for more information.

(Paul Baylis)

Roger O'Sullivan Memorial Award

Applications for the 2021 Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award for Family, School and Community Partnerships for Learning. The due date is now Wednesday 20 October 2021.

Further information click here
(Carmel Heagney)

Retreat Opportunity

"Who do YOU say I am."

Please seFLYER

The goal of this retreat is to provide an opportunity for you to deepen your relationship with Christ and to experience how Catholic rituals and practices support us in growing and deepening this relationship. There will be times of input, time for personal reflection and reading and times to join in Catholic faith practices and prayer.

Available to: Classroom teachers, Educational Assistants and Administration Assistants who have at least 3yrs experience in our Diocesan schools.

Date: 18 - 22nd October

Expression of Interest
(Carmel Heagney)


ICT Remoting Learning/Working from Home Information

CSO ICT Services has created a central Google Doc to put ICT Remote Learning/Working from Home Information to assist staff as their first point of call. This doc will be updated regularly. We recommend that you bookmark this for easy access.

ICT Remote Learning/Working from Home Information

As always if you have any questions or experience any issues please reach out via the ICT Service Request Form.
(ICT Services)


Due to the current COVID climate, Management of Actual or Potential Aggression Training (MAPA) has been postponed until further notice.
(Geraldine Chapman)


Professional Learning Opportunity: iPad Assistive Features

Catholic Learning Online are offering an online PD opportunity entitled ‘iPad ‘Assistive Features: Reaching all Learners’

Learn about tools and resources from Apple that allow all students to create, communicate, personalise and explore in new and powerful ways.

During this webinar you will: 

Explore the powerful assistive features built-in to iPad that can complement each learners’ vision, hearing, motor skills and learning needs. As well as experiencing how with iPad, students can learn in ways that meet their own specific needs.  For more information and to register follow this link.
(Alicia Pringle)

OLT Online Professional Development - ADHD

Kristy Curry is offering staff an opportunity to upskill in the area of ADHD. This OLT course aims to build and strengthen the capacity of teachers and schools to identify and respond to the personalised learning and behaviour support needs of students with ADHD

This course is designed for all staff- Principals, Classroom Teachers, Inclusion Support Teachers, Education Assistants, Admin and Support staff, anyone seeking further knowledge on ADHD. Register here 
(Kristy Curry)


Primary Sport

Armidale Diocesan Primary conveners and team manager nominations are open for 2022. Any current Armidale Diocesan staff are encouraged to apply. Role descriptions can also be found on the ADPSC website under the staff tab. It is a great opportunity professionally to build relationships outside your school community with students and staff, whilst supporting the students to gain access to sporting pathway opportunities. ADPSC (Armidale Diocesan Primary Sports Council) and CSO cover the cost for relief days, accommodation, meals and travel for all team managers and conveners to attend all Armidale Diocesan sporting events. 


If you are interested could please complete your nomination by Friday 3rd September 2021 using the Google form like below. 

2022 Armidale Diocesan nomination form: Team Manager, Convener & sports trial location.


If you have any questions about the roles please do not hesitate to get in contact.


'A good coach can change a game, a great coach can change a life' - John Wooden (UCLA Basketball Coach)
(Heidi Hardaker)

CAPA Grants in the Armidale Diocese

A reminder that Creative and Performing Arts in the Armidale Diocese grants are available to all Primary and Secondary schools. All information can be found on the CAPA in the Armidale DIocese website.
(Heidi Hardaker)

200 Years Commemorative Book

This book contains the story of every first Catholic school in each Australian diocese. That’s St Mary’s Armidale for us. Paperback and hardback editions are available and can be ordered now for delivery later in the year. Go here and scroll down to find the pre-order form.
(Gerard Hore)

Diocesan Men's Gathering

These gatherings are a project of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. See link. There are two phases but participation in the first, while recommended, is not a prerequisite for participation in the second. In the first, available from early August, men in small groups from parishes, schools etc. are invited to come together for three one hour sessions, each based on a pre-recorded talk of about 20 mins. For Phase 2, a gathering is planned to take place at St Nicholas’s Tamworth on Saturday 16 October. Male staff members are urged to consider taking part, either as part of a parish group or by forming a school-based group. If the group is school-based, a leader should contact the organisers as indicate in the linked flyer.
(Gerard Hore)


Catholic Mission Online Conference

Catholic Mission is still taking bookings. You can take part fully or as time allows. See here for more information.
(Gerard Hore)

RUOK Day 9th September 2021

RUOK? Inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the  people around them and start a conversation with those in their world who may be struggling with life.

A conversation could change a life.

(Geraldine Chapman)

Extension on Maintenance of Accreditation and Proficient teacher Accreditation due this term
Teachers who are overdue or due to complete Proficient Teacher accreditation or maintenance of accreditation in Term 3, 2021 have been given an extension to the start of Term 4, 2021 (5 October 2021).

(Millie Woolaston)

For Further Information See OUR VACANCIES

School Support Officer (SSO) - Finance, Holy Trinity School Inverell
Permanent part-time 50 hours per fortnight, start date to be negotiated
Closes 05/09/2021


Classroom Teacher, St Joseph's Primary Tenterfield
Temporary full-time for 2022

Closes 10/09/2021


Principal, St Francis Xavier's Primary Narrabri
Contract, commencing no later than the start of the 2022 school year
Closes 29/08/2021


Principal, St Joseph's Primary Barraba
Contract, commencing no later than the start of the 2022 school year
Closes 29/08/2021


Principal, St Mary's Primary Armidale
Contract, commencing no later than the start of the 2022 school year
Closes 29/08/2021


Positions in other Diocese:

Head of Human Resources, Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst 

For further information, visit
Closes 08/09/2021

Primary Teacher, St Joseph's Primary School Malindra
For further information, visit
Closes 27/08/2021

Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes
For a full list of positions vacant, please click here

Follow this link for the latest Parent Talk Newsletter Newsletter from Council of Catholic School Parents:

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

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