Learning & teaching

NSW Curriculum

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is responsible for developing Kindergarten to Year 12 syllabuses for NSW schools.

The NSW curriculum includes the Key Learning Areas (KLAs) of English, Mathematics, Science, Human Society and its Environment (HSIE), Languages, Technologies, Creative Arts and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE).

Each KLA includes syllabuses for K–10 and Years 11 and 12 that are inclusive of the learning needs of all students.

Syllabuses identify:

the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes students are expected to develop at each stage

  • outcomes and content that describe what students are expected to know and do
  • cross-curriculum priorities, general capabilities and other important learning for all students.

Stages of learning

The NSW curriculum is organised in seven stages of learning.

Kindergarten to Year 6 (K–6) includes four stages of learning.

  • Early Stage 1–Kindergarten
  • Stage 1–Year 1 and Year 2
  • Stage 2–Year 3 and Year 4
  • Stage 3–Year 5 and Year 6

Year 7 to Year 12 includes three stages of learning.

  • Stage 4–Year 7 and Year 8
  • Stage 5–Year 9 and Year 10
  • Stage 6–Year 11 and Year 12
Learning & teaching

Literacy & Numeracy (K-10)

Successful teaching of literacy and numeracy occurs when there is a consistent, comprehensive whole school approach, clearly identified in the school’s Annual Improvement Plan (AIP). Individual school literacy and numeracy foci are informed by data. Targeted professional learning and collective action meets the identified learning needs of students. There are high expectations for all students and personalised learning goals ensure student growth.

Learning & teaching

Quicksmart Literacy and Numeracy

The Quicksmart Numeracy and Literacy programs support the improved learning for many students within our Wagga Diocesan Primary and Secondary Schools. The prime purpose of the Quicksmart in Schools program is to reverse the trend of ongoing poor academic performance for students who have been struggling at school and who are caught in a cycle of continued failure.

These targeted students experience significant and sustained difficulties in basic mathematics and/or literacy, and have a profile of low progress despite attempts to overcome their learning problems. Many such students have not drawn lasting benefits from other in-class and withdrawal instructional activities.

A second purpose concerns the professional learning program designed for classroom teachers, special needs support teachers, and paraprofessionals to learn how to work with, and significantly improve, the learning outcomes in basic mathematics and/or literacy of underachieving middle-school students.

The literacy workshop program features professional learning and support for working in a small-class instructional setting with two students, using a specially constructed teaching program supported by extensive material and computer based resources.

The Quicksmart Numeracy and Literacy interventions were developed through the National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR) at the University of New England, Armidale. The Quicksmart programs have been under continuous development and improvement since 2001, based on the results of many tens of thousands of students

Learning & teaching

Support for Students with Diverse Learning Needs

Catholic Education, Diocese of Wagga Wagga is committed to the development of a high-quality curriculum for all students that promotes excellence and equity in education. All students are entitled to rigorous, relevant and engaging learning programs drawn from a challenging curriculum that addresses their individual learning needs. The NSW Curriculum recognises that the needs of all students encompass cognitive, affective, physical, social, and aesthetic
curriculum experiences.

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA, 2008) provides the policy framework for the Australian Curriculum. It includes two goals:

  • Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence.
  • All young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens.

The Australian Curriculum in NSW has been designed to address these goals with the objectives of the Australian Curriculum being the same for all students. These objectives are based on a set of propositions, outlined in the Registration Systems and Member Non-government Schools(NSW) Manual December 2017 (Section 5.3) , which guide the development of the Australian Curriculum in NSW as a curriculum for all learners. These propositions include:

  • The understanding that each student can learn and the needs of every student are important.
  • A recognition of the entitlement of each student to knowledge, understanding and skills that provide a foundation for successful and lifelong learning and participation in the Australian community.
  • High expectations to be set for each student as teachers account for the current level of learning of individual students and the different rates at which students develop.
  • The acknowledgement that the needs and interests of students will vary, and that schools and teachers will plan from the curriculum in ways that respond to those needs and interests.
  • NSW Curriculum provides teachers with flexibility to cater for the diverse needs of students across Australia and personalise learning.
Learning & teaching

Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery is an early intervention designed to reduce literacy failure initiated and developed in New Zealand by educator and psychologist Dame Marie Clay.

It aims to accelerate student progress, to the average level of their grade in their school, as quickly as possible so students may obtain maximum benefit from classroom instruction.

Reading Recovery is supplementary to classroom literacy instruction. Teachers trained in the delivery of Reading Recovery provide daily individual instruction for 30 minutes over an average period of 12 to 20 weeks.

There are two positive outcomes from this intervention:

  1. Students who have successfully discontinued from their series of lessons. These students are able to profit from literacy instruction provided by the classroom teacher.
  2. Students who have not established patterns of effective literacy learning are referred by the school to other programs and services for additional support.

Reading Recovery aims to ensure that:

  • students have access to the best possible learning opportunities;
  • students receive the help required to develop an effective processing system in reading and writing;
  • equitable outcomes are achieved by all students;
  • the cost of remediation in later years is reduced.
Learning & teaching

Digital Learning

Schools in the Diocese of Wagga Wagga encourage innovative and varied means of learning to enrich the curriculum and bring students face to face with authentic learning experiences. Digital technologies are embedded throughout the curriculum to enable and enrich learning and teaching.

GSuite for Education is ubiquitous across the system. Access to the cloud-based applications has fundamentally shifted practice and thinking about communication, collaboration and learning.

Each school has a Digital Pedagogy Leader [DPL]. The role of the DPL is to provide leadership and support to teachers, teams of teachers and students with the integration of digital tools to improve learning and teaching. The DPL supports the coherent and skilled integration of technology into staff professional learning and classroom practice.

Learning & teaching

STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics]

Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Wagga Wagga [CSWW] have responded to the National STEM Strategy by developing its own STEM strategy. The aim of the strategy is to raise the profile of STEM within Diocesan schools through supporting initiatives that develop:

  • Critical and creative thinkers
  • Problem-solving capabilities
  • The effective use of digital technologies

The STEM strategy is informed by the two goals of the National STEM School Education Strategy 2016 – 2026:

  • Ensure all students finish school with strong foundational knowledge in STEM and related skills
  • Ensure that students are inspired to take on more challenging STEM subjects

The Diocesan STEM strategy is aligned to the five focus areas identified in the National Strategy and describes actions at school and system level which will drive improvement initiatives.

The five focus areas are:

  1. Increasing student STEM ability, engagement, participation and aspiration
  2. Increasing teacher capacity and STEM teaching quality
  3. Supporting STEM opportunities within schools systems
  4. Facilitating effective partnerships with tertiary education providers, business and industry
  5. Building a strong evidence base
Learning & teaching

Diocesan Music Initiative

A priority has been placed on quality Music education for all our students.

Our teachers have the opportunity to be a part of the National Music Teaching Mentor Program to develop their Music Curriculum pedagogy. This involves the classroom teacher working closely with a Music Specialist in their classroom to enhance their programming. Our students become inspired and actively participate in singing, moving and playing each Music lesson.

All primary schools enthusiastically participate in the Australian School of Performing Arts Choral development program whereby teachers work with staff and students over a term on choral and dance repertoire, culminating in a collaborative performance with other schools within their cluster.

Students across the Diocese are given the opportunity to participate in an instrumental program which gives them access subsidised lessons and band ensemble time. Lessons can take place at the school or via video conferencing in the case of remote schools.

Many of our schools have been well resourced with Musical Instruments for their classrooms and practical, engaging teaching resources.

Learning & teaching

Aboriginal Education

Effective Aboriginal education in Catholic Education in the Dioceses of Wagga Wagga includes the following foundations and are the basis for learning and teaching programs:

  • Seeking cultural advice and understanding
  • Sharing of Indigenous history
  • Student engagement
  • Embedding Aboriginal histories and cultures into the school strategic plan
  • Building students leadership capacity
  • Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students coming together
  • Building connections and relationships within and beyond the classroom
  • Aboriginal content and perspectives embedded in the school curriculum
  • Building staff and students cultural knowledge about Aboriginal culture, histories and experiences
  • Building staff cultural competencies
  • Valuing Aboriginal culture in the school environment

The Aboriginal School and Community Worker initiative was introduced to support;

  1. Aboriginal students and their families.
  2. Engagement and Connection with local Elders and Community Organisations
  3. The integration of the cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures for all students.

This initiative enhances the priority areas of the National ATSI Education Strategy

Learning & teaching

Vocational Education & Training

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is widely recognised as a valuable part of a comprehensive secondary school’s curriculum offering.

The Catholic Education, Diocese of Wagga Wagga (CEDWW) is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO 90306) which manages and supports the delivery of VET courses in secondary schools across the Diocese of Wagga Wagga.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) partners with industry and government to provide students with workplace skills and technical knowledge to help them advance their career, now and in the future. In a rapidly changing employment environment, the speed, value and skills VET provides helps people take a faster, more cost-effective route to completing a qualification and entering the workforce. As a result, VET graduates enter employment with confidence and first-hand experience.

The courses that are offered in our schools include:

  • Certificate II in Business Services
  • Certificate II in Construction Pathways
  • Certificate II in Hospitality
  • Certificate II in Kitchen Operations
  • Certificate III in Information and Digital Technology
  • Certificate I in Engineering
  • Certificate II in Sports Coaching

In addition, our students are supported to access externally delivered VET courses (through providers such as TAFE) if this curriculum choice best suits their needs.

Students can also access School-based Traineeships and Apprenticeships (SBATs). Careers Advisers and VET Coordinators in our schools will assist in the development of Training Plans that set out the way in which on-the-job and off-the-job requirements will be managed. This process involves the student, parents/caregivers, the employer and the RTO.

VET courses are generally offered as part of the Stage 6 curriculum but at some sites, these courses can be offered to Year 10 students. Students and parents are encouraged to discuss their VET questions with the Careers Adviser, VET Coordinator or VET teachers.

Learning & teaching

Professional Growth and Development Framework

The Professional Growth and Development Framework assists staff in engaging in a continuous cycle of improvement. It provides the opportunity for staff to be affirmed and celebrate professional growth and development. It aligns staff goals with the strategic and operational work within the context in which they work. This Framework aims to promote genuine professional conversations that focus on improving teaching.