Learning & Curriculum

Education Standing Committee

Comprising professional members representing the two respective principal associations, community and/or parents and a representative from the Diocese of Port Pirie, the Education Standing Committee (ESC) met on six occasions during 2020.

As a consequence of COVID-19 and the restrictions associated with that, one meeting was cancelled due to the sudden lock-down situation in early 2020.

During 2020, the committee received reports, revised policies and procedures and considered various matters of significance to CESA via various Advisory committees, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee
  • Boarding Schools Advisory Committee
  • Catholic Schools Music Festival Committee
  • Early Childhood Education and Care Advisory Committee
  • Ecology Advisory Committee
  • Enterprise and Vocational Education Advisory Committee
  • Inclusion and Learning Advisory Committee
  • Rural Education Advisory Committee
  • SACE
  • Online Assessment Steering Committee.

School Quality and Performance Section

The School Quality and Performance section (SQP) was a newly formed section within the Catholic Education Office commencing in 2020, under the leadership of the newly appointed Deputy Director, Mr John Mula. The School Quality and Performance section incorporates several teams whose work is in service to CESA schools and Catholic Education Offices, particularly in relation to Curriculum, Learning and Wellbeing, and Learning, Diversity and Equity and School Quality and Performance. Their advice is vital in supporting safe and contemporary environments for learning and for work.

During 2020, the regular work of the School Quality and Performance section was impacted by COVID-19 and subsequent adjustments were made to the section’s “regular” work as well as providing new opportunities and new ways of working.

A significant proportion of planned projects, networks and professional opportunities were deferred for the 2020 year.  Staff within the Catholic Identity team, Curriculum, Learning and Wellbeing team and the Learning Diversity and Equity team e-focused their work to provide more targeted support for schools.

There was a successful effort to develop additional online teacher resources support to schools and work was undertaken to extend the purposing of the Online Learning website even beyond COVID-19.  This work included the development of CESA’s:

  • Learning for Wellbeing Framework that provides the foundation for the development of policies and associated resources including curriculum design, assessment, moderation and reporting
  • an R-10 Curriculum design (scope and sequence) based on the Australian Curriculum integrating the CESA Key Capability Criteria
  • a common quality improvement cycle linked to system targets and founded on the cycle developed for the Living Learning Leading Standard
  • Pedagogical Framework including exemplars of inspiring practice, illustrations of practice and resources.

The SQP section’s focus led to the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools (SACCS) endorsing in November 2020 the Blueprint for Step Change document. The Blueprint positions CESA’s focus on Improving student outcomes at system, school, class and individual level.  This Blueprint provides some structural recommendations to enacting this ‘step change’.  These include:

  • a refocusing of the:
    • principal’s role as the instructional leader of the school community.
    • School Quality and Performance Consultant role to a regionally focussed Schools Performance Leader role with a revised set of responsibilities.
    • work of the SQP section aligned to regions and supported by Education advisors, advisors and System coaches.
    • professional learning provided to teachers and school staff as ‘whole of system’ delivered more ‘in-situ’ and in regions and less via projects.
  • creation or re-focusing of:
    • a school-based Quality and Performance team which is incorporated within all schools.
    • current school clusters into six regions within CESA; North, South, East, West, Central and Port Pirie.
    • designated Leaders of Learning positions within all schools.
    • engaging an ‘external’ critical friend to support our work in analysing and improving student outcomes.
    • developing a common language and system strategies that support a focus on whole system improvement.

The key CESA documents, Continuous Improvement FrameworkChildren made in the image of GodStatement of Learning Commitment to every child in a Catholic SchoolLiving Learning Leading Framework and Standardthe Key Capabilities ContinuaLeadership StandardCorporate Plan 2020-2024 and the Balanced Scorecard will continue to provide a solid foundation for step change and movement to our new ways of working.  At the heart of these documents is the Catholic education core work in Mission, Learning and Pastoral Care.

Learning and Curriculum

The disruptions to the Learning and Wellbeing 2020 workplan were considerable due to the impact of COVID-19, causing a system-wide lockdown in Term 1 and a regional lockdown in Term 4. Many system-wide projects were put on hold and others abandoned so resources could be deployed to schools. Highlights of the 2020 deliverables include:

  • development and ‘live’ deployment of an online R-12 Curriculum by Anna Mirasgentis, Manager: Learning and Curriculum, and her team with a nine day turnaround in Term 1, 2020
  • Scope and sequence of Mathematics and English for R-6 (currently on hold due to the changes in the Australian Curriculum)
  • development of a LearnWell foundation for learning through wellbeing paper in Terms 3-4, 2020
  • restructure of the Curriculum, Learning and Wellbeing team to align with the CEO office restructure of services for 2021.

School Quality and Performance

Introduced in 2020, the School Quality and Performance Consultant team (SQPC), through the Deputy Director, was responsible for driving a significant improvement agenda across the system of Catholic schools within the context of the Strategy.

SQPCs worked collaboratively with the principal in diocesan accountable schools to ensure strong leadership at each school, focusing on improving learning outcomes for students and actively promoting Catholic identity.

Despite the interruptions and upheaval caused by the global pandemic, the SQPCs demonstrated the agility, flexibility and responsiveness that was required in this uncertain and dynamic context.

The pandemic necessitated a clear focus on the professional supervision and pastoral support for principals in a time of challenge and uncertainty. Working alongside and through principals the SQPC team maintained a student-centred focus that prioritized: relationships, identity, learning and belonging.

The SQPC team, supported by the Curriculum Learning & Wellbeing team, People Leadership & Culture team, the Information & Communication Technology team and CESA Finance, engaged throughout 2020 with school leadership teams in the delivery of key system initiatives as follows:

  • supporting and leading the system response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • preparation for transition to online learning
  • development and introduction of the Classroom Pulse Check In
  • monitoring of attendance, retention and enrolment of students.