Parent News Update20104623439

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					                                    SYDNEY FEDERATION OF CATHOLIC SCHOOL PARENTS

                                              PO Box 217, Leichhardt NSW 2040 • Phone: (02) 9568 8218 • Fax: (02) 9564 1111
                                                 Email: •

                                                      Parent News Update
                                                                         June 2009
                                                                           Issue 2

In this issue:                        From the President

    From the president
    Parents Involved in School       Dear Parents,
     and Engaged in Learning
                                      This is my first newsletter as your newly elected President.
    Date for your Diary
                                      May I take the opportunity to thank Andrew McKinnon for the past 2 years as
    School Profile for Public        President as well as the many years he spent on the Executive. He made a
     Reporting                        valuable contribution and will be greatly missed.
                                      Since the start of the year, we have also said farewell to Brother Kelvin Canavan.
    Building Successful
                                      Brother Kelvin has been a beacon for Catholic Education over the last 30 years.
     Partnerships between
                                      He was a strong supporter of the Sydney Federation ensuring the Federation had
     Schools, Families and
                                      a “parents voice” on key religious and educational committees. The Federation’s
                                      involvement on these committees continues today informing policy and decision
                                      making that affects our children’s education, we feel privileged to be in such a
    Curriculum Committee
                                      Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Sydney now has a new director of
    Upcoming Parent Education
                                      Schools, Dr Dan White. I have had the pleasure of meeting Dr White. He has
                                      already started to place his own personal mark in the role and we at the
                                      Federation are looking forward to this new era.
    Important diary                   Our new Executive team, which was elected at the AGM in March, has met and
        date:                         show great enthusiasm and energy in planning for the next 2 years term of office.
                                      Part of our initial discussion has been around the planning of Parent information
    Wed. August 12th                  nights on supporting student wellbeing and spirituality. The Federation is also
     7pm – 9.30pm                     keen to assist local school parent organizations and school communities in
                                      building effective and authentic home school partnerships.
    Helping our                       State and Federal Government funding are the life blood of Catholic schools. We
                                      will be using the catch phrase Parent/ School/ Church Partnership often and will
children deal with                    continue to build on the profile of the Federation of Catholic School Parents at not
stress and anxiety                    only the school level, but also represented and be a voice at the State Level and
                                      Federal Level through our membership in the Council of Catholic School Parents
A night hosted by the
                                      The Federation will build on links to improve communication with parents and
  Sydney Federation.
                                      schools. One way of doing this is through our website and newsletters. We
Please see inside this                welcome feedback from parents and any suggestions on how we could better
issue for more details                provide for our parents and school communities.
                                      If you have any ideas you would like to share with us please log into our website
                                      at and let us know.
If you would like to receive
updates and latest Federation         Kind regards
News go to:
>The Parents
and register for updates.
                                      Serge Laureti

                                  ‘Parents: Involved in Schooling
                                    and Engaged in Learning’
In 2008 Danielle Cronin was awarded a Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship to study policy
initiatives and associated strategies for supporting parent engagement in schooling in the
United States and the United Kingdom.
Danielle is the Executive Director of the Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT,
Chair of the National Catholic Education Commission’s Parent Committee
and has two children at St Charles’ in the Sydney Archdiocese

M ost of us don’t need 40 years of research to tell us              and the broader community to support children’s
that parent involvement is important for children’s                 learning. An associated idea is also emerging around
success at school and in life. Involvement in your                  broadening the limits of schools to be ‘hubs’ of
child’s education can take many forms including being               extended or ‘warp-around’ services to support the
involved at the school (as class parents, on the P&F, at            particular needs of the communities that support them.
working bees) or at home (helping with homework,
reading to your children, involving them in extra-                  An exciting opportunity exists for us as parents (and
curricular activities or just being interested in what              for schools, education offices and governments) to
they do at school).                                                 think about parent engagement in new ways. This will
                                                                    involve broadening old definitions of parent
More recent research however is telling us that deeper              involvement, exploring new types of engagement and
forms of parent engagement with schooling are also                  making sure parent engagement is seen as
needed to further enhance student achievement and                   complementary to efforts in the areas of school reform,
outcomes, close achievement gaps and build social                   student    achievement      (including    closing   the
capital and social inclusion. Engagement implies                    achievement gap) and building community. The
parents taking their place alongside teachers in the                Australian government has begun to make headway in
schooling of their children, fitting together their                 this important area by making partnerships between
knowledge of children, teaching and learning, with                  schools and parents a key policy objective. We also
teachers’ knowledge about the child and teaching and                now have the National Family School Partnership
learning (Pushor: 2007). Engagement sees parents as                 Framework and the Family, School and Community
an essential part of the learning process and an                    Partnership Bureau to assist us.
extended part of the ‘pedagogic process’ to support the
academic achievement of children (Harris and Goodall:
2007). Strong engagement has clear benefits for all                 The Fellowship also identified an increasing desire for
children, parents and schools but it has particular                 governments to expand traditional definitions of
benefits for more disadvantaged communities and                     schools and schooling and the desire to embed family
those with special needs.                                           engagement in whole-of-school and system-wide
                                                                    efforts to promote learning across all of the settings
In Australia we are entering an important new era in                where children live and learn. Schools are being seen
relation to schools. We have the ‘education revolution’             as ‘hubs’ for a range of complementary services to
and as part of that a growing recognition of the                    support children and families and the broader
importance of parental engagement and the importance                community including early childhood services to health
of more authentic partnerships between home, school                 and community services.

                  12th August                  VENUE:             tba                            For more information on this
   F                                           TIME:              7pm – 9.30pm                  Positive Parenting Program go to
                      2009                     SPEAKER:           Peter Tryon            
          Peter Tryon has a consultancy role with Triple P International (Positive Parenting Program) as an accredited
          trainer. Peter came to his current role as a psychologist after a teaching career in Catholic Ed in NSW.
          Triple P is rolling out a range of parenting initiatives across 20 countries worldwide.
   D      Updates will be published on the CEO website >The Parents
   R                                                          2
                                                                                Get recognition for the great work
                                                                                The National Australia Bank’s (NAB) Schools First
                                                                                initiative offers awards for successful partnerships
Building Successful Partnerships                                                between schools, families and communities. There
between Schools, Families and                                                   are two categories of award: IMPACT AWARDS
                                                                                for partnerships that are up and running, and
Communities                                                                     SEED FUNDING for schools that want to get a
                                                                                partnership off the ground. For more details go to
Let’s hear from you……….                                               

Research tells us that the best way to improve a                                  Family-School Partnerships
student’s learning is to have the parents actively                                Framework
engaged and in partnership with the school. In the
busyness of life, what is the reality of this and what                            A guide for schools and families
does it really mean?                                                                   A vision for improved partnerships
                                                                                        between Australian families and schools:
Schools and family groups grapple with the                                             A set of principles to guide families and
concept of being equal players in our children’s                                        schools in developing partnerships;
education and struggle to find ways of identifying,                                    A set of strategies providing practical
developing and implementing such processes.                                             guidance to school communities and
However for some school communities this is a                                           school systems implementing and fostering
reality for them and they are experiencing                                              family-school partnerships
wonderful successes. We would like to hear your
story so that it can be shared with our Sydney                                    To download a copy of this framework go to:
Catholic schools in the hope of strengthening                           
Family – School Partnerships.

Also let us know what support you think parents
need to be active participants in their children’s
learning and development? The Federation can
then publish relevant materials to assist schools
and parent groups.


      Possible format of school profile for public reporting as proposed by the Federal Government
        These will be available online later this year and the Federation would appreciate feedback from parents on how informative this reporting is.

                                        To expedite the planning and
                                                                                National Partnership Agreement
                                        management of this massive building
                                        venture across the Archdiocese, the     This National Partnership Agreement
                                        CEO has engaged BLL to manage all       for Literacy and Numeracy focuses
                                        aspects    of    the   design     and   on the key areas of teaching,
                                        construction for the 90 schools to be   leadership and the effective use of
                                        assigned to BLL under the contract.     student performance information to
Curriculum Committee                    The balance of projects will be         deliver sustained improvement in
Report – May 2009                       directly managed by the CEO and         literacy and numeracy outcomes for
                                        shall engage local trades people        all students, especially those who are
The issues addressed here      give a   where appropriate.                      falling behind.
brief overview of some         of the
different projects occurring   in our   Round 2 applications are well           eLearning with the iLe@rn Model
schools     across    the      Sydney   advanced with the second group of
Archdiocese:                            approximately 45 schools to be          This Position Paper
                                        submitted by 5 May.                     provides a model
The Building Education Revolution                                               for eLearning with
(BER)                                   Science and Language Centres            the purpose of
Applications for Round 1 of the BER     The initial expressions of interest     assisting teachers
covering 25 schools and projects        from secondary schools have been        in identifying the
valued at over $50m were submitted      received and are currently under        learning outcomes
in early April. The initial audit of    review. These need to be lodged by      which innovative
schools is now complete. The            the end of May                          and effective use
auditing team was lead by Bovis                                                 of technology can bring about.
Lend Lease (BLL).

     Upcoming Parent Education Workshops
                    Hosted by the Catholic Education Office, Sydney

         PARTICIPANT’S KEY: Gifted Education, Student Wellbeing, Learning Behaviours

                Workshop                                        Venue                                 Date

Triple P Parenting 8 – 12: The Power of        Eastern Region CEO                                     th
                                                                                                   11 June
Positive Parenting                             33 Banks Ave, Daceyville
                                                           st                                   9:15 – 12:30pm
Presented by Janet Harris, Triple P            RSVP June 1        Phone:83443000
Accredited, Sydney Kid’s Hospital    

Building Successful Learning Behaviours –      Eastern Region CEO                                    th
                                                                                                  11 August
Habits of Mind                                 33 Banks Ave, Daceyville
                                                             rd                                 9:30 – 12:00pm
Presented by Lisa Gossling, Advisor: Gifted    RSVP August 3       Phone:83443000
Education, Eastern Region, Catholic  
Education Office

Gifted Education (Primary) Parent Seminar      De La Salle Revesby                                   th
                                                                                                  26 August
                                               9 Ferndale Road, Revesby Heights                  7:00 – 8:30pm
Presented by Ruth Targett and Sherrol Gane,    RSVP August 17
                                                                   Phone: 97727000
Advisor: Gifted Education, Southern Region,
Catholic Education Office


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