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    Personal Story


    Catherine Scheffer
    Year 12 Siena College, Camberwell

    Along with six other Siena students and two teachers, I embarked on an immersion to South Africa for two weeks last year, living with a host family while learning of the history and culture of the country. 

    I noticed that despite all the hardships of the women of Kopanang, they were some of the happiest people I had ever met. The children stood out in particular for me; happy over the slightest of things. 

    For example, the other students and I brought balloons, pencils and stickers, which had them ecstatic for days on end. 

    This ability to draw happiness from poverty and quite often, hunger and pain, motivated me to produce a series of drawings under the title Happy Sadness which will be featured in the 2015 Visual Arts Display during Catholic Education Week. 

    A young boy named Tyron, who was a member of my host family, personally inspired me as he was always happy despite the conditions he lived in. I grew very close to Tyron, as well as having a strong connection to other children I encountered.

    It was after my time at Kopanang that I realised how much we take for granted; food, water, safety, education and much more. 

    Without knowing the children it is impossible to depict their current state of poverty. These children’s facial expressions show us that money is not the key to happiness. 

    It is my duty to tell my Siena school community that ‘happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’  

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    Secondary Services

    General Overview

    Two teams within the Curriculum & Secondary Services Unit work collaboratively to provide services to schools in the areas of:

    • curriculum, pedagogy and assessment policy and strategy
    • learning area strategies: Science and Languages
    • strategic advice to secondary schools and their school communities
    • strategic partnerships for learning, including Placed Teachers
    • reporting student achievement and progress
    • vocational education and training in schools
    • workplace learning.


    Let's Party dance number at the inaugural Time to Shine gala 

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    Main Activities

    Secondary Services – Pathways and Transition Team

    The Curriculum & Secondary Services Unit also provides:

    • support for secondary schools around the interpretation of enrolment guidelines, and for secondary schools and parents around enrolment issues
    • strategic advice for secondary principals, including referral to other supports available from the CEOM
    • strategic advice to secondary parents
    • support for secondary principals through induction to later stages of their careers
    • liaison with PAVCSS and RCPA.

    The Pathways and Transition Team provides support to schools to take a whole-school approach to pathways review and provision, including the areas of:

    • Leadership – mission statement and strategic planning
    • Partnerships – links with employers and community agencies
    • Policy – school vision and goal statements
    • Professional Learning – education and training policy and practice
    • Provision – comprehensive and inclusive curriculum
    • Review – continuous improvement.

    The Post-Compulsory Pathways Team plays a significant role in securing parity funding support for VETiS and VCAL for Victorian Catholic schools, including:

    • ATIP Seed Fund Grants
    • Auspiced Training Industry Partnership (ATIP)
    • Certificate I in Vocational Preparation
    • Master of Education Policy (International)
    • RTO support
    • TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
    • Teacher Industry Placement Grants
    • Trade Recruitment Grants
    • (VCAL) Community Partnership Grants
    • VCAL Coordination Support
    • VCAL Innovative Community Partnership Grants
    • VETiS Programs.

    Special events to support schools

    The Curriculum & Secondary Services Unit manages the following events for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne:

    • Visual Arts Exhibition (F–12), held annually during Catholic Education Week
    • Young Speaker Colloquium for secondary schools, also held annually during Catholic Education Week
    • a biennial Gala Concert for secondary schools
    • World Youth Day.

    Agnus Dei performance at the inaugural Time to Shine Gala 

    Inaugural Gala Concert 2014

    Time to Shine, the Catholic Schools Performing Arts Gala, took place in September 2014, and was a resounding success, showcasing the enormous talent we have in the young people in our schools. The gala saw over 300 student performers and 44 secondary schools participating.

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    Other Initiatives

    • Development of online and print resources supporting curriculum innovation, including Curriculum Renewal in a Catholic School – Design Elements resources and a renewed Learning Schema .
    • Education for Sustainability PL Program.
    • Extension Education, including Placed Teachers.
    • Navigating the Intersections research project.
    • New Health and Physical Education PL program for low-SES schools.
    • School-based research into current student reporting practice to inform policy development.
    • School-based research into student and parent voice as drivers for innovation in learning and teaching.
    • Secondary Curriculum Renewal project, including credentialled study.
    • School support for Pathways and Training programs.

    Professional Learning Programs

    Program or Initiative  Primary  Secondary  Total 
    AusVELS in Catholic Secondary Schools briefings 306 76 382
    Education for Sustainability  13 8 21
    Leading Languages Professional Learning Program 54 0 54
    Multilingual Language Learning Communities 73 25 98
    Languages Partnership Grants 47 26 73
    Navigating Intersections: Learning & teaching in Catholic schools 15 8 23
    Science (STaL) project: Emerging pedagogical leaders 10 11 21
    Science Partnership Grants  142 68 210
    Secondary Curriculum Renewal project (incorporating Postgraduate Certificate in Curriculum Leadership, University of Melbourne) 0 29 29

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