Launch of learning framework for Catholic schools

The culmination of over two years planning and consultation about what ‘learning’ means and looks like for our Catholic schools came about recently with the launch of a Learning Framework.

The launch, presided over by Vicar General, Fr Brian Mascord, and Director of Schools, Dr Michael Slattery, was held at St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar, in the school’s brand new hall. Attended by over 250 people from our school and diocesan communities, it was a truly memorable occasion.

Why a learning framework?

A learning framework is a bit like an umbrella – it brings together under the one area many of the things we associate with learning – research, different learning and teaching opportunities and examples, various resources, system policies and links with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and professional bodies for teachers and school leaders such as the Australian Professional Standards.

The framework that has been developed for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle comprises five particular areas with definitions, resources, examples, research and links:

Continual focus on leading learning

  • Cultures built on collaborative learning
  • Rich and purposeful personalised learning
  • Creating the conditions for supportive learning
  • Building capacity through professional learning.

A website has also been built to complement the learning framework, allowing teachers to explore these various components and helping them to provide a range of learning opportunities for their students.

What impact will this learning framework have on our schools? What difference will it make?

The framework has given our staff a basis or a place to consult for quick, recent and relevant information on best practice − something we have obviously not had in the past but very much needed. It is my hope for our staff, and for others in the diocese, that the Framework will become an integral place, a natural starting point, for staff, and indeed school leadership teams, to give advice, research and examples in teaching and learning. It is hoped that the framework continues to grow and change to reflect changing research and system directives and focus areas.

Sallyanne Stanbridge, Assistant Principal, St Therese’s Primary School, New Lambton.

The Learning Framework developed over the last two years is the foundation for learning for all our schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle for the next decade. The Framework is an easy to navigate site to assist with the professional learning of every educator. It will save you time and energy as it is a ‘one stop shop’ for the resources and tools teachers need to improve their craft.  The Framework has up-to-date examples and illustrations of ‘best practice’ and is based on the latest educational research. I commend this site to all the staff teams across our diocese.  

Mark Twohill, Principal, St James’ Primary School, Kotara South.

I believe the Learning Framework is a foundational document for the system as it provides clear directions for all educators on how to deliver authentic learning experiences for their students. It also outlines the importance of teachers working collaboratively and includes strategies for teachers to do so to achieve positive learning outcomes for their students and themselves. The use of current research and examples of best practice, for example, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) National School Improvement Tool, adds considerable credibility to the framework.

Nick Wickham, Assistant Principal, St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar.

The Learning Framework is the ‘go to’ place for understanding more about the process of learning and doing the best to meet the needs of our students and teachers. It makes connections with and across teaching, learning and leadership in our Catholic schools.

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