The relationship between curriculum and pedagogy is fundamental. Curriculum is essentially a design, or roadmap for learning, and as such focuses on the knowledge and skills that are judged important to learn. Pedagogy is the means by which that learning will be achieved. To meet the needs of the contemporary learner to achieve the student outcomes described in the Contemporary Learning Framework, the partnership between the Catholic Schools Office and parish schools encourages all schools to:

  • adopt a contemporary curriculum that combines the core disciplines with creative thinking skills; information, media and ICT literacy; and life and career skills and
  • employ methods of contemporary pedagogy that integrate innovative and research-proven teaching strategies, modern learning technologies and real world resources and contexts

As educators in Catholic schools, the person of Jesus Christ should be at the heart of what we teach and how we teach it. Good teaching helps students to better understand themselves and what is important to them. Good teaching inspires and engages students.

The task of providing schools with high quality resourcing and informed advice on curriculum matters is the responsibility of the Education Services Team. A consistent approach to curriculum design and delivery is important in such a diverse and geographically spread diocese. The EST has a variety of functions and providing curriculum services is a vital element of the team’s work.

The curriculum team is led by the Teaching and Learning Development Consultant. This consultant oversees the work of the Teacher Educators and other officers tasked with the responsibility of working with school communities and individual teachers.

All schools in the Diocese of Lismore follow Board of Studies (BOS) approved syllabuses with the exception of Religious Education, which is approved by the Bishop. Visit the BOSTES Information for Parents page   for information on the NSW syllabuses.

Subjects are called Key Learning Areas (KLAs). They are:
Science and Technology
Personal Development Health and Physical Education
Creative Arts
Religious Education
VET (Secondary)

All schools are required to deliver programs of study that comply with the requirements of Board syllabuses. For schools that are accredited the courses must also satisfy the prescribed hours for the Record of School Achievement (Year 10 accreditation) and cover all of the essential content of the Board’s syllabuses.

Beyond the prescribed study hours schools have discretion to offer courses beyond the Board’s curriculum. If individual schools choose to teach material not approved or endorsed by the Board, it must be made clear to students that this material is additional to and not part of the relevant Board syllabus and will not be tested in any public examination conducted by the Board.

This team operates in a variety of ways but is heavily focused on in school delivery and providing opportunities for quality professional learning. Teachers must maintain currency to be able to respond to diverse student needs and curriculum changes. The Diocese is determined to provide a high quality education and the best way to ensure continued improved performance is to invest in the appropriate training and development of staff. There is no doubt that the biggest difference to student achievement is obtained through the individual teacher. Each year the EST engages schools in a planned series of professional learning experiences. The final approval of who attends training opportunities rests with the school principal.