Child Protection

Safeguarding Our School Communities

The Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes values the dignity of every person. We are especially committed to ensuring the care, well-being and protection of children in our school communities.

As a Diocese we abide by all child protection legislation and our moral obligation is always to promote the safety and protection of children in our care.

We endeavour to create safe environments where everyone can participate freely and without fear in worship, prayer and learning.

Child Protection

All staff in our school are expected to promote child safety by having a clear understanding of their legal child protection responsibilities and act in accordance with those responsibilities.

In particular the school will:

  • Maintain professionalism in our interactions with children by exercising appropriate duty of care and maintaining appropriate professional boundaries.
  • Follow policy and procedures to address allegations of inappropriate behaviour by staff towards children.
  • Ensure all people working in our school including parent volunteers, are appropriately screened for working with children.
  • Respond appropriately when we feel a child is at risk of significant harm due to possible abuse or neglect.

* Child Protection Policy: Addressing Allegations of Inappropriate Behaviour by Staff

* Child Protection Policy: Working With Children Check

* Child Protection Policy: Managing Risks of Significant Harm & Wellbeing Concerns

What happens when things go wrong?

Concerns & Complaints

We take concerns and complaints seriously and try to resolve them in the most appropriate, efficient and confidential manner possible according to the principles of procedural fairness.

We encourage any person with a concern or complaint to promptly raise the matter so that it does not become overwhelming for those involved.

For further information on resolving school concerns and complaints, an information brochure is available from the school office or can be sourced from the CEWF Concerns and Complaints Handling Policy on the CEWF website: www.wf.catholic.edu.au/policies/

Concerns and Complaints of a Child Protection Nature

If the concern is about the inappropriate behaviour of staff, misconduct or reportable conduct towards any child or young person, it should be directed immediately to the Principal. Confidentiality must be maintained at all times.

Getting involved with your child’s learning

Getting involved with your child’s learning

There are many ways that parents can support their children’s learning at home and throughout the school year.

Work collaboratively with school staff

  • Inform the teacher you want to help your child learn, and that you want to be contacted if any problems occur.
  • Familiarise yourself with the school staff who are all there to assist your child’s academic, social and emotional growth.
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences and if you have a concern at any time, make an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher.
  • Read all the information sent home from the school.
  • Volunteer at your child’s school.

Support your child’s learning

  • Inquire if your child is experiencing any difficulties and ask how you can help.
  • Establish a regular time for homework, and remove all distractions.
  • Display a positive attitude about education and the school to your children.
  • Demonstrate that learning can be enjoyable.
  • Limit your child’s television, video games, and Internet use.
  • Encourage and model reading to your child.
  • Talking with and listening to your child will develop their language skills, and show them you are interested in what they have to say.
  • Active learning is promoted when you listen to your child’s ideas and respond to them.
  • Encourage your child to use the library.
  • Give your child opportunities to develop responsibility and independence.
  • Encourage active learning which can occur through sports, spending time with friends, acting in a school play, playing a musical instrument or visiting museums and bookstores.

Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal Education

‘For thousands of years, you have fashioned a culture that endures to this day. And during all this time, the Spirit of God has been with you’

‘Your culture, which shows the lasting genius and dignity of your race, must not be allowed to disappear’

‘You lived your lives in spiritual closeness to the land, with its animals, birds, fishes, waterholes, rivers, hills and mountains. Through the closeness to the land you touched the sacredness of man’s relationship with God’

‘Let your minds and hearts be strengthened to begin a new life now. Past hurts cannot be healed by violence, nor are present injustices removed by resentment. Your Christian faith calls you to become the best kind of Aboriginal people you can be.’

(Quotes from the Address of Pope John Paull II to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Alice Springs 1986)

Aboriginal Education in the Catholic schools of the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes includes the provision of a curriculum for all students which incorporates Aboriginal perspectives for all students.

Aboriginal people across the diocese are those who have a strong identity rich in spiritual and personal awareness of themselves. Data from 2016 census indicates 16% Aboriginal students in primary schools across the diocese.

The Catholic Education Office of the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes and all schools affirm and acknowledge that Aboriginal people are the original inhabitants of Australia and recognise their ongoing spiritual closeness to the land, seas and waterways.

Our diocese acknowledges and deeply respects the spiritual beliefs and traditions of Aboriginal people. The following guiding principles are closely aligned with those of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015,  (Link to National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015) including:

  • Achieve potential: High expectations are held for, and by, Aboriginal children and young people across the diocese.
  • Equity: Aboriginal children and young people are able to access the same educational opportunities and achieve the same educational outcomes as other Australians.
  • Accountability: The CEO (Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes), all schools and staff are accountable, transparent and responsive.
  • Relationships: Meaningful relationships value community, cultural knowledge, wisdom and expertise, demonstrate trust and respect, and provide a strategy to support culture and identity.
  • Partnerships: Aboriginal people are engaged in decision making, planning, delivery and evaluation of early childhood schooling and higher education services across the diocese.
  • Local approaches: Educational outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people are accelerated through local approaches in our rural and remote communities.
  • Quality: Policies, practices, programs and partnerships are inclusive of the needs of Aboriginal children, young people and their families, and are informed by knowledge, evidence and research.
  • Access to employment: The CEO and all schools remain committed to increasing employment and promotional opportunities for Aboriginal people.

Commitment to Action please read – Link to our eventual Wilcannia-Forbes CEO Aboriginal Education Policy

Aboriginal Staff

Aboriginal Education Support Officer

The CEO employs an Aboriginal Education Support Officer that works collaboratively to assist in building the capacity of diocesan schools to provide contemporary learning and cultural knowledge that will assist in the implementation of Aboriginal Education.

The AESO also will:

  • Liaise with and support Aboriginal Education Workers employed throughout the diocese;
  • Assist with and provide ongoing support for the continued development of implementation of Aboriginal perspectives and Cross-Cultural Priorities Areas;
  • Engage with parents, community and relevant stakeholders on matters of Aboriginal Education within school communities; and
  • Commit to working with Aboriginal communities to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal Education Workers

The Aboriginal Education Worker (AEW) is an important cultural resource in our schools and their community. Their skills and expertise are valued, utilised and appreciated. The AEW’s responsibilities may include the following areas, essentially enhancing the effectiveness of their role within the school and the wider community.

  • Be timetabled in classes to support Aboriginal students
  • Participate in staff meetings (with direct input on specific issues relating to Aboriginal students)
  • Advise on the pastoral care of Aboriginal students
  • Be of assistance to the school’s literacy, numeracy and learning support teams
  • Maintain student profiles through home and community visits
  • Work closely with other AEWs, Aboriginal Education Support Officer and Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups
  • Encourage active parent and community support regarding issues in Aboriginal Education
  • Provide advice to teachers, parents, community and students on Aboriginal Education in their school context
  • Encourage parents and caregivers to be involved in all aspects of their children’s education

Our Aboriginal Education Workers (AEWs) are a fantastic and vibrant group of Aboriginal people who work to support both the Aboriginal students enrolled in our schools and non-Indigenous students as they develop an understanding of the richness and depth of culture and diversity of our Aboriginal communities. At inservices AEWs share stories as they support each other in their work and explore ways to support our Aboriginal students and their families as they participate in the lives of our schools.

Useful Links

Welcome and Acknowledgment of Country http://www.natsicc.org.au/assets/2016_acknowledgement_booklet.pdf

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council of Catholic School Parents (ATSI CCSP) http://www.ccsp.catholic.edu.au/atsi

 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSIC) – http://www.natsicc.org.au/

Stronger and Smarter Institute http://strongersmarter.com.au/

Significant Dates http://fwtdp.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Key-Calendar-Events-for-Aboriginal- Torres-Strait-Islander.pdf

NAIDOC http://www.naidoc.org.au/

Reconciliation Australia https://www.reconciliation.org.au/

National Sorry Day

AIATSIS http://aiatsis.gov.au/

AboriginalBoundariesMap http://nationalunitygovernment.org/pdf/aboriginal-australia-map.pdf

The education of Indigenous students is and has always been, a high priority since the earliest days of the Catholic Church presence in Western NSW. Our history shows that there has been a continuing commitment of resources, both personal and financial, to Indigenous education.

This commitment has expressed itself in many ways and in a variety of social and political contexts. For many years, Catholic Missions had the carriage of programs in our remote Aboriginal communities where the Catholic Church has long been active. The Catholic Education Office assumed full responsibility for Catholic education in these remote communities in 1989.

 

 

Meeting the needs of all students

Meeting the needs of all students

One of the strengths of Catholic Education in Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese is the diversity of students. It reflects the diversity of life in Western NSW and the curriculum embraces this. It takes into account each student’s strengths, learning needs, their cultural and language background, disability, learning disabilities and difficulties, as well as individual student attitudes and abilities.

The focus on diverse student backgrounds is developed to promote justice, particularly to those who are culturally, physically, intellectually, financially or spiritually disadvantaged (as far as resources make this possible) and to demonstrate the church’s commitment to the dignity of the individual, particularly through the distinctive educational contribution Catholic school communities offer (Mandate paragraph, Mandate Letter 2008).

From a human rights perspective, it is based on a social justice paradigm of equal educational opportunity for all children within the classroom setting.

Gifted & Talented Education

God’s love for each individual is reflected in a variety of gifts and talents. Our diocesan community nurtures and shares the gifts and talents of all students by providing optimum opportunities for all to reach their full potential by:

  • developing the whole person;
  • encouraging the pursuit of excellence; and
  • celebrating the gifts of each student.

Exceptionally able students are supported through an inclusive classroom learning environment that recognises diverse learning needs and provides depth and complexity through stimulating, flexible and student centred learning across all areas of the curriculum.

Students are also provided with authentic and purposeful learning opportunities to work individually and collaboratively through personalised learning projects in Literacy, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the Creative Arts focusing on student interest and development in:

  • creativity;
  • digital technologies;
  • computational thinking; and
  • Problem-solving.

The diocese is also in the early stages of implementing GEODE, the Gifted Education Online Diocesan Environment, to connect students, classes and teachers around our rural and remote diocese in supporting gifted education and diverse learning for all students.

Cultural Inclusiveness

Catholic Education in Western NSW is committed to providing education for all students. We are inclusive of all languages and cultures, respecting the uniqueness and dignity of each person, and their linguistic and cultural diversity. We ensure access, equity and participation for all.

Learning Disability & Difficulty

Our ethos upholds the belief that all students, irrespective of ability, have a right to attend their local Catholic Parish School, to be educated with their peers and accepted as individuals, blessed with gifts that enrich the whole community.

Support for Students with Additional Learning Needs

In supporting students with additional learning needs, particularly those with a disability, the central focus is on the needs of the individual student rather than the disability, medical condition, language background or giftedness.  While it is important to understand the nature of the student’s condition and the educational implications of the condition, it is equally important, if not more so, to focus on the student’s abilities.  Students have the same educational, social, spiritual and emotional needs of their peers.  What may vary is the nature and level of support students with disabilities and special learning needs require to access, participate and achieve the same educational opportunities as other students.

We endeavour to provide educational programs of quality that are adjusted for students with disabilities.

We are committed to:

  • providing all students with equity of access to quality education from Kindergarten to Year 6, and through to transition to High School;
  • building stronger working partnerships with students, parents, the community, and allied health agencies; and,
  • facilitating access to appropriate support options available in the community for students with disabilities, including those who live in isolated areas.

Learning Support personnel are available in our schools and may be responsible for:

  • Co-ordinating appropriate identification, intervention and monitoring of students experiencing difficulty with learning.
  • Supporting classroom teachers to develop implement and monitor learning or behaviour plans for individuals and groups of students with educational needs
  • Collaborating with parents and external community support agencies.

Our Enrolment of Students with Additional Needs Policy provides more information on the provision of services and support for students within Catholic Schools in the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese.

Link Enrolment of Students with Additional Needs Policy

Technology

Technology

In the Australian Curriculum, ICT is described as a general capability and is applied to all learning areas of the Curriculum. The capability involves students learning to make the most of the digital technologies available to them, adapting to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve and limiting the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment (ACARA, 2013).

The Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) recognises that in a digital age, and with rapid and continuing changes in the ways that people share, use, develop and communicate with ICT, young people need to be highly skilled in its use. Students need the knowledge, skills and confidence to make ICT work for them at school, at home, at work and in their communities.

ICT is viewed as a connector across each of our communities and an enabler of learning.

The Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese recognises that learning is not fixed by time or place and that technology is becoming central to all learning (Kalantzis, Cope & The Learning by Design Group, 2005).

In January 2015, the CEO purchased Chromebooks for all students to support the use of Google apps (known as GSuite). Parents pay an annual levy for this system. To be sure that no one is financially disadvantaged this levy is recalculated annually. At the end of a three-year cycle, the Chromebook may be purchased for the student for a minimal fee.

All teachers continue to participate in professional learning and Information and Communication Technology Teachers (ICTTs) work closely with classroom teachers to support the integration of technology into all key learning areas.

Volunteering

Volunteering at our school

We believe that the Catholic Education our schools offer your child is profoundly strengthened by the collaborative relationship between home, school and parish.

Catholic schools would not exist without the outstanding dedication and contribution of parents.

‘Getting involved’ can mean different things to different people. There are countless volunteer opportunities for parents and families in Catholic schools.

Some ways in which parents can be involved may include:

  • as a classroom helper with literacy/numeracy programs
  • organizing, catering, or working at fundraising activities such as street stalls or car washes
  • accompanying excursions
  • assisting at athletics and swimming carnivals and other events that take place away from the school
  • helping to chaperone at school dances
  • organizing or assisting with a specific club or interest group eg chess club
  • becoming a member of the School Committee
  • participating in the school Parents and Friends Association
  • covering books for the library
  • sewing costumes or building sets for theatrical and musical productions
  • working with the school band
  • helping out with visual arts and crafts
  • spending some time with a specific club or interest group
  • volunteering to speak in the classroom if you have a field of expertise that you’d like to share
  • working in the school canteen
  • participating in working bees
  • coaching a sporting team

For more information on how you can be involved in the life of your child’s school, please speak to your school Principal.