At Sydney Catholic Schools we recognise that students learn differently. We adjust programs that tailor to individual student needs. Whether a student is gifted or requires adjustments to target and respond to their specific needs, your child’s learning requirements will be identified, supported and regularly evaluated. Parents are important as we work to develop personalised plans for the student.

Some of the programs offered are listed below:

Gifted education is the provision of a range of developmentally appropriate curriculum strategies for students who demonstrate high ability in one or more domains, ranging from intellectual, creative, social and physical. As per the Australian Curriculum, Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) adopts Gagné’s definition of gifted and talented and the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (2012).

Giftedness: refers to a student’s natural ability in one or more domains, placing that student in the top 10% of age peers.

Talent: refers to the performance in one or more domains that places a student in the top 10% of age peers.

These research-based definitions are significant in the teaching and learning of high-ability students and are at the core of SCS’ Gifted Education Policy.

Newman Selective Gifted Education

Sydney Catholic Schools’ (SCS) Arrowsmith Program supports students with specific learning difficulties who are enrolled in Years 2 to 12. The Arrowsmith Program is an intervention, designed to support the unique cognitive profile of each student by identifying and strengthening the student’s weak cognitive capacities. The Arrowsmith Program has shown to be an effective intervention for students having difficulty with reading, writing, mathematics, comprehension, non-verbal learning and attention.

The bespoke program, which is available to SCS students at an additional cost, is based on the application of neuroscientific research demonstrating that it is possible to address learning difficulties by identifying and strengthening weak cognitive capacities. The Arrowsmith Program addresses the root causes of learning difficulties through tailored cognitive exercises, rather than working around symptoms. The goal of the program is to enable students to become effective, confident and self-directed learners for life.

SCS offers the Arrowsmith Program in both full-time and part-time modes. Arrowsmith is suitable for students who are:

  • Of average to above- average intelligence documented through an educational psychological assessment such as a WISC V
  • Identified as having a combination of the learning dysfunctions described by the Arrowsmith Program’s cognitive profile Learning Dysfunctions addressed
  • Not diagnosed as having severe intellectual, emotional, mental or behavioural disorders that would significantly affect the capacity to participate in the Arrowsmith Program
  • Not identified as having a brain injury
  • Between Years 2 and 12.

See our Arrowsmith video on YouTube:

image arrowsmith youtube video

Sydney Catholic Schools is accepting expressions of interest for the Arrowsmith Program at: Holy Innocents’ Croydon, Sacred Heart Mosman and for a part-time program (after school hours) at Casimir College Marrickville. Please register your interest in this program below.

Register your interest in this program

Eileen O’Connor Catholic College Lewisham promotes an Authentic Learning for Life pedagogy to address the holistic needs of students with a moderate intellectual disability (IQs between 35-55), who typically also possess other significant special needs (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and severe language disorders).  Through this pedagogy, the college has developed an effective and innovative multi-disciplinary model that has significantly enhanced the learning, social and functional skills for students across all stages, particularly in the areas of literacy and interpersonal social skills acquisition. 

Reading Recovery is the preferred early literacy intervention strategy in Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS). Reading Recovery is underpinned by contemporary, peer-reviewed research.

It is a short-term literacy intervention that fosters literacy acquisition for Year 1 students who are identified as the lowest achievers in literacy.

Reading Recovery accelerates literacy development ensuring students become independent readers and writers.

Reading Recovery is delivered by a specially-trained teacher who has received intensive year-long professional learning. The Reading Recovery teacher works one-on-one with students every day.

Reading Recovery Parent Brochure

At Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) students learning English for the first time are supported by dedicated staff within our schools and offices and programs for new arrivals.

Migrant and overseas students, including students from a refugee background, can access one of SCS’ three Catholic Intensive English Centres, which help to ease students into life in Australia and offer an accelerated English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) experience.

Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) is committed to honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ unique cultural and spiritual connections and the rich contribution they bring to our school and parish communities. We affirm and support the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to maintain cultures and languages.

SCS respects the truth of shared histories and acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ deep cultural associations with the “land, skies and waters.”

Aboriginal Education AITSL Standards
Focus Area 1.4: Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students
Focus Area 2.4: Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

As part of Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) central diverse learning team, speech pathologists collaborate with and support school teams to deliver personalised plans for students who have complex communication needs and may use a range of assistive technologies, such as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies. Specialised support from the speech pathologist may include provision of professional learning, in-situ coaching in AAC implementation, collaborative planning for student’s personalised plan and liaison with external professions.

Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) offers students with disability the opportunity to engage in representative sports, such as swimming, athletics and cross country, from the age of eight years. We also enable students to fully access and participate in different dimensions of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) curriculum.

See the Sydney Archdiocese Primary School Sports for more information.

The vision of the Post School Pathways program is underpinned by focusing on the student’s current and future needs to enable them to participate in all aspects of community life in order to become as independent as possible.

The program is aligned with Sydney Catholic Schools Strategic Priorities in New Horizons, which aims to:

  • Further enhance the provision of and support for students with diverse learning needs;
  • Resource and support programs which promote mental health and resilience;
  • Increase the capacity of teachers and learning support staff to respond to the holistic needs of all students;
  • The Post School Pathways Program supports secondary students with complex support needs and their families on their journey to post school work and training opportunities through a process of student-centred planning.