Browse our commonly asked questions

If you still have a question, please reach out to the Catalyst team.

FAQs

    • What is Catalyst?

      Informed by the Science of Learning and Science of Reading, Catalyst will develop excellent Principals, Leadership Teams and teachers in all Catholic Education Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn (CECG) schools through evidence-based professional learning programs.

      Catalyst provides support for schools through high-quality resourcing in Curriculum – what we teach, Pedagogy – how we teach and Assessment – how we know.

      Catalyst provides professional learning for teachers in High Impact Teaching Practice and Systematic Synthetic Phonics.

    • Why do we need Catalyst?

      Catalyst ensures every student in every classroom across the Archdiocese has access to high-quality teachers who deliver engaging and impactful lessons.

      Catalyst provides a consistent approach to teaching and learning across our Archdioceses, making the movement between schools in our system for teachers and students seamless.

      The teaching and learning approach is based on the best available research on how best students learn. Leveraging this research ensures our approach and the way we implement it in our classrooms provides the best possible learning outcomes for students.

    • How does Catalyst fit with our vision?

      Catalyst aligns to the CECG vision of “Jesus Christ, our greatest teacher, calls us to share and bear witness to our Catholic Faith and Tradition, build inclusive communities and deliver contemporary quality learning opportunities for every person.”

      Catalyst does this by

      • Supporting our teachers, Leaders, and Principals to transform students’ lives through learning
      • Improving the quality of the education we provide
    • Where can I learn more about the foundation research that underpins Catalyst?

      Learn more about the Science of Learning by checking out the resources available in the Catalyst Knowledge Pack 1.0 and the Catalyst Knowledge Pack for Teachers.

    • How will Catalyst improve teaching and learning outcomes?

      Catalyst is based on the best available evidence on how children learn. Leveraging this research ensures our approach and the way we implement it in our classrooms provides the best possible learning outcomes for students.

    • When will Catalyst be rolled out?

      The Catalyst journey has commenced in all schools. Each school will have a different implementation timeline and journey. For more information on your school’s journey, speak with your Principal or Leadership Team.

    • What is our Literacy approach?

      Our Literacy approach is based on the Science of Reading, which is a comprehensive body of knowledge on how students learn to read​.

      It is centred on improving literacy outcomes for all students, and will help us to achieve our boal goal “every student is a competent reader”.

       

    • What is a “competent reader”?

      According to the Simple View of Reading, reading comprehension is the combination of using both decoding and language comprehension skills.

      A student becomes competent at reading when they can use both of these skills to read and understand texts appropriate to their year level. This is true of every student across all  year levels.

    • What does this mean for K-2 students?

      All K-2 classrooms across CECG schools will implement an endorsed evidence-based literacy program. These programs teach Systematic Synthetic Phonics in structured lessons, which has been proven to drive positive student reading outcomes.

    • What is Systematic Synthetic Phonics?

      Research has identified five essential elements critical to the development of reading, known as the five keys to reading

      1. Phonological awareness
      2. Phonics
      3. Fluency
      4. Vocabulary
      5. Comprehension

      Teaching these elements systematically has been proven to drive positive student reading outcomes, creating the Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) program.

    • What will be used to determine/assess what makes our students competent readers?

      Through the introduction of the DIBELS assessment tool and other reading based assessments in 2021, we can access more reliable data to inform our baseline level of reading across year levels.

      In the coming years, we will continue to use these assessment models to track improvement in reading outcomes.

    • What is High Impact Teaching Practice?

      High Impact Teaching Practice is a program that focusses on Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment. Catalyst equips teachers with the foundational theory and practical demonstration to implemented evidence-based pedagogy in their classrooms. The program has been designed for teachers from all year levels and subject expertise.

      It is a comprehensive professional learning program, encompassing both the theory of the Science of Learning and coaching for each teacher to enable high impact instructional strategies in the classroom.

      HITP involves three components: online units, HITP Theory & Practice and HITP In Action.

    • What do the online units involve?

      Online units provide background knowledge in the foundational research behind Catalyst. Each online unit is approximately 45 minutes long and they can be completed individually, in groups, or as a whole school. Every participant in the online unit is required to complete a quiz at the end of each unit. Online units are available in your school’s Catalyst Team.

      For guidance on when you should complete the online units, speak with your Principal or Leadership Team.

    • What is HITP Theory & Practice?

      HITP Theory & Practice involves two longer form professional learning sessions (approximately 1.5 hours) that have been designed to be completed in groups or as a whole school. Each learning session explores key research and examples of the practices that make up HITP.

      For guidance on when you should complete the HITP Theory & Practice professional learning, speak with your Principal or Leadership Team.

    • What is HITP In Action?

      HITP In Action is a professional learning course completed over 4-5 days of training with a specialist presenter. The course involves four phases – theory, demonstration, practice and coaching. Participating teachers are required to attend the professional learning sessions and engage in coaching.

      For guidance on when you will attend HITP In Action, speak with your Principal or Leadership Team.

    • Is HITP aligned to Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction?

      Yes, the foundation of HITP is based on Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction.

    • How will we measure success?

      A comprehensive evaluation strategy is in development and will determine the success criteria for all Catalyst outcomes.

    • What is a “competent reader”?

      According to the Simple View of Reading, reading comprehension is the combination of using both decoding and language comprehension skills.

      A student becomes competent at reading when they can use both of these skills to read and understand texts appropriate to their year level. This is true of every student across all  year levels K-12.

    • What will be used to determine/assess what makes our students competent readers?

      Through the introduction of the DIBELS assessment tool and other reading based assessments in 2021, we can access more reliable data to inform our baseline level of reading across year levels.

      In the coming years, we will continue to use these assessment models to track improvement in reading outcomes.

    • How are Leaders supported to implement Catalyst in their school?

      Leaders are supported to gain the knowledge and expertise they need to implement Catalyst in their school through professional learning, networking and mentoring opportunities.

      Leaders are empowered to plan and implement their schools Catalyst journey to ensure they get maximum impact within their context.

      To ensure all schools can implement Catalyst effectively, CE’s Teaching & Learning Team and Performance and Improvement Leaders will work with each school individually to determine a suitable implementation plan and timeline.

    • How does Catalyst support Curriculum resourcing?

      Catalyst supports curriculum resourcing and assessment across the system by curating selected high-quality resources and manipulatives that align to the Australian Curriculum and NSW Syllabus.

      Curriculum resources have been developed to support K-10 Mathematics and Religious Education, with more learning areas across K-12 to be explored. These resources have been made available to schools in the Curriculum Hub, available in your school’s Catalyst Team.

      Literacy curriculum support is also available for schools with programs including The Writing Revolution, Spelling Mastery, MiniLit and Reading Tutor Program. For more information on these resources please speak with your Performance and Improvement Leader or the Teaching and Learning team.

    • How do teachers integrate Direct Instruction, Explicit Instruction and Inquiry learning in their lessons?

      Catalyst provides professional learning in evidence-based pedagogy through High Impact Teaching Practice and K-12 Literacy.

      While there are elements of the pedagogy that are based on Direct or Explicit Instruction, the program as a whole is not prescriptive. All teachers will learn about evidence-based strategies and the Science of Learning, and apply a range of pedagogical strategies to cater for all learners.

      Teachers are empowered to employ the High Impact Teaching Practices into their lessons at appropriate points.

    • What does Catalyst require of classroom teachers?

      Catalyst is a program for all teachers, that provides them with professional learning and coaching opportunities.

      We expect that all teachers in the Archdiocese will engage in elements of Catalyst professional learning and will understand and implement High Impact Teaching Practices in their classrooms where appropriate.

      Each school will have a different implementation timeline and journey. For more information on your school’s journey, speak with your Principal or Leadership Team.

    • What subject areas is Catalyst prioritising?

      Catalyst has a focus on Literacy and Numeracy across all year levels.

      Research has shown the importance of early learning to future academic achievement in later years. Our literacy focus for the early years (K-2) will provide all students with the foundational skills for future learning.

      Further, a review of CE’s performance in 2020, found that student outcomes could be improved in Mathematics, across all year levels. Through Catalyst, a suite of high-quality curriculum resources for K-10 Maths has been developed.

    • How does Catalyst work in a Secondary school setting?

      High Impact Teaching Practice is designed for all grades and learning areas. HITP empowers teachers to embed Science of Learning in their classrooms, no matter the year level or subject they are teaching.

      Curriculum resources for Years 7-10 Maths has also been collated.

    • How are support staff involved in the Catalyst journey?

      While Classroom Support Assistants (CSAs) will not attend formal training, schools that require training for CSAs may consider doing this internally through school context funding.

    • What does Catalyst require of classroom teachers?

      Catalyst is a program for all teachers, that provides them with professional learning and coaching opportunities.

      We expect that all teachers in the Archdiocese will engage in elements of Catalyst professional learning and will understand and implement High Impact Teaching Practices in their classrooms where appropriate.

      Each school will have a different implementation timeline and journey. For more information on your school’s journey, speak with your Principal or Leadership Team.

    • What subject areas is Catalyst prioritising?

      Catalyst has a focus on Literacy and Numeracy across all year levels.

      Research has shown the importance of early learning to future academic achievement in later years. Our literacy focus for the early years (K-2) will provide all students with the foundational skills for future learning.

      Further, a review of CE’s performance in 2020, found that student outcomes could be improved in Mathematics, across all year levels. Through Catalyst, a suite of high-quality curriculum resources for K-10 Maths has been developed.

    • How do I implement this in my classroom?

      Teachers will be provided with all the knowledge, tools and resources to implement the teaching practices in their classrooms. These are provided through formal professional learning sessions, online units and coaching.

    • How can I use the teaching approach in my learning area? (eg, Maths, Physical Education, Religious Education or Aboriginal Education)

      Catalyst is about engagement of all students in meaningful learning. It provides evidence-based pedagogy, high quality curriculum resources and assessment schedules that are relevant to all teachers in our system, regardless of the year level or subject they are teaching.

    • How does Catalyst work in a Secondary school setting?

      High Impact Teaching Practice is designed for all grades and learning areas. HITP empowers teachers to embed Science of Learning in their classrooms, no matter the year level or subject they are teaching.

      Curriculum resources for Years 7-10 Maths has also been collated.

    • Which HITPs are being addressed? Can we choose which ones we do or are they a complete set?

      HITP provides a complete set of practices based on Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction. Principals will be provided with full briefing documents on HITP before it is expected to be delivered in their school. They are the strongest base for improving student learning outcomes.

    • Do we need to complete the HITPs program in a specific order, or can we change the order based on our school needs?

      The online units have been designed to be taken in a specific order, with some units being prerequisites for Professional Learning and coaching sessions.

    • When will teachers have time for the modules/training?

      Most of the professional learning will be completed during PL time or staff development days. The theory aspect of Catalyst will not require extra time from you – we are simply shifting our PL focus to incorporate the Catalyst program.

      Teachers will complete HITP In Action in small groups / waves. This part does require extra work, as you will be required to submit your planning and respond to coaching.

      Each school will have a different implementation timeline and journey. For more information on your school’s journey, speak with your Principal or Leadership Team.

    • In implementing a direct instruction approach, how do we ensure we cater for all needs?

      Catalyst is not a Direct Instruction professional learning program.

      Catalyst will help CECG schools to implement a comprehensive teaching and learning approach. All teachers will learn about evidence-based strategies and the Science of Learning, and apply a range of pedagogical strategies to cater for all learners. Direct instruction is a small component of the full suite of teaching pedagogies.

      An example of where Direct Instruction is used in Catalyst is within K-2 Literacy. Evidence from comprehensive and contemporary research points clearly to the success of explicit teaching strategies in the teaching of phonics in literacy.

    • What resources will we be given?

      Teachers will have access to online units, professional learning programs, coaching and curriculum resources.

      For more information on the resources available for your school, speak with your Principal or Leadership Team.

    • How does Catalyst support Curriculum resourcing?

      Catalyst supports curriculum resourcing and assessment across the system by curating selected high-quality resources and manipulatives that align to the Australian Curriculum and NSW Syllabus.

      Curriculum resources have been developed to support K-10 Mathematics and Religious Education, with more learning areas across K-12 to be explored. These resources have been made available to schools in the Curriculum Hub, available in your school’s Catalyst Team.

      Literacy curriculum support is also available for schools with programs including The Writing Revolution, Spelling Mastery, MiniLit and Reading Tutor Program. For more information on these resources please speak with your Principal or Leadership Team.

    • Is the professional learning undertaken through Catalyst eligble for NESA / TQI accreditation hours?

      Yes, most of the professional learning undertaken through Catalyst is eligible to be claimed as NESA and / or TQI accredited hours.

    • How are support staff involved in the Catalyst journey?

      While Classroom Support Assistants (CSAs) will not attend formal training, schools that require training for CSAs may consider doing this internally through school context funding.

    • What does Catalyst mean for my child/children?

      Catalyst ensures every student in every classroom across the Archdiocese has access to high-quality teachers who deliver engaging and impactful lessons.

      Catalyst provides a consistent approach to teaching and learning across our Archdioceses, making the movement between schools seamless.

    • How will Catalyst improve teaching and learning outcomes for my child?

      The teaching and learning approach is based on the best available research on how best students learn.

      Leveraging this research ensures our approach and the way we implement it in our classrooms provides the best possible learning outcomes for students.

      A key focus of Catalyst is on early literacy. Research has shown the importance of early learning to future academic achievement in later years. Our literacy focus for the early years (K-2) will provide all students with the foundational skills for future learning.

    • How can I support my child at home?

      Parents are encouraged to discuss how they can best support their child’s learning at home with their teacher. Some ways parents may support teaching could include

      • Encourage daily reading with your child and support them to explain what they learnt or enjoyed in the book. For younger children, ask them to read aloud at least four times per week.
      • Encourage your child to talk about a topic, idea or skill they have learnt at school, on a daily basis.
      • Ask your child’s teacher for specific support and advice for reading together at home.
    • Why does my school have professional learning days for teachers?

      To ensure our teachers are kept up to date with the latest in teaching and learning, schools across the Archdiocese will hold professional learning days throughout the year including on the first day of Terms 1, 2 and 3, without students.

      These days enable our leaders and teachers to engage in system-wide professional learning to determine how they will use the collective knowledge and provided resources, effectively in the classroom.