Centred on improving reading and writing outcomes, the Catalyst literacy approach will help us realise our goal of “every student a competent reader”.

Our teaching approach for literacy is backed by a comprehensive body of knowledge and research on how students learn to read​, known as the Science of Reading.

We believe reading is a key enabler for learning – when students can read well, they build their capacity to learn and build greater knowledge.

What will teachers learn?

  • What the Science of Reading is and how this research impacts how we teach a child to read
  • How to embed an evidence-based pedagogy and curriculum resources to improve literacy outcomes for students

Evidence-based approach to reading instruction

Research has identified five essential elements critical to reading development, known as the five components to reading –

  1. Phonemic Awareness
    The ability to identify and manipulate the distinct individual sounds in spoken words
  2. Phonics
    The ability to decode words using knowledge of letter-sound relationships
  3. Fluency
    Reading with speed and accuracy
  4. Vocabulary
    Knowing the meaning of a wide variety of words and the structure of written language
  5. Comprehension
    Understanding the meaning and intent of the text
  6. Oral Language (often referred to as the 6th component)

Teaching these elements systematically has been proven to drive positive student reading outcomes.

Our Programs

Whole Class Instruction

Helpful Resources

The Reading Guarantee – How to give every child the best chance of success: Grattan Institute

Feb 2024

Australia needs a reading revolution. We need to transform the way we teach reading in school, so that every Australian child gets their best chance in life. This report shows how to do it.

View link
Tags: Reading, Literacy, Research

Catalyst Brochure

May 2023

Summarising the Catalyst program, an evidence-based teaching approach, and how it is implemented at a system level

Tags: Posters & Brochures, High Impact Teaching Practice, Leadership, Literacy

Catalyst – Transforming Lives Through Learning

Sep 2022

Ross Fox, Director, Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn together with teachers and Principals from across the system speak about the vision of Catalyst, its importance and the impact it is having on both teachers and students. Hear about the Science of Learning and the focus on the teacher, as the most important learner in the system. This video captures insights from St Thomas the Apostle Primary School, St Thomas More’s Primary School and St Mary MacKillop College.

Tags: Video, Leadership, Literacy, Science of Learning

Catalyst Knowledge Pack for Teachers

Nov 2021

Specifically designed for teachers, Knowledge Pack 2.0 is a collection of research on the core knowledge underpinning Catalyst.

Tags: Reading, High Impact Teaching Practice, Leadership, Literacy

Advance Thinking Through Writing with Toni-Ann Vroom

Jan 2021

Learn how evidence-based writing instruction can be embedded across all subjects and years

Tags: Video, Catalyst Events, High Impact Teaching Practice, Literacy


      • 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 bold 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?

        Systematic Synthetic Phonics is an evidence-based, structured approach to teaching students how to read.

        This method of reading helps children to learn the relationships between the sounds (phonemes) of spoken language and the letter symbols (graphemes) of the written language.

      • 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.