A unique Sydney Catholic Schools support structure is in place to optimise learning for all students. High-quality inclusive education is provided for students with diverse learning profiles relating to: giftedness, speech, language, communication, vision, hearing, literacy acquisition and post-school pathways. Central office diverse learning teams work with our classroom teachers to enhance their capacity to maximise learning outcomes for students. Specialists in these teams collaborate widely to consolidate an inclusive approach to learning. Each school also has dedicated learning support staff.

Sydney Catholic Schools provides reasonable adjustments to assist and support students with disability to successfully engage in learning. All Sydney Catholic Schools engage in the annual Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for School Students with Disability. Students with moderate intellectual disabilities and complex developmental needs may benefit from the educational program at Eileen O’Connor Catholic College Lewisham or our Specialist Support Classes located onsite at Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School, Hoxton Park and Good Samaritan Catholic College, Hinchinbrook.

Newman Selective Gifted Education Program

Exclusive to Sydney Catholic Schools, the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program provides a clear educational pathway, underpinned by contemporary research, for identified gifted and talented students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

The Newman Selective Gifted Education Program provides gifted learners with an authentically rigorous program of learning within the nurturing environment of their Catholic school. It caters to a variety of gifted learners by offering a range of opportunities that support students’ growth as a whole person, including their social and emotional learning and wellbeing.

Teachers experience high-quality professional learning in gifted education that allows them to engage in best practices to enhance the teaching and learning in their schools.

Specific Learning Support

Through expert support and resources from Sydney Catholic Schools, we collaborate and deliver personalised plans for students who have cognitive or developmental disorders, sensory disability, autism, physical disability, and speech, language and communication disorders. These plans focus on specific educational goals and adjustments related to areas such as curriculum, communication and social skills.

The College’s Diverse Learning Support team which includes both teachers and Learning Support Officers ensures that we meet our obligations under the Disability Standards for Education 2005. At Bethlehem, all students with additional learning needs are supported in being able to participate in their learning on the same basis as their peers through learning support programs and in class support.

A Peer Reading Program is offered at the College for students in Years 7 and 8 who have been identified through assessment data (NAPLAN, Allwell Testing, School based screening tests) as requiring support with reading comprehension work. The students are paired with a trained Year 10 Volunteer Peer Reading tutor on a weekly basis on intensive skills development. The Learning Support teachers oversee the program and monitor the progress of all students.

Homework Club is offered by the Learning Support Team and supported by volunteer teachers and senior students each Wednesday afternoon in the Library from 3.15-4.15pm. It is designed to support any student requiring additional assistance with completing homework and assessment tasks.

Additional academic support is also provided on a weekly basis at lunchtime by three KLAs: English, Mathematics and Science. It is designed to support any student requiring additional assistance with classwork and assessment tasks.

Disability Provisions

Disability Provisions are applied for on behalf of students in Years 11 and 12 to NESA (NSW Educational Standards Authority) for their HSC examinations and, subject to NESA approval, are offered to eligible students in all school assessments. Students must be able to verify a learning or medical disability to qualify for application to NESA.

Post-School Pathways

Year 12 students preparing to move on to work or further study after their HSC have the opportunity to convert a Certificate II qualification into a Certificate III in the final six weeks of the year. The Smart and Skilled training is subsidised by the NSW government and courses include Certificate III in Business, Early Childhood Education and Care, Individual Support (Ageing) and Information, Digital Media and Technology.

Students learning English for the first time are supported by dedicated staff within our school, staff from the Sydney Catholic Schools offices, and programs for new arrivals.

Our EAL/D expert works collaboratively with teachers across the curriculum to ensure effective identification and learning strategies are employed.

We are committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families to ensure students obtain a high-quality education as a platform for achieving their full potential.