Northern Adelaide State Secondary Schools’ Alliance Curriculum Area Teams Terms of Reference (to be updated in 2018)


The Northern Adelaide State Secondary Schools' Alliance (NASSSA) is a confederation of eleven schools in Northern Adelaide. NASSSA was formed over 17 years ago, to maximise the learning opportunities, career pathways, retention and educational outcomes for all students in its schools.

By collaborating, combining resources and mobilising community and industry support, NASSSA aims to improve outcomes for all students.  NASSSA is a key link between schools and community, Universities, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and industry partners across northern Adelaide.

NASSSA Strategic Directions

NASSSA’s moral purpose is to optimise the aspirations and achievement of every student by working collectively to build the capacity of its members.  The NASSSA Strategic Plan 2018-2020 has three goals: 

1.  Ensure high levels of expectation and achievement for every NASSSA student;

2.  Engage in professional learning which develops all NASSSA staff;  and

3.  Optimise student opportunities and aspirations in partnership with the community.

NASSSA Curriculum Area Teams

NASSSA has a collaborative structure where every Australian Curriculum learning area forms a Curriculum Area Team (CAT) which meets twice each term to plan professional learning and work cooperatively to achieve NASSSA’s goals.  The teams are composed of faculty leaders from each of the11 alliance schools and one member from the NASSSA Leaders’ group

The Work of the CATs

The focus of each CAT group is to work towards the achievement of the three goals outlined above in the NASSSA Strategic Plan 2018-2020.  More detail on each goal is found in the NASSSA Operational Plan 2018-2020.  Each CAT group will develop an annual Action Plan outlining the strategies they will take to meet the goals of the NASSSA Strategic Plan 2018-2020.  A common template will be supplied for this task.

Agreed process for the CATS

Curriculum leaders (or identified teachers) from NASSSA sites and one NASSSA Leader are nominated to form the agreed NASSSA Curriculum Area Teams.

1.      Early in Term 1, the NASSSA Senior Leader - Curriculum asks NASSSA Principals to nominate one person from each curriculum area in their school, to form a NASSSA Curriculum Area Team.

2.      Site leaders discuss with curriculum leaders in their schools, the importance of regionally collaborative work in enabling site and regional improvement goals and ensure, wherever possible, that CAT meetings are 100% attended.  If a CAT member is unable to attend a replacement will be found wherever possible.

3.      One member of the NASSSA Leaders team convenes each CAT and will be the host site for CAT meetings.


1.      The team will elect a Chairperson for 12 months

2.      The Chairperson and NASSSA Leader will develop the agenda for each meeting to ensure the agenda enables progress towards the Action Plan

3.      The agenda will be drafted a week prior to the meeting for feedback and a final agenda emailed 2 days prior to meeting

4.      The Chair will follow up non-attendance if no proxy was sent.  The Convenor will assist if necessary

5.      Consistency of attendee is preferred. Where a school has two people they strongly wish to attend, this is possible (with a proviso that this is not common practice)

6.      Minutes will be recorded each meeting and will be posted online as soon as possible for NASSSA members viewing and comment.  A copy of the Minutes will be sent to the NASSSA Senior Leader – Curriculum within two weeks of the meeting

CATs connections with teachers and leadership

1.    CAT leaders form a vital link between the work of NASSSA managers and teachers in the classroom.  It is vital that CAT members understand and can articulate the processes by which they will communicate with their school staff and work with school management teams, to implement agreed work in member schools.

2.    CAT members form a vital link between the work of teachers in the classroom and NASSSA leadership. The role of NASSSA Senior Leaders is to provide information to NASSSA Leaders, NASSSA Principals and NASSSA Governing Council, that informs continuous improvement of NASSSA plans and processes.  CAT members will reflect upon those things that impact on student learning outcomes within the operational plan, and provide consolidated advice to NASSSA leadership.

Professional Learning

A range of professional learning options will be considered each year.  These include:

1.      Professional learning which impacts directly on classroom practice

a.    With a focus on Australian Curriculum, Teaching for Effective Learning (TfEL) and the AITSL Professional Standards for Teachers

b.    Critical and Creative Thinking and Collaborative Moderation will be foci, particularly supported through Action Research.

2.      CATs groups will play a major role in the planning, organisation, running and evaluation of professional development.  Options include:

a.    Action Research projects

b.    Twilight sessions

c.     Moderation days

d.    A Common Closure Day



The work of SACE leaders is imperative to improved learning outcomes for students across the region. SACE leaders form a vital link between the work of teachers, curriculum leaders, VET leaders, the SACE Board and SATAC. The SACE Leaders’ Group will provide leaders with opportunities to network with colleagues, and to clarify and plan for the effective implementation of key policies and procedures related to the SACE. 

The SACE Leaders’ Group will

  1. work toward improved SACE learning outcomes across the region
  2. work toward a common  understanding and application of SACE operations   
  3. build a support network in the region for SACE leaders
  4. share effective practice

Proposed process for the SACE Leaders’ Group

SACE leaders from member sites and the NASSSA Senior Leaders, Pathways and Curriculum are invited to form the SACE Leaders’ Group. 

  • Each NASSSA member site nominates one or two people to represent the site on a regional level.
  • In line with the CATs Terms of Reference, the importance of regionally collaborative work in enabling site and regional improvement is reiterated to SACE leaders at each site to ensure, wherever possible, that SACE Leaders’ meetings are well attended. 
  • In Term 1, the group will be responsible for electing a chairperson and deputy chairperson who will convene the group. 
  • At the initial meeting the team will decide:
    • Structure of the meetings 
    • Dates of meetings for the year
    • A method of recording and distributing minutes, and future agenda items
    • The goals for the year
    • Process for reporting back to NASSSA Leaders and NASSSPN

Proposed responsibilities of the chairperson/deputy chairperson

  • The chairperson/deputy chairperson will be a point of contact to develop the agenda for each meeting and to ensure the agenda enables progress towards team goals.
  • The chairperson/deputy chairperson will join the CATs chairpersons’ training session in term 1 to discuss, as per the CATs Terms of Reference, how they will work to
    • Achieve NASSSA strategic directions
    • Undertake the role
    • Monitor and record progress 
    • Develop reports and celebrate achievement