Glossary of key terms



This section provides a brief definition of the key terms used throughout Lighting The Way 2023+. This glossary is provided to support precision of language and shared understanding of intention.

Organisational terms

  • System: The combination of all Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) schools and the Catholic Education Office (CEO).
  • School: An individual Catholic parish primary school, Catholic secondary school, or Catholic K-12 school that is part of the CEDoW system.
  • Catholic Education Office: The centralised support functions that provide a range of evangelising, educational, pastoral and corporate services to CEDoW schools.
  • Continuous Catholic School Improvement (CCSI): The overarching system-wide linked and integrated processes which lead to changed school and teacher practice centred on better outcomes and growth for all students. Involves systemic collaboration, inquiry, reflection and learning which identify long- and short-term priority areas for ongoing school growth and improvement. 

Strategic plan terms

  • Focus area: A description of an opportunity or challenge that demands our attention at this particular point in time, because addressing it is critical to delivering our mission.
  • Outcome: A statement describing a desired future state. An answer to the question: “If our aspirations for this focus area are realised, what will it look like?”
    • E.g. “Students are supported to flourish through their deep knowledge and appreciation of Catholicity and their active participation in how it is lived and celebrated today.”
  • Improvement indicator: The measure (data source) we will use to assess our performance against a particular outcome.
    • E.g. “Students’ self-reporting of the connection between the Catholic faith and their lives.”
  • Goal: A specific, measurable objective that describes what we are aiming to achieve. Included in annual school and system-level plans. 
    • E.g. “By the end of 2023, we will have improved Middle Leaders’ knowledge of Catholic Social Teaching and provided further opportunities for students to express their faith through justice, service and advocacy initiatives so that students feel more connected to their Catholic faith.
  • Strategy: A measurable step (e.g. a project or activity) that contributes to the achievement of a goal. Typically described as an action with a deadline. 
    • E.g. “Launch Social Justice Program ABC by the end of 2023.”
  • Evidence of impact: Qualitative and/or quantitative means of assessing whether chosen strategies are contributing to the achievement of stated goals.
    • E.g. "Sign up at least 50 new students to Social Justice Program ABC.”; “After Term 4, we will see a 10% increase in students’ self-reporting of the connection between the Catholic faith and their lives compared with last year’s results.”

Focus area terms

  • Catholic tradition: Includes the teaching of the Church, which is received from God and comes to the Church through the apostles and their successors. Catholic tradition can also include “theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time”. (Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 81-83)
  • Capability: The ability to accomplish work and achieve outcomes through the possession and application of relevant knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies.
  • Formation: A Christ-centred intentional, ongoing and reflective process that focuses on the growth of individuals and communities from their lived experiences, in spiritual awareness, theological understanding, vocational motivation and capabilities for mission and service in the Church and the world. (Source: A Framework for Formation for Mission in Catholic Education, NCEC, 2017)
  • Institutional engagement: Students who value schooling outcomes and meet the formal rules of schooling are considered 'institutionally' engaged. These students feel that what they are learning at school is directly related to their long-term success, and this view is reflected in their school and class attendance and their effort in doing homework. (SOURCE: Tell Them From Me survey, The Learning Bar)
  • Intellectual engagement: Intellectual engagement entails a serious emotional and cognitive investment in learning, using higher-order thinking skills to increase understanding, solve complex problems, and construct new knowledge. (SOURCE: Tell Them From Me survey, The Learning Bar)
  • Mission: The mission of God, in which the Church shares and continues by preaching, serving and witnessing to Jesus’ lordship and vision of the reign of God (SOURCE: Unraveling a "Complex Reality": Six Elements of Mission, Stephen B. Bevans, S.V.D.)
  • Resilience: Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It is a necessary skill for coping with life’s inevitable obstacles and one of the key ingredients to success. (SOURCE: Reach Out Schools)
  • Self-efficacy: A person's belief that they can be successful when carrying out a particular task. (Source: Cambridge Dictionary, Cambridge University Press)
  • Social and emotional learning: Involves students having opportunities to learn and practise social skills such as cooperation, managing conflict, making friends, coping, being resilient, and recognising and managing their own feelings.
  • Social engagement: Students who are 'socially' engaged are actively involved in the life of the school; their friends are there and they are involved in sports or other extra-curricular activities. (SOURCE: Tell Them From Me survey, The Learning Bar)
  • Subsidiarity: The principle in Catholic Social Teaching that requires that the people or groups most directly affected by a decision or policy should have the key decision-making role in its development. Holds that it is a “disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organisations can do”. (Source: Quadragesimo Anno, Pope Pius XI, 1931)
  • Synodal: "A synodal church is a church that listens to the Spirit communicating through the sense of all the faithful, the sensus fidelium. (SOURCE: Plenary Council Participation and Reception: Synodality and Discerning the Sensus Fidelium, Ormond Rush). Synodality enables the entire People of God to walk forward together, listening to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, to participate in the mission of the Church in the communion that Christ establishes between us. (SOURCE: Vademecum for the Synod on Synodality,  Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, 2021)