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NSW Syllabuses for the Australian curriculum

Parents' guide to the new NSW K–10 syllabuses

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Download: Parents' Guide to the new NSW K–10 syllabuses (PDF, 4 pages, 41 KB)

What is the Australian curriculum?

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), in collaboration with states and territories, has developed agreed Australian curriculum for English, Mathematics, Science and History. Each of these learning areas includes content statements that represent essential learning for all Australian students.

How is Australian curriculum being implemented in NSW?

In NSW, the Board of Studies has worked closely with teachers and key education stakeholders to develop syllabuses that include the Australian curriculum content and further detail that clarifes learning. As a result of this work, Kindergarten to Year 10 syllabuses provide direction to ensure greater consistency between NSW schools.

When will the new syllabuses for K–6 incorporating Australian curriculum be taught in NSW? 

Kindergarten – Year 6
 2011–2012
  • Syllabus and support material developed by December 2012
  • Sectors plan implementation support 
2013
  • Familiarisation and planning
2014
  • English – start teaching
  • Mathematics – optional to start teaching
  • Science and Technology – optional to start teaching
2015
  • Mathematics – start teaching
  • Science and Technology – start teaching
  • History – optional to start teaching
2016
  • History – start teaching
Years 7–10
2011–2012
  • Syllabus and support material developed by December 2012
  • Sectors plan implementation support 
2013
  • Familiarisation and planning
2014
  • Years 7 and 9: English, Mathematics, Science and History – start teaching 
2015
  • Years 8 and 10: English, Mathematics, Science and History – start teaching

What will my child learn at school?

The new syllabuses build on the strength of the existing NSW curriculum. Many features of the new K–10 English, Mathematics, Science (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) and History syllabuses are retained. Literacy and numeracy remain important areas of focus in K–6, where essential foundation skills are developed.

The syllabuses identify essential knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes that students are expected to develop in each learning area. They are designed to provide flexibility for teachers to develop their teaching and learning programs to meet the needs of their students.

Kindergarten – Year 6

English

  • Students develop their language skills through activities involving speaking and listening, reading and writing, and viewing and representing.
  • They learn about language and literature through working with a wide range of print, spoken, visual, media, multimedia and digital texts.
  • They interpret and express their views on what they hear, see and read.
  • They create written and digital texts, and deliver formal and informal presentations.
  • For the first time, there will be a requirement that students experience a range of texts, including Australian works, multiculturalism, Aboriginality and Australian identity, and Asian perspectives.
  • There is an increased emphasis on grammar and the teaching of quality literature.

Mathematics

Students develop their mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding through a range of learning experiences across:

  • Number and Algebra, eg whole numbers and fractions and decimals
  • Measurement and Geometry, eg length, area and time
  • Statistics and Probability, eg data and chance.

They develop their problem-solving skills and mathematical reasoning and communication.

Students in Stage 3 develop a deeper understanding of Statistics and Probability.

Science and Technology

  • Students develop their skills in using processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically to answer interesting questions and develop creative solutions to important 21st century problems.
  • They develop their curiosity and understanding about the Natural Environment and the Made Environment through learning about the Physical World, Earth and Space, the Living World, the Material World, Built Environments, Information and Products.
  • Students learn about the influence and relevance of science and technology in their lives now and in the future.

History

  • Students investigate their personal, family and community history.
  • They develop understanding of Australia's Indigenous and colonial history and how Australia became a nation.
  • Students learn about historical concepts, such as viewing an historical event from a different point of view, and historical skills, such as using historical sources for an investigation.

Years 7–10

English

  • Students build on and refine their language skills through activities involving speaking and listening, reading and writing, and viewing and representing.
  • They learn about language and literature through working with a wide range of print, spoken, visual, media, multimedia and digital texts.
  • Students interpret and express their views on what they hear, see and read.
  • They create written and digital texts, and deliver formal and informal presentations.
  • Students study a wider range of texts that give them experience of quality literature, Australian works, multiculturalism, Aboriginality and Australian identity, and Asian perspectives.

Mathematics 

Students develop their mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding through a range of learning experiences across:

  • Number and Algebra, eg financial mathematics, ratios and rates, and equations
  • Measurement and Geometry, eg angle relationships, trigonometry and Pythagoras' theorem
  • Statistics and Probability, eg data collection and representation.

They develop their problem-solving skills and mathematical reasoning and communication.

Students develop a deeper understanding of Statistics and Probability.

Science  

  • Students develop their skills in science inquiry through hands-on practical experiences, including student research projects.
  • They further develop their understanding about how evidence-based scientific knowledge explains the Physical World, Earth and Space, the Living World and the Chemical World.
  • Students learn more about the importance of the contribution and influence of science in their own lives and in finding solutions to personal, social and global issues.

History

  • Students gain a broad understanding of world and Australian history from ancient to modern times through the teaching of historical overviews.
  • They gain a deeper knowledge of history through depth studies such as Ancient India, the Ottoman Empire and Japan under the Shoguns.
  • Students learn about 20th century Australian history through the Australians at War and Rights and Freedoms depth studies.
  • They experience an inquiry-based approach to learning, developing key historical skills in research, source analysis and communication. 

 

In addition to subject-based content, all syllabuses address important contemporary themes and general capabilities as students prepare to live and work successfully in the 21st century. These include Australian curriculum cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities, and other learning across the curriculum areas identified by the Board of Studies. 

Cross-curriculum priorities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia

Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia

Sustainability

Sustainability

General capabilities

Critical and creative thinking

Critical and creative thinking

Ethical understanding

Ethical understanding

Information and communication technology capability

Information and communication technology capability

Intercultural understanding

Intercultural understanding

Literacy

Literacy*

Numeracy

Numeracy**

Personal and social capability

Personal and social capability

Other learning across the curriculum areas

Civics and citizenship

Civics and citizenship

Difference and diversity

Difference and diversity

Work and enterprise

Work and enterprise

* Literacy is embedded throughout the English K–10 Syllabus. It relates to a high proportion of the content descriptions across K–10. Consequently, this particular general capability is not tagged in this syllabus.

**Numeracy is embedded throughout the Mathematics K–10 Syllabus. It relates to a high proportion of content across K–10. Consequently, this particular general capability is not tagged in the syllabus.

Where can I find more information?

Useful information for parents from the Board of Studies.