As educators in New South Wales we are governed by NESA (New South Wales Education Standards Authority). NESA are responsible for developing the syllabus documents for Kindergarten to Year Twelve.
What are syllabus documents?
The NSW curriculum includes 8 Key Learning Areas (KLA). These are English, Mathematics, Science, Human Society and its Environment (History and Geography), Languages, Technologies, Creative Arts and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PD/H/PE). As we are a Catholic School, we have the added KLA of Religion as well. Each KLA has a syllabus document which outlines the outcomes and content that students are expected to know and do at each stage of learning. These documents also outline the knowledges, understandings and skills that students are expected to develop and build upon throughout their years of schooling.
Each Key Learning Area has a recommended percentage of time in which it is to be taught each week. As educators we are accountable to this, and the Catholic Schools Office checks regularly to ensure we are compliant in this area.
- English – 6 3/4 to 8 1/2 hours/week
- Mathematics – 6 1/2 hours/week
- Science – 1 1/2 hours/week
- HSIE – 1 1/2 hours/week
- Creative Arts – 1 1/2 hours/week
- PDHPE – 1 1/2 hours/week
- Additional activates (eg Religion) – 2.5 hours/week
The curriculum is divided into 7 stages of learning. For Primary schools these are:
- Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2)
- Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4)
- Stage 3 (Years 5 & 6)
Parents can access information on the national curriculum from NESA here.
NESA provides a Parent Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses, view the document here.
The Religious Education curriculum is divided into 4 key learning areas. Profession of Faith, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, Life in Christ and Prayer.The curriculum is aligned with the Liturgical Year. Students explore the Scriptures and the real life application of the teachings. They participate in a growing variety of prayers and prayer forms of the tradition using appropriate signs, symbol, rites and rituals. Students build on the key skills, knowledges and understandings each year and are assessed on the outcomes for the stage in which they are in. The outcomes are across a stage, which means, students have 2 years to achieve the outcomes for that stage of learning.
The English curriculum is divided into 3 key learnings. Speaking and Listening, Writing and Representing and Reading and Viewing.Other key areas include: handwriting and using digital technologies; spelling; grammar, punctuation and vocabulary; thinking imaginatively and creatively; expressing themselves and reflecting on learning. Students build on the key skills, knowledges and understandings each year and are assessed on the outcomes for the stage in which they are in. The outcomes are across a stage, which means, students have 2 years to achieve the outcomes for that stage of learning.
The Mathematics curriculum is divided into 3 key learnings. Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. The sub-strands within these key areas include: Number and Algebra: whole number, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division and fractions and decimals and patterns and algebra. Multiplication and Division: length, area, volume and capacity, mass, time, three-dimensional space, two-dimensional space and position. Statistics and Probability: data and chance. Students build on the key skills, knowledges and understandings each year and are assessed on the outcomes for the stage in which they are in. Just like in the English syllabus, the outcomes are across a stage, which means, students have 2 years to achieve the outcomes for that stage of learning.
The HSIE curriculum is divided into 2 key areas – History and Geography. Students learn through an inquiry model with focus questions provided for each historical and geographical concept.
Knowledge and understanding, concepts and skills are interrelated and should be taught in an integrated way to provide meaningful learning experiences for students. Students will have the opportunity to engage with historical content, concepts and skills through a variety of inquiry based activities.
Teachers make decisions about the sequence, the emphasis to be given to particular areas of content and any adjustments required based on the needs, interests and abilities of their students. Content including knowledge and understanding, concepts, skills and tools are integrated to provide meaningful learning experiences for students.