The Australian Curriculum sets the expectations for what all Australian students should be taught, regardless of where they live or their background. It means that students now have access to the same content, and their achievement can be judged against consistent national standards.
Implementation of the Australian curriculum is the responsibility of states and territories.
The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is responsible for school curriculum, assessment, and teaching and regulatory standards in NSW schools.
NESA has developed new NSW K–10 syllabuses for English, Mathematics, Science (including Science and Technology K–6), History and Geography incorporating Australian curriculum. Phased implementation of the new syllabuses began in 2014. More information can be accessed at boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au
The primary focus of the K–10 Curriculum Framework is to ensure that the curriculum is coherent, challenging and allows for developmental continuity.
The syllabuses will clearly articulate standards that show what students are expected to know and be able to do at each stage from Kindergarten to Year 10. This provides the context for realistic assessment and meaningful reporting of student achievement.
The K–10 Curriculum Framework enables teachers, schools and school authorities to decide how to maximise their students’ learning by providing a flexible structure within which schools and teachers can develop programs, structures and teaching practices that meet their students’ educational needs.
Purpose, Outcomes and Principles of NESA: K–10 Curriculum
1. A Purpose for Learning
NESA K–10 syllabuses and curriculum requirements are designed to support quality teaching and learning and the pursuit of excellence by students. They provide educational opportunities that:
- engage and challenge all students to maximise their individual talents and capabilities for lifelong learning
- enable all students to develop positive self-concepts and their capacity to establish and maintain safe, healthy and rewarding lives
- prepare all students for effective and responsible participation in their society, taking account of moral, ethical and spiritual considerations
- encourage and enable all students to enjoy learning, and to be self-motivated,
- reflective, competent learners who will be able to take part in further study, work or training,
- promote a fair and just society that values diversity
- promote continuity and coherence of learning and facilitate the transition between primary and secondary schooling.
2. Broad Learning Outcomes
The knowledge, skills, understanding, values and attitudes essential for all students who are to succeed in and beyond their schooling are summarised by the broad learning outcomes set out below.
- understand, develop and communicate ideas and information
- access, analyse, evaluate and use information from a variety of sources
- work collaboratively with others to achieve individual and collective broad learning outcomes
- possess the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle
- understand and appreciate the physical, biological and technological world and make responsible and informed decisions about it
- understand and appreciate diverse social, cultural, linguistic, political, geographical and historical contexts and participate as active and informed citizens
- express themselves through creative activity and engage with the artistic, cultural and intellectual work of others
- understand and apply a variety of analytical, creative and management techniques to solve problems and to meet needs and opportunities
- understand, interpret and apply concepts related to numerical and spatial patterns, structures and relationships
- be productive, creative, discriminating and confident in the development and use of a range of technologies, understanding the implications of technology for society and the environment
- understand the work environment and have the knowledge, skills and understanding to evaluate potential career options and pathways
- develop a system of personal values based on their understanding of moral, ethical and spiritual matters.
3. Principles to Guide the Development and Implementation of Syllabuses
These principles guide the development of NESA curriculum requirements and syllabuses. They can also guide the implementation of syllabuses by schools and school authorities.
- All students must be able to engage in, take responsibility for, and continue their own learning.
- All students are entitled to a core of knowledge, skills, understanding and values.
- Explicit standards are established that allow recognition of student achievement and planning for further learning.
- Education must be inclusive of all students attending schools in New South Wales.
- Teachers, schools and school authorities will decide how to maximise student learning.