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Memorandum to Principals

New Geography K–10 Syllabus for NSW schools

I am pleased to announce the release of the new Geography K–10 Syllabus for NSW. Schools have been sent print copies of the syllabus and it is also available in an interactive online format on the BOSTES New NSW syllabuses website.

Support materials are available to assist teachers in understanding and implementing the syllabus. These materials include guides to the syllabus and assessment and programming advice. Program Builder, with access to online national resources, will assist teachers and schools to plan for implementation. Sample scope and sequences, units and assessment activities are available now for K–6 schools and will be available for Years 7–10 schools later in 2015. 

Education sectors have agreed on the following timeline for implementation.

Kindergarten to Year 6


Familiarisation and planning


Familiarisation and planning
Optional to teach K–6


Start teaching K–6

Years 7–10


Familiarisation and planning


Start teaching Years 7 and 9


Start teaching Years 8 and 10

Further information to support K–6 schools in implementing Geography and History from 2016 is available on the New NSW syllabuses website. 

In following its established syllabus development process, BOSTES consulted broadly with teachers, parents, teacher professional associations, academics and the education sectors. The input of education stakeholders is greatly appreciated and has been an important aspect of the development of this new syllabus.

Australian curriculum

The Geography syllabus is the fifth new NSW syllabus developed to accommodate the agreed content in the Australian curriculum, and the second in the HSIE key learning area. In all learning areas, schools should continue teaching from current NSW syllabuses, not the Australian curriculum.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is in the process of responding to the Federal Government’s review of the Australian curriculum.

At this stage, BOSTES has no plans for further changes to NSW syllabuses nor to adopt any additional Australian curriculum courses, such as Economics and Business, which have been made available by ACARA but are not yet endorsed by education ministers.

BOSTES will ensure schools are provided with a period of stability before any further changes to NSW curriculum and syllabuses are considered.

Tom Alegounarias

13 July 2015

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