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Memorandum to Principals

Dear Principal

Update on NSW syllabuses incorporating the Australian curriculum

I am writing to update you on the status of development and implementation of NSW syllabuses incorporating the Australian curriculum.

The Board of Studies NSW is responsible for developing, in close consultation with teachers and other stakeholders, the mandatory curriculum, K–12, to be taught in NSW schools. Teachers and administrators from all school sectors should refer to communication and advice from the Board when planning their teaching programs based on Board syllabuses.

One easy way to keep up to date with current syllabus developments is to subscribe to the Board Bulletin, weekly email newsletter at http://news.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/subscribe.cfm.

In relation to the status of the development of NSW syllabuses incorporating the Australian curriculum:

  1. New NSW syllabuses, incorporating Australian curriculum content, for K–10 English, Mathematics, Science (including K–6 Science and Technology) and History have been finalised and schools should be using 2013 to become familiar with these syllabuses, before staged implementation in classrooms commences from 2014.

    To see the implementation timetable for the new syllabuses go to:

    For more information on these new syllabuses, go to the Board's syllabus website at http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/ or use Program Builder to plan teaching and learning directly from the new syllabuses https://pb.bos.nsw.edu.au/.

  2. In the remaining K–10 learning areas, schools are required to continue to use existing NSW syllabuses. Any decisions about adopting the Australian curriculum, developing syllabuses, and planning subsequent implementation will be made only after thorough consultation with NSW stakeholders.

    Current syllabuses can be found at:

    1. Kindergarten to Year 6 – http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/k-6/
    2. Years 7–10 – http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_sc/.
  3. In relation to Geography, K–10, the Board will begin the development of a new syllabus in 2013, and will consult on an appropriate timeline for implementation in NSW schools.

  4. In relation to senior secondary syllabuses for English, Mathematics, Science and History, the Board is examining how Australian curriculum content can be effectively adapted and incorporated into the NSW senior secondary curriculum structure. New syllabuses will be subject to the same processes of consultation, development, and implementation by the Board. It is important to note that HSC assessment and certification procedures will remain unchanged.

  5. In the interim the Board’s existing Stage 6 syllabuses will continue to be the curriculum for the Higher School Certificate.

The Board appreciates that NSW syllabuses are pivotal to the work of teachers, and the learning outcomes of students. We will continue to keep stakeholders aware of any decisions affecting NSW syllabuses, and will retain the practice of broad consultation as a means of ensuring the continued high quality of curriculum in NSW.

If you, or any of your colleagues, have questions about NSW syllabuses, please contact Mr Howard Kennedy, Deputy Director, Curriculum and Assessment on (02) 9367 8313.

Yours sincerely

Tom Alegounarias


24 July 2013

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