1. Home
  2. Job Vacancies
  3. Statement of Equity Principles
Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size

Statement of Equity Principles

The Statement of Values was endorsed by the Board of Studies in 2010. This Statement of Equity Principles serves to elucidate the Statement of Values from an equity perspective.

The equity principles and related guiding statements inform project and writing teams of syllabuses, support documents, examinations, assessment guidelines and other relevant educational materials produced by the Board of Studies NSW.

The Statement of Equity Principles relates to the following strategic objectives of the Board:

  • to strategically review and update NSW syllabuses, courses and support materials that promote high standards of achievement for the full range of students from Kindergarten to Year 12
  • to develop and provide comprehensive assessment resources and advice to schools to ensure the consistent assessment and reporting of student achievement of standards from Kindergarten to Year 12
  • to promote relevant, flexible and inclusive pathways for student learning that enable the full range of students from Kindergarten to Year 12 to maximise their levels of attainment.

The Statement of Equity Principles acknowledges that students come from diverse cultural, linguistic, social, economic, geographic and family backgrounds. These include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with disabilities and students with language backgrounds other than English, including those who are learning English as an additional language. It also includes students from low socioeconomic communities, rural and remote areas, refugees, those at risk of disengaging from school and students who can be disadvantaged by various forms of gender stereotyping.

Students might be influenced by multiple contributing factors, in which case their needs in regard to access and participation could be quite complex. It is important that these needs be understood to ensure equitable learning outcomes for every student.

Whole-school approaches, where these principles are reinforced through all aspects of school life, and involve the partnership of school communities, are more likely to succeed.

These are the foundations that will enable quality learning outcomes to be achievable by every student.

EQUITY PRINCIPLES

1. Excellence

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:

  • 1.1 challenge and engage all students to maximise their individual talents and capabilities
  • 1.2 support quality teaching, learning and assessment practices
  • 1.3 provide an explicit and flexible developmental continuum of learning for all students

2. Respect and responsibility

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:

  • 2.1 encourage every student to develop a positive sense of identity and self-respect
  • 2.2 encourage all students to develop respect for the rights and dignity of all people in society
  • 2.3 prepare all students to participate actively and responsibly as individuals and as members of society

3. Equity and justice

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:

  • 3.1 promote learning that prepares all students to participate in and contribute to a fair and just society
  • 3.2 be free from, and reject, prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping on the basis of cultural and linguistic heritage, gender, age, beliefs, socioeconomic status, location, sexuality or disability
  • 3.3 provide opportunities for cooperative approaches to learning and the peaceful resolution of any conflict that may arise

4. Inclusivity

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:
  • 4.1 promote education that is inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and the education of every student about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and their cultures and histories
  • 4.2 be appropriate and relevant to the full range of students, so that every student can demonstrate achievement and experience success
  • 4.3 acknowledge and value diverse cultures, backgrounds, experiences, abilities, religions and beliefs and promote students learning about the complexity of Australia’s diversity

Guiding Statements

Excellence

Syllabus, support documents and other materials will:
  1. 1.1 challenge and engage all students to maximise their individual talents and capabilities
  2. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the value of excellence from an equity perspective by:

    • ensuring that curriculum and support materials are expressed in plain English so that they are clear, explicit and easily understood
    • including aims, objectives and outcomes that incorporate rigorous, achievable expectations and describe clear standards for every student
    • clearly identifying essential knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes that provide core learning for students
    • clearly identifying the literacy and numeracy demands of curriculum areas
    • specifying content and providing sample teaching and assessment strategies which develop higher-order skills including problem-solving, critical thinking, abstract thinking, analysis and creativity.

  3. 1.2 support quality teaching, learning and assessment practices
  4. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the values of excellence from an equity perspective by:

    • providing curriculum and support materials that reflect evidence-based research about effective teaching and learning
    • providing opportunities for students to develop a deep understanding of key concepts from a range of perspectives, and the flexibility and opportunity to explore aspects of local relevance and interest
    • explicitly including the English language and literacy demands of the subject in syllabus content and providing opportunities to develop competence in the vocabulary, registers, functions, grammatical features and structure of subject-oriented language
    • clearly articulating the role of talking and listening in the development of deep understanding of subject knowledge
    • encouraging the collection and analysis of evidence of student achievement to inform the development of teaching and learning programs
    • modelling valid and reliable assessment practices that relate to the objectives and outcomes of the syllabus, reinforce the intentions of learning, relate to the standards and are accessible to every student.

  5. 1.3 provide an explicit and flexible developmental continuum of learning for all students.
  6. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the values of excellence from an equity perspective by:

    • including objectives, outcomes and content that reflect sequenced learning based on research and developments in the area of study
    • including overarching broad-based goals or concepts that provide a focus and direction for learning for every student
    • integrating the use of current technologies into syllabus content, sample teaching strategies and assessment practices, while providing flexibility and opportunity for the inclusion of new and emerging technologies
    • recognising and building on the significant learning students bring from the years prior to schooling
    • providing curriculum pathways and support material for students to assist their transition points in schooling, including the transition from school to further education, training or employment
    • providing flexibility for school communities and teachers to develop programs, structures and pedagogical practices that meet local needs and challenge and extend their students
    • providing meaningful learning opportunities for personalised and self-directed learning that allows students of all backgrounds to build on their interests, gifts and talents
    • encouraging students to plan, reflect and adapt the ways that they learn and develop positive attitudes to lifelong learning
    • providing opportunities for students to develop and extend their understanding and use of the English language by providing a range of opportunities to communicate in and about a subject
    • providing sufficient scope and detail for teachers to determine learning entry points, and to plan, monitor and record the progression of learning and achievement for every student
    • providing appropriate curriculum pathways and support materials for students who progress through the curriculum at different rates and in different ways.

Respect and Responsibility

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:

  1. 2.1 encourage every student to develop a positive sense of identity and self-respect
  2. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the values of respect and responsibility from an equity perspective by:

    • including objectives and outcomes which assist students to develop a respect for all people in society
    • including aims, objectives and outcomes that instill in students high expectations of themselves so that they are more likely to achieve their desired futures
    • developing curriculum and sample teaching activities that promote a positive sense of identity and self-respect in every student
    • incorporating guidance for teachers in designing inclusive teaching and learning programs
    • developing curriculum that provides engaging and relevant opportunities for students to explore, reflect and develop their personal values
    • ensuring that assessment practices enable students to achieve success by demonstrating their level of capability
    • describing high, achievable expectations and standards for all students so that they can participate effectively and responsibly in society.

  3. 2.2 encourage students to develop respect for the rights and dignity of all people
  4. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the values of respect and responsibility from an equity perspective by:

    • providing and encouraging opportunities through the curriculum for students to reflect, discuss and engage in social justice, environmental and community service initiatives and related issues
    • acknowledging the importance of supporting students emotionally
    • enabling students to be self-directed and confident learners
    • supporting teachers to design valid and reliable assessment activities which allow the full range of students to demonstrate achievement in a variety of ways.

  5. 2.3 prepare all students to participate actively and responsibly as individuals and as members of society
  6. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the values of respect and responsibility from an equity perspective by:

    • promoting student awareness of, and respect for, the rights of all individuals and groups, including their rights to have different beliefs
    • providing opportunities for students to support the achievement and wellbeing of others and work cooperatively in group situations
    • including content and support materials which positively represent gender, diversity of cultures and languages and which challenge stereotypes and discriminatory behaviour
    • portraying realistic images that positively represent a range of people and counter harmful stereotypes, including those related to body image
    • representing students as active citizens and valuable contributors to society
    • including opportunities for reflection and discussion of judgements that may be based on ethical considerations
    • promoting students’ respect for the environment and an understanding of their responsibility as custodians of the planet for future generations to take action and live sustainably.

Equity and Justice

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:

  1. 3.1 promote learning that prepares all students to participate in and contribute to a fair and just society.
  2. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the values of equity and justice by:

    • supporting quality teaching practices that demonstrate appreciation of and value for each student’s needs, background and previous learning experiences
    • encouraging ethical and democratic values including the recognition of diverse opinions, open rational debate, respect for people, equality before the law and participation in democratic processes
    • developing knowledge and understanding, attitudes and values that are crucial to the achievement of intergenerational equity, social justice and inclusion in a global society
    • developing knowledge and understanding of social and economic difference and diversity and the impact of cumulative disadvantage on individual and community wellbeing.

  3. 3.2 be free from, and reject, prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping on the basis of cultural and linguistic heritage, gender, age, beliefs, socioeconomic status, location, sexuality or disability.
  4. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the values of equity and justice by:

    • using and promoting inclusive language, behaviour and teaching and learning practices
    • portraying positive representations of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures that counter stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination
    • incorporating initiatives and strategies that promote access, participation and ethical behaviour for all people
    • addressing, where appropriate issues relating to cultural and linguistic heritage, gender, sexuality, age, beliefs, socioeconomic status, location and disability
    • providing opportunities to develop skills of problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis in relation to addressing issues of prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping
    • reflecting Australia's cultural and linguistic diversity in a range of prescribed or recommended texts, assessment tasks and resources including pictorial materials and examples.

  5. 3.3 provide opportunities for cooperative approaches to learning and the peaceful resolution of any conflict that may arise.
  6. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the values of equity and justice by:

    • providing students with a range of opportunities to work as part of a team and engage in group work and collaborative tasks
    • providing students with opportunities to develop understanding about the nature of conflict and disharmony
    • enabling students to develop skills in effective communication, negotiation and conflict management and resolution
    • providing opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of harassment, bullying and related issues and action that can be taken to address these
    • promoting values, attitudes and behaviours which foster a safe and supportive learning environment
    • using available technologies to enhance connections and expose students to a diverse range of values, beliefs and ways of thinking.

Inclusivity

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:

  1. 4.1 promote education that is inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and the education of every student about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures and histories
  2. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the value of inclusivity from an equity perspective by:

    • promoting awareness of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia
    • acknowledging that the educational needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are influenced by their community values, knowledge systems, and associated historical and contemporary experiences
    • including knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures, histories, identities and languages which are essential to developing an understanding of contemporary Australian society
    • incorporating strategies to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to attain the same educational outcomes as the wider Australian community
    • consulting and actively involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc., in the curriculum development process
    • ensuring opportunities for the active participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the implementation of school curriculum
    • promoting knowledge and understanding of the educational needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students within all sections of the educational and wider community
    • incorporating strategies to enable all students to develop knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their cultures and histories
    • valuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identities by promoting understanding of their cultures and histories and those of other indigenous peoples, and by promoting understanding of the importance of self-determination and decision-making.

  3. 4.2 be appropriate to the full range of students, so that every student can demonstrate achievement and experience success
  4. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the value of inclusivity from an equity perspective by:

    • developing objectives, outcomes and content that are accessible to all students and facilitate the use of adjustments for students with special education needs
    • developing objectives, outcomes and content in consultation with students, parents and local communities
    • ensuring the involvement of special education representatives in curriculum development through representation on Board Curriculum Committees, consultative networks and writing teams
    • providing sufficient flexibility, scope and support for schools to develop age-appropriate, rigorous, meaningful and relevant learning experiences and assessment opportunities
    • acknowledging that students communicate using a variety of verbal and nonverbal forms and systems
    • providing a variety of assessment strategies to cater for the needs of the full range of students, and opportunities for the demonstration of achievement in a variety of ways
    • providing a range of annotated work samples that show evidence of achievement across a range of levels, including work samples exemplifying levels of English language proficiency across subjects
    • providing links to an English language development continuum to support students learning English as an additional language
    • acknowledging the importance of collaborative decision-making in facilitating self-determination for students with special education needs.

  5. 4.3 acknowledge and value diverse cultures, backgrounds, experiences, abilities, religions, and beliefs and promote students learning about the complexity of Australia’s diversity
  6. Material produced by the Board of Studies NSW will promote the value of inclusivity from an equity perspective by:

    • incorporating objectives, outcomes and content which help students to develop intercultural understanding through an examination of their own and others’ attitudes, values and beliefs, and their interrelationships
    • including objectives, outcomes and content which help students develop an appreciation of living in a culturally diverse society and the advantages of acquiring more than one language
    • promoting an appreciation and understanding of difference and diversity within the Australian community
    • enabling students to analyse and understand the complexities of diverse groups within Australia and the process and nature of cultural change
    • representing and incorporating the positive contributions and achievements of people from diverse cultures, backgrounds, experiences, abilities, religions, and beliefs
    • providing opportunities for students to develop an understanding of their individual and collective responsibility in contributing to a healthy, socially cohesive and civil society that respects and appreciates cultural, social and religious diversity
    • providing opportunities for students to understand the manifestations and causes of discrimination and prejudice, and their effects on individuals and communities, as well as actions that can be taken to address them
    • providing opportunities for students to evaluate and deconstruct gender and sexuality, with particular reference to historical construction, representation and the influence of family, peers and the media.
Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size