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Thursday 19 May 2016

New grammar resource to improve K–6 language teaching

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli is encouraging teachers to use a new guide, which will assist them in teaching grammar to students in primary schools.

Mr Piccoli has launched the teaching resource, Grammar: a guide for teachers K-6.

Mr Piccoli said that having grasped reading, a good understanding of grammar gives students the building blocks to speak and write with clarity and confidence.

“Grammar is critical because it teaches the mechanics of language,” Mr Piccoli said.

“This is an additional resource containing practical activities and useful examples to prepare lessons and support student learning.

“Last September I launched a phonics guide to assist the teaching of reading. That guide has proven popular, with more than 2,100 copies distributed. I hope this guide receives similar interest.”

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards President Tom Alegounarias said the guide has been developed to assist teachers new to the profession, as well as those with extensive classroom experience.

In NSW primary schools, teachers must allocate over one quarter of class time to English, and the phonics and grammar guides will be valuable tools in building reading and writing skills.

New grammar resource to improve K–6 language teaching


Friday 13 May 2016

Improving primary mathematics teaching

Improvements to how future primary teachers learn to teach maths have been recommended in a Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) report.

The Learning to Teach Primary Mathematics report outlines the findings of a comprehensive review of 46 primary education degrees.

The report recommends a whole of profession response to improving primary maths teaching. The report’s 15 recommendations include:

  • identifying knowledge, practices and developing new resources for effective primary maths teaching
  • strengthening accreditation requirements for preparing primary teachers to teach maths
  • greater maths teaching support for early career primary teachers
  • greater consistency in the assessment of primary teaching students’ knowledge of maths teaching.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said getting maths teaching right in primary school is fundamental to building student confidence and interest in studying higher levels of mathematics in secondary school.

“The Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli has instructed BOSTES to start work today on implementing the review recommendations, which complement the Government’s recent announcement of maths and science specialisations for primary school teachers.

“The education sectors and 14 higher education providers worked closely with us to produce this report. I acknowledge the collaborative approach and spirit of improvement underpinning their participation and look forward to continuing to work together to implement the report’s recommendations,” Mr Alegounarias said.

Professor Chris Davison, President of the NSW Council of Deans of Education said the Deans are pleased to support the report and its recommendations. This is part of the continuing and systematic effort to improve teaching quality, particularly in areas of identified need such as mathematics, a challenging but critical area for schools as well as for society.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with BOSTES to ensure we maximise support in this area for both new and existing teachers.”

Part of the ‘Quality of Initial Teacher Education in NSW’ series, the report can be downloaded from www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au

NSW already requires a minimum of three HSC Band 5s including English to enter a teaching degree and that teaching students pass a literacy and numeracy test before they can teach.

Improving primary mathematics teaching


Monday 9 May 2016

Encouraging Maths and Science at School

In a NSW first, future primary school teachers are being trained as science and maths specialists to engage younger students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Education Minister Adrian Piccoli announced today.

Primary teachers are currently trained as generalists in a range of subjects. From this year, teaching students from at least three NSW universities can become STEM specialists by electing to study additional maths and science courses.

“These specialists will help give young students more confidence in maths and science, so they’re well prepared for high school and future careers,” Mr Baird said.

“Employers are crying out for workers skilled in maths and science, so we want to give our students every chance of studying these subjects at a high level.”

The new primary teaching course requirements were developed by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) in consultation with teachers, teacher educators and the education sector.

“The first group of graduates with a specialisation in maths and science will be eligible to teach in NSW schools from the end of 2017,” Mr Piccoli said.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is also rolling out 16 new resources to help improve the teaching of STEM subjects in schools across the state.

The resources include:

  • Seven new STEM lesson units for K-12, including a ‘coding’ unit which teaches students to use code to choreograph dance and movement;
  • Eight new Science and Technology activities for K-6, including “Game Plan” where students design, build and test a game based on electrical circuits; and
  • A guide to support the use of coding as a teaching tool to solve problems within existing subjects.

The NSW Government is also investing $20 million during this term of Government to upgrade 50 science labs in NSW public schools.

Encouraging Maths and Science at School


Wednesday 27 April 2016

2016 HSC WRITTEN EXAM TIMETABLE AVAILABLE

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) today released the timetable for this year’s 118 written HSC exams.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said HSC written exams start on Thursday 13 October at 10:20am with a compulsory English paper, and finish on Friday 4 November with Design and Technology.

“Scheduling HSC exams is always a complicated exercise. In 2016, 118 written exams totalling around 300 hours have been timetabled over 17 days.

“BOSTES carefully analysed the HSC course patterns of over 77,000 students to produce the timetable.

“Minimising stress for students by keeping the overall exam period as short as possible is our priority,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“Invariably some students will have individual preferences for when they sit particular exams, however BOSTES aims to provide an exam schedule which, on balance, is fair and equitable.

When scheduling the HSC written exams, BOSTES followed rigorous procedures to:

  • minimise the number of students with two exams scheduled at the same time
  • provide sufficient time between exams for popular courses
  • provide sufficient time between exams for courses frequently studied together
  • enable all exams to be marked and students to receive their results from 6.00am on Thursday 15 December.

BOSTES has identified and made alternative arrangements for a very small number of students who have two exams scheduled at the same time.

View the 2016 HSC written exam timetable.

Students can download their individual timetable from www.studentsonline.bos.nsw.edu.au

View the 2016 HSC fact sheet.

2016 HSC WRITTEN EXAM TIMETABLE AVAILABLE


Thursday 10 March 2016

BOSTES President welcomes the BOSTES review

President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) Tom Alegounarias today welcomed the review into the BOSTES, announced by Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli, recognising it as a significant opportunity to deliver the best outcomes for students, teachers and parents across NSW.

“This review will provide the chance to open up the processes and functions of the BOSTES to independent scrutiny,” Mr Alegounaris said.

“BOSTES is responsible for curriculum, student assessment, and teacher quality, which has a direct impact on more than a million students and 100,000 teachers across NSW.

“BOSTES has a proud record of writing, delivering and administering the HSC to more than 75,000 students each year. It is responsible for the registration and accreditation of all NSW teachers, as well as approving NSW initial teacher education courses.

“While these functions are the BOSTES’s day-to-day responsibilities, every organisation should seize the chance to learn from the advice of experts to determine if there are better ways to deliver core functions.

“Over recent years, NSW Government initiatives have put the state at the forefront of assuring the quality of learning for all students. It is imperative that all aspects of the NSW educational infrastructure are able to sustain these authentic improvements.

“A vibrant and fresh BOSTES is in the interests of the children, parents and teachers of NSW,” he said.

Mr Alegounarias urged all stakeholders to participate in the review, and provide submissions regarding the current and potential functions of the BOSTES.

“We look forward to seeing what the people of NSW, including our educational stakeholders, think of BOSTES processes and how we could improve educational delivery,” he said.

BOSTES President welcomes the BOSTES review


Thursday 10 March 2016

HSC success trumps adversity

Two exceptional young women have been recognised for overcoming significant adversity to achieve outstanding results in the 2015 HSC.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias congratulated Grace Chen and Alexandra Elgue on being awarded the 2015 Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize.

“Ms Chen and Ms Elgue are remarkable young women who showed enormous determination, courage and resilience to achieve exceptional HSC results in the face of considerable personal challenges.

“The recipients’ stories reveal an extraordinary commitment to achieving high academic goals in the HSC,” Mr Alegounarias said.

In 2014, while in Year 11 at Pymble Ladies College, Ms Chen became the primary carer for her mother who had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2011.With her father working in China to support the family, Ms Chen persevered with her HSC study in between providing her mother with palliative care, shopping, cooking, cleaning and attending her mum’s medical appointments as a translator. On results day, Ms Chen’s courage and effort were rewarded with marks in the highest band possible for four subjects. This year, Ms Chen is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne.

In 2015 Ms Elgue, then a HSC student at Ascham, experienced severe medical difficulties. In spite of this, Ms Elgue maintained exemplary academic standards during her HSC year. Ms Elgue’s results speak for themselves – the Premier’s All Round Achievers Award for top band results in 10 or more HSC units, and Dux of Ascham. This year, Ms Elgue is at the Australian National University studying politics, philosophy and economics..

Selected from 25 nominees, Ms Chen and Ms Elgue each received a trophy, $1000 and a voucher for the Co-op Bookshop.

First presented in 1993, the Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize is presented each year to a student or students who have overcome significant hardship to attain academic excellence in their HSC. The prize is named in honour of former Board member, Brother John Taylor who dedicated his life to equity and excellence in education.

Nominations for the 2016 Brother John Memorial Prize close on Tuesday, 20 December 2016.

HSC success trumps adversity


Thursday 10 March 2016

Reviewing the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has commissioned a review of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES).

An expert panel will carry out the review before reporting back to the Minister by July 2016.

“Over the past five years, evidence-based reform in NSW has laid the foundation for a high performing education system which will improve student results,” Mr Piccoli said.

“From this strong base and with the NSW Institute of Teachers (NSWIT) now fully integrated with the Board of Studies, it is timely to ensure the State’s educational architecture complements these reforms to drive continued improvements.

“BOSTES is an important and successful educational institution in NSW and is responsible for school curriculum, assessment, and teaching and regulatory standards in NSW schools.”

The members of the Review Panel are:

  • Bill Louden AM (Chair), Emeritus Professor of Education at The University of Western Australia, formerly Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor at The University of Western Australia.
  • Lisa Paul AO PSM, former Secretary of the Australian Department of Education and Training.
  • Dr Phil Lambert PSM, former General Manager, Curriculum ACARA and Regional Director, Sydney NSW Department of Education.

The Review Panel is expected to consult widely with BOSTES, the NSW schooling sector and other interested parties, including employers, business, industry and higher education providers.

For more information about the review visit:
http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/about-us/news-atdet/announcements/nsw-board-of-studies-teaching-and-educational-standards-bostes

Reviewing the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards


Friday 26 February 2016

Student designs represent new era of innovation

Discover the innovation and potential of NSW’s recent HSC graduates at a new exhibition opening at the Powerhouse Museum on 26 February.

Showcasing projects by 25 of the best 2015 HSC Design and Technology, Industrial Technology and Textiles and Design students, Shape 2015 sets a high bar for the future of Australian design.

Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant said: “In an era when innovation will be key to success, the crossover between form and function will be an increasing feature in future design. These students are an inspiration for their ingenuity and their imagination.”

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) President Tom Alegounarias said: “The quality of designs showcased in the exhibition is testimony to students’ high order critical thinking and problem-solving skills students developed through the NSW HSC Technology syllabuses. I congratulate exhibitors and their teachers on the creativity, dedication, and hard work put into these HSC projects.”

Acting Director of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Dolla Merrillees said: “We are proud to present the creations of these pioneering students. Our vision as a museum is to be a catalyst for creative expression and curious minds and the ambitions and ideas of these students epitomise that vision. It is exciting to witness their early forays into the worlds of technology, industrial and textile design and hopefully their designs and inventions continue to be exhibited and collected by MAAS for decades to come.”

Shape 2015 has been developed by BOSTES in association with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS).

Shape 2015
26 February – 8 May 2016
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo        
Bookings: (02) 9217 0111 www.maas.museum
Opening hours: 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free with general admission: $15 adult, $8 concession, children under 16 years free

This year, 486 students from the 2015 HSC have been selected for the BOSTES HSC Showcases: ARTEXPRESS, Shape, InTech, Texstyle, OnStage, Callback, Encore and WordeXpress.

Shape 2015 projects

Student School Project HSC subject
Emily Andrews Wenona School Parkinson’s preparation board Design and Technology
Susie Soyun Boo Cheltenham Girls HS Styleaid: Clothing labels for the vision impaired Design and Technology
Jacky Chen Dulwich HS of Visual Arts and Design Architectural design for residential housing Design and Technology
Eloise Elton Asquith Girls HS Restitched Design and Technology
Scott Koppelhuber Macquarie College Collapsible wing sail Design and Technology
Isabella Purnell Brigidine College St Ives Automated clothesline cover Design and Technology
Aron Sheldon Trinity Grammar School Dog Waste decomposer for parks Design and Technology
Cara Shirley Dorrigo High School Stable Lite Australia Design and Technology
Maxwell Tooby St Columba Anglican School NewsBench Design and Technology
John Walsh Newington College SCREWAX Design and Technology
Sally Woods Nowra Anglican College Living Light Design and Technology
Mitchell Burk Killarney Heights HS Surfboard and stand Industrial Technology
Joshua Burrows Coffs Harbour Christian Community School Hall table Industrial Technology
Henry Cousins Oxford Falls Grammar School ‘Transition’ multimedia magazine Industrial Technology
Tiarney Douglass Coolah Central School Decorative daybed Industrial Technology
Edward Harriott Knox Grammar School Congas and stand Industrial Technology
Matthew Jigalin Arden Anglican School ‘Verge’ virtual reality game Industrial Technology
Jerri Kim Killara HS ‘Wishing for wonderland’ Industrial Technology
Alex McClung All Saints College (St Mary’s) Robot Industrial Technology
Kiernan Moore St Paul’s College ‘Our world’ documentary Industrial Technology
Isaac Wren Forbes HS ‘Blox’ 3D first person game Industrial Technology
Breanna Edwards Engadine HS Uluru inspired wall hanging Textiles and Design
Olivia Hutchinson Redlands African dreaming dress Textiles and Design
Sophie Lindsay Elderslie HS Regency coral jacket Textiles and Design
Lucy Powell St Patrick’s College ‘Pachajar’ doorstop Textiles and Design

 

Student designs represent new era of innovation


Wednesday 3 February 2016

HSC Showcase season launch - exemplary students from the 2015 HSC

The 2016 Showcase Season celebrating excellence across the Creative Arts and Technology subjects in the HSC was launched by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards at the Art Gallery of NSW on Wednesday 3 February.

2016 is the first time the annual showcases have been launched as a single event. The launch marks the start of the annual season of HSC student showcases, featuring eight concerts and exhibitions featuring exemplary performances and works from 2015 HSC students.

The Showcases are an important and ongoing feature of Sydney’s cultural calendar, with many students featured going on to successful careers in their chosen art form.

This year, 486 students from the 2015 HSC have been selected for the BOSTES HSC Showcases.

The eight showcases are:

ARTEXPRESS

241 Visual Arts bodies of work appearing in 10 galleries across the state over the year

Shape 2015

25 major projects by Design and Technology, Textiles and Design and Industrial Technology students on display at the Powerhouse Museum from 26 February to 8 May.

Shape 2015 is a new showcase, bringing together for the first time Design and Technology, Textiles and Design and Industrial Technology projects in a combined exhibition.

In addition to Shape, the Sydney Timber and Working with Wood Show features InTech for additional Industrial Technology major works, and the Stitches and Craft Show features Texstyle for additional Textiles and Design major works.

OnStage

12 Drama performances and an exhibition of Individual projects held at the Seymour Centre from 6 to 12 February including 3 performances of Writers OnSTAGE OnSCREEN from 10 – 12 February.

Callback

Four Dance performances held at the Seymour Centre on 11 and 12 February.

Encore

Two Music performances held at the Opera House on 22 February.

WordeXpress

Young Writers Showcase 2015, an anthology of major works by English Extension 2 students to be published and launch in August.

 

Tom Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards said “To be selected for a BOSTES Showcase comes with considerable prestige and honour.

“I congratulate all students who have been selected.

“The major projects and performances need to score the highest marks in the HSC exam, following that the Showcase curators make their selection that best demonstrate the diversity and talent of the state’s HSC students.

“In addition to the performances and exhibitions, BOSTES organises information sessions for future HSC students and marking sessions for teachers.

Background information – number of HSC students in each Showcase course
Total number of HSC students 77,433
English Extension 2 1645
Design and Technology 3194
Industrial Technology 5586
Textiles and Design 1653
Visual Arts 9082
Dance 906
Drama 4614
Music 5481

HSC Showcase season launch - exemplary students from the 2015 HSC


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

ACCREDITATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS

Early childhood teachers will be accredited alongside their peers in NSW schools, further recognising them as professionals who are making an important contribution to the education of our children.

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli and Minister for Early Childhood Education Leslie Williams have today announced that from this year all NSW teachers will meet the same high standards.

"The NSW Government is recognising that early childhood teachers are professionals – they are university trained, passionate about children and dedicated to educational development," Mr Piccoli said.

"Accrediting all teachers, from early childhood through to high school, is a key factor in our efforts to build on the expertise in the profession.

"NSW accredited teachers not only have the recognised qualifications, they also agree to ongoing training to improve their teaching and, as a result, outcomes for their students."

The policy to accredit early childhood teachers has been developed in close consultation with the early childhood sector.

"I regularly meet early childhood teachers and see firsthand the vital role they play in the beginning stages of learning," Mrs Williams said.

"Accreditation of early childhood teachers will ensure that teachers maintain high standards of teaching practice and as a result young receptive minds will benefit."

To be eligible for accreditation an early childhood teacher will need to provide evidence of approved qualifications, two forms of identification and a current Working with Children Check clearance.

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards will distribute information kits to early childhood teachers and services with details on the accreditation process.

Accreditation for Early Childhood Teachers


Wednesday 16 December 2015

Students’ HSC results go live

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has wished more than 70,000 NSW students the very best as they receive their HSC results.

Students across the State will have access to their HSC results online or via SMS from 6.00am today.

“Today is an exciting and nerve-wracking day for HSC students who have many opportunities ahead of them,” Mr Piccoli said.

“I wish them all the very best for their next step, whether it’s a gap year, employment, university or TAFE.

“The HSC is internationally recognised and provides students with the academic foundation for success after school.”

For many students, their HSC results lead straight into further study based on their ATAR ranking, which is released tomorrow.

“To those students who have met or exceeded their own expectations, congratulation,” Mr Piccoli said.

“But if your results aren’t what you were hoping for there are plenty of alternative pathways. The HSC is not the be all and end all and there are plenty of options to pursue your chosen career.”

Eligible students can download their HSC certificate and other credentials from 30 December. The official HSC certificates are due to arrive by post from 20 January.

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards HSC Inquiry Centre 1300 138 323 will be open from 8.00am today for students with questions about their results.

Students’ HSC results go live


Tuesday 15 December 2015

Piccoli awards state’s top students

The top HSC students from across New South Wales have been recognised by Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli at the 2015 Higher School Certificate First in Course Awards.

This year 116 students received First in Course Awards, including six students who topped two courses.

Mr Piccoli said securing first place in an HSC course was an outstanding achievement that students should be incredibly proud of.

“There are more than 70,000 HSC students across NSW this year and topping a course is an exceptional accomplishment,” Mr Piccoli said.

“For some, the HSC is a stepping-stone to university or TAFE. Other students will take a gap year or enter the workforce straight away.

“It’s important for students to remember that completing the HSC is an achievement in itself and there are a range of pathways into your preferred university course or career.”

Students across the State will have access to their HSC results online or via SMS from 6.00am tomorrow.

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards HSC Inquiry Centre 1300 138 323 will be open from 8.00am tomorrow for students with questions about their results.

Eligible students can download their HSC certificate and other credentials from 30 December. The official HSC certificates are due to arrive by post from 20 January.

Piccoli awards state’s top students


Monday 30 November 2015

Aboriginal languages in HSC 2016

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today visited Menindee Central School where he announced that Aboriginal Languages will become a new HSC subject.

“There are approximately 35 Aboriginal languages in New South Wales, with 19 being taught across NSW, and more than 100 dialects. This new course will help maintain this critical part of Aboriginal cultures,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Menindee Central School is a Connected Communities school and already teaches Paakantji. The new course enables students to continue their studies into Years 11 and 12 and I look forward to other schools joining them.”

Teaching and learning of Aboriginal languages and cultures is a key component of the Connected Communities strategy.

All Connected Communities schools offer students cultural studies or activities with nine of the 15 schools currently offering the opportunity to learn Aboriginal languages.

Currently, 61 school campuses across NSW are teaching Aboriginal Languages using the K-10 syllabus.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government strongly believes that Aboriginal people have a right to learn their own languages, and our schools play a vital role in facilitating this.

“This course will aid Aboriginal young people to become the future custodians and caretakers of their languages and empower them to maintain a strong sense of identity. For non-Aboriginal young people it will provide them with a deeper understanding of the world’s oldest living culture,” Mrs Williams said.

“Partnership between the school and their local Aboriginal community will enable knowledge holders to provide expertise and guidance to classroom teachers.”

The HSC Aboriginal Languages course counts towards the Higher School Certificate and appears on the student's Record of Achievement. It does not contribute to the calculation of a student’s Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

Aboriginal languages in HSC 2016


Tuesday 24 November 2015

Delivering on a stronger syllabus to address Domestic Violence Prevention

Teachers and students will be given the means to recognise and act on domestic violence with a new ‘toolkit’ for the mandatory Year 7 to Year 10 Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) syllabus from Term 1 in 2016.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward was joined by the Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres today at Penrith High to launch a new teaching resource that is now available for teachers to incorporate into their lesson plans for 2016.

Ms Goward said by addressing the issue of domestic violence in the classroom students were better able to protect themselves and others.

“By educating and working with our young people we can ensure they are empowered with the knowledge of what domestic violence is and how they can identify possible ways to protect themselves and others,” Ms Goward said.

The new resource, the Prevention of Domestic Violence Toolkit, includes:

  • signs and symptoms of abuse
  • support available
  • sample activities
  • frequently asked questions.

Mr Ayres said domestic violence is a whole of community issue and it is critical the community works together to prevent it.

“Teachers and schools play an important role in all our communities. They have the knowledge and experience to equip young people with the understanding and skills to help change attitudes and behaviours around domestic violence,” Mr Ayres said.

The toolkit was development by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) with specialist advice from Domestic Violence NSW and other agencies.

Visit the BOSTES website to download the toolkit: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_sc/domestic-violence-prevention.html

Delivering on a stronger syllabus to address Domestic Violence Prevention


Thursday 5 November 2015

Science, Technology and Maths Education in the Spotlight

Some of Australia’s best and brightest scientific minds are joining forces in Sydney today to shape a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education strategy.

Hosted by NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli, the national STEM education summit also brings together leaders from industry and education to discuss ways to adapt education as technology advances and the world changes.

“It is vital that schools keep pace with developments in STEM because these areas are bringing changes to everyone’s lives at an increasing pace,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Young people need fundamental skills in mathematics, to be scientifically literate, and literate in technologies if they are to thrive in the careers of tomorrow.

“A solid foundation in these subjects gives students the critical thinking, creative and problem-solving skills that can help drive innovation in our evolving economy.”

Along with leaders from industry and education, the summit is being addressed by Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb and incoming Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel.

Education ministers across Australia have agreed on the need for a national STEM education strategy and NSW is the leading the way in educational reform.

“We brought this group together to get their views on what the education system needs to do to increase student engagement in STEM and how industry and universities can support schools in doing this,” Mr Piccoli said.

“In NSW, we have kicked things off by committing to retraining more than 300 teachers as maths and science specialists, opening a virtual selective high school and allocating additional support for new primary education degrees specialising in STEM subjects.

“This is a good start, but we know there’s more work to be done. That’s why we have called together the best minds to map out a better future for our students.”

Science, Technology and Maths Education in the Spotlight


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Pens down for 2015 HSC students

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has congratulated more than 70,000 HSC students across NSW as exams draw to an end.

More than 12,000 students are sitting exams on the final day, with Visual Arts the last to finish at 3.30pm today.

Mr Piccoli said the HSC class of 2015 has worked extremely hard and should be very proud to have completed the HSC.

“This is a huge moment in the lives of these students, who are marking the end of 13 years of schooling and starting a new and exciting chapter in their lives,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Students have spent the past 18 days of exams demonstrating their skills and knowledge and now it’s time for a well-earned break.”

Students can login to Students Online to get their school assessment ranks from 5pm tonight and will receive their HSC results on Wednesday 16 December.

“Our HSC students should be extremely proud of achieving this significant milestone, regardless of what result they receive on December 16,” Mr Piccoli said.

Pens down for 2015 HSC students


Friday 23 October 2015

Chemistry proves popular at North Sydney Girls

At North Sydney Girls High School, one in two HSC students will sit today’s Chemistry exam – giving the school one of NSW’s best participation rates for the subject.

North Sydney Girls High School Principal David Tomlin said North Sydney girls are inspired by the spirit of inquiry and the many career paths the study of science offers.

“Excellent teachers and programs throughout all years develop and cultivate our students’ passion for science,” Mr Tomlin said.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said North Sydney Girls has an outstanding reputation for engaging girls in Chemistry, as well as other science and maths courses important for success in the 21st century.

“The internationally recognised HSC has very strong enrolments across its 18 STEM courses. In 2015, nine in 10 HSC students chose to study at least one STEM course and eight in 10 a Maths course.

“Chemistry and other HSC STEM courses provide students with opportunities to learn critical thinking and problem solving skills highly valued by employers.

“We need to ensure we are encouraging students to apply themselves at the highest level of STEM courses for which they are capable.

“The practices used in the study of STEM are essential life skills useful in any career,” Mr Alegounarias said.

BOSTES is currently seeking feedback on directions for new Senior Years Maths, Science, English and History syllabuses.

HSC Chemistry enrolment facts

  • More than 11,000 students (14%) from more than 650 schools will sit the exam
  • 90 per cent of HSC students are studying one or more Science, Technology or Maths courses, including Chemsitry
  • Chemistry is the second most popular HSC science course, after Biology
  • Chemistry is the seventh most popular HSC elective
  • Female students represent 45 per cent of HSC Chemistry enrolments

View the 2015 HSC fact sheet: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/news-media/hsc-media-guide-2015/fact-sheet.html

MEDIA: BOSTES - Jennifer Ward 0455 076 754

Chemistry proves popular at North Sydney Girls


Monday, 19 October 2015

Study in the US – Session at Penrith High School

Last week around 200 students attended a session at Penrith High School about studying at universities in the US.

EducationUSA – responsible for promoting the over 4000 US colleges and universities across the country – spoke to students and their parents about the application process, scholarships and features of US tertiary education.

President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards, Tom Alegounarias congratulated Penrith High School Principal Kristine MacPhail on this initiative.

“The NSW HSC is an international credential and every year high achieving students successfully apply for overseas universities – and it is great to see that an information session was made available in this local area,” he said.

Penrith High School Principal, Ms MacPhail said HSC students from Penrith High School achieve at the highest level and for those aspiring to study overseas this session on US universities gave them the ‘when, what, where and how’.”

David McGuire spokesman for the US Consulate General said it was great to see the interest from so many students at the Penrith High School session.

“We thank the Principal for organising the event so that high achieving students in and around Penrith could easily attend.

“Every year US colleges and universities visit Sydney and I encourage senior secondary students to take the time to meet them.

“Details of the visits are publicised to schools in the BOSTES Bulletin, directly to school careers advisers, and on the EducationUSA website,” Mr McGuire said.

For further information on studying in the US visit: www.educationusa.state.gov

MEDIA: BOSTES - Michael Charlton 0477 362 546

Study in the US – Session at Penrith High School


Monday, 12 October 2015

HSC exams get underway

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has wished more than 70,000 NSW students the very best as their school careers draw to an end.

The HSC exams begin today with English, which is the first of more than 100 HSC written exams.

“I wish all of our students the best of luck in the final tests of their schooling life - their HSC exams,” Mr Piccoli said.

“My message to students is to stay focused over the next month, but to also take care of themselves - get plenty of rest, eat healthy meals, exercise and ask for help if needed.

“Remember you have already done much of the work which will determine your final HSC result in assessments and tests undertaken during the year.

“The HSC is internationally recognised and provides students with the academic foundation for success after school, whether they plan to study at university, college or TAFE or enter the workforce.”

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards will conduct 118 HSC written exams over the next four weeks.

These will be held in 750 exam centres staffed by more than 7,500 supervisors and presiding officers.

Students have already completed 50 per cent of their HSC assessments at school with the exams accounting for the remaining 50 per cent.

Students will receive their HSC results on Wednesday 16 December.

The 2015 HSC Fact Sheet is available at:
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/news-media/hsc-media-guide-2015/fact-sheet.html.

HSC exams get underway


Friday, 25 September 2015

Piccoli urges brightest HSC students to teach


Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, meets 2015 HSC students hoping to be teachers in the future: (from left to right) Morgan Adams from Picton High School, Rebecca Finlay and Gerogia Mazurkiewicz, both from Elderslie High School, and Ryan Bondfield from Sydney Secondary College, Black Wattle Bay Campus at UNSW School of Education.

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today encouraged high achieving HSC students to consider a career in teaching.

From 2016, aspiring teachers will need to achieve a minimum of three band 5 HSC results, including one in English, to study an accredited undergraduate teaching degree in NSW.

More than 69,000 NSW Year 12 students have now finished their formal schooling and must lodge their first round preferences for 2016 university courses next week.

“We already have high teaching standards in NSW schools. But we need the high achieving students of today to be the high achieving teachers of tomorrow,” Mr Piccoli said.

“The greatest in-school influence on students is quality teachers, so higher standards for future teachers are part of our plan to improve student results.

“Teaching is an incredibly important and rewarding job and I encourage this year’s HSC students to consider it as a career.”

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards President, Tom Alegounarias, said higher standards mean future teachers will be sourced from the top 30 per cent of HSC students.

“Teaching is a demanding profession. As well as a passion for their subject, teachers also need the academic capacity to master that subject and develop the skill of teaching,” Mr Alegounarias said.

NSW was the first state to set minimum academic standards for entry into undergraduate teaching degrees and to require literacy and numeracy tests for teacher education students ahead of graduation.

Education ministers last week agreed to follow the NSW approach and require all student teachers to sit the test and demonstrate they have literacy and numeracy skills in the top 30 per cent of the population before they can graduate.

Piccoli urges brightest HSC students to teach


16 September 2015

BOSTES celebrates outstanding young writers at WriteOn


Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) President, Tom Alegounarias announced today the 2015 Gold award winners of the BOSTES annual youngest writer competition – WriteOn.

WriteOn is for NSW students in Years 1 to 6 and aims to encourage students to develop their creative writing skills.

To enter, students are required to write a short piece of up to 500 words on a photograph selected by BOSTES – this year an old flying machine at the beach.

This year nearly 400 entries were received with a panel of primary school teachers selecting 18 Gold, 18 Silver and 18 Bronze award winners chosen from each stage.

“Initiatives like WriteOn are a great way to develop a life-long love of writing, a skill that has so many applications throughout life.

“As these young writers progress through school, I trust and hope they will keep writing – it is an important skill, and great writing provides great enjoyment,” Mr Alegounarias said.

The Gold award winners recognised at a special event hosted by the State Library of NSW were:

  • Callum Macgown - Knox Grammar Preparatory
  • Samuel Jarrett - Emmanuel Anglican College
  • Sophie Ryan - Castle Cove Public School
  • Yash Goel - Castle Hill Public School
  • Alexander Patterson - St Joan of Arc Catholic School
  • Emmanouel Voudouris - Redeemer Baptist School
  • Jemima Woodman - International Grammar School
  • Katie Smith - Sacred Heart Primary School Mosman
  • Annabel Wu - Bald Face Public School
  • Eva Jacobson - Kincoppal Rose Bay Junior School
  • Charlie Carroll - Oxford Falls Grammar
  • Audrey Lin - Glenorie Public School
  • Eloise Cliff - Lakes Grammar - An Anglican School
  • Jasmine Wilks - Ravenswood School for Girls
  • Dylan Huynh - Inaburra School
  • Ming Lee - Ultimo Public School
  • Lilian Geddes-Korb - St James Catholic Primary School
  • Megan Yap - Australian International School, Malaysia

“The outstanding entries are published in the annual BOSTES WriteOn anthology which is a fantastic opportunity for any young author.

“I would like to congratulate these talented young writers who have benefited from great teachers with classroom content grounded in our quality NSW syllabuses and the support of their parents,” Mr Alegounarias said.

For more information visit WriteOn – Award recipients.

BOSTES celebrates outstanding young writers at WriteOn


9 September 2015

New phonics resource to improve reading skills

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli is encouraging teachers to use a new guide, which will assist them in teaching students to read using phonics.

Mr Piccoli launched the Phonics Guide during a visit to South Coogee Public School with Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith.

The guide is part of a series of NSW Government initiatives to improve student outcomes through Great Teaching, Inspired Learning, such as requiring teacher education courses to provide comprehensive phonics instruction.

“Research tells us teaching students the relationship between sounds and spelling patterns is crucial to the teaching of reading,” Mr Piccoli said.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government wants all teachers to use phonics as an essential part of early literacy programs.

“This guide provides every teacher in NSW with the skills and tools needed to teach students to read using phonics.”

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards President Tom Alegounarias said the ability to use phonics is essential when developing reading skills in students.
“The guide has been developed to assist teachers new to the profession, as well as those with extensive classroom experience,” he said.

In addition to using phonics, South Coogee Public School is putting funds made available by the NSW Government signing up to the Gonski agreement toward further professional development in Literacy and Numeracy teaching.

“Principal Trish Fisher and her staff do a fabulous job – and have shown leadership and insight with their commitment to using phonics to help students develop reading skills,” Mr Notley-Smith said.

New phonics resource to improve reading skills


31 August 2015

Coming to Sydney in September – Six Leading US Universities

In September six leading US universities will be in Sydney talking to students about studying in the US.

They are: Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton University.

Already this year eight US universities have been in Sydney to speak to students and parents about the opportunities for undergraduate study.

US Consulate General Public Affairs Officer David McGuire said “Over 4000 Australian are currently studying undergraduate degrees in America.”

“High achieving HSC students are sought after by our universities. They have a great academic grounding, and have proven that they can excel in your internationally regarded credential,” Mr McGuire said.

HSC students wanting to find out more are encouraged to attend one of the special information sessions on the 2nd, 3rd and 8th of September.

The universities will also meet with the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards to discuss the internationally regarded NSW Higher School certificate.

BOSTES President Mr Alegounarias said “Every year HSC students gain entry into leading universities in the UK and the US.  Having done very well in the HSC they are well prepared for their tertiary studies – here or overseas.”

Famous alumni from these six leading universities include:

Columbia University
Barack Obama – US President
Maggie Gyllenhaal – actor
Vampire Weekend – rock band
Warren Buffet – investor

Duke University
Richard Nixon – former US President
Melinda Gates – businesswoman, philanthropist
Kyrie Irving – NBA player
Tim Cook – CEO, Apple

Georgetown University
Bill Clinton – former US President
Bradley Cooper – actor
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – former President of The Philippines
Hugo Llorens – US Consul General, Sydney

Northwestern University
Stephen Colbert – TV host
Ginny Rometty – CEO, IBM
Will Butler – guitarist for Arcare Fire
George RR Martin – author, Game of Thrones

University of Pennsylvania
Steve Jobs – founder, Apple
Noam Chomsky – philosopher
Candice Bergen – actor

Princeton University
Michelle Obama – lawyer, First Lady
Woodrow Wilson – 28th President of the US
Alan Turing – father of the computer
Meg Whitman – Chief Executive, Hewlett-Packard

Coming to Sydney in September – Six Leading US Universities

MEDIA:  Michael Charlton 0477 362 546


Embargoed until 12.01am Monday 24 August 2015

HSC Visual Artworks due

Following months of creative effort, around 9,600 HSC Visual Arts students from nearly 600 schools across NSW are handing in their major works today.

12 per cent of HSC students are studying Visual Arts making it the most popular subject with a practical component and 12th most popular overall.

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) President Tom Alegounarias said studying HSC Visual Arts allows students to not only make their own artwork, but also study art history and learn to analyse and interpret the work of other artists.

“Some may go on to successful careers in visual arts, but all HSC Visual Arts students learn to look at the world from an artist’s point of view.

Students choose from a range of media, techniques and materials for their Body Of Work, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and multimedia.

“Throughout the Visual Arts course students document their progress, in their Visual Arts Process Diary (VAPD). By developing their art making from a concept to finished work, students learn new skills and the ability to critique their own work as they do so.

“The Body Of Work accounts for 50% of students’ Visual Arts exam mark. The other 50% comes from the written exam on 4 November.

“In the written exam, students analyse and interpret artworks using the three areas of the HSC Syllabus: Practice, Frames and the Conceptual Framework,” Mr Alegounarias said

To ensure HSC major projects are students’ own work:

  • schools certify that each HSC project submitted has been completed or attributed by the student. Zero marks may be awarded where it cannot be established that the project represents a student’s own work
  • students receive a copy of the HSC Rules and Procedures and must agree to abide by these when they sign their Confirmation of Entry form
  • students must complete the All My Own Work program about the principles and practices of good scholarship and penalties for cheating.

Exemplary HSC Visual Arts Major Works are selected for the annual BOSTES ARTEXPRESS showcase. View ARTEXPRESS details: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/exhibitions/

View the HSC Visual Arts syllabus: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/visual-arts.html

View HSC key dates and exam timetables: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/key_dates/

2015 HSC FACT SHEET: 11 August 2015

  • More than 75,000 students are enrolled in one or more HSC courses
  • Around 65,000 students will be eligible for the HSC credential this year
  • HSC Music, Dance and Drama practical exams are scheduled for August and September
  • 51 HSC oral language exams are scheduled from 30 July to 5 September
  • 118 HSC written examinations totalling around 300 hours are scheduled for 12 October to 4 November
  • HSC exams will be held in over 750 exam centres staffed by over 7,500 supervisors and presiding officers
  • Plans are in place for 318 students to sit their HSC exams at Australian schools overseas
  • 85 exam committees and 300 committee members are involved in developing the written examinations
  • Each exam will be reviewed at least six times before more than 700,000 exam papers are printed
  • More than 5,500 markers will mark HSC exams from 10 marking centres and home across NSW
  • Around 45% of HSC markers will mark online with 64 courses (an increase of 13%) to be fully or partially marked online
  • Each student will have their English exams marked by at least 11 markers, and their Mathematics exam by at least six markers
  • Students can access their HSC results from 6.00am on Wednesday 16 December
  • To be awarded the internationally recognised HSC students must complete at least 12 units of preliminary courses and 10 units of HSC courses. English is compulsory. Most students complete preliminary courses in Year 11, HSC courses in Year 12 and are awarded an HSC at the end of Year 12
  • HSC exams were first held in 1967
  • The HSC Rules and Procedures underpin the integrity of the world class HSC. BOSTES treats breaches very seriously. Students found to have cheated may not be awarded an HSC

HSC Visual Artworks due

Media: Jennifer Ward 0455 076 754


12 August 2015

Budding entrepreneurs discuss ideas and plans with Peter Shankman

US innovator, entrepreneur, angel investor

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards and the US Consulate General held a special tutorial session for HSC students interested in entrepreneurship.

The students discussed their experiences, ideas and plans with Peter Shankman - the founder of ShankMinds: Business Masterminds, a series of small business entrepreneurial-style masterminds in over 25 cities worldwide.

President of BOSTES, Tom Alegounarias, said NSW syllabuses provide students with the knowledge and skills to give them great post-school choices.

“The entrepreneurship tutorial sessions are another way we are supporting the aspirations of students. Some have already started their own businesses, others have well-progressed plans.

“Talking to Peter Shankman and listening to his feedback added to their confidence and determination,” he said.

US Consulate General Public Affairs Officer David McGuire said “With over 4000 Australians studying in the US, we are well aware of the high educational standards  in Australia.”

“The US Consulate General  was pleased to be able to work with BOSTES and bring budding school-age entrepreneurs together with Peter Shankman, who has done so much to encourage and support entrepreneurship.”

Mark Anderson, Principal of Normanhust Boys High School said “The entrepreneurship session is a great opportunity for senior students to build their understanding of commerce.

“One of our students attending the session is also looking at going to university in the US – so meeting Peter Shankman has a double benefit.”

Debra Kellihar, Principal of Kambala said “I am constantly impressed with the commercial spirit of young women – and the chance to spend time with Peter Shankman can only boost their confidence and understanding of business.

“This is a wonderful initiative on behalf of BOSTES for our NSW students.”

About Peter Shankman: http://shankman.com/

He is the author of four books: Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2015) Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over, and Collaboration is in, (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2013,) Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work--And Why Your Company Needs Them (Wiley and Sons, 2006,) and Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World (Que Biz-Tech 2010,) and is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences and worldwide. Peter is an adjunct professor of Marketing at New York University, a Dell Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and sits on the advisory boards of several companies. He’s also an angel investor, specializing mostly in very early stage tech and social media companies.

Budding entrepreneurs discuss ideas and plans with Peter Shankman

Media:  Michael Charlton 0477 362 546


12 August 2015

HSC exams start for Drama students

More than 4500 HSC Drama students from more than 450 schools across NSW will be performing their group pieces for examiners from next Monday 17 August.

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW(BOSTES) President Tom Alegounarias said that through the HSC Drama course students acquire skills in interpretation, communication, performance, critical analysis and technical processes for heightening dramatic presentation.

“With the hard work done, including many hours of rehearsals, I wish Drama students around the state the very best for upcoming visits by HSC examiners,” Mr Alegounarias said.

The 2015 HSC Drama exam includes three components:

  • a group performance worth 30 marks
  • an individual project worth 30 marks
  • a written paper worth 40 marks on Tuesday 3 November.

Mr Alegounarias said that for the group performance, three to six students work together to select one of eight topics from which they prepare an original, eight to 12 minute piece of theatre to be performed for examiners.

“For the individual project students undertake a project from one of the following areas: Critical Analysis, Design, Performance, Scriptwriting and Video Drama.

“Studying an HSC subject with a performance dimension offers students the opportunity to further develop individual talents, as well as self-confidence and self-esteem so important to success in all areas of life.

“Around 10,800 (14%) HSC students will do performance exams in Drama, Dance or Music before the HSC written exams start in October,” Mr Alegounarias said.

Exemplary HSC Drama and Dance students are selected to perform in the BOSTES OnSTAGE and CALLBACK showcases held annually in February.

View the HSC Drama syllabus:
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/drama.html
View HSC key dates and exam timetables:
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/key_dates/

2015 HSC FACT SHEET: 11 August 2015

  • More than 75,000 students are enrolled in one or more HSC courses
  • Around 65,000 students will be eligible for the HSC credential this year
  • HSC Music, Dance and Drama practical exams are scheduled for August and September
  • 51 HSC oral language exams are scheduled from 30 July to 5 September
  • 118 HSC written examinations totalling around 300 hours are scheduled for 12 October to 4 November
  • HSC exams will be held in over 750 exam centres staffed by over 7,500 supervisors and presiding officers
  • Plans are in place for 318 students to sit their HSC exams at Australian schools overseas
  • 85 exam committees and 300 committee members are involved in developing the written examinations
  • Each exam will be reviewed at least six times before more than 700,000 exam papers are printed
  • More than 5,500 markers will mark HSC exams from 10 marking centres and home across NSW
  • Around 45% of HSC markers will mark online with 64 courses (an increase of 13%) to be fully or partially marked online
  • Each student will have their English exams marked by at least 11 markers, and their Mathematics exam by at least six markers
  • Students can access their HSC results from 6.00am on Wednesday 16 December
  • To be awarded the internationally recognised HSC students must complete at least 12 units of preliminary courses and 10 units of HSC courses. English is compulsory. Most students complete preliminary courses in Year 11, HSC courses in Year 12 and are awarded an HSC at the end of Year 12
  • HSC exams were first held in 1967
  • The HSC Rules and Procedures underpin the integrity of the world class HSC. BOSTES treats breaches very seriously. Students found to have cheated may not be awarded an HSC.

HSC exams start for drama students

MEDIA:  Jennifer Ward Mob: 0455 076 754


10 August 2015

WordeXpress published works of HSC English students

WordXpress
The featured authors in Young Writers Showcase14

Mr Tom Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES) today launched WordeXpress – the annual BOSTES showcase of exemplary HSC English Extension 2 major works.

From nearly 1800 students who studied English Extension 2 in the 2014 HSC, 16 have their works published in the WordeXpress’ Young Writers Showcase anthology.

Mr Alegounarias said “The Young Writers Showcase celebrates the creative talent of our HSC students, and the16 students who have works selected for publication have achieved at the highest level.

“One featured author came First in Course in five HSC courses, including English Extension 2, another came First in Course in Legal Studies, and a third came First in Course in Mathematics Extension 2.

“The featured authors, and their schools and teachers, are to be congratulated. I wish the students the best of luck for their future studies and careers, and if creative writing forms part of that, either professionally or by way of personal interest, I look forward to reading their next contributions to our national culture.

“In addition to WordeXpress, a partnership between BOSTES and the State Library of NSW, for English Extension 2, BOSTES celebrates excellence across a range of subjects with our annual showcases.

“These include ARTEXPRESS for Visual Arts students, OnStage for Drama students, CALLBACK for Dance students, Encore for Music students, and DesignTECH for Design and Technology students. There is also the Texstyle showcase for Textiles and Design students and InTECH for Industrial Arts students,” Mr Alegounarias said.

The featured authors in Young Writers Showcase14 are:

Samuel Bennett-Lowe - Gosford High School
Science in a smoke-filled room (Critical response)

Charlotte Cachia-Woodland - Pymble Ladies’ College
Singularity (Short story)

Azrael Cosgrove - All Saints College, St Mary’s Campus
Lungs (Short story)

Sophie Rose Haney Davis - Merewether High School
The road to Molong (Poem)

Alaina Dean - James Sheahan Catholic High School
Dust ache (Short story)

Janek Drevikovsky - Fort Street High School
Translator, traitor (Short story)

Bolwen Fu - Fort Street High School
Pulped Fiction (Script)

Ruby Hillsmith - Fort Street High School
Commentary on a nymphette (Poem)

Hannah Howard - Trinity Catholic College Lismore
Prufrock café (Short story)

Spiro Kalavritinos - Georges River College, Oatley Senior Campus
A multitude of methods to evade the truth (Short story)

Barton Shteinman - Emmanuel School
Pamphlets and purple passages (Critical response)

Samuel Siskovic - St Paul’s Catholic College
The hanged man (Script)

Michael Sun - James Ruse Agricultural High School
Just what is it that makes today’s artworks so different, so appealing?
(Short story)

Sophie Walter - Masada College
Invaluable testament to trauma or puerile dross? (Critical response)

Joshua Wooller - The Scots College
In Russia, you must not wake anybody (Script)

Amanda Yau - Hornsby Girls High School
Addiction-ary (Short story)

Wordexpress – Published Works Of HSC English Students

MEDIA:  Michael Charlton 0477 362 546


Wednesday 29 July 2015

HSC Exams start for Dance students

Around 900 Dance students from more than 200 schools across NSW will be performing for HSC examiners from next Monday 3 August.

Member for Miranda, Eleni Petinos today visited Port Hacking High School to see their five HSC Dance students in a final rehearsal before their practical exam on Wednesday 5 August.

“Having rehearsed for many hours over the past 10 months, I wish our local students and those around the state the very best for their HSC exam performances.

“Studying a HSC subject with a performance component helps students to build valuable life skills including self-confidence and self-esteem,” Ms Petinos said.

Around 10,800 (14%) HSC students will do performance exams in Drama, Dance or Music before the HSC written exams start in October.

The 2015 HSC Dance exam includes four components:

  • a performance exam worth 20 marks
  • a composition exam worth 20 marks
  • a major study worth 40 marks
  • a written paper worth 20 marks on Wednesday 14 October.

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) Executive Director Curriculum, Teaching and Assessment Paul Hewitt said that for the practical exam, students perform a dance and have a dance they have choreographed performed by another dancer.

“For the major study students undertake in-depth study in Performance, Composition, Appreciation or Dance and Technology.

“Through the HSC Dance course students learn the skills of dance, to perform and create dances, to critically analyse, respond, enjoy and make discerning judgments about dance, and to gain cultural knowledge and understanding,” Mr Hewitt said.

Exemplary HSC Drama and Dance students are selected to perform in the BOSTES OnSTAGE and CALLBACK showcases held annually in February.

View the HSC Dance syllabus: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/dance.html

View HSC key dates and exam timetables: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/key_dates/

2015 HSC Fact sheet: 24 June 2015

  • More than 75,000 students are enrolled in one or more HSC courses
  • Around 10,000 students are studying less than 10 units and may not be eligible for the HSC credential this year
  • HSC Music, Dance and Drama practical exams are scheduled for August and September
  • 51 HSC oral language exams are scheduled from 30 July to 5 September
  • 118 HSC written examinations totalling around 300 hours are scheduled for 12 October to 4 November
  • HSC exams will be held in over 750 exam centres staffed by over 7,500 supervisors and presiding officers
  • Plans are in place for 318 students to sit their HSC exams at Australian schools overseas
  • 85 exam committees and 300 committee members are involved in developing the written examinations
  • Each exam will be reviewed at least six times before more than 700,000 exam papers are printed
  • More than 5,500 markers will mark HSC exams from 10 marking centres and home across NSW
  • Around 45% of HSC markers will mark online with 64 courses (an increase of 13%) to be fully or partially marked online
  • Each student will have their English exams marked by at least 11 markers, and their Mathematics exam by at least six markers
  • Students can access their HSC results from 6.00am on Wednesday 16 December
  • To be awarded the internationally recognised HSC students must complete at least 12 units of preliminary courses and 10 units of HSC courses. English is compulsory. Most students complete preliminary courses in Year 11, HSC courses in Year 12 and are awarded an HSC at the end of Year 12
  • HSC exams were first held in 1967
  • The HSC Rules and Procedures underpin the integrity of the world–class HSC. BOSTES treats breaches very seriously. Students found to have cheated may not be awarded an HSC.

HSC Exam Start for Dance student


Friday, 17 July 2015

Civica chooses NSW online exam marking technology

Online examination marking technology from NSW has been chosen by Civica to fulfil a significant multi-million pounds sterling global online marking contract.

Civica, a UK-based leader in software, technology and business process services, will manage the use of MarkManager for online marking of a leading skills proficiency test sat by over one million candidates per year.

Developed by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) and commercialised with the assistance of technology partner LANSA Pty Ltd, MarkManager delivers best practice marking.

Lee Burley, Managing Director Education, Civica UK Limited, said “The BOSTES MarkManager has a proven long term record of delivering exam results on time and is widely recognised as a ‘new generation’ market leader in its field.”

“We selected MarkManager for a number of reasons, including its support for a model of frequent test sittings throughout the year in a controlled environment. We have found that BOSTES has excellent domain knowledge and is responsive to our special requirements.”

Civica is an ideal UK-based partner for BOSTES because of its strong presence in education, its excellent track record of reliability and its experience gained from supplying software and services to over 6,000 schools, colleges and libraries around the world. Civica with an annual revenue of over £220 million has sufficient scale and availability of resources to fulfil the large contracts that increasingly MarkManager is being considered for.

Civica will provide MarkManager to its clients on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said “In NSW BOSTES uses MarkManager for its internationally recognised Higher School Certificate (HSC) examinations.

“For the 2014 HSC of nearly 5000 markers, around 2000 marked online. Together the markers marked over two million writing booklets completed by nearly 77,000 students across 116 courses.

“In 2014 the first exam was on Monday 13 October. The last exam was on Thursday 5 November. Marking ended at 9pm on Wednesday 26 November, and results were released at 6am on Wednesday 17 December.

“MarkManager is a great innovation which facilitated BOSTES meeting this tight timeframe” Mr Alegounarias said.

MarkManager provides senior markers – who supervise teams of markers – with a number of sophisticated quality assurance tools not available in pen-and-paper marking.  Any errors can be detected and corrected immediately, saving significant time and improving the marking process. Examination responses are distributed randomly and anonymously, and markers can review their marks at any time.

Furthermore, senior markers are able to supervise their teams of markers in real time – this is a level of quality assurance not available with pen-and-paper marking, and the application immediately stops markers, who do not adhere to the marking guidelines, from marking.

MEDIA: BOSTES - Michael Charlton 0477 362 546
Civica - Daryn Vanstone 0475 964 762

About Civica

Civica generates revenues of £220 million per annum.

Every day Civica’s products and services help more than 1 million professionals in their jobs, streamlining service delivery to more than 80 million citizens and businesses. Civica is delivering to:

  • 1,000 local organisations
  • 6,000 schools, colleges and libraries
  • 400 health and care providers
  • 200 social housing organisations
  • 75% of the UK’s blue-light services.

Civica’s systems are used to manage:

  • £90 billion of funds or expenditure
  • £1.5 billion in secure electronic payments
  • 2 million properties
  • Access to day-to-day applications for 1 million students
  • Vehicle fleets totalling more than 250,000 vehicles
  • 200 million library loans
  • Pension schemes with a total of over 600,000 members.

About LANSA

LANSA is a leading provider of software tools for rapid application development, application modernisation and transformation, and enterprise integration. Using LANSA's powerful cross-platform tools, organisations overcome the complexity inherent in creating and maintaining business applications. The complete suite of LANSA’s integrated tools is also the technology foundation for a wide range of business solutions from LANSA and over 300 business partners. One of those solutions is MarkManager from BOSTES.

LANSA has worked closely with BOSTES on the commercialisation of MarkManager and its representation in the global educational assessment market. Established in 1987, LANSA supports thousands of companies around the world with its products and services.

About BOSTES

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES) is responsible for school curriculum, assessment, and teaching and regulatory standards in NSW schools.

Our key responsibilities relate to:

Civica chooses nsw online exam marking technology


Monday, 13 July 2015

New K–10 Geography Syllabus

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) today released the new Kindergarten–Year 10 Geography syllabus.

Geography is a valuable part of the mandatory NSW curriculum. In the new syllabus, emphasis is placed on important concepts of contemporary geographical learning, such as change, environment and interconnection, and key skills in investigating and responding to real-life challenges.

In Geography students learn how the environment functions, how it affects people, and the ways people interact with the environment. They develop an understanding of their community and how it is connected to the wider world, engage in fieldwork and use spatial technologies to explore community and environmental concerns, and consider how they can make a difference.

As students progress from Kindergarten to Year 10, Geography provides them with exciting opportunities to investigate real-world issues and events and explore their complexity including different points of view.

With the broad knowledge and skills that students learn through Geography, students are well prepared for a range of university degrees and the decisions they will make in their own lives.

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said the new Geography syllabus can be taught in NSW schools from 2016 through a phased implementation schedule.

“Geography joins the recently released K–10 English, Mathematics, Science and History syllabuses, and demonstrates ongoing work in NSW to ensure our students benefit from learning that is both interesting and relevant.

President of BOSTES, Tom Alegounarias thanked the many teachers, experts and community members who contributed to the development of the Geography syllabus.

“Their comments and insights are vital to our syllabus development process which maintains the high standards of NSW syllabuses,” Mr Alegounarias said.

When BOSTES develops a syllabus it conducts extensive consultation with teachers, parents, education sectors, academics, and the wider community.

This ensures that any new syllabus provides opportunities to cater for the needs, interests and abilities of all students while laying the foundations to support HSC and tertiary studies.

MEDIA:  Michael Charlton 0477 362 546

New K–1O Geography Syllabus


Friday, 3 July 2015

NSW syllabus stronger on domestic violence prevention

Young people will soon be empowered with the knowledge, understanding and skills to help prevent domestic violence under important new changes to the school syllabus, as announced by Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward and Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today.

The mandatory NSW 7-10 Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) syllabus will be updated to explicitly include domestic violence prevention from the start of the first school Term in 2016 and is an important part of the NSW Government’s whole of government plan to prevent domestic and family violence.

“I have heard first hand that young people want to learn how to recognise and respond to abuse in relationships that may occur in their homes,” Ms Goward said.

“Through this update to the syllabus, schools can provide a significant platform for helping young people to identify, report and protect themselves and others from abuse.”

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said that age appropriate education for young people on how to keep themselves and others safe is a core feature of the mandatory K-6 and 7-10 PDHPE syllabuses.

“From Kindergarten, students learn about respectful relationships, safe and unsafe feelings and how to seek help when needed,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Strengthening the 7-10 syllabus to include specific reference to domestic violence supports existing opportunities for students to learn about positive relationships and leading safe and healthy lives.”

Following consultation with the Department of Education (DE), Association of Independent Schools NSW (AISNSW), Catholic Education Commission (CEC), Australian Council of Health, Physical Education and Recreation NSW (ACHPER NSW) and the PDHPE Teachers Association, amendments to the 7-10 PDHPE syllabus were approved at the Board of Studies, Teaching and Education Standards (BOSTES) NSW Tuesday 23 June 2015 meeting.

MEDIA:  Bianca Turai | Minister Goward | 0429 360 271
Caelin Worthington | Minister Piccoli | 0437 427 445

NSW syllabus stronger on domestic violence prevention


Monday 22 June 2015

Information issued to all NSW schools today by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards

PDHPE: Teaching Students To Manage The Challenges Of Life

An important aspect of a young person’s development is their ability to cope with the demands of life. Equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to manage challenges successfully in all areas of their life will enhance their overall wellbeing.

Throughout the mandatory K–6 Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) Syllabus, students learn to:

  • understand emotions that can emerge when things in their life change
  • recognise how their body responds to change and challenges
  • understand their emotions and the impact these feelings can have on their wellbeing
  • develop strategies to cope with change and challenges
  • develop skills to bounce back from adversity
  • identify people who can assist them to manage change and challenges effectively.

In the mandatory 7–10 PDHPE Syllabus, students learn to:

  • identify sources of change and challenge in their lives eg: school, family, friendships
  • identify behaviour that contributes to change and challenges and develop strategies to bring about positive outcomes
  • develop skills to communicate effectively when managing change and challenges
  • examine the role and impact of stress on health
  • undertake a range of positive management strategies to reduce stress eg: relaxation, physical activity
  • develop skills that enhance resilience
  • examine the relationship between the cognitive, physical, social, emotional and spiritual components of health and the impact these can have on their wellbeing
  • identify people who can assist them in managing change and challenges
  • access health information, products and services to address their health.

To complement the PDHPE curriculum, schools also run their own stress and coping programs in Years 11–12. In Department of Education and Communities schools this is done through the Crossroads programs. In Catholic and Independent schools, this is usually addressed through their pastoral care or wellbeing programs.

These programs could include workshops on time management, study techniques, mindfulness and the importance of nutrition, sleep and physical activity in managing stress.

The following resources can be used effectively to address a range of personal health issues and are suitable to assist teachers when teaching students about coping with and managing stress

MEDIA: Jennifer Ward – 0455 076 754

PDHPE: Teaching Students To Manage The Challenges Of Life


Monday 15 June 2015

2015 HSC Study Guide available

The 2015 HSC Study Guide, produced by the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES), is available in today’s SMH and online.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said the SMH 2015 HSC Study Guide covers 45 HSC subjects, has practical information about the HSC and timely advice for students on how to succeed in the HSC exams.

“For the first time, the Guide’s online version features experienced NSW teachers and 2014 HSC high achieving students in a comprehensive set of 18 videos on a range of popular subjects.

“More than 75,000 students are enrolled in an HSC course this year and BOSTES wants every one of these students to have the opportunity to do their best.

“The guide is for parents as well, with great information about how they can support their own HSC student.

“Students benefit when parents are positively engaged in their education and work together with teachers to support their HSC study.

“The guide is a great supplement to information and resources schools already provide to parents about the HSC.

“I know in many households and classrooms the SMH HSC 2015 Study Guide will prompt useful conversations between students and their parents and teachers.

“Collaborating with the SMH to produce the SMH HSC 2015 Study Guide provides BOSTES with an opportunity to promote the internationally regarded HSC, and deliver valuable information to students, teachers and parents in the lead up to the HSC exams,” Mr Alegounarias said.

The 2015 HSC written exams will start on Monday 12 October with English and finish on Wednesday 4 November with Visual Arts.

Students can access their HSC results from 6.00am on Wednesday 16 December.

2015 HSC FACT SHEET: 25 May 2015

  • More than 75,000 students are enrolled in one or more HSC courses
  • Around 10,000 students, studying less than 10 units, are not eligible for the HSC credential this year
  • 51 HSC oral language exams are scheduled from 30 July to 5 September
  • HSC Music, Dance and Drama practical exams are scheduled for August and September
  • 118 HSC written examinations totalling around 300 hours are scheduled for 12 October to 4 November
  • HSC exams will be held in over 750 exam centres staffed by over 7,500 supervisors and presiding officers
  • Plans are in place for 318 students to sit their HSC exams at Australian schools overseas
  • 85 exam committees and 300 committee members are involved in developing the written examinations
  • Each exam will be reviewed at least six times before more than 700,000 exam papers are printed
  • More than 5,500 markers will mark HSC exams from 10 marking centres and home across NSW
  • Around 45% of HSC markers will mark online with 64 courses (an increase of 13%) to be fully or partially marked online
  • Each student will have their English exams marked by at least 11 markers, and their Mathematics exam by at least six markers
  • Students can access their HSC results from 6.00am on Wednesday 16 December
  • To be awarded the internationally recognised HSC students must complete at least 12 units of preliminary courses and 10 units of HSC courses. English is compulsory. Most students complete preliminary courses in Year 11, HSC courses in Year 12 and are awarded an HSC at the end of Year 12
  • HSC exams were first held in 1967

Thursday 21 May 2015

Schools Helping Schools Deliver on Agricultural Education

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has announced the first seven NSW public schools selected to lead the way in the future delivery of agricultural education.

“The teachers at these schools will now play a mentoring role with their colleagues in other schools across the State,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Agriculture contributes around $9 billion to the NSW economy every year and it is critical that we have relevant, high-quality agricultural education and training.

“These schools have been selected for outstanding student engagement and career promotion in Agriculture and Primary Industries.”

The first lighthouse schools established as a response to the recommendations of the Pratley Review into Agricultural Education and Training in NSW are:

  • Colo High School
  • Junee High School
  • Kempsey High School
  • Pittwater High School
  • Mount View High School
  • Murrumburrah High School
  • Tumut High School

Pittwater High School is the only urban school selected as a lighthouse school for the teaching of Agriculture and Primary Industries.

“It’s great to see an urban school among those leading the way in agricultural education,” Mr Piccoli said.

“To be chosen to be part of this program is a particular honour for Pittwater High because they are showing these exemplary standards in an urban environment,” Member for Pittwater and Minister for Planning Rob Stokes said.

“Pittwater High has a proud history of agricultural education and this announcement recognises and rewards its innovation and success on a state-wide scale.”

Other NSW schools will be invited to submit Expressions of Interest to join the lighthouse schools group later this year.

Schools Helping Schools Deliver on Agricultural Education


7 May 2015

NSW launches new technology for literacy and numeracy tests

Tom Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) said the online Literacy and Numeracy tests for students planning to leave school before the HSC will now be ‘adaptive’.

“With advanced technology developed by the University of Cambridge, the tests will get harder or easier depending on the individual student’s ability – this is known as Computer Adaptive Testing or CAT.

“Every year around 2000 students take the voluntary Literacy and Numeracy tests and receive a report on their results from BOSTES.

“Students use the test results when applying for jobs, further education and training.

“Previously students had to complete the same 60 questions and wait a few weeks for the results.

“Now, with the new technology, BOSTES will be able to assess students’ level of ability with considerably fewer questions.

“Also results will be available straight away.

“This makes the tests quicker as students don’t have to answer questions which are too hard or too easy and which make no difference to their results.

“The adaptive tests were successfully trialled at three schools in 2014 and will be rolled out across NSW from May 2015.

Previously, students could only take the BOSTES Literacy and Numeracy tests in May or September. With the move to CAT, schools can organise their students to take the tests whenever it best suits them.

The introduction of the BOSTES CAT Literacy and Numeracy tests was announced at Xavier College, Llandilo.

Mr Alegounarias thanked the school’s principal, Michael Pate, for supporting the new test format and recognising the benefits it will bring to those students who plan to start a trade, for example, instead of doing the HSC.

BOSTES already uses state of the art technology to support its syllabuses and assessments:

  • Program Builder is an online tool for teachers implementing the new K-10 syllabuses in NSW schools designed to make the task of planning lessons to match the new syllabuses much easier.
  • Increasingly HSC written examinations are marked online, allowing senior markers to monitor consistency in real-time.

NSW launches new technology for literacy and numeracy tests


5 May 2015

Fairness and integrity core to NSW HSC

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) has released the 2014 data for four programs that support the fairness and integrity of the NSW Higher School Certificate:

  • Disability provisions
  • Illness/misadventure applications
  • Maintaining integrity in HSC examinations
  • Maintaining integrity in school assessments

President of BOSTES, Tom Alegounarias said the NSW HSC is internationally recognised for the quality of its syllabuses, teaching, and the fairness and integrity of the examinations and school assessments.

“To ensure the HSC’s fairness and integrity, BOSTES applies stringent processes when assessing disability provisions and illness/misadventure applications, and applying assessment and examination integrity rules,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“BOSTES encourages and supports all schools, parents and students to understand and consider whether a student requires disability provisions or illness/misadventure consideration.”

“BOSTES also engages directly with students to ensure they are fully aware of the All My Own Work requirements and the examination rules and procedures. This communication compliments the ongoing and comprehensive work by schools to address potential assessment and examination malpractice.

“BOSTES considers each application and incident on a case by case basis to ensure that all decisions are fair and transparent,” Mr Alegounarias said.

Disability provisions in the HSC give practical assistance to students who may otherwise be disadvantaged when undertaking their exams. Emergency provisions are also approved for late injuries such as a broken arm just prior to the examinations.

Disability provisions do not confer additional marks, and are not intended to confer any advantage. They allow students to participate in the examination process in the same way as their peers.

Illness/misadventure applications also do not confer any advantage. If an illness/misadventure application is upheld, BOSTES will consider other indicators of the students’ performance, such as school assessment marks, to ensure that the students are not disadvantaged by this occurrence.

Examination integrity includes breaches of examination rules and malpractice by students undertaking HSC examinations or school assessment tasks. BOSTES and schools take incidents of malpractice seriously, and warn students that the consequences of malpractice can range from loss of some marks to their entire HSC.

Summary of 2014 statistics:

Disability provisions

  • BOSTES received 6672 applications for disability provisions.
  • 94% were either fully or partially approved.
  • Almost 88% of all schools – and 87% of government schools – had at least one application for disability provisions. This is a small increase from 2013.

Illness/misadventure applications

  • As Illness/misadventure applications are for occurrences of sickness or other unforeseen incidents, the numbers, types and schools vary from year to year.
  • Some minor flooding and a cold snap affected a small number of students from the South Coast and the Blue Mountains

Assessment integrity

  • All schools are required to maintain a register of malpractice (cheating) in school assessment tasks
  • In 2014, 204 schools registered 630 offences involving 485 students
  • The most frequent offence was plagiarism, for which 61% of offenders received zero marks, and 35% were given reduced marks

Examination integrity

  • Incidents of cheating remain very small.
  • This includes a very small number of students (21 from over 75,000) appearing before the Examination Rules Committee for breaching examination rules and 115 students where the school was unable to certify that the student’s major project was all their own work or completed in the permitted time.

For more information visit:

Fairness and integrity core to NSW HSC


4 May 2015

Keep kids safe on the road - third UN Global Road Safety Week 4-10 May 2015

This week is the third UN Global Road Safety Week - #SaveKidsLives.

Injuries as a result of road accidents are the leading cause of death for young people. Equipping our students with the knowledge and skills to keep them safe around and on the road is essential and is included in the mandatory Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) Syllabus.

The K-Year 6 syllabus deals with pedestrian and passenger safety and safety on wheels. Students learn to:

  • describe safe travel practise 
  • recognise safe behaviour
  • propose strategies to keep them safe on and around the road
  • plan to take responsibility for their own and others' safety

In the Year 7-10 syllabus, students explore:

  • road safety statistics
  • risk factors in a range of road environments
  • responsible driver and passenger behaviour
  • consequences of unsafe road-use behaviour
  • major causes of road and traffic related injuries
  • first aid management of road injury
  • skills and attitudes that support safe behaviour
  • road rules and laws

To complement the curriculum, schools also run their own road safety education programs in Years 11-12. Department of Education schools use the Crossroads programs. Catholic and Independent schools usually address it in their pastoral care or wellbeing programs.

To raise awareness of road safety and improve students’ physical activity levels, schools can participate in the National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday 22 May.

For more information relating to road safety, visit:

Keep kids safe on the road – Third UN Global road safety week


1 May 2015

HSC marking workshops for mathematics and biology teachers

After last year’s successful HSC marking workshops in English, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) has developed HSC marking workshops for Mathematics and Biology teachers.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said “The NSW HSC is an international credential that relies on the quality of classroom teachers delivering the syllabuses and assessing student achievement.

“The HSC marking workshops developed by BOSTES is another way we are assisting teachers help their students prepare for the exams at the end of the year.

 “I encourage Mathematics and Biology teachers to take advantage of this valuable professional development opportunity.”

Three of the workshops are in regional centres, part of BOSTES commitment to supporting teachers, schools and students across the state.

  • 2 May – Sydney: Sydney Church of England Grammar School (SHORE)
  • 9 May – Southern Highlands and Tablelands: Goulburn High School
  • 16 May – Central West: James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange
  • 23 May – New England: Armidale High School

In the workshops teachers will engage in a hands-on simulation of the HSC marking process, most particularly the application of the marking kit to ensure valid and reliable results. They will develop an understanding of the principles of assessment and an ability to apply marking guidelines to make valid and consistent judgements. They will learn about the relationship between school assessment marks and final HSC marks, how the school assessment marks are moderated, and an overview of standards setting process. They will also see how various functions within the Results Analysis Package (information provided by BOSTES to schools on their students’ results) can be used by teachers to help improve teaching and learning outcomes.

HSC marking workshops for mathematics and biology teachers


29 April 2015

HSC Written Exam Timetable Available

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) today released the 2015 written exam timetable for the internationally regarded HSC.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said the HSC written exams start on Monday 12 October at 10:20am with English, which is compulsory, and finish on Wednesday 4 November with Visual Arts.

“Scheduling HSC exams is always a complicated exercise. In 2015, 118 written exams totalling around 300 hours have been timetabled over a four week period.

“BOSTES carefully analysed the HSC course patterns of over 75,000 students to produce the timetable.

“Minimising stress for students by keeping the overall exam period as short as possible is our priority,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“Invariably some students will have individual preferences for when they sit particular exams, however BOSTES aims to provide an exam schedule which, on balance, is fair and equitable."

When scheduling the HSC written exams BOSTES uses comprehensive and rigorous procedures to:

  • minimise the number of students with two exams scheduled at the same time
  • provide sufficient time between exams for popular courses
  • provide sufficient time between exams for courses that are frequently studied together
  • ensure sufficient time for all exams to be marked and processed for students to access their results from 6.00am on Wednesday 16 December.

BOSTES has identified and made alternative arrangements for a very small number of students who have two exams scheduled at the same time.

View the HSC written exam timetable: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/key_dates/

2015 HSC Fact Sheet

  • Over 75,000 students are enrolled in one or more HSC courses
  • 51 HSC oral language exams are scheduled from 30 July to 5 September
  • HSC Music, Dance and Drama practical exams are scheduled for August and September
  • 118 HSC written examinations are scheduled for 12 October to 4 November
  • HSC exams will be held across NSW in over 750 exam centres staffed by over 7,500 supervisors and presiding officers
  • Plans are in place for 318 students to sit their HSC exams at Australian schools overseas
  • 85 exam committees and 300 committee members are involved in developing the written examinations
  • Each exam will be reviewed at least six times before more than 700,000 exam papers are printed
  • More than 5500 markers working in 10 marking centres and from home across NSW will mark HSC exams
  • Around 45% of HSC markers will mark online with 64 courses (an increase of 13%) to be fully or partially marked online
  • Each student will have their English exams marked by at least 11 markers, and their Mathematics exam by at least six markers
  • Students can access their HSC results from 6.00am on Wednesday 16 December
  • HSC exams were first held in 1967
  • To be awarded the internationally recognised HSC students must complete at least 12 units of preliminary courses and 10 units of HSC courses. English is compulsory. Most students complete preliminary courses in Year 11, HSC courses in Year 12 and are awarded an HSC at the end of Year 12.

HSC Written Exam Timetable Available

MEDIA:  Jennifer Ward 0455 076 754


Grades For 2014 Year 10 And 11 Students

The 2014 Year 10 and 11 subject grades have been published by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES).

A to E grades are awarded by schools to each student who completes a Stage 5 or Preliminary course, except Life Skills and VET courses. Stage 5 courses are usually completed in Year 10, and Preliminary courses are usually completed in Year 11.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias, said the A to E grades compare students’ achievements across the entire state, as a student will be awarded the same grade for the same achievement regardless of where they are studying in NSW.

2014 distribution of grades awarded, across all courses, to the 89 385 Year 10 students:

A 16% B 27% C 34% D 16% E 7% 

2014 distribution of grades awarded, across all courses, to the 86 251 Year 11 students:

A 15% B 27% C 34% D 17% E 7% 

Students were able to access their individual grades on Students Online, the BOSTES website for senior secondary students, late last year.

“The grades are awarded by schools for students’ work over the year and are monitored by BOSTES for quality assurance and state-wide consistency before they are finalised and released to students. Classroom teachers compare their students’ work with work samples published by BOSTES.

“Last year, for the first time, Stage 5 and Preliminary course grades were included on each student’s HSC Record of Achievement. Students who leave school before the HSC, will have their grades included on their Record of School Achievement (RoSA),” Mr Alegounarias said.

For the list of grades by course:

Year 11: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/ebos/static/CPDSC_2014_11.html
Year 10: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/ebos/static/CPDSC_2014_10.html

For information on grades: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/rosa/grades/

The 2013 grades distribution was:

Year 10 A 16% B 27% C 33% D 17% E 7%
Year 11 A 15% B 27% C 34% D 17% E 7%

Grades For 2014 Year 10 And 11 Students

MEDIA:  Michael Charlton 0477 362 546


Monday 9 March 2015

Presentation of The Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize To 2014 Hsc Students

The 2014 Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize has been presented to two students who have overcome significant hardship to attain outstanding results in last year’s Higher School Certificate.

The Prize was presented today by the President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES), Mr Tom Alegounarias at a ceremony in NSW Parliament House.

“This Prize is an important component of the program of recognition that is in place for HSC students. It is also unique in that it is part of the legacy of Brother John Taylor, a lifelong advocate of education and equity.

“This year’s recipients are both outstanding students, and have demonstrated resilience and determination in tackling the challenges they have each faced in their lives,” said Mr Alegounarias.

The winners of the 2014 Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize are:

  • Mr Evan Jones – who completed his HSC at Bradfield College in Crows Nest. Mr Jones has lived with a range of personal and health issues throughout his childhood and into adolescence. Mr Jones has been accepted into the University of Sydney for a Bachelor of Arts.
  • Mr Joseph Popov – who completed his HSC at Lambton High School. Mr Popov was born with spastic quadriplegia that has a profound impact on his mobility and speech. Mr Popov has been accepted in the University of Newcastle for a double degree in Law and Social Science.

“Both these students have excelled in their studies to date, and there is every reason to believe that they will continue that success at university and beyond,” said Mr Alegounarias.

“Mr Jones is passionate about education, and Mr Popov aspires to a career in human rights law and politics.

“These goals demonstrate the positive outlook these young men have on life and their desire to make worthy contributions as adults. 

“BOSTES is very proud of its association with the Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize, and I am delighted to be making the presentation this year to two very worthy young recipients.

“Joseph and Evan both exemplify the application and commitment that HSC students right across NSW bring to bear on their studies.

“I want to congratulate both recipients, and thank their teachers, families and friends for the support they have provided to Evan and Joseph throughout their school studies.”

Presentation of The Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize To 2014 Hsc Students

MEDIA:  Michael Charlton 0477 362 546


Monday 9 March 2015

ENCORE for hsc students at opera house

23 music students from the 2014 HSC will perform in ENCORE at the Opera House on Monday 9 March.

ENCORE is the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES) showcase of outstanding performances and compositions by students from the HSC Music examinations.

Performances, which include both original compositions and those of other composers, allow audiences to share in the students’ love of music as they perform in the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House in two performances on 9 March.

BOSTES President, Tom Alegounarias, said ENCORE offers the opportunity for the musical talents of NSW students to be displayed to audiences beyond exam centres, teachers and their family homes.

“The HSC Music Syllabus requires the student to undertake both a practical examination mid-year as well as an HSC written examination and the completion of school-based assessments.

“They need to be adept musicians and display a comprehensive knowledge of music in all its forms.

“Students selecting music in the HSC share several qualities – creativity, dedication, resilience, a pursuit of excellence and a willingness to allow an audience to be part of their personal musical journeys.

“The Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall has seen many great musical performances, and the annual BOSTES ENCORE showcase brings to this stage the high standards of exemplary NSW HSC students.

“This year’s program contains a variety of music styles that will delight the audience and I congratulate each student selected to perform,” Mr Alegounarias said.

There will be a matinee and an evening performance. For more information on ENCORE visit http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/exhibitions/#encore

Name Family Name School Piece Title
Alfred Carslake Newtown High School of Performing Arts Quintet No. 1 - First Movement
Amanda Chen Meriden School In the Style of Albeniz
Hestea Cook International Grammar School Kwelakakith Eafrika
Sophie Curtis Hunter School of Performing Arts I'd Rather Go Blind
Marlowe Fitzpatrick Fort Street High School Alice
Verdy Guo Trinity Grammar School Rigoletto Paraphrase
Patrick Hetherington Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School Freedom Jazz Dance
Noah Hill Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School Freedom Jazz Dance
Rebecca Johnson Brigidine College St Ives Rondeau
James Julian Sydney Distance Education High School Premiere Rhapsodie
Sophia Li St Andrew's Cathedral School Sonatine Pour Yvette, 3rd Movement
Johannes MacDonald Conservatorium High School Anxiety
Joshua Needs St Paul's College, Kempsey Pipeline
Benjamin Nelson Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School In the Summertime
Annabelle Oomens Queenwood School for Girls Duo for Violin and Cello, Op 7
Liam Patterson Cranbrook School Four Light Bassoon Pieces (Melancholic Piece and Slicked Back Tango)
Nicolas Petit Conservatorium High School Fabian Theory
Kathryn Ramsay Cheltenham Girls High School Lost in Hoia Baciu
Sophia Smirnov Smith's Hill High School 2.Filigree 10.Romance - Anne Landa Preludes
Sarah Sung MLC School Viola Sonata 1st Movement
Louie Swain Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School Freedom Jazz Dance
Thomas Waller Warialda High School It Don't Mean a Thing if it Aint Got That Swing
Henry Wright St Aloysius' College Ich Liebe Dich

ENCORE for hsc students at opera house

MEDIA:  Michael Charlton 0477 362 546


Sunday 1 March 2015

Smart technology to bolster Aboriginal language learning

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello today announced $185,000 in funding for the development of an app to support the maintenance and revitalisation of five Aboriginal languages in NSW.

Mr Dominello said the app, through mobile devices, will provide audio recordings of commonly used words and phrases in the languages of Bundjalung, Gamilaraay/ Yuwaalaraay/ Yuwaalayaay, Gumbaynggirr, Paakantji and North West Wiradjuri.

“The content of the app will be determined by communities associated with the Aboriginal Language and Culture Nest sites established in 2014,” Mr Dominello said.

“Aboriginal students who have the opportunity to learn traditional language are often more engaged in the classroom – helping them to build a stronger sense of individual pride and cultural identity.

“The sustainability of remaining Aboriginal languages will be compromised if we do not make a long-term investment to train more people to teach traditional languages.

“That’s why, through OCHRE: the NSW Government Plan for Aboriginal affairs, we’ve made a significant investment to revitalise the teaching of language and this initiative will help to bolster the work of the five Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests.

“The Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards and the Department of Education and Communities will work with the five Language Nests communities to develop a customised app during 2015.

“A language app may contain word matching and text translation games where learners look at an image or listen to an audio recording. It may also be used to identify the written form of the word or to translate phrases between an Aboriginal language and English.

“Once developed, the app will enable knowledge holders across the five nests – which include Aboriginal community elders, language teachers and students – to work collaboratively to learn and record traditional language.”

Mr Dominello said that each of the five nests represented partnerships between Aboriginal communities, schools, TAFEs, and universities designed to connect and coordination language resources.

"Ultimately the Baird Government wants to build better pathways to enable Aboriginal people to learn traditional language and culture from cradle to grave and to preserve its teaching for future generations,” Mr Dominello said.

NSW AECG President Cindy Berwick said, “For learners being introduced to Aboriginal languages in the community or at school, the languages app will reinforce face-to-face learning from Elders and other language speakers.”

A suitable provider will be engaged to develop the app technology, which will be available for free through iOS and Android.

The five Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests are based in Coffs Harbour (Gumbaynggirr), Dubbo (North West Wiradjuri), Lightning Ridge (Yuwaalaraay/ Yuwaalayaay) Lismore (Bundjalung) and Wilcannia (Paarkkintji/Barkindjii).

Smart Technology to Bolster Aboriginal Language Learning

 

MEDIA: Matt Dawson 0427 145 575


Friday 27 February 2015

DESIGNTECH – HSC Design and Technology showcase

20 exemplary projects from 2014 Higher School Certificate (HSC) Design and Technology students have been selected for the annual BOSTES DesignTECH exhibition.

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) President Tom Alegounarias, said “From over 3000 students who studied Design and Technology in 2014 and 167 nominations for selection, 20 students from 18 schools were selected to exhibit their projects at DesignTECH.

“They represent the very best of the internationally regarded NSW HSC.

“The Design and Technology course, developed by BOSTES, teaches skills that benefit students going straight to work and onto further study. Design and Technology builds students’ confidence in designing and producing, project management and innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Design and Technology brings STEM skills to life.

 

“In addition to the products, students prepare portfolios that document all stages of development including production and testing, research, planning, costing and evaluation. The portfolios show each student has not just the big idea but the ability to give their idea life,” Mr Alegounarias said.

The exhibit will be held at Powerhouse Museum, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences from 27 February to 10 May and includes:

  • Three projects to help people with disabilities
  • Six projects with a focus on environmental solutions
  • Two projects for water sports
  • Two projects that have an educational focus
  • And a wide range of other projects that improve our lives – aesthetically and practically.

“The Design and Technology course is a demanding one but it is also immensely rewarding as the students' products or services are innovative, good for the community and good for business,” Mr Alegounarias said.

The DesignTECH exhibition is included in the admission price for Powerhouse Museum.

For more information visit www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/exhibitions/

NAME SCHOOL EXHIBIT
Jacob Bennett Camden High School iCharge Toaster
Emily Budd Marian Catholic College The Paper
Matthew Buffa Barker College Limbitless
Zhi Peng Cai Caringbah High School Project Serenity – Custom Electric Violin
Kristy Chan Caringbah High School UVUS (Ultraviolet Ultrasonic)
Holly Darge Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School Acoustic Diffusion Wall Panel
Matthew Dean Mater Dei Catholic College The GoGlyde
Mitchell Francis SHORE – Sydney Church of England Grammar School URTHpod
Isabella Gilbert Stella Maris College Math Teaching Aid
Edward Hodge Cranbrook School URBBUS Smart Bus Stop Hub
Jonathon Mathews Knox Grammar School decideRight Campaign
Edward McCormack Marcellin College Disability Swimming Aid
Tanya Obeyesekera Cherrybrook Technology High School Unibud – University Course Application
James Perry SHORE – Sydney Church of England Grammar School ErgoFin
Annelise Ralevska Meriden School Seed to Plate Sustainable Cooking Cookbook
Lillika Rogers-Fauske Sydney Distance Education High School Recycled paper map dress
Nathan Skrivanic Holy Cross College Vertigrow
Ekala Tarei Cheltenham Girls High School Aesthetic Prosthetic
Monique Taylor Mont Sant’ Angelo Mercy College Innovative Light Shades
Isaac Widdison Albury High School The Fencer (a barbed wire fence spreader)

DESIGNTECH - HSC Design and Technology showcase


Focus on Maths, Science and Languages for Tomorrow’s Jobs

Friday 20 February 2015

A re-elected Baird Government will retrain 320 teachers as specialists in maths and science as part of a number of changes to ensure our students are fully equipped to take up jobs in the State’s fastest-growing occupations.

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli announced the initiative today and said steps would also be taken to boost the number of students learning languages in our schools.

“We need highly qualified, engaging teachers to encourage more students to study science and mathematics at the highest possible level at school,” Mr Baird said.

“Employers are demanding these skills so it is vital we improve the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics teaching – known as STEM studies.

“Research shows that three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations in Australia require STEM knowledge and skills – that means a strong foundation in these areas is essential for NSW students.

“Additionally, to ensure our students are learning in state-of-the-art facilities we will invest $20 million to upgrade 50 science labs in NSW public schools.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has created more than 126,000 new jobs over the last four years, and under this plan we will equip our students with the skills they need to succeed.”

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said it is important that students see the excitement and potential of learning about maths and science.
“Under this plan, we will retrain up to 320 public school teachers as specialists in maths and science, including offering scholarships, study leave and a guarantee of future employment,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Additionally, I have directed the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards to work with universities to include a specialist languages, science or mathematics strand within initial teacher education degrees for primary school teachers.”

A re-elected Baird Government will also take steps to increase the number of students studying languages at school.

“Asian countries are our largest trading partners so it’s essential we offer students a range of incentives to study languages,” Mr Piccoli said.

“The first-ever NSW Languages Advisory Panel has been established to provide practical solutions that increase the opportunities for students to study languages but also increase the supply of suitably qualified language teachers.

“One of the first tasks of the new Panel will be to review the access to, and suitability of, HSC language courses, beginning with Chinese.

“The Panel will consider whether HSC students who study a language should receive ATAR bonus points.”

Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello said learning a language is an extremely valuable skill.“As we forge closer ties with Asian countries we need to look at ways of encouraging more students to learn a language while at school,” Mr Dominello said.

“This is an outstanding plan which will encourage more students to study languages and also increase the number of skilled language teachers in our schools.”

A re-elected Baird Government will also develop partnerships with universities, training organisations, business and industry to mentor and stretch high ability students. Under the proposed changes, school students with high ability would be able to study tertiary subjects while at high school.

MEDIA: Mark Tobin (Premier) 8574 5000,
Andrew Stevenson (Minister Piccoli) 0428 438 970,
Matt Dawson (Minister Dominello) 0427 145 575

Focus on Maths, Science and Languages for Tomorrow’s Jobs


ARTEXPRESS – 32 Years Old, 8 Galleries, 219 Students

Wednesday 11 February 2015

 Mr Tom Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) today officially opened ARTEXPRESS 2015 at the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW).

This year 219 exemplary 2014 Higher School Certificate (HSC) Visual Arts bodies of work will be displayed at 8 galleries around the state during 2015, including AGNSW.

Mr Tom Alegounarias, President of BOSTES said ARTEXPRESS, now in its 32nd year, has become a permanent and significant event in the state’s cultural calendar.

“From over 9,900 HSC Visual Arts students, 219 students had their bodies of work judged exemplary by our markers and selected for exhibition by the galleries’ curators, with 37 displayed at Art Gallery of NSW, the principal venue for ARTEXPRESS.

“These talented artists, and their schools and teachers, are to be congratulated on their achievements and for being part of this prestigious event. I wish the students the best of luck for their future studies and careers. If art forms part of that, either professionally or by way of personal interest, I look forward to hearing of and seeing your next contributions to the state’s culture.

“In addition to ARTEXPRESS for Visual Arts students, every year BOSTES celebrates excellence across a range of subjects with our annual showcases – from OnStage for Drama students, CALLBACK for Dance students, Encore for Music students, and DesignTECH for Design and Technology students. There is also the Texstyle showcase for Textiles and Design students and InTECH for Industrial Arts students,” Mr Alegounarias said.

ARTEXPRESS 2015 will appear at:

Metropolitan exhibitions:

  • Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Gymea
    7 February – 22 March 2015
  • Art Gallery of NSW
    12 February – 19 April 2015
  • The Armory, Sydney Olympic Park
    3 March – 26 April 2015
  • Margaret Whitlam Galleries, University of Western Sydney
    8 August – 27 September 2015
  • McGlade Art Gallery, Australian Catholic University
    27 August – 19 September 2015

Regional exhibitions:

  • Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo
    19 September – 22 November 2015
  • Maitland Regional Art Gallery
    12 September – 1 November 2015
  • Bega Valley Regional Art Gallery
    20 November – 12 December 2015

ARTEXPRESS is a joint venture of BOSTES and the NSW Department of Education and Communities, and is managed by the Department’s Arts Unit. ARTEXPRESS enjoys the support of a number of sponsors. Major Sponsor: The Academy at the University of Western Sydney. Associate Sponsor: S&S Wholesale. Official ARTEXPRESS Carrier: Grace Fine Art. Patron: The Sir William Dobell Art Foundation.

For more information – https://www.artsunit.nsw.edu.au/visual-arts/artexpress/artexpress-0

Note: ARTEXPRESS is a brand and is therefore to be written only as one word, all capital letters, ie ARTEXPRESS.

ARTEXPRESS – 32 Years Old, 8 Galleries, 219 Students


US Colleges And Universities To Meet HSC Students And Parents

Monday 16 February 2015

US colleges and universities are in Sydney this week to meet NSW HSC students and parents.

They are here to participate in the 3rd US College and University Fair that will be held at Redlands School, Cremorne on 16 February to provide students and parents with information on US scholarships, courses and how to apply.

The colleges and universities met with Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli and Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) President Tom Alegounarias to discuss the international standing of the NSW HSC.

Mr Piccoli said whether HSC students go straight into the workforce, to TAFE, to an Australian university or university overseas they can be confident that the credential has a great reputation.

“The courses and their exams provide all levels of students with the opportunity to achieve, and for our best students to excel and compete internationally.

“I welcome this visit by the US colleges and universities and their interest in talking to NSW HSC students.

“Also, I was impressed to see a former student from Hornsby Girls High School appearing on a Harvard promotional video.

Mr Alegounarias said “Every year there are HSC students heading off to some of the leading tertiary institutions overseas. There are also students who mix their academic studies, with elite sport.

“When we develop the NSW syllabuses and the HSC exams our aim is to support the dreams and aspirations of the state’s one million school students.

“And if that dream is studying in the US, the HSC can make that reality.

US Consulate General Public Affairs Officer David McGuire said around 4,300 Australians are studying in the US.

“The standards, depth and rigour of the NSW education system are highly regarded in America.

“With over 4000 colleges and universities, the US has the world’s most extensive range of tertiary institutions for students to consider.”

MEDIA: Michael Charlton 0477 362 546

US Colleges And Universities To Meet HSC Students And Parents


HSC drama and dance students perform at onstage and callback

Monday 9 February 2015

Exemplary 2014 Higher School Certificate (HSC) Drama and Dance students will perform at the Seymour Centre over February for the OnSTAGE and CALLBACK showcases.

Mr Tom Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) congratulated the students who were selected for the two BOSTES showcases.

“OnSTAGE for Drama students and CALLBACK for Dance students represent some of the most talented young stage performers in the state.

BOSTES has a series of annual showcases which like OnSTAGE and CALLBACK are testimony to the quality of the NSW curriculum, teachers and schools – and of course the dedication, creativity and hardwork of our HSC students.

“For current and future HSC dance and drama students the showcases are valuable opportunities to see the high standards that can be achieved. For the wider community the showcases are their opportunity to see the amazing creativity of our school students.

This year’s OnSTAGE season previewed on Saturday 7 February 2015 and runs from Monday 9 to Friday 13 February 2013 at 1.30 pm and 7.30 pm in the York Theatre, Seymour Centre and features:

  • OnSTAGE matinee and evening drama performances
  • Writers OnSTAGE with readings of HSC drama student scripts by professional actors
  • Writers OnSCREEN with three video dramas to be screened
  • An exhibition of individual projects by HSC Drama students including costume and set design, Director’s folios, program designs and theatre reviews.

CALLBACK, featuring dance performances and compositions, takes place in the Everest Theatre on 12 and 13 February.

For more information on the program visit www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/exhibitions/

Michael Charlton – 0477 362 546

HSC drama and dance students perform at onstage and callback


Audit finds university teaching courses ‘can do better’

Wednesday 14 January 2015

An audit of NSW teaching degrees has revealed opportunities to improve the preparation of the next generation of school teachers, Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said today.

“Students deserve the best possible teacher in front of their class as they make their way through the education system and it is my responsibility as Minister for Education to do everything I can to lift the quality of teaching across NSW schools,” Mr Piccoli said.

“This is why I asked the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) to audit NSW teaching degrees and provide recommendations about areas in which they can be improved.”

Mr Piccoli said teaching institutions will need to demonstrate their graduates are ready for the important job they are about to undertake when they enter a classroom.

“Of course, schools will support new teachers through mentoring and supervision but school authorities, including the Department of Education and Communities, need to know key aspects of their preparation have been properly addressed,” he said.

Recommendations made by BOSTES to improve teaching degrees include:

  • beginning teachers must have effective classroom management skills and be trained to support children with special needs;
  • primary teachers must be skilled in the explicit and systematic teaching of phonics and phonemic awareness;
  • new quality standards be prepared for online degrees;
  • online teacher education providers must take responsibility for finding professional experience placements for their students; and
  • an annual survey of beginning teachers and their principals about the quality of teaching degrees be undertaken.

“BOSTES already assesses the content and delivery of teacher education programs against national standards as part of program accreditation, necessary for their graduates to be accredited as NSW teachers,” Mr Piccoli said.

“I have now commissioned BOSTES to work with universities and other teacher training institutions on the new more rigorous approval process and on ways to improve their teaching programs.”

BOSTES President, Tom Alegounarias said the reports, which are key actions from the Great Teaching, Inspired Learning reforms, provide a better understanding of the teacher education landscape in NSW.

“Overall NSW higher education providers are producing quality teaching graduates. However, there are some areas of teacher education that need further research and others where we can take action to improve outcomes now,” Mr Alegounarias said.

BOSTES will establish a working party this year to implement the recommendations in the reports, with representation from the three school sectors and universities.

The three ‘Quality of initial teacher education in NSW’ reports can be downloaded from www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au

Audit finds university teaching courses ‘can do better’


Raising university entry standards for future teachers

Friday 2 January 2015

NSW school leavers entering teaching degrees in 2016 will need to achieve three band five HSC results including in English, Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said today.

Mr Piccoli said recent media reports of teachers failing basic literacy skills tests are concerning and the NSW Government has taken action to improve the quality of teaching graduates.[1]

“This year school leavers in NSW will need three band five HSC results, one of which must be in English, to be offered a place in a teaching degree in NSW,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Year 12 students in NSW, who started their HSC assessments in Term 4 last year, are the first cohort who will need to meet stronger academic standards to enter a teaching degree. For 2015 university entrants, existing requirements will still apply.

“It is important that Year 12 students interested in starting a teaching degree in 2016 are aware of these changes.

“I encourage all Year 12 students to apply themselves to the best of their abilities throughout their final year of school and in the lead up to their HSC exams this year.”

Mr Piccoli said the NSW Government is strengthening school leaver entry requirements to teaching degrees in NSW as part of the Great Teaching, Inspired Learning reforms.

“From 2016, teacher education students in NSW will also need to pass literacy and numeracy tests before they start their final professional placement,” Mr Piccoli said.

“NSW has also introduced a Professional Experience Framework to better coordinate and improve the quality of the ‘prac’ teacher education students undertake in schools.

“We are increasing support for beginning teachers and requiring teachers returning to the profession to complete a refresher course.

“We have great teachers in NSW, who are in a unique position to make a real and positive difference to the education and lives of their students,” Mr Piccoli said.

1 Herald Sun, 1 January 2015, ‘Lament over standards as aspiring teachers flop literacy’

Raising university entry standards for future teachers


2014 HSC results released to 76,000 students

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Today almost 76,000 students have started to receive their Higher School Certificate (HSC) results from the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES).

President of BOSTES, Mr Tom Alegounarias said the HSC is an international credential that is highly regarded by tertiary institutions and employers.

“It is a credential students can be proud of.

 “This year 75,767 students completed at least one HSC course, of these, 68,007 will receive their full HSC, and 55,490 will be eligible for an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).

“This means around 82 per cent of all students receiving an HSC will be eligible to apply for entry into university.

“The number of students awarded an HSC continues to grow each year, up by 1,166 from 2013.

Mr Alegounarias said it is also good just over 10 per cent of student results were in a top performance band, and the proportion of results in the top band has been relatively stable since 2008 – which is exactly what we want to see.

“If students have questions about their exam results they can contact the BOSTES Inquiry Centre on 1300 13 83 23.

“It is an exciting day and I congratulate all students for their hard work and wish them the very best as they make decisions for 2015,” Mr Alegounarias said.

BOSTES provides a number of post-results services that open this Friday. Students can use these services to order copies of their raw marks or their completed examination papers.

Post-results services can be accessed through the BOSTES Students Online website.
Eligible students will receive their ATAR from 9am on Thursday 18 December from the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

MEDIA: Michael Charlton 0477 362 546

BOSTES publishes four HSC merit lists:
First in Course: the student or students who achieve the highest HSC result in each course. A First in Course is only awarded if the result is in the highest band possible for that course.

All Round Achievers: students who have achieved results in the top band possible for at least 10 units of HSC courses.

Top Achievers: for students provided their results are in highest band possible for the course, who have gained the top places in each course. The number of students listed for each course depends on the overall size of the course.

Distinguished Achievers: all students who received a result in the highest band possible for one or more courses.


2014 HSC Fact Sheet

  • A record 75,767 students achieved an HSC result in at least one course in 2014.
  • Students sat the 2014 HSC examinations in 24 countries outside of Australia, including China, New Zealand, Switzerland and Tanzania.
  • Students can access their results wherever they are, online or by SMS.
  • The largest number of students will receive their results by SMS, with about 18,500 students registering in advance to receive SMS results.
  • Most students accessing their results online will use a desktop computer; however, close to half will use a smartphone or tablet.

Of the 68,007 students who will receive a full HSC:

  • 55,490 – almost 82 per cent of those students receiving an HSC are also eligible for an ATAR.
  • Around 30 per cent of students completed a VET (Vocational Education and Training) course.
  • Around 50 per cent of students completed a science course. This result continues the NSW trend of increasing enrolments in most science courses over the last decade.
  • Entries into maths courses remain at about 80 per cent of students. Entries into mathematics extension courses have remained stable since 2007.
  • On Tuesday 16 December, the Minister for Education announced the award of First in Course results to 105 students, including one student who placed first in five courses, one in four courses, and three students with two First in Course results (60 per cent female, 40 per cent male).
  • BOSTES will release three further merit lists today (Wednesday 17 December), including All-Round Achievers and Distinguished Achievers.
  • In 2014 there are 1,251 All-Round Achievers – students who received a top band result in at least 10 HSC units (52 per cent female and 48 per cent male).
  • In 2014 there are 16,485 Distinguished Achievers – students who received a top band result for one or more courses (55 per cent female, 45 per cent male).

2014 HSC results released to 76,000 students


MINISTER AWARDS STATE'S TOP STUDENTS

Tuesday 16 December 2014

The State’s top HSC students were today recognised by Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli at the First in Course Awards for the 2014 Higher School Certificate.

Mr Piccoli said the First in Course Awards acknowledge the highest achieving student in each HSC course, where the result is in the highest possible band for that course.

“This year 105 students received First in Course Awards, including one student who came first in five courses,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Over 76,000 students sat at least one HSC subject this year, so to come first is an incredible achievement that these students should be very proud of.

“The HSC is a qualification that will be a pathway to further study for many students. It is important to remember that it is just one way of getting into the university course or career you want.

“Students across the State will have access to their HSC results from 6.00am tomorrow.

“A full record of senior secondary results, including Year 10 and Year 11 results will be available to HSC students on Friday 19 December.

“This year for the first time, students will be able to get their HSC Record of Achievement as a PDF file on 7 January. This will be followed by hard copies on 14 January.

“Having a PDF of their results is a great advantage for HSC students. While many students will receive an ATAR and a university offer, over 30 per cent of students will use their HSC to go straight into employment, TAFE or an apprenticeship,” Mr Piccoli said.

Results are available online and by SMS using a secure system requiring a Student Number and HSC PIN. For more information on HSC results go to www.studentsonline.bos.nsw.edu.au

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards HSC Results Inquiry Centre 1300 13 83 23 will be open from 9am for students with questions about their HSC results.

MEDIA: Will Griffiths – 0428 931 143 (Minister Piccoli)
Michael Charlton – 0477 362 546 (BOSTES)

Minister awards state's top students


FIRST DAY OF HSC WRITTEN EXAMS

Monday 13 October 2014

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli have wished Year 12 students well as they begin their Higher School Certificate (HSC) written examinations today.

Mr Baird said more than 70,000 students will sit the compulsory two-unit English paper this morning.

“The first exam can often be daunting but my message to students is to simply do your best and be proud of the work you have completed,” Mr Baird said.

“The written exams are the final step in attaining a credential that is respected throughout the world. Remember, you have already done much of the work which will determine your final HSC result in assessments and tests undertaken during the year.

“It is only natural that you may feel anxious, but remember that there are many pathways to the career or vocation you choose after school.”

Mr Piccoli said over 76,000 students are enrolled in at least one HSC course this year.

“I always encourage students to stay at school for as long as they can and over the last 5 years the number of students completing Year 12 has increased by almost 5,000, which is fantastic,” Mr Piccoli said.

“HSC examinations started some time ago for many students with practical examinations which have been ongoing since July.”

The HSC written exams will be held over 18 days from Monday 13 October to Wednesday 5 November, with 116 different exam papers.

To receive an HSC, students must have completed the equivalent of two years of prescribed study and, in doing so, satisfactorily completed assessments and external examinations. Most candidates are awarded the HSC at the end of Year 12.


MEDIA: Olivia Suzanski (Premier) — 0448 994 631
Will Griffiths (Minister Piccoli) — 0428 931 143


2014 HSC WRITTEN EXAMS START TODAY

13 October 2014

President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES), Tom Alegounarias, said today at 10.20 am at more than 750 exam centres, the 2014 Higher School Certificate (HSC) written exams will commence.

“Students have already completed fifty per cent of their HSC assessments at school. Over the next four weeks they will complete the remaining fifty per cent as they display their knowledge in their chosen HSC courses, starting with the only mandatory subject, English.

“The 10.20 am start gives students time to get plenty of sleep and have a healthy breakfast.

“It is also great that all students can experience the start of the HSC together,” Mr Alegounarias said.

This year 76,679 students are enrolled in at least one HSC course.

“Students awarded with an HSC should see it as recognition of their ability across a wide range of skills.

“The knowledge needed to receive an HSC equips students to become our future decision makers and this guides us as BOSTES develops the NSW syllabus content for Years 11 and 12.

“BOSTES works to give students a solid academic foundation as they move on to the next chapter in their lives, be that studying at university, college or TAFE, moving straight into the workforce or taking time out to travel,” Mr Alegounarias said.

HSC exams will be held over 18 days from Monday 13 October to Wednesday 5 November. There will be 116 different exam papers. The first exams are English Standard and Advanced and English as a Second Language, and the last are French Extension, Retail Services, Entertainment Industry and Information and Digital Technology.

To receive an HSC, students must have completed the equivalent of two years of prescribed study and, in doing so, satisfactorily completed assessments and external examinations. Most candidates are awarded the HSC at the end of Year 12.

MEDIA CONTACT: MICHAEL CHARLTON 0477 362 546


BOSTES celebrates outstanding young writers at WriteOn

18 September 2014

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) President, Tom Alegounarias announced today the Gold award winners of the BOSTES annual youngest writer competition – WriteOn.

WriteOn is for NSW students in Years 1 to 6 and aims to encourage students to develop their creative writing skills.
To enter, students are required to write a short piece of up to 500 words on a photograph selected by BOSTES  – this year a boy looking through binoculars.
According to Mr Alegounarias, some teachers involve their whole class in WriteOn and others prefer to use it as individual project for some students.
“This year a total of 470 entries were received with a panel of primary school teachers selecting 17 Gold,  14 Silver and 19 Bronze award winners chosen from each stage.

“It’s always a pleasure to attend this event as it offers me the chance to recognise the amazing creativity of our younger students.

“Initiatives like WriteOn are a great way to develop a life-long love of writing, a skill that has so many applications throughout life.

“As these young writers progress through school, I trust and hope they will keep writing – for both themselves and for grateful readers such as me,” Mr Alegounarias said.

The Gold award winners recognised at the event were:

  • Mika Lofts, Tighes Hill Public School
  • Alexandra Inglis, Gib Gate, Mittagong
  • Sebastian Lai-Smith, Knox Grammar Preparatory School, Wahroonga
  • Jacob Mikhael, Redeemer Baptist School, North Parramatta
  • Olivia Carter, Emmanuel Anglican College, Ballina
  • Emily Pearse, Oxford Falls Grammar School, Oxford Falls
  • Bryan Haryanto, Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School, Kensington
  • Emily Oates, Queenwood School for Girls, Mosman
  • Sophia Barnard, Ravenswood School for Girls, Gordon
  • Oliver O’Callaghan, International Grammar School, Ultimo
  • Alice Haire, Wee Waa Public School
  • Abigail Hardinge, St Mary’s Primary School, Bellingen
  • Pepita Barton, Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College, Fletcher
  • Caitlin Boyley, Richard Johnson Anglican School, Oakhurst
  • Gwendalyn Dabaja, Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Croydon
  • Mia Cameron, Abbotsleigh Junior School, Wahroonga

“Outstanding entries are published by BOSTES which is a fantastic opportunity for any young author.

“I would like to congratulate these outstanding young students who have had their talent nurtured and fostered by quality teachers with classroom content grounded in our quality NSW syllabuses and the support of their parents,” Mr Alegounarias said.

For more information visit http://writeon.bos.nsw.edu.au/winners.html

Media Contact: Julie-Anne Scott Ph: 0400 998 856

BOSTES celebrates outstanding young writers at WriteOn


75,000 NSW TEACHERS TO BE ACCREDITED

Thursday 11 September 2014

Some 75,000 NSW school teachers will be accredited under national standards and required to undertake ongoing professional development, the Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli announced today.

“The NSW Government wants all teachers to be accredited by the end of 2017 and has introduced legislation to make it mandatory,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Until now, only those teachers who began teaching after October 2004, or who had a break from teaching of five years or more, have needed to be accredited.

“For these more experienced teachers — who started teaching before 2004 — the accreditation process will recognise their extensive experience and length of service.

“These changes are part of the NSW Government’s commitment to further improve the status of the profession and the quality of teaching in all NSW schools, which we outlined in our Great Teaching, Inspired Learning reforms.

“We know that the quality of teaching is the single biggest in-school influence on educational outcomes.

“Bringing all teachers under the same mandatory accreditation system is an important step in ensuring the quality of education provided in all NSW schools.

“Lawyers, accountants, architects and psychologists are among many professions that already require accreditation. It is entirely appropriate a similar system is extended to the highly regarded teaching profession.”

Accreditation will mean full-time teachers must:

  • undertake 100 hours of professional development over five years; and
  • demonstrate every five years that their professional practice continues to meet the Standards.

More than 60,000 NSW teachers are already accredited with the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) under the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Changes to the Teacher Accreditation Act will mean 5,000 early childhood teachers will join their peers from schools in the accreditation system.

“This means the NSW Government is recognising that all early childhood teachers are professionals – they are university trained, passionate about children and dedicated to their educational development,” Mr Piccoli said.

“We are also moving to ensure school principals and other senior staff who may not undertake actual classroom teaching are accredited while qualified teachers who work in educational roles outside of schools may choose to seek accreditation.”

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said the new accreditation requirements for school teachers will be rolled out in partnership with the school sectors over the next three years.

“BOSTES recognises the professional standing and experience of pre-2004 school teachers and, in consultation with the school sectors, has designed a straightforward, one-off process for initially accrediting pre-2004 school teachers at the level of Proficient Teacher,” he said.

“BOSTES is currently working with key early childhood education stakeholders to develop a suitable process and timeframe for the accreditation of early childhood teachers working in preschools, long day care centres and other early childhood settings.”

Media: Andrew Stevenson – 0428 438 970

75000 NSW Teachers to be Accredited


'HSC Test yourself' App — Study on the go

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today released an app for multiple choice exam questions to help students prepare for the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

Mr Piccoli said the HSC Test Yourself app uses multiple choice questions from HSC exams for the past four years so students can test their knowledge on the go.

“With the HSC written exams starting in October, this app helps students make the most of their study time using information straight from the creator of the HSC — the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES),” Mr Piccoli said.

“This mobile app will allow students to access the tests whenever and wherever they want.

“The app was developed by former Greystanes High School student, Shubham Shah, who saw the opportunity to use BOSTES material for an interactive mobile app.

“Like all sections of the HSC exams, practice is one of the best ways to improve your results in the multiple choice sections.”

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said the app was a great new learning tool for HSC students.

“The cost to download a course is affordable and everyone has the chance to try some questions before they buy the full set,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“The HSC Test Yourself app will help teachers with revision lessons and will also help parents who want to learn more about the types of questions contained in the HSC exams.

“While the app is designed primarily for individual study and self-testing, it will also assist students to test each other in group study activities.”  

The HSC Test Yourself app can be purchased from the Google Play store and will later be released on Apple devices.

Media: Will Griffiths – 0428 931 143

‘HSC Test yourself’ App — Study on the go


Phonics – once a might do, now a must do

Sunday 10 August 2014

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced that providers of teacher education courses in NSW will risk losing their accreditation if they do not provide comprehensive instruction in phonics.

“Phonics is a key skill in the teaching of reading. We want to ensure it is treated as a ‘must do’ in teacher education courses,” Mr Piccoli said.

“The clear verdict of international and national research supports the teaching of phonics. I have been unapologetic in saying that we need high standards in education — and we have moved to lift those standards through our Great Teaching, Inspired Learning reforms.”

President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) Tom Alegounarias said that training in phonics is a key skill for beginning teachers.

“The starting point is what is taught in teaching courses and our concern is that the teaching of phonics has been superficial in some teacher education courses,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“Although most institutions offer phonics as part of their courses, not all beginning teachers are entering the classroom with explicit skills in phonics.

“In addition to ensuring new teachers can confidently and competently use phonics, BOSTES will:

  • produce online resources to support the teaching of phonics; and
  • provide professional development for existing teachers on the systematic and explicit teaching of phonics.

“BOSTES recognises that not all students will need the same level of phonics instruction — but the teacher will only know that if they have been taught to teach reading properly.”

Phonics – once a might do, now a must do


Practical exams begin for HSC Dance students

975 students will take their Higher School Certificate (HSC) Dance Performance exams from 4 to 16 August.

Tom Alegounarias, President, Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES), said Dance is one of several HSC courses that have a practical component as part of their HSC exam.

“While the HSC written exams commence in October, students with practical exams start their HSC in August and September.

“This is an exciting time for the students and will be the culmination of many hours of hard work,” Mr Alegounarias said.

Developed by BOSTES, the HSC Dance syllabus fosters a students’ intellectual, social and moral development, as students learn the skills of dance, how to perform and create dances, and the ability to critically analyse and make judgments about dance.

In the practical exam, students have a core performance and present a core composition. A Major study in Performance provides students with the opportunity for in-depth study where they are able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills of dance technique, as it is applied to dance performance in the context of safe dance practice.

“The HSC Dance course represents far more than the performances that will be examined over the next two weeks.

“Students completing the course will have accumulated an in-depth knowledge of the composition of dance and an appreciation for the variety of dance styles and expressions around the world,” Mr Alegounarias said.

This year the following courses require a practical exam or submission of works as part of the HSC exam:

  • Dance
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama
  • English Extension 2
  • Industrial Technology
  • Languages (except Classical languages and Background Speakers courses)
  • Music (all courses)
  • Society and Culture
  • Textiles and Design, and
  • Visual Arts.

More information on the HSC Dance syllabus.

Practical exams begin for HSC Dance students


Language learning starts at home

Monday 23 June 2014

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced a number of initiatives designed to improve and extend languages education in NSW.

"Last year I commissioned the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) to develop recommendations for a dynamic, inclusive languages education policy for NSW,” Mr Piccoli said.

“I am now able to release a number of proposals designed to ensure more students – and their families – see the value in learning another language.

“In particular, we need to harness and extend the existing language capacities in the community – both among students and potential teachers.

“As one of the most culturally diverse places in the world NSW is well placed to more successfully teach, learn and value languages. But we can encourage more students to study languages and provide incentives for them to continue with a language through to their final years at school.”

An expert Languages Advisory Panel will be appointed to consider proposals including:

  • cultivating the existing language potential of more than 350,000 NSW students who speak another language at home;
  • using online delivery to extend both the reach and range of languages being taught – especially for the priority Asian languages;
  • retraining bilingual primary school teachers as language teachers; and
  • fostering collaboration between schools and community language providers.

“We need to increase the supply of language teachers and provide greater recognition of the value of learning a language. One important way of doing this may include encouraging students to capitalise on their home language and continue to develop it at school,” Mr Piccoli said.

“And if those students are taking language classes on weekends then schools should be valuing that learning.

“I have every confidence that these actions will mean more students studying languages, and more students having the linguistic and intercultural skills to thrive in our own multi-cultural society and an increasingly connected, global community.

“In commissioning the review by BOSTES I deliberately sought recommendations that avoided the over-promised, under-funded language education wish lists that have often been announced by governments.

“Language teaching and learning has been in decline for some time and improvements won’t be achieved overnight. I am looking for tangible, practical solutions.

“I am also pleased that the recommendations support the Government’s Great Teaching, Inspired Learning education reforms.”

For further information go to: www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/languagesreview/

Media: Andrew Stevenson – 0428 438 970

Language learning starts at home


Teachers turn to online lesson tool

Monday 16 June 2014

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli and Member for Londonderry Bart Bassett today visited Llandilo Public School to celebrate the success of Program Builder, an online tool for teachers implementing the new K-10 syllabuses in NSW schools.

“Last year I launched this innovative technology designed to make the task of planning lessons to match the new syllabuses much easier,” Mr Piccoli said.

“The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) saw an opportunity to help teachers with their lesson preparation when digital syllabuses replaced the old paper version. BOSTES has been proven right.

“Program Builder was developed in consultation with teachers and I am pleased to say that after one year there are more than 50,000 teachers using it in NSW.

“It has also made it much easier for teachers to share insights and lesson materials and BOSTES reports 17,000 resources have been shared in the first year of Program Builder.”

Bart Bassett MP for Londonderry congratulated the teachers at Llandilo Public School who use Program Builder to support the learning experience they deliver to over 300 students.

“Principal Bruno Zuliani informs me that his staff love the ease of use and the ability to prepare lessons that truly reflect the requirements of the NSW syllabus,” Mr Bassett said.

“This is testimony to the passion and commitment of teachers in our region.”

BOSTES Chief Executive Carol Taylor said Program Builder helps deliver quality teaching.

“Enhancements now allow teachers to see at a glance how their programs are covering the syllabus and provide integration with the national resource, Scootle,” she said.

“We are proud of Program Builder as it enhances the ability of teachers to plan for what they do best – educate our children.”

Program builder is at: https://pb.bos.nsw.edu.au

Media: Andrew Stevenson – 0428 438 970

Teachers turn to online lesson tool


High expectations for tomorrow’s teachers

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced the trial of a literacy and numeracy test for teacher education students as part of the Government’s commitment to Great Teaching, Inspired Learning.

“We have great teachers in NSW and today we are taking further steps to improve the quality of teaching for the next generation of teachers,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Last year I directed the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) to work with universities and the school sectors to introduce a number of initiatives for teacher education students.

“Today I am announcing a new online literacy and numeracy trial test for teacher education students at NSW universities.

“BOSTES has received support from the NSW Vice Chancellors’ Committee to work with universities to identify test sites.

“The test is expected to be fully available next year and from 2016 all teacher education students will need to have passed it before undertaking their final practicum.

“This measure will help ensure that we can have confidence that every student graduating from a teaching course has the necessary literacy and numeracy skills for their chosen career.”

The tests are being developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).

“Today I am also releasing a new Framework to better co-ordinate and manage the professional experience – the practicum – that teacher education students undertake in NSW schools,” he said.

“‘Prac’ teaching should be an opportunity for intensive learning for teacher education students, as they put their theoretical skills into practice in the real world under the supervision of a teacher who can provide support and mentoring.

“Until now, the practicum arrangements have been largely ad hoc with little co-ordination about which schools are best placed to accept prac teachers and what they should learn in this important element of their training. Some students have even had to arrange their own placements.”

The Framework sets standards for high-quality placements including:

  • best practice guidelines for teachers, teacher educators and teacher education students;
  • an evidence guide for supervising teachers;
  • a common report template;
  • a statement of common roles and responsibilities; and
  • data exchange guidelines.

“By introducing this Framework the Government, in partnership with school sectors and universities, is establishing clear and consistent standards for providing a high-quality professional experience,” Mr Piccoli said.

Universities and school sectors will also exchange data to help ensure that practicum places are available in the areas that need teachers.

Mr Piccoli said these measures would deliver on commitments made under the Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL) reform package. They combine with other GTIL initiatives to continue to strengthen the quality of teaching, including:

  • Raising the academic standards required to enter teaching degrees – people entering from the HSC will need to have three Band 5 HSC results, one of which must be English;
  • All teachers will be required to undertake 100 hours of professional development over five years to maintain their accreditation; and
  • Creating better systems for managing underperforming teachers, and for recognising and rewarding high-performing teachers, including a salary of more than $100,000 for highly accomplished classroom teachers in public schools from 2016.

“These are all important steps to lift the status of teaching. Teaching should be recognised as an incredibly valuable profession – and one that requires great commitment from talented individuals and ongoing development and support,” Mr Piccoli said.

Media: Andrew Stevenson – 0428 438 970

High expectations for tomorrow’s teachers


School registration extended to public schools

Wednesday 28 May 2014

In a first for NSW the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards’ (BOSTES) school registration system will be extended to cover public schools, Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli announced today.

“BOSTES currently registers Independent schools and the Catholic school sector after being assured they comply with requirements related to teaching staff, facilities and delivery of the curriculum,” Mr Piccoli said.

“The changes will mean government schools will have to show they meet the same standards that non-government schools are required to meet under the Education Act 1990.

“While the Act requires the government school sector to meet those same requirements, there has not, until now, been an independent means of assuring compliance. BOSTES will verify that the government school sector meets the equivalent standards required of non-government schools in order to be registered.”

Legislation to amend the Education Act to allow the change will be introduced to the NSW Parliament this week.

“As Minister for Education for all NSW schools, it makes sense that the same standards are met by all schools in NSW,” Mr Piccoli said.

“BOSTES, with the assistance of the Department of Education and Communities, will provide me with an independent assurance that the systems and processes in the government school sector address the requirements of the Act.

“NSW public schools are already required to meet the policy directions and requirements set by the Department that cover a similar range of operational aspects related to school staffing, student wellbeing and the curriculum. These changes will strengthen those existing processes by providing independent verification.

“The verification process will not be burdensome and acknowledges that the government school system already has a robust system of quality assurance.

“The Department will remain responsible for ensuring that NSW public schools meet the Act’s registration and accreditation requirements.”

Next year the Department will provide the BOSTES with advice on how it will ensure public schools meet the registration requirements so that BOSTES can advise the Minister that NSW public schools comply with the same requirements as non-government schools by the end of 2015.

Mr Piccoli also announced that the Department is developing enhanced processes for school planning, assessment and reporting with a focus on ongoing school improvement and excellence.

“We know our school leaders have been working hard to improve the learning outcomes of our students. Under  Local Schools, Local Decisions we promised a simplified ‘one plan, one budget, one report’ structure to streamline the planning and reporting processes that were tying schools up in a myriad of paperwork, and stopping them from focusing on what really mattered,” Mr Piccoli said.

“We also promised to create a bigger role for the school community in helping to set the direction of the school based on local needs. The new approach will clearly define what is meant by quality in NSW public schools and set out clear pathways to support schools in their ongoing pursuit of excellence.”

The new approach will be built on a clear description of effective school practice across the three key elements of education – learning, teaching and leading.

The Department will now commence broad consultation with principals and teachers to finalise the new processes for school planning, assessment and reporting. The new approach is expected to be finalised by the end of this year for rollout from 2015.

Media: Andrew Stevenson – 0428 438 970

School registration extended to public schools


Grades for 2013 Year 10 and 11 students

Thursday 8 May 2014

Details of grades awarded to 2013 Year 10 and 11 students have been published by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES).

A to E grades are awarded by schools to each student who completes a Stage 5 or Preliminary course, except Life Skills and VET courses. Stage 5 courses are usually completed in Year 10, and Preliminary courses are usually completed in Year 11.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said the A to E grades allow students to compare their achievements with students across the entire state.

The distribution of grades awarded, across all courses, to the 89,080 Year 10 students were:
A 16% B 27% C 33% D 17% E 7%

The distribution of grades awarded, across all courses, to the 85,449 Year 11 students were:
A 15% B 27% C 34% D 17% E 7%

Students were able to access their individual grades on Students Online, the BOSTES website for senior secondary students, late last year.

“The grades are awarded by schools for students’ work over the year and are monitored by BOSTES for quality assurance and state-wide consistency before they are finalised and released to students. Classroom teachers compare their students’ work with work samples published by BOSTES,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“To further strengthen the consistency of state-wide grading, schools are required to keep samples of student work to confirm their understanding of the A to E standards. Independent reviews commissioned by BOSTES show that there is a high degree of consistency in the grades awarded by teachers across the state.

“These quality assurance measures developed by BOSTES mean that students, parents and the wider community can be confident that a student will be awarded the same grade for the same achievement regardless of where they are studying in NSW.

“BOSTES recognises the important work by classroom teachers in awarding and monitoring grades, and providing samples of students’ work for review, and the work of the experienced teachers who participate in the independent work sample review process.

“This year, for the first time, Preliminary course grades will be included on each student’s HSC Record of Achievement. Students who leave school before the HSC, will have their grades printed on their Record of School Achievement (RoSA).

“With the introduction of the RoSA, students now have access to formal credentials displaying their grades up until they leave school. Previously, the only formal credentials students received included the School Certificate at the end of Year 10 and HSC results at the end of Year 12.

“Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 can also take the BOSTES’ optional literacy and numeracy tests. The test results enable students who leave school before the HSC to demonstrate their levels of achievement of these core skills to potential employers and further education providers,” Mr Alegounarias said.

For a list of grades for each course: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/ebos/static/ebos_stats.html
For information on grades: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/rosa/grades/

Media inquiries: Michael Charlton - 0477 362 546

Grades for 2013 Year 10 and 11 students (PDF)


Fairness and integrity core to NSW HSC

Monday 4 April 2014

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) today released the 2013 data for three programs that support the fairness and integrity of the NSW Higher School Certificate:

  • Disability provisions
  • Illness and misadventure appeals
  • Maintaining integrity in assessments and examinations.

President of BOSTES, Tom Alegounarias said the  NSW HSC is highly regarded both within Australia and internationally and this  reflects the quality of our syllabuses, teaching, and the fairness and integrity of the examinations and school assessments.

"BOSTES applies stringent processes when assessing disability provisions applications, illness/misadventure appeals and examination integrity rules," Mr Alegounarias said.

“These ensure that every case is carefully considered so students have every chance to show what they can do in the examinations and school assessments.

"BOSTES encourages and supports all schools, parents and students to understand and consider whether a student requires disability provisions or illness/misadventure consideration.”

Disability provisions in the HSC give practical assistance to students who may otherwise be disadvantaged when undertaking their exams. Emergency provisions are also approved for late injuries such as a broken arm prior to the examinations.

Last year an Ombudsman’s review of 2012 HSC applications for disability provisions found that provisions were granted appropriately. The Ombudsman also made a series of recommendations about the conduct of the disability provisions program which were accepted and implemented by BOSTES.

If an illness/misadventure appeal is upheld, students will be awarded the higher of their examination mark and a mark derived from their assessment mark and unaffected components of their examination. Their Record of Achievement will indicate if this alternative is used.

Disability provisions do not confer additional marks, and are not intended to confer any advantage. They allow students to participate in the examination process in the same way as their peers.

Illness/misadventure appeals also do not confer any advantage. The student’s school assessment mark may be used for some or all of their exam mark, if examination performance is lower than expected.

Examination integrity includes breaches of examination rules and of malpractice by students undertaking HSC school assessment tasks. BOSTES and schools take incidents of malpractice seriously, and warn students that the consequences of malpractice can range from loss of some marks to their entire HSC.

From next year, BOSTES will also report on instances of malpractice in school-based HSC assessment tasks.

“The one unifying feature of these programs is that BOSTES considers each application on a case by case basis to ensure that all decisions are fair and transparent,” Mr Alegounarias said.

Summary of 2013 statistics:

Disability provisions:

  • BOSTES received 6267 applications for disability provisions.
  • 5857 were either fully or partially approved.
  • Over 87% of all schools – and over 86% of government schools – had at least one application for disability provisions. This is a small increase from 2012.
  • The numbers of each type of provision approved generally remained consistent.

Illness and misadventure appeals:

  • Due to the Blue Mountains bushfires which affected 20 schools there was a substantial increase in appeals.
  •  As Illness and misadventure appeals are for unforeseen incidents, the numbers, types and schools vary from year to year.

Examination integrity:

  • Incidents of cheating remain stable.
  • This includes a very small number of students (19 from over 75,000) breaching examination rules and 102 students where the school was unable to certify that the student’s major project was all their own work or completed in the permitted time.
  • There was an increase in the number of non-serious attempt cases. BOSTES will raise this with schools and explain the consequences of a non-serious attempt in an examination to students.

For more information visit:
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/disability-provisions/statistics.html
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/hsc_exams/illness-misadventure.html
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/hsc_exams/exam-rule-breaches.html

Media inquiries: Michael Charlton  - 0477 362 546

Fairness and integrity core to NSW HSC (PDF)


2013 Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize

Monday 17 March 2014

Two students who overcame significant disadvantage to achieve outstanding results in the 2013 HSC were presented with the Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize at a ceremony on Monday 17 March.

“This Prize is awarded annually to students, nominated by their school, who have taken on the HSC, while battling illness or other challenges,” said Mr Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW.

“It is awarded in honour of Brother John Taylor, a tireless advocate for equity in education, and the recipients achievements demonstrate how, with support and encouragement, students can excel in spite of difficult circumstances.

“The presentation of the Prize is recognition of those achievements and it is also a chance to say thank you to the families, teachers and broader school communities who have all been a part of their success.”

The recipients of the Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize for the 2013 HSC are:

  • Alana Galasso who completed her HSC at Meriden in Strathfield. Alana has had Diabetes mellitus Type 1 since she was three, which is further complicated by Coeliac disease. Alana also suffers from a condition which causes extreme arm and wrist pain. Alana received four top band results in her HSC and is now studying Commerce/Law at the University of Sydney.
  • Ben Jones completed his HSC at the Granville College of TAFE. Ben left school before completing Year 10, and was unable to return to study as a result of health conditions that profoundly affected his ability to focus and participate in classes. Ben returned to study at the age of 21 and completed his HSC at the age of 25. He achieved three top Band results in his HSC and is now in his first year of Medicine at the University of NSW.

Mr Alegounarias said the achievements of the Prize recipients were outstanding.

“The HSC is a challenging course of study for all students. Alana and Ben have both taken on some of the toughest courses on offer and their results speak for themselves.

“The HSC caters for a wide range of aspirations and abilities and Alana and Ben are great examples of how it is possible, with lots of help and support, for students in even the most difficult circumstances to create a great future for themselves with the HSC as a foundation,” said Mr Alegounarias.

2013 Brother John Taylor Memorial prize (PDF)


BOSTES showcases HSC drama and dance students at OnSTAGE and CALLBACK

Monday 10 February 2014

Exemplary 2013 Higher School Certificate (HSC) Drama and Dance performances and projects take centre stage at the Seymour Centre over February for the OnSTAGE and CALLBACK showcases.

Mr Tom Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) said OnSTAGE and CALLBACK promote the depth and breadth of talent of NSW HSC dance and drama students.

“Being a performer requires a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. This year’s Drama students’ performances include portrayals of marketing executives, funeral parlour managers, detectives and environmentalists,” Mr Alegounarias said.

OnSTAGE also includes projects from students reflecting the vital activities that take place behind the scenes, from set design, lighting and costume design to promotion, program design and theatre criticism.

This year’s OnSTAGE season will preview on Saturday 8 February 2014 and run from Monday 10 to Friday 14 February 2014 at 1.30 pm and 7.30 pm in the York Theatre, Seymour Centre and features:

  • OnSTAGE matinee and evening drama performances
  • Writers OnSTAGE with readings of HSC Drama student scripts by professional actors
  • Writers OnSCREEN with three video dramas to be screened
  • An exhibition of individual projects by HSC Drama students including costume and set design, Director’s folios, program designs and theatre reviews.

CALLBACK, featuring dance performances and compositions, takes place in the Everest Theatre on 13 and 14 February.

 “The works in the two BOSTES showcases are testimony to the quality of the NSW Drama and Dance curriculums and the dedication, creativity and courage of our HSC students.

“For current and future HSC dance and drama students the showcases are valuable opportunities to see the high standards that can be achieved.

“A life in the theatre can be a challenging one, and these students have the dedication, desire and natural talent needed to succeed and I welcome the opportunity provided by OnSTAGE to place them in the spotlight so they can receive recognition from a wider audience.

"BOSTES also acknowledges the effort and skills of our performing arts teachers and the many teachers involved in setting and marking the students’ HSC practical and written examinations," Mr Alegounarias said.

For more information on the program visit www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/exhibitions/

For more information contact Michael Charlton Ph: 0477 362 546

BOSTES showcases HSC drama and dance students at onstage and callback (PDF)


Minister awards 2013 HSC First in Course recipients

Tuesday 17 December 2013

The Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today presented 2013 HSC students with First in Course Awards at an event at Australian Technology Park.

“Any student who receives their HSC has worked hard, and I congratulate all students who have completed their exams this year,” Mr Piccoli said.

“HSC courses are demanding and the assessment and examination process is designed to challenge students.

“To claim the First in Course spot is a great honour for these students, and they, their teachers and their families should be very proud.

“The First in Course Awards acknowledge the highest achieving student in each HSC course, where the result is in the highest possible band for that course.

“The HSC is a world-class credential and coming first demonstrates an extremely high level of achievement on an international level.

“Completing the HSC requires immense dedication from students, and support from both teachers and parents,” Mr Piccoli said.

The ceremony saw students receive a Certificate for Excellence from the Minister in front of their families and senior representatives from across the education sectors.

2013 highlights include:

  • Awards made to 121 students in 112 courses
  • Equal first place in nine courses
  • Three students receiving a First in Course Award for more than one course
  • 83 of the 121 recipients are young women, and 38 are young men
  • 12 students live in regions outside of Sydney, including students from: Inverell, Grafton, Hermidale, Coonamble, Griffith, Wagga Wagga, and two students from Cooma.

This year marked the first examination of the Financial Services course. This course is designed to provide students with skills and knowledge to seek a job straight from school or as a sound foundation for higher level education or university studies.

Over 70,000 students will have access to their HSC results from 6.00am tomorrow (Wednesday 18 December).

Results are available online and by SMS using a secure system requiring a Student Number and HSC PIN. For more information on HSC results go to www.studentsonline.bos.nsw.edu.au

The Board of Studies HSC Results Inquiry Centre 1300 13 83 23 will be open from 9 am for students with questions about their HSC results.

Media: Will Griffiths 0428 931 143 (Minister Piccoli)
Julie-Anne Scott 0400 998 856 (Board of Studies)

Minister awards 2013 HSC First in Course recipients (PDF)


2013 HSC results released to 74,000 students

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Students across NSW have started to receive their final Higher School Certificate results, as the Board of Studies NSW delivers the news to more than 74,000 students.

President of the Board of Studies NSW, Mr Tom Alegounarias said the results marked the end of years of hard work.

“When people think about the HSC, they often think of the exams, but in fact the HSC is a course of study. Each course requires students to submit assessment work over time, and for many courses, the exam itself includes a major work or performance piece.

“These courses are rigorous and testing because as students enter an international skills market they need a credential that is recognised and respected around the world,” said Mr Alegounarias. Mr Alegounarias said that 74,276 students had undertaken at least one HSC course in 2013. Of those, 66,841 will receive their full HSC, and 54,661 will be eligible for an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank.

“This means around 82 per cent of all students receiving an HSC are pursuing a pattern of study that enables them to seek entry into university.

“The number of students awarded an HSC has grown by over 5,000 students since 2004. At the same time, the growth in the number of students eligible for an ATAR is less than 3,000.

“It's encouraging to see that sort of stability in the ATAR-eligibility, but it is just as interesting to note that more and more students not looking for an ATAR are finding a pattern of study in the HSC that suits their purposes.”

Mr Alegounarias said that 10 per cent of student results were in a top performance band, with 96 per cent falling above the minimum standard expected.

“The proportion of results in the top band has been relatively stable since 2008 – which is exactly what we want to see.

“There has been a lot of discussion about so-called "grade creep" in other jurisdictions around the world. What we're seeing in NSW is solid evidence that our exams are pitched at the right level to test against the syllabus, and that our markers are maintaining a rigorous standard.”

Chief Executive of the Board of Studies, Ms Carol Taylor said that around 62,000 students had retrieved their HSC results by SMS or through secure websites by 9.20am.

“Some of us remember when students had to wait until January and haunt the mail box to get their results.

“Fortunately, advances in technology have changed that, with students now able to login from 6am to receive their results.

“For students with questions about their exam results, the Board has an Inquiry Centre that can be contacted on 1300 13 83 23.

“The Board also provides a number of post-results services that open this Friday. Students can use these services to order copies of their raw marks or their completed examination papers,” said Ms Taylor.

Post-results services can be accessed through the Board's Students Online website.
Eligible students will receive their ATAR from 9am tomorrow from the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

2013 HSC Fact sheet

  • A record 74,276 students achieved an HSC result in at least one course in 2013.
  • 66,841 students will receive a full HSC.
  • 54,661 – almost 82 per cent of those students receiving an HSC are also eligible for an ATAR.
  • Around 30 per cent of students completed a VET (Vocational Education and Training) course.
  • Around 45 per cent of students completed a science course. This result continues the NSW trend of increasing enrolments in most science courses over the last decade.
  • Entries into maths courses remain at about 80 per cent of students. Entries into mathematics extension courses have remained stable since 2007.
  • On Tuesday 17 December, the Minister for Education announced the award of First in Course results to 121 students, including three students with two First in Course results (69 per cent female, 32 per cent male).
  • The Board of Studies NSW will release three further merit lists today (Wednesday 18 December), including All-Round Achievers and Distinguished Achievers.
  • In 2013 there are 1,232 All-Round Achievers – students who received a top band result in at least 10 HSC units (58 per cent female and 42 per cent male).
  • In 2013 there are 15,949 Distinguished Achievers – students who received a top band result for one or more courses (58 per cent female, 42 per cent male).
  • Students retrieved their HSC results this morning from over 90 countries, including the United States, Hong Kong, China, the UK, India, Malaysia, South Korea and France.
  • The largest number of students will receive their results by SMS, with over 27,300 students registering in advance to receive SMS results.
  • Students using a computer to access their results mostly use a desktop; however, close to half those students will use a smart phone or tablet.

Media: Julie-Ann Scott 0400 998 856

2013 HSC results released to 74,000 students (PDF)


HSC written exams start today

Monday 14 October 2013

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced the start of the 2013 Higher School Certificate (HSC) written exams.

“Students have already completed fifty per cent of their HSC assessments at school and over the next four weeks will complete the other fifty per cent in a series of exams,” Minister Piccoli said.

“The 11.20am start for the only mandatory subject, English, on Day One gives students time to get plenty of sleep, a healthy breakfast and allows all students to experience the start of the HSC written exams at the same time,” Minister Piccoli said.

This year 75,168 students are enrolled in at least one HSC course.

HSC written exams will be held over 18 days from Monday 14 October to Wednesday 6 November. There will be 117 different exam papers. The first exams are English Standard and Advanced and English as a Second Language, and the last are Classical Hebrew Extension, Geography, Heritage Korean and Visual Arts.

Tom Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies NSW said the HSC is a quality credential that is recognised by tertiary education providers and employers worldwide.

“Students with an HSC can be assured that they hold a much respected credential that indicates their abilities across a wide range of skills.

“We recognise that these students become our future decision-makers and want them to have a well-rounded education.

“This is a central focus for all our planning when we develop the NSW syllabus content for Years 11 and 12,” Mr Alegounarias said.

Carol Taylor, Chief Executive of the Board of Studies NSW said the Board works to ensure students who receive an HSC have met standards that will place them in good stead for the next chapter in their lives, be that onto university or other further education, straight into the workforce or taking time out to travel.

To receive an HSC, students must have completed the equivalent of two years of prescribed study and, in doing so, satisfactorily completed assessments and external examinations. Most candidates are awarded the HSC at the end of Year 12.

Media: David Bold 0423 202 369

HSC written exams start today (PDF)


Minister announces new body for education and teaching standards

Tuesday 24 September 2013

The Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced that the NSW Government will introduce landmark reform to drive improvements in student outcomes in NSW.

“All the contemporary evidence tells us that quality teaching is at the heart of improving student outcomes,” Mr Piccoli said.

“In NSW we currently have great schools, great teachers and great students – but we can improve the way we capture information and data on standards, and how we apply that information to improving quality teaching and student outcomes.

“The Government will introduce legislation to bring together for the first time in Australia the three cornerstones of education standards: curriculum, student assessment, and teacher quality under a single authority.”

Mr Piccoli said that the reform would amalgamate the responsibilities of the Board of Studies NSW and the NSW Institute of Teachers to create a new governance body, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BoSTES).

“Ultimately, how effective our teachers are in the classroom hinges on their understanding of the curriculum, their capacity to assess students and the maintenance of their professional skills.

“The new body will also continue to register non-government schools.

“It makes a lot of sense to have all these functions being developed and delivered by a single body, and I am encouraged by the positive response we have received from all the school sectors to this reform.

“Modern and effective education policy must be responsive to evidence, and reliable data. BoSTES will create a new capacity for the capture and analysis of that information, as well as being able to use it as the basis for improved policy and services.”

Board of Studies NSW President Tom Alegounarias said that the development of BoSTES built on the measures included in the Government’s Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL) policy to improve teacher quality.

“Some of the core measures in GTIL will now be delivered through BoSTES including:

  • new teachers know the curriculum requirements
  • all teachers meet the literacy and numeracy requirements of their subject areas
  • all teachers are trained to analyse student outcomes data
  • entrants to teacher education meet standards of achievement in HSC English and subjects
  • students entering postgraduate teacher training have appropriate subject content knowledge.”

Acting Chief Executive of the NSW Institute of Teachers, Carol Taylor, said BoSTES will continue to deliver the functions of the existing Institute and Board, including those requirements created under GTIL.

“BoSTES will also continue to consult and work closely with teachers and all school sectors, in the development of curriculum, assessment, governance and professional development,” Ms Taylor said.

“This ‘vertical integration’ will bring together the best data and the best policy development opportunities for education reform. It puts NSW in a unique position in Australia and among a growing list of OECD jurisdictions that place standards at the centre of their education systems.”

The amalgamation of the functions of the Board and the Institute will commence once legislation has been passed, with the new BoSTES in place in January 2014.

MEDIA: Will Griffiths – 0428 931 143

Minister announces new body for education and teaching standards (PDF)

For more details on the Government's plan to create the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards read the Fact Sheet and Question and Answer Sheet.

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards - Fact Sheet (PDF)

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards - Q&A (PDF)


NSW tops the nation in spelling

Friday 13 September 2013

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has announced that preliminary NAPLAN results released today for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 show NSW continues to achieve strong results, topping the nation in spelling at all Year levels and scoring in the top 3 for most other areas.

“The NSW Government places great importance on making sure our students receive a strong basis in the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy and I am pleased to see our efforts are continuing to pay dividends,” Mr Piccoli said.

Released on the website of the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), highlights for NSW included:

  • A top 2 ranking for percentages in the highest band for all Year levels with the exception of Year 3 Reading and Numeracy
  • A top 3 ranking for mean scores for all Year levels and tests with the exception of Year 7 Writing and Numeracy and Year 9 Writing.

“NSW received outstanding results across all NAPLAN indicators and importantly we have maintained our strong position from 2012,” Mr Piccoli said.

“These results are testimony to the dedication of our teachers and their desire to ensure all students in NSW continue to receive a quality education grounded in a strong foundation of literacy and numeracy skills.

“The results also reveal that NSW had the highest participation rates for all Year levels.

“But we won’t be resting on our laurels – in those areas where we need to improve the NSW Government’s additional literacy and numeracy teachers will be a great boost.”

NSW schools will receive student results between 8-10 October and individual student reports for parents will follow.

To access the national results visit www.naplan.edu.au

NSW tops the nation in spelling (PDF)


Launch of Program Builder for NSW teachers

9 April 2013

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli and Strathfield MP Charles Casuscelli yesterday visited Homebush Boys High School to launch Program Builder, a new support technology for teachers preparing to introduce new syllabuses in NSW schools.

“This is an exciting development for teachers,” Mr Piccoli said.

“From next year, teachers in all school sectors will start to implement new syllabuses for English, Mathematics, Science and History in Kindergarten to Year 10. For the first time, these syllabuses incorporate the Australian curriculum content.

“To support that work, the Board of Studies NSW has developed Program Builder – an online tool for teachers to use when developing teaching and learning programs for these syllabuses in their classes.

“Program Builder was developed in consultation with teachers and supports the different ways teachers plan programs to meet the needs of all students in their classes.

“This is about giving teachers in NSW access to high quality resources.

“We have already announced an additional professional development day for teachers to use in preparation for the new syllabuses. Coupled with the online syllabus website that was launched last year, Program Builder is a great tool for teachers in the lead up to 2014,” Mr Piccoli said.

Mr Piccoli said there were enhancements planned for Program Builder that would give teachers access to outcomes in all K-6 subjects and links to a range of national and international online resources.

“These measures will build a growing bank of quality resources available to support the work of our teachers,” Mr Piccoli said.

According to the President of the Board of Studies NSW, Mr Tom Alegounarias, the interactivity and flexibility of Program Builder is one of its most significant features.

“Not only can teachers access syllabus information online, they can now prepare lessons and seamlessly transfer information without having to ‘cut and paste’ from other documents and resources.

“The Board believes access to Program Builder will benefit all teachers.

“We are proud of Program Builder as it enhances the ability of teachers plan for what they do best – educate our children,” Mr Alegounarias said.

E syllabus: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/new-nsw-k10-syllabus/
Implementation schedule: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/australian-curriculum/pdf_doc/120731-memo-to-principals-update-on-ac-implementation.pdf
Link to Program Builder: https://pb.bos.nsw.edu.au/

MEDIA: David Bold 0423 202 369

Launch of Program Builder for NSW teachers (PDF)


Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize honours remarkable HSC students

21 March 2013

The Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize has been awarded to two remarkable students who achieved outstanding results in the 2012 Higher School Certificate in the face of significant adversity.

Bethany-Kate Richmond, from Grafton High School, and Maia Jane Ryall from Trinity Catholic College were presented with the Prize by the Hon Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs on behalf of the Minister for Education, the Hon Adrian Piccoli MP.

The presentation, held at the NSW Parliament House in Sydney, was also attended by the Member for Clarence, Christopher Gulaptis MP and the Member for Lismore, Mr Thomas George MP.

Now in its 20th year, the Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize is awarded to a student, or students, who have overcome significant hardship to attain academic excellence in the HSC.

Chief Executive of the Board of Studies NSW, Ms Carol Taylor said that both students should be proud of their achievements, with both receiving results in the highest band possible for at least two of their HSC courses.

“The HSC is a challenging course of study for all students, and to excel when the circumstances of your life already make extraordinary demands on you is truly inspirational”, Ms Taylor said.

Ms Richmond undertook her HSC study during a time when she was the primary care provider for her mother and while she was coping with her own serious health issues. In addition to her academic performance, Bethany-Kate extended herself beyond school in a number of civic endeavours and is described by the Principal of Grafton High School, Mr Peter South, as an exceptional student and citizen.

Ms Ryall was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in September 2011 and has since undergone radiotherapy, surgery and other treatments. Much of Ms Ryall’s extensive medical treatment occurred in Brisbane, requiring her to complete the first term of her HSC via correspondence while living away from her home, family and friends.

“Both Bethany-Kate and Maia are a great inspiration and source of pride to their families, schools and communities”, Ms Taylor said.

The Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize was established in 1993 by the Board of Studies NSW in memory of Brother John Taylor who was a teacher, principal and Executive Director of Catholic Education, as well as a long-standing and highly respected member of the Board of Studies NSW.

For more information about the Prize, visit www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/br-john-taylor.


2012 HSC results release

19 December 2012

2012 HSC results for over 70,000 students have been released by the Board of Studies NSW from 6.00am this morning.

President of the Board of Studies NSW, Mr Tom Alegounarias, said that almost 72,500 students will receive result for at least one HSC course in 2012, the highest number ever.

“Annual HSC results are important indicators of the outcomes of education in NSW,” said Mr Alegounarias.

“Reflecting on HSC outcomes since the introduction of the ‘new’ HSC in 2001, shows a pattern of steady growth and improvement.”

Compared with 2001, there are over 8,000 more students who receive an HSC, over 2,000 of them from rural and regional NSW. The number of students achieving a top band result in a course has grown by almost 6,500 since 2001. The number of “all-rounders”, students who receive a top band result in 10 or more units, has almost quadrupled since 2001.

Mr Alegounarias said the proportion of students achieving results in the top bands for their HSC has stabilised at a very high level for the past five years.

“Achievement at Band 6 represents a very high level of knowledge and understanding.

“This year’s HSC picture is one of stability and rigour. The trend over the past five years of having over 10 per cent of students achieving in top band continues, and 39 per cent are placed in the top two bands.”

“These are results that show continued sound performance by NSW HSC students, and they also confirm the rigour of the HSC itself.”

“We want to see stability in trends over time – it shows that our courses and examinations continue to be challenging and not vulnerable to study trends such as rote-learning responses. It is also a good indicator that we are not seeing the sort of ‘band creep’ evident in some other school systems around the world.”

The HSC continues to be a valuable and relevant credential for students, irrespective of whether they have aspirations to continue academic study, undertake other training, or move straight into the workforce.

“It is very heartening to note that a very high proportion – 82.4 per cent this year – of students completing their full HSC are eligible for an ATAR,” said Mr Alegounarias.

“It’s also very exciting to see that the breadth of the HSC in NSW is being well utilised by our students.

“This year, one-in-three students who are eligible for their HSC have completed a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course.

“The number of students receiving an HSC including a VET Certificate II or above who are also eligible for an ATAR continues to climb, with nearly 5,800 students fitting that profile in 2012.”

The Board of Studies NSW will today release Merit lists, including the names of almost 1,300 All-Round Achievers who placed in the top band of 10 or more units of their HSC courses, along with almost 16,000 students on the Distinguished Achievers list who achieved a top band result in any course.

2012 HSC results fact sheet

  • At 6.00am this morning there were already around 2,500 students waiting online to receive their results.
  • By 10.00am this morning close to 60,000 students had accessed the Board’s websites to retrieve results.
  • Almost 73,000 students – a record number - have received an HSC result in at least one course in 2012
  • 54,868, or 82.4 per cent of students receiving their full HSC, are eligible for an ATAR
  • Almost 24,500 students who are eligible for their HSC have also completed a VET course
    • 10,164 will receive an HSC and a VET Certificate II
    • 5,794 will receive an HSC, a VET Certificate II or above and an ATAR
  • On Tuesday 18 December, the Minister for Education awarded 117 students a First in Course award:
    • First in Course awards were made in 111 courses
    • For the first time, young women were awarded First in Course for all Mathematics courses
    • Five students received more than one First in Course award; one student received four
  • The Board will release today three other merit lists. The headline numbers for these lists are:
    • 15,937 - Distinguished achievers – who have received a top band result in any course
    • 741 - Top Achievers – a list of the top achievers in each course
    • 1,286 - All-Round Achievers – who have achieved a top band result in 10 or more HSC units
  • Students will be sent their HSC credentials in January 2013
  • Breakdown of merit lists by gender:
    >First in Course >Female: 65% >Male: 35%
    >Top Achievers >Female: 62% >Male: 38%
    >Distinguished Achievers >Female: 58% >Male: 42%
    >All-Round Achievers >Female: 57% >Male: 43%
  • Eligible students will receive an ATAR as calculated by the University Admissions Centre tomorrow (20 December, 2012)

2012 HSC results release (PDF)


NSW Education Minister awards 2012 HSC First in Course recipients

Tuesday 18 December 2012

NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli attended Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh today, to officially recognise students coming first in a Higher School Certificate (HSC) course.

“The Higher School Certificate is a world-class credential and coming first demonstrates an extremely high level of achievement on an international level,” Mr Piccoli said.

The ceremony was attended by teachers and parents who were proud to see students take the stage to meet the Minister and receive their Certificate for Excellence.

“Preparing students for the HSC not only involves dedication from the student – it also requires a quality learning experience in the classroom supported by understanding parents and carers at home,” Mr Piccoli said.

2012 highlights include:

  • First in Course awards were given to 117 students in a total of 111 courses.
  • Equal first place was given in nine courses
  • Five students received a First in Course Award for more than one course, with one student topping four courses
  • Two-thirds of First in Course recipients are young women
  • 17 students live in regions outside of Sydney including: Wollongong, Canberra, Woy Woy, Tuggerah, Picton, Bolwarra, Welby, Wallsend, Scone, Canowindra, Belbora, Nimmitabel, Wanaaring, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

For the first time, the 2012 HSC included three new Heritage Language courses in Chinese (Mandarin), Korean and Japanese. These courses are offered nationally for students who have a background in speaking a language, and who are looking for opportunities for advanced language learning.

“I think it’s very exciting to see that young women have dominated the First in Course results for mathematics courses,” Mr Piccoli said.

“This is the first time since the HSC was reviewed in 2001 that women have achieved a clean-sweep of the mathematics courses.

“This is a very proud day for all the students who have achieved a First in Course result, as well as for their families and their teachers.

“Hearing about the experiences of these HSC students, it is very clear that their HSC courses have demanded diligence and application.

“Regardless of a student’s goals, regardless of whether they top the State or not, undertaking the HSC gives young people skills and experience that will serve them well in their lives beyond school.

“Those results are important, but we all have to remember that young people are much more than an HSC mark. There are lots of pathways to success, and doing well in the HSC is just one of those opportunities.”

Over 70,000 students will receive their HSC results from 6am tomorrow (Wednesday 19 December).

The HSC Results Inquiry Centre 13 11 12 will be available for students to talk with experienced Board of Studies staff about any aspect of their results.

Students will be able to get their results from 6am onwards via SMS by texting their Student ID, followed by a space, followed by their PIN to 0427 555 999, or by phone on 1300 669 248.

MEDIA: David Bold 0423 202 369

NSW Education Minister awards 2012 hsc first in course recipients (PDF)


Education Minister presents the first Record of School Achievement

Thursday 13 December 2012

On Tuesday this week Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli presented Reece Barrett from Windsor High School and Ashley Alwan from Model Farms High School with their Record of School Achievement credentials at a ceremony at Parliament House, Sydney.

The Record of School Achievement (RoSA), announced by the government in 2011 and developed by the Board of Studies NSW, is the new credential for students who leave school after Year 10 and before they receive their Higher School Certificate (HSC).

Minister Piccoli said that under the previous system students who did not go on to receive their HSC used their School Certificate as a record of their secondary school achievement but that had not recognised achievements beyond Year 10.

“We know that whilst most students stay on, some will begin senior secondary study but leave school during Years 11 or 12 for employment or other training opportunities before receiving their HSC,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Reece and Ashley are great examples. They both have well planned pathways, securing jobs in their chosen fields and have committed to further education which will build on what they will learn on the job.”

The RoSA will record results using A to E grades and participation in any incomplete courses up until a student leaves school, giving them a comprehensive record of their academic achievements.

“All grades are allocated by the school and monitored by the Board of Studies NSW to ensure students receive fair and consistent recognition of their work,” Mr Piccoli said.

Students who leave school before they get their HSC also have the option to take online literacy and numeracy tests.

“The Board of Studies NSW developed the tests after discussions with employer groups indicated that evidence of these skills was an important factor in the decision to hire,” Mr Piccoli said.

“With the Australian Government planning to make NAPLAN tests available online it is good to see NSW leading the way.”

The Board of Studies NSW is mailing RoSA credentials to eligible students this week.

For more information on the RoSA visit http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/rosa/

Education Minister presents the first Record of School Achievement (PDF)


Minister launches NSW K–10 online syllabuses

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli today launched the new English, Mathematics, History and Science syllabuses for students from Kindergarten to Year 10, giving teachers online access to syllabuses including Australian curriculum content, anywhere, any time, on a variety of devices in three clicks or less.

The Board of Studies NSW coordinated the syllabus development process, which included wide consultation with teachers, parent bodies, academics, teacher unions and professional associations across all education sectors.

“We asked teachers about the best way to deliver curriculum and we acted on their feedback,” Mr Piccoli said.

“The result is a ‘teacher friendly’ curriculum in a format that is clean, innovative and easy to use in the classroom and gives the capacity to link to worldwide resources.

“The quality of the syllabuses will enrich the teaching and learning experience with NSW students being the ultimate beneficiaries.”

The Minister also announced that the Government has provided an additional $25 million in funding over the next two years to specifically support NSW schools to introduce the new syllabuses.

“Of that funding, the government school sector will receive $22.8 million with most of the additional funding going to NSW Government Schools to support teacher professional development, and the non-government sector will receive $2.2 million,” Mr Piccoli said.

“And following advice from the Board of Studies, and agreed by the Department of Education and Communities an additional School Development Day will be provided for all teachers in NSW Government schools on Tuesday April 30. This follows a School Development Day that is already scheduled for the beginning of Term 2 on Monday April 29.”

Non-government schools will make their own arrangements for teacher development in relation to the new curriculum.

In July, the Board of Studies NSW and heads of the education sectors released a schedule for curriculum implementation to all principals.

The schedule will give teachers the time they need to work with the syllabuses throughout the remainder of 2012 and 2013 for introduction in the classroom at the start of 2014.

According to the President of the Board, Mr Tom Alegounarias, adoption of national curriculum content into NSW syllabuses is a significant achievement.

“The Board focuses on continuous improvement and spent a lot of time working with teachers to make sure we presented the syllabuses in a familiar and constructive manner and developed resources that will help them every step of the way,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“And it’s not just limited to teachers, every parent and student in the state now has a clear idea of what they can be expected to learn, and at what stage.”

The Board is already working on additional support for NSW teachers including development of an interactive teaching program builder which will integrate with the new online syllabus and web-based resources.

Syllabuses Online will be live on the Board’s website following the launch. A range of support materials for teachers and parents is available online and in hard copy.

Minister launches NSW K–10 online syllabuses (PDF)


HSC written exams start today

Monday 15 October 2012

Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today wished the very best of luck to the more than 70,000 students at the start of the 2012 Higher School Certificate (HSC) written exams.

“These exams are the culmination of much hard work by students, their teachers, and very importantly by parents and carers, over many years,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“My message to all HSC students is to make sure you try your best, get plenty of rest and don’t overburden yourself with pressure.”

“Most of the HSC students I speak to say that whilst nerves are always part of the picture they are glad the day has arrived,” Mr Piccoli said.

“2012 will see a change in scheduling with the first exam held after lunch. The afternoon start with English on Day One has two advantages for students – time to get plenty of sleep and the opportunity for all students to experience the start to the HSC written examinations at the same time.”

This year 73,397 students are enrolled in at least one HSC course.

HSC written exams will be held over 19 days from Monday 15 October to Thursday 8 November. There will be 117 different exam papers. The first exams are English ESL, Standard and Advanced, and the last are Design and Technology, Latin Extension and Visual Arts.

President of the Board of Studies NSW, Tom Alegounarias, said the HSC is a quality credential that is recognised by tertiary education providers and employers worldwide.

“Students with an HSC can be assured that they hold a much respected credential that displays their capabilities across a wide range of skills,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“The Board of Studies works to ensure students who receive the HSC have met standards that will place them in good stead for the next chapter in their lives, be that onto university, straight into the workforce or taking time out to travel.

“We recognise that today’s students will be the future decision makers in society and we want them to have a well-rounded education,” Mr Alegounarias said.

To receive the HSC, students must have completed the equivalent of two years of prescribed study and, in doing so, satisfactorily completed assessments and external examinations. Most candidates are awarded the HSC at the end of Year 12.

HSC written exams start today (PDF)


Ministerial media release

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Minister launches Guides for Primary School Parents

NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli and Member for East Hills Glenn Brookes today launched a set of booklets designed to help parents reinforce the reading, writing and mathematics skills primary school students learn at school.

“The Board of Studies NSW has developed these parent guides in recognition of the role parents play as teachers from day–one,” said Mr Piccoli.

“Parents are instrumental in the development of skills young children need before they commence formal education, and that role should not stop at the school gate.

“These guides will help parents better understand the syllabus in NSW, and how it relates to their child.

“They explain, in simple terms, the key concepts of reading, writing and mathematics and they detail what a child should be able to do at each developmental stage, with practical examples.

“They also help parents understand how they can support skill development in those areas through everyday activities.”

Mr Piccoli launched the Parents’ Guides to Reading, Writing and Mathematics during Education week at Revesby Public School.

The Guides are available for purchase through Parents and Citizens’ Associations and through the Board of Studies online shop

Minister launches Guides for Primary School Parents (PDF)


Ministerial media release

Thursday 16 February 2012

Record of School achievement to replace School Certificate

NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today visited Concord High School with the Member for Drummoyne John Sidoti MP to announce that he will introduce legislation to create the Record of School Achievement (RoSA), a credential for students leaving school prior to receiving their HSC.

“In August last year I announced that the School Certificate would be abolished,” Mr Piccoli said.

“The introduction of the RoSA represents the most significant change to secondary schooling in over a decade and will replace a credential first introduced in 1965.”

Fully implemented the RoSA will:

  • Be a record of the full range of student achievements right up to the day they do their HSC or leave school
  • Provide an electronic record of achievements that students can use at any time
  • Use assessment by teachers in schools, moderated by the Board of Studies NSW to ensure reliability and fairness of grades
  • Provide the capacity to record vocational courses and students’ vocational experiences as well as citizenship and leadership achievements such as First Aid courses, community languages courses and Duke of Edinburgh awards
  • Offer on-line literacy and numeracy tests, with particular emphasis on work readiness, that students will be able to undertake twice a year from next year.

“Much has changed since 1965, and students want up to date information on their school achievements at the point that they need it,” said Mr Piccoli.

“The RoSA will be available electronically and as a verifiable hard copy on demand with the most up-to date information on a student’s achievements, across all subjects and a range of extra-curricular activities.

“The Board of Studies NSW has consulted widely with the teaching and broader community to ensure the RoSA balances the need to encourage students to stay at school for their HSC, while still offering a meaningful credential to those who choose to leave earlier.”

Mr Piccoli said the formal RoSA credential would be awarded to eligible students who choose to leave school prior to receiving their HSC, while still allowing students to view and download a transcript of their achievements when applying for jobs or further education or training.

Further details on implementation will be provided by the Board of Studies NSW throughout 2012.

Record of School achievement to replace School Certificate (PDF)


Ministerial media release

Wednesday 21 December 2011

NSW leading in Science Enrolments

NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today confirmed New South Wales is leading the country in science enrolments in Year 12.

“Since 2001 NSW has had an increase in all its HSC science courses and a 21 per cent increase in enrolments for all the science courses combined,” the Minister said.

“This means NSW has bucked the trend of fewer students enrolling in science, not only in Australia, but in comparison to all OECD countries.

“NSW schools offer a proven and effective curriculum that encourages students to choose science electives in years 11 and 12.

“In 2011, 33 008 students out of a total of 72 391 were enrolled in at least one HSC science course.”

Biology was the second most popular elective with more students enrolled in it than in Business Studies.

Chemistry and Physics are also top rating HSC electives.

“This is an important reflection of the education system’s ability to sustain enrolments in science at a time when more and more students are continuing to senior high school and opting for vocationally-orientated courses.

“It is also testament to the quality of science teaching in NSW schools,” the Minister said.

NSW leading in Science Enrolments (PDF)


Today’s HSC results: online and on time

14 December 2011

At midday today the state’s HSC students had checked their HSC results almost 84 000 times in total, with more than 70 per cent of these via the web.

As well as in NSW, students have been accessing their HSC results from countries around the world, including: the United States, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Canada, Japan, the Philippines, Turkey, the UK, Austria, Fiji, Germany, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Thailand.

Of the 71 415 HSC students who completed at least one HSC course this year:

  • 66 097 – 92 per cent – are eligible to be awarded the NSW Higher School Certificate; that is they have successfully undertaken at least 10 units of study.
  • Most of the remaining 5318 students – 7 per cent – will continue their HSC studies as part of accelerated or other learning programs.
  • 54 922 students – approximately 83 per cent – will be eligible for an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank or ATAR
  • More than 1 in 3 – 24 144 or 37 per cent of students – are eligible to be awarded a HSC as well as completing a Vocational Education and Training or VET course. This has increased from 23,190 students in 2010.
    Of these, 9472 students – up from 8178 in 2010 – will receive an HSC and a VET Certificate II or above.

"The release of the 2011 HSC results highlights the flexibility of the HSC credential in opening the way to further study and employment," President of the Board of Studies, Tom Alegounarias, said.

"2011 HSC results confirm the high quality of the HSC as the number of students remain stable.

"In particular, when compared to HSC results in 2010, they indicate maintenance of rigorous standards and stability in student achievement," Mr Alegounarias said.

As well, students from across NSW have been honoured in the four 2011 HSC merit lists, published on the Board’s website.

The HSC Results Inquiry Centre also opened today. This hotline offers a valuable opportunity for students to talk with experienced Board staff about any aspect of their results. Call 13 11 12 for 30 cents from a landline.

Today’s HSC results: online and on time (PDF)


Release of HSC results

14 December 2011

The NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said today that there had been almost 84 000 instances of HSC results being accessed online or by SMS.

More than 70 per cent were over the internet while more than 21 000 students had registered to receive their results via SMS, more than double the 2010 figure.

"In 2011, 71 415 students are eligible to receive a result for an HSC course,” said Mr Piccoli. 

"Over 83 per cent of students receiving their full HSC will be eligible to apply to university with an ATAR - the ranking system used by universities to select students.

"That is an outstanding result and is a great reflection on the quality of the HSC.

"These students should all be congratulated for the hard work they have put in over the last two years.

"The fact that so many students have chosen to receive their results over the internet or by SMS is a clear indication of how important the HSC is to them as a qualification.

"To those students who haven't yet made a firm decision about what they want to do in the next stage of their lives, or to those students who did not get the result they were hoping for, it is important to remember that the HSC is not the end of the world.

"I would encourage those students to take the time to speak to their careers advisor or specialists in further education and training. There is a huge range of options available to young people leaving school. Persevere, and you will find the right one for you."

The Board of Studies HSC Results Inquiry Line is currently open on 131112 (calls must be made from a landline and are charged at the cost of a local call).

Release of HSC results (PDF)


HSC results and merit lists out tomorrow

13 December 2011

71 415 Higher School Certificate students will be able to access their results from 6am on Wednesday December 14.

Most are expected to check their results online by going to www.hscresults.nsw.edu.au or www.hsc-results.nsw.edu.au or using a link on the Board of Studies homepage, http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au.

It is also possible to get results via SMS – text a student number followed by a space and then the HSC PIN to 0427 659 900 – or by phone on 1300 669 248. Internet access fees and call charges can apply.

"This is a very exciting time for many HSC students and their friends and family,” the chief executive of the Board of Studies NSW, Carol Taylor, said.

"While some might approach finding out how they went with an dose of confidence and a little touch of trepidation, the most important thing is that they feel proud of having gotten this far.

"It’s a wonderful opportunity too, to acknowledge and congratulate the outstanding achievers named on the 2011 HSC merit lists," she said.

December 14 also sees the naming of the 2011 All-round Achievers, Top Achievers in Course, and Distinguished Achievers. They will join the First in Course achievers - named at a special presentation the day before – on this year’s HSC honour roll.

The All-round, Top and Distinguished achievers lists will be published on the Board’s website from 12 noon on Wednesday and the First in Course from 12 noon Tuesday.

The HSC Results Inquiry Centre opens on December 14. This hotline offers a valuable opportunity for students to talk with experienced Board staff about any aspect of their results. Call 13 11 12 for 30 cents from a landline phone.

HSC results and merit lists out tomorrow (PDF)


HSC First in Course

13 December 2011

With HSC results released to over 71,000 NSW students tomorrow, a handful have been able to celebrate early with the news they have topped the state in one or more courses.

NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli announced the 107 First in Course recipients at a ceremony attended by many of the students and their families today at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh.

"The HSC is a world-class credential, and its important that we acknowledge these students who have worked so hard to reach the top of their courses," said Mr Piccoli.

"Of course, behind every good student, there is almost always a patient, understanding and supportive group of family and teachers. Today's ceremony is an acknowledgement of their efforts too."

Highlights from this year's First in Course list include:

  • Equal first place was given in six of the 116 courses for which there were First in Course awards in 2011.
  • Eight students received a First in Course Award for more than one course, with one student topping three courses.
  • Nearly two-thirds of all First in Course recipients in 2011 are female.
  • Over 20 students on the First in Course list live in regions outside of Sydney including: Molong, Nyngan, Finley, Port Macquarie, Hillston, Corndale, Albury, Ballina and Taree.

Mr Piccoli said that the diversity of students and courses showcased in the ceremony was a reflection on the success of the HSC.

"It used to be that the HSC was seen as just a pathway to university, and obviously it still retains that important role. Around 83% of HSC students in NSW are eligible to receive an ATAR – which is the entrance requirement for university.

"Today, the HSC continues to expand and offer students relevant and contemporary options.

"We've seen students accept awards today in subjects as diverse as Aboriginal Studies, Electrotechnology and Business Services, as well as a range of courses in the more traditional areas such as English, Maths and Science.

"This is a proud day for these students, their families and their teachers and on behalf of the NSW Government, I want to wish them all the very best for the future," said Mr Piccoli.

HSC results will be delivered to students from 6am tomorrow through the internet, SMS and telephone.

HSC First in Course (PDF)


Instant results: your guide to HSC marks

28 November 2011

The countdown to the release of 2011 Higher School Certificate results is on.

For more than 72 000 students the big day dawns at 6am on Wednesday December 14 when HSC results will be available online or via SMS and telephone.

Higher School Certificate summaries arrive in the mail on Friday December 16 and award documents on January 10.

"For many the results of the HSC will help determine future studies and careers," said Carol Taylor, chief executive of the Board of Studies NSW.

"It’s important to remember that HSC results are more than just an exam mark.

“They reflect a student’s achievements across the entirety of their course.

“HSC results allow a student to see how their achievements compare to other students doing the same course, not just in 2011, but from year-to-year.

"The Board wishes everyone all the very best for their HSC results," Ms Taylor said.

Here's a quick guide to HSC results and services:
 

  • Assessment rankings

    Assessment rankings show the order in which a school ranks students in each HSC course they have undertaken. They are based on assessments undertaken throughout the year.

    They are now available at Students Online; www.studentsonline.nsw.edu.au.

  • HSC results online

    From 6.00am on December 14 two websites will link directly to HSC results. They are www.hscresults.nsw.edu.au and www.hsc-results.nsw.edu.au. The Board’s homepage - www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au – will also carry a link to results.

    From December 15 Students Online - www.studentsonline.nsw.edu.au - will host HSC results.

  • HSC results by SMS

    Register now to receive HSC results via SMS from 6am on December 14 by texting the student number and PIN to 0427 659 900. A return message confirms successful registration. Service provider charges can apply.

  • Automated telephone service

    Call 1300 669 248 and follow the voice prompts from 6am on December 14 to receive HSC results over the phone. The average cost of a call from a landline in NSW is 30 cents.

  • HSC Results Inquiry Centre

    The Board's Results Inquiry Centre opens at 8am on December 14 to answer questions about final results and the processes used to determine them. From December 15 it operates from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and is closed on public holidays and from 12 noon on Christmas and New Years Eve until April 27.

    Call 13 11 12 on a landline for 30 cents from anywhere in NSW.

  • HSC Results Check Service

    The Results Check Service can confirm if a result is processed correctly. It is available from December 15 until April 27 via Students Online. It costs $29 for English Standard and Advanced, and $15 for all other courses that have final written exams.

    From December 19 students can order their raw marks for each paper as well as request a copy of their exam responses. The raw mark service is $5.25 per course while responses cost $31 a course. This is in addition to the result check fee.

A student number and HSC PIN are essential to access results on December 14.

Forgotten PINs can be retrieved via Students Online – www.studentsonline.nsw.edu.au - or reissued over the phone. Call the Board of Studies on 9367 8001 between 8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

Instant results: your guide to HSC marks (PDF)


156 000 students…and counting!

011 November 2011

By 5.00pm on Friday November 11, an estimated *156 000 students will have sat written and practical exams for the 2011 New South Wales Higher School Certificate and School Certificate.

HSC and SC practical and written exams were held in more than 820 venues – schools, colleges, universities, even hospital wards and embassies – across New South Wales and around the world in international schools in Asia and in locations as far afield as Pakistan, Qatar and The Netherlands.

Final HSC exams began at 9.00am on Tuesday August 2 with oral language exams in Vietnamese and will end at 2.15pm on Friday November 11 with the written Design and Technology exam.

More than 33 000 HSC students undertook practical exams between August 2 and September 17. These exams included oral language skills, performances in dance, drama, and music, and the submission of major projects for courses such as Industrial Technology, Visual Arts, Society and Culture, and English Extension.

More than 70 000 HSC students will have sat for 117 different written exam papers over 18 days between October 17 and November 11. Since its introduction in 1967, English has remained the only compulsory HSC course while Mathematics remains the most popular elective.

2011 sees the last School Certificate tests. The SC was first issued in 1965. This year more than 86 000 students will sit for five compulsory SC tests over three days between Monday November 7 and Friday November 11.

Throughout the exam period the Board employs up to 10 000 additional staff. They include more than 820 exam centre managers, more than 7000 markers and more than 1000 support staff.

Students read from more than 14 million exam pages printed on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper. They submit more than 6 million writing booklets and answer sheets. These days millions of these pages are scanned to facilitate onscreen marking in 15 centres throughout NSW.

To produce exam results for both the HSC and SC, the Board’s computer system processes approximately 45 million marks.

“Running HSC and School Certificate exams is a phenomenal undertaking,” chief executive of the Board of Studies NSW, Carol Taylor, said.

“We wish to congratulate and thank everyone who participates: students, teachers, and exam supervisors as well as people across the community – especially parents and other caregivers – who support their children and their schools, year in and year out,” Ms Taylor said.

HSC assessment rankings are available from 4.00pm today. All HSC results will be released on Wednesday December 14.

SC results will be available to schools from Monday December 5.

* As of 1 September 2011, there were a total of 162 882 students enrolled in at least one HSC or SC course; 72 391 HSC students and 90 491 SC students. Not all HSC courses have exams and not all HSC or SC students are in years 12 or 10.

HSC media guide | School Certificate media guide

156 000 students…and counting! (PDF)


Countdown to HSC written maths exams

21 October 2011

Monday marks the start of HSC written maths exams.

Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 2 will be held on Monday October 24, General Mathematics on Tuesday October 25, and Mathematics Extension 1 on Wednesday October 26.

“Even though maths is not a compulsory HSC course, it remains one of the most popular,” said the chief executive of the Board of Studies NSW, Carol Taylor.

“In 2011 there are 55 103 students are enrolled in at least one HSC maths course.

“Almost 17 000 students are enrolled in Mathematics while more than 32 000 are enrolled in General Mathematics, giving it the largest enrolment outside of the only compulsory HSC course, English.

“The Mathematics course provides students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of high level maths that is needed for university studies in areas such as life sciences, finance, technology, and education.

“General Mathematics is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills that can be applied to everyday activities and in the workplace. It creates a basis for future pathways in vocational training and is key to some tertiary studies, ranging from business to nursing.

“Extension courses are for students who show a high ability during their secondary schooling. The mathematics extension courses provide students with the opportunity to develop a thorough understanding of further aspects of mathematics for tertiary studies, including in mathematics itself, the physical sciences, and engineering,” Ms Taylor said.

As well as the maths exams, on Monday October 24 there are written exams in Agriculture and 20 languages including Armenian, Polish and Vietnamese.

On Tuesday October 25 there are also written exams in Classical Greek, Chinese, German, Electrotechnology, and Textiles and Design.

On Wednesday October 26 there are also written exams in Arabic, and Studies of Religion.

This year there are 72 391 students enrolled in at least one HSC course. Most will sit for at least one of 117 different written exams being held in more than 760 exam centres between October 17 and November 11.

Countdown to HSC written maths exams (PDF)


Written English HSC exams start tomorrow

17 October 2011

Written exams for the only compulsory Higher School Certificate course, English, begin at 9.20am on Tuesday, October 18.

"HSC English aims to help students develop skills to evaluate and appreciate contemporary works, including film and television, as well as the classics such as Shakespeare,” chief executive of the Board of Studies NSW, Carol Taylor said.

"Australian writers such as Peter Carey, Judith Wright, and Tim Winton feature strongly.

“Of course, a high level of literacy is required to undertake an HSC English course,” Ms Taylor said.

A total of 67 880 students are enrolled in at least one HSC English course this year.

English Standard has the largest HSC course enrolment with 34 929 students and English Advanced the third, with 27 289 students. General Mathematics has the second largest enrolment of HSC courses with 32 104 students.

Not all English courses have external HSC exams.

The four that do are English Standard, English Advanced, English as a Second Language – all of which have their first papers on Tuesday and their second the following day, Wednesday October 19 – and English Extension 1 which is examined on October 31.

Students studying English Standard and Advanced sit for the same paper on Tuesday and different papers on Wednesday.

Tuesday's two-hour paper for English Standard and Advanced has three parts: short answer questions about unseen texts, a composition on or adaption of a studied text, and an essay based on the area of study, Belonging. The English as a Second Language or ESL exam, which goes for 90 minutes, has two parts. They are short answers based on unseen texts and an essay.

On Wednesday students enrolled in English Standard complete three essays in two hours, one each on Experience through language, Close study of a text, and Texts and society. English Advanced students also write three essays in two hours. They are based on Comparative study of texts and content, Critical study of texts, Representation and Text. ESL students do two essays based on Experience through language and Texts and Society in one hour and then answer questions based on an audio recording for 30 minutes.

The HSC is the highest educational achievement in secondary education in NSW. In 2011 there are 72 391 students enrolled in at least one HSC course. Most, but not all students are in Year 12, and not all HSC courses have external written examinations.

2011 HSC online media guide: http://bit.ly/r9lq8K
Figures based on enrolments as of 1 September 2011.

Written English HSC exams start tomorrow (PDF)


HSC written exams start Monday

for immediate release: 14 October 2011

The 2011 Higher School Certificate written exams kick off at 9.25am this Monday October 17 with Business Studies and Classical Greek Continuers.

Business Studies has the sixth largest enrolment of all HSC courses with 14 995 students. Fifty-one per cent are male, 49 per cent female.

The three-hour exam has four sections: multiple choice, short answer questions, business report, and an essay.

“The Business Studies course aims to help students participate effectively in a corporate environment as well as make informed choices about the impact of business on their daily lives,” the chief executive of the Board of Studies NSW, Carol Taylor, said.

“It also develop skills in research, analysis, problem solving, decision making, critical thinking and communication, all of which are invaluable when applied to other studies and exploring career options,” she said.

Business Management and Change, Financial Planning and Management, Marketing, Employment Relations, and Global Business are the five topics studied in HSC Business Studies.

There are 17 students enrolled in HSC Classical Greek Continuers. Classical Greek language, literature and culture have contributed much to the modern world. Continuers students are typically those who have undertaken between 200-400 hours of study in that language by the start of Year 11.

This three-hour exam asks students to translate prose and verse into English, and answer short and long response questions based on prescribed and an unseen text.

The first day of the HSC written exams also features Drama at 1.55pm and Chinese Beginners at 2pm.

Drama has 4807, mostly female, students enrolled. Chinese Beginners has 27 students enrolled.

Written exams for English, the only compulsory HSC course, begin on Tuesday October 18.

The Higher School Certificate is the highest educational achievement in secondary education in New South Wales.

It is awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of two years of prescribed study and in doing so, satisfactorily completed assessments and external examinations. Most candidates are awarded the HSC at the end of Year 12.

The Board of Studies written exams account for up to 50 per cent of most HSC candidates’ final results.

In 2011 there are 72 391 students enrolled in HSC courses.

HSC written exams start Monday (PDF)


New HSC media guide now online

A new media-only guide to the 2011 HSC is now online at the Board of Studies NSW website.

It features key dates, the written exam timetable, newly released enrolment statistics, and information on marking and results.

This page can also be accessed by choosing the News and Media tab in the yellow column that runs down the left side of the Board's homepage.

Click either 2011 HSC media guide under News and Media or the link on right side of the page News and Media opens.

Please note: the deadline for registering for access to an exam venue on the first two days of the written HSC – Business Studies on October 17 and English on October 18 – is close of business this Wednesday, October 12.

Please see the link Guidelines for media – for more on accessing exam centres, student and papers.


More than 72 000 enrolled for the 2011 HSC

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, today announced 72,391 students are enrolled in this year’s Higher School Certificate. This is the largest number of students to date.

Written exams, which account for up to 50 per cent of results in many HSC courses, begin next Monday October 17 and conclude on Friday November 11.

More than 760 exam centres in Australia and around the world will be the venue for 117 different exam papers.

"The HSC is a major investment in the future of New South Wales," said Minister Piccoli.

“While the HSC remains a vital introduction to university studies, it has now evolved into a world class credential that encourages students to explore a wide range of subjects that suit their interests, abilities, and potential career paths.

“Students no longer need to leave school to begin to develop the skills and knowledge essential to a successful and rewarding role in the workforce.

"Approximately 30 per cent of all HSC students are enrolled in a VET course and will gain nationally recognised employment qualifications along with their HSC," Mr Piccoli said.

The Higher School Certificate is the highest educational achievement in secondary education in New South Wales.

"The NSW Government is committed to the delivery of courses that help every student realise their potential and an education system that is equitable," Minister Piccoli said.

More than 72 000 enrolled for the 2011 HSC (PDF)


HSC: for parents…

4 October 2011

Are you the parent of an HSC student and want to know more about your child’s studies?

“NSW HSC online is a great source of information not just for students and teachers, but also for parents,” said Carol Taylor, chief executive of the Board of Studies NSW.

"The parents' page provides information on supporting your child through their exams, HSC assessment procedures, reporting of HSC results, and options beyond the HSC.

“Parents will also want to make sure their child is familiar with the site’s study tips and resources for more than 50 HSC courses.

"Information is also available in a number of community languages, including Arabic, Chinese and Turkish,” Ms Taylor said.

NSW HSC online is developed by Charles Sturt University and is one of the Board’s partner websites. Its web address is http://hsc.csu.edu.au and the parents' page can be found at http://hsc.csu.edu.au/for_parents.

The HSC written exams start on Monday 17 October and conclude Friday 11 November.

… and HSC: for students

Here's some last-minute tips from the Board of Studies NSW for students sitting for this year's written HSC exams:

  • make sure you have your personal exam timetable. Log onto Students Online http://studentsonline.bos.nsw.edu.au
  • check what you can take into the exam room. Water is permitted, but not mobile devices such as phones, MP3 players, and electronic dictionaries. See the Board's website for a comprehensive equipment checklist http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/hsc_exams/equipment-checklist.html
  • use the content and outcomes for each syllabus to see if you have covered everything you need to learn. They are online at http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc.
  • take advantage of the exam papers, marking guidelines, and sample answers from the 2010 HSC. They can be found at http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/hsc_exams/hsc2010exams/
  • be proud that you've already completed at least fifty per cent of your HSC assessment through class-based assignments, and performance and project exams.

Official online guide for 2011 HSC students

12 September 2011

The Board of Studies NSW today launched its new online guide for 2011 Higher School Certificate students.

Tips and Tools on the Students Online website helps students prepare for next month’s written tests,” said the Board’s chief executive, Carol Taylor.

“It offers study tips and materials, a guide to what can be taken into the exam room, and what to expect in the exam papers.

“It also links to the HSC Rules and Procedures handbook, which is vital reading for all students, and advises what to do if illness or any form of misadventure affects a student’s ability to complete an exam paper.

Read the full media release – Official online guide for 2011 HSC students


Minister announces delay of classroom implementation of Australian curriculum

9 August 2011

The NSW Education Minister, the Hon. Adrian Piccoli, announced today that the implementation of the Australian curriculum in NSW will be delayed with schools not required to teach the new K -10 English, Mathematics, Science and History syllabuses until 2014.

Mr Piccoli said that the new timeframe will allow sufficient time for the syllabuses to be finalised, and for teachers to prepare for implementation.

All four K-10 syllabuses are currently in draft form and the Board of Studies schedule of consultations will not be affected by the announcement.

Read the Minister for Education’s media release – NSW to delay implementation of Australian Curriculum (PDF)


Government to Abolish School Certificate

4 August 2011

NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, announced today that the School Certificate will be abolished from 2012.

“The external tests currently administered to all Year 10 students will not continue after this year.

Mr Piccoli said that the decision was made as a result of consultation undertaken by the Board of Studies with key stakeholder groups representing principals, teachers, parents and all school sectors.

Read the full media release – Government to Abolish School Certificate (PDF)


Top students selected for HSC exhibitions

22 December 2010

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth has announced more than 500 HSC students have been chosen for this year's annual HSC exhibitions.

The annual HSC showcase events - ARTEXPRESS, Callback, DesignTECH, ENCORE, OnSTAGE, and Texstyle - feature outstanding performances and projects by HSC dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and technology and textile and design students.

Ms Firth said the selected students deserved congratulations and encouraged schools and the general public to attend the exhibitions in the new year.

Read the full media release – Top students selected for HSC exhibitions (PDF)


HSC results released today

15 December 2010

Higher School Certificate (HSC) results were released for a record 71,000 students at 6am this morning.

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth said students and parents across NSW would be glad the wait for results was finally over.

“Completing the HSC is an important milestone, and students should be extremely proud of their hard work,” Ms Firth said.

Read the full media release – HSC results released today (PDF)


HSC students celebrate being first in course

14 December 2010

The Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth has congratulated 107 of the state’s brightest students who have topped the state in their HSC courses for 2010.

“The annual First in Course ceremony is a wonderful way to celebrate our high achieving students,” Ms Firth said.

“First in Course demonstrates the diversity of our state’s top performing students and I wish them the very best for their future.”

Read the full media release – HSC students celebrate being first in course (PDF)


Students celebrate the end of HSC 2010

10 November 2010

The 2010 Higher School Certificate examinations finish today with more than 15,000 students completing their final exams.

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, visited Mosman High School to personally congratulate students finishing their exams.

The last two exams, Science and Visual Arts, were conducted today.

“I applaud the record 71,310 HSC students for successfully navigating a month of rigorous exams. I wish all students the very best for the future.”

Read the full media release – Students celebrate the end of HSC 2010 (PDF)


School Certificate exams start for 90,000 students

8 November 2010

A record 90,000 Year 10 students start their first NSW School Certificate exams today.

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, wished students the best of luck.

“The School Certificate is an important milestone for secondary students”, Ms Firth said.

Read the full media release – School Certificate exams start for 90,000 students (PDF)


HSC exams start today

14 October 2010

HSC exams start today for more than 17,000 NSW students.

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, said students of Business Studies and Classical Greek will pick up their pens at 9:25am this morning.

“I wish these students the very best of luck,” Ms Firth said.

“A record 71,000 NSW students will sit HSC exams in the coming weeks.

Read the full media release – HSC exams start today (PDF)


HSC exams for 2010 begin this week

10 October 2010

A record 71,000 students begin their final NSW Higher School Certificate exams this week.

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, has wished all students the best of luck.

“To put things in context - if we gathered this year’s HSC students together the group would match the population of a big regional city like Coffs Harbour.

“Students have already obtained half of their HSC mark from their school based work.

Read the full media release – HSC exams for 2010 begin this week (PDF)


Review of NSW School Certificate

13 May 2010

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, said today the NSW Board of Studies would review the Year 10 School Certificate as part of changes to the NSW school leaving age.

Read the full media release (PDF)


Spotlight on Top HSC Drama Students

21 December 2009

Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth today announced 60 HSC Drama students have been selected to perform in the 2009 OnSTAGE season.

Ms Firth said students were chosen from across the State for their exceptional individual and group performances, set and costume design, script writing, theatre review, promotion and program, and video drama.

“Congratulations to all of the HSC students selected to perform and exhibit in OnSTAGE, which will run from February 6 to 12 at Sydney’s Seymour Centre,” Ms Firth said.

Read the full media release (PDF)


On Your Marks: Top HSC Students Honoured Today

15 December 2009

Premier Kristina Keneally and Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth today congratulated 119 outstanding students who achieved first place in HSC courses this year.

The students, who came first in 111 HSC courses, were today recognised at an award ceremony at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney.

Read the full media release (PDF)


Innovative HSC Projects Chosen for DesignTECH

10 December 2009

An electronic signalling system for motorcycle riders, an equipment holster for paramedics and an easy-to-turn key for the elderly are among the outstanding HSC projects chosen to feature in this year’s DesignTECH exhibition.

Read the full media release (PDF)


Class of ’09 gear up for HSC

20 October 2009

Premier Nathan Rees said today this week’s HSC exams will provide students with world class qualifications from courses recognised internationally.

Read the full media release (PDF)


HSC and Careers Expo a success

Students Online demonstration
Watch the video featuring the Board of Studies at the Expo
(video, approx. 3 mins)

Almost 10 000 students, parents and teachers attended the inaugural Sydney Morning Herald HSC and Careers Expo.

The Board of Studies was an active participant at the Expo between 15 and 17 May 2009.

An estimated 7000 students attended 18 Board seminars on Higher School Certificate courses and general topics, including exams and assessments, major works and projects and extended responses in English.

Several thousand students and their parents visited the Board’s stand as well as hundreds of teachers.

Visitors to the stand talked to Board staff about the HSC exams and assessments, watched demonstrations of Students Online and received copies of the 2009 HSC exam timetable.



Outstanding HSC designs come to Parkes

2 June 2009

A 2008 Higher School Certificate student from St John’s College, Dubbo, has been named the winner of a regional award for her design of a brightly coloured modular children’s storage system.

Sarah Brown, an HSC Design and Technology student, is one of four students from the Western region chosen to exhibit their major works in the regional exhibition of the HSC showcase, DesignTECH, at the Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre from 2 June to 12 June 2009.

Read the full media release


Parkes DesignTECH Exhibition Media opportunity

26 May 2009

Media are invited to the opening of an exhibition of outstanding major design projects from the 2008 Higher School Certificate Design and Technology course on 2 June 2009.

The exhibition showcases outstanding works by students from across NSW, including four students from Western NSW.

Read the full media release


Dr John Bennett named as recipient of prestigious award

19 May 2009

The Australian College of Educators has announced General Manager of the Office of the Board of Studies, Dr John Bennett, as the recipient of its highest state award, the Wyndham Medal.

Read the media release (PDF)


New President for the Board of Studies

13 May 2009

Minister for Education and Training, Ms Verity Firth today announced the appointment of Tom Alegounarias as the new President of the New South Wales Board of Studies.

Tom Alegounarias, currently Chief Executive for the Institute of Teachers, has been appointed President for a period of five years.

Read the media release (PDF)


Business Studies to start 2009 HSC

1 May 2009

Around 16,000 Business Studies students will start this year's Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams.

Launching the 2009 HSC exam timetable, the Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, said the four week exam period will include 111 exams.

Read the media release (PDF)


Outstanding HSC designs on show in Newcastle

27 April 2009

Innovative designs and inventions by some of the State's best young designers go on show in Newcastle this week.

The designs of seven Central Coast and Hunter students are among the 22 projects featured in the DesignTECH exhibition, a showcase of HSC Design and Technology student works, at Newcastle Region Library.

Read the full media release


Outstanding HSC designs come to Grafton

Grafton DesignTECH exhibition
Grafton DesignTECH exhibition

25 March 2009

A 2008 Higher School Certificate student from Bishop Druitt College (Coffs Harbour) has been named the winner of a regional award for his design of a multimedia wheelchair tray which can be used to play movies and music.

James Hargrave, an HSC Design and Technology student, is one of four Northern NSW students chosen to exhibit their major works in the regional exhibition of the HSC showcase, DesignTECH, at the Grafton Regional Gallery from 25 March to 19 April 2009.

Read the full media release


Dishcloth couture wins People’s Choice at DesignTECH exhibition

23 March 2009

Carlos Bouman receives the People's Choice Award  from Dyson's Erica Galea
Carlos Bouman receives the People’s Choice Award from Dyson’s Erica Galea

A striking couture gown made from dyed dishcloths has won the first ever People’s Choice Award at the HSC Design and Technology exhibition, DesignTECH.

Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth said the exhibition features innovative designs and inventions by 25 Design and Technology students who studied for their HSC in 2008.

Read the full media release (PDF, 1 pages, 44 KB)


Top music students in Opera House showcase

16 March 2009

Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, has congratulated 20 of the state’s top music students who will perform in the prestigious ENCORE concert at Sydney Opera House today.

Ms Firth said ENCORE, which is always a sell-out event, was a tribute to the outstanding young musicians and composers who have studied for the Higher School Certificate in NSW.

Read the full media release (PDF, 3 pages, 64 KB)


Quality the key in 2010 HSC

23 February 2009

Quality rather than quantity is the key message for changes announced today to the 2010 NSW Higher School Certificate.

Minister for Education and Training, Ms Verity Firth said HSC students will now be provided with the approximate length expected for their exam essays.

Read the full media release (PDF, 2 pages, 48 KB)


Audits prove HSC special provisions are fair

21 February 2009

Minister for Education and Training today welcomed the findings of the two independent reports into the 2008 Higher School Certificate Special Examination provisions. The reports were by Walter Turnbull chartered accountants and Dr Jan Keightley, former Chief Executive of the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia

Read the full media release


Rees to raise school leaving age to give students a better chance of a job

28 January 2009

The NSW Government will raise the school leaving age to ensure NSW students have a world-class education and improved opportunities to go to University or secure employment.

From 2010 all students in NSW will complete Year 10.

Read the full media release (PDF, 1 pages, 60 KB)


HSC Design Showcase Opens

19 December 2008

An outboard motor powered solely by a cordless drill and a system that allows farmers to monitor their property's water storage via their mobile phone are two of the innovative works on display at this years DesignTECH exhibition.

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, today opened the exhibition and said outstanding designs by 25 HSC Design and Technology students have been selected for the prestigious 2008 DesignTECH exhibition.

Read the full media release (PDF, 5 pages, 60 KB)


Nervous wait ends for 67,000 HSC students

17 December 2008

A record 67,000 students will today be logging on, phoning in and receiving text messages to access their HSC results.
The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, said the HSC is an important milestone in a young person's life.

Read the full media release (PDF, 2 pages, 52 KB)


Rees honours top HSC students

16 December 2008

Premier Nathan Rees today congratulated 112 outstanding students who achieved first place in a 2008 NSW HSC course.
The students, who came first in 110 HSC courses, were recognised at an award ceremony at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney.
This year's honoured students are from schools across Sydney and regional NSW, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Illawarra, Hunter, Southern Highlands, Riverina, Western NSW and New England.

Read the full media release (PDF, 2 pages, 56 KB)


2008 School Certificate Results

11 December 2008

More than 88,000 students will today receive their results from the 2008 School Certificate.

The NSW Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, said this year's performance in School Certificate builds on the strong performance in 2007.

Read the full media release (PDF, 2 pages, 52 KB)

Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize

HSC students who have overcome significant hardship to attain academic excellence might be eligible for the Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize. Nominations close 19 December.


It’s the final ‘pens down’ for HSC Class of 2008

13 November 2008

The final examinations in the 2008 NSW Higher School Certificate finish today.

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, said a record 67,931 students were enrolled in HSC courses this year, most sitting for six written exams, which began a month ago.

Read the full media release.


2008 School Certificate tests start today

11 November 2008

As the Higher School Certificate exams draw to a close, a record 88,017 Year 10 students have been gearing up for the NSW School Certificate tests which start today (Monday 10 November 2008).

General Manager of the Office of the Board of Studies, Dr John Bennett, said Year 10 students would this week sit for statewide tests in English-literacy, Science, Mathematics, Australian History, Australian Geography, and Computing Skills.

Read the full media release.


State’s HSC students sit first English paper today

17 October 2008

The state’s Higher School Certificate students will today sit the first of two compulsory English exams.

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, said a total of 64,509* students were enrolled in English courses in 2008. Read the full media release.


HSC Exams Start Today

16 October 2008

The NSW Higher School Certificate written examinations start this morning when more than 16,000 students will sit the Business Studies exam.

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, today wished this year's record 67,931 HSC students 'all the best' as they embark on the last leg of their school journey. Read the full media release.


Keen Narromine HSC student awarded for study diligence!

24 September 2008

Jamie Wyatt, of Narromine High School, has been awarded a $50 University Co-op Bookshop voucher for using his Higher School Certificate Student ID and PIN to log in to the Board of Studies new Students Online website. Read the full media release


Minister Announces Record Numbers of HSC Students in 2008

22 September 2008

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, today announced a record 67,931 students were enrolled in Higher School Certificate courses in 2008. Read the full media release.


2008 Media Guide

22 September 2008

A record number of students are enrolled in HSC courses this year. Written exams begin on 16 October 2008. Find out key enrolment trends by subject, statistics for each course and region, as well as information on support services and the release of results in the 2008 Media Guide. Read the full media release.


Consultation on proposed HSC improvements

2 September 2008

NSW Acting Minister for Education and Training, John Hatzistergos, today announced community consultation was now underway for proposed changes to the Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams and school assessments. Read the full media release.


Read and respond to HSC proposals

27 August 2008

The Board of Studies NSW is seeking your response to proposals about some aspects of HSC exam specifications and assessment tasks. Read the full media release.


No mobile phones or other devices in HSC exams

20 August 2008

There is no proposal to allow students to use mobile phones, iPods, or the internet during Higher School Certificate (HSC) examinations. Read the full media release.


Dance to kick off 2008 HSC exams

11 August 2008

Acting NSW Minister for Education and Training John Hatzistergos said today the first Higher School Certificate (HSC) examination of the year will begin today (11 August) with practical exams in Dance getting under way. Read the full media release.


HSC one-stop online study shop hits top 40

27 June 2008

HSC students, teachers and librarians have viewed more than 185,000 pages of information via the Board of Studies new Students Online website - less than one month after it was launched. Read the full media release.


HSC students flock to one-stop study shop!

25 June 2008

Seventeen year old Ashlee Walker of Beverly Hills Girls High School in Sydney's south was named the 1000th student to log on to the Board of Studies new Students Online website. Read the full media release.


New HSC one-stop online study shop

4 June 2008

NSW Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, will today (June 4) launch a one-stop online study shop for Higher School Certificate students - the first of its kind in Australia. Read the full media release.


New Website for HSC Students

4 June 2008

Higher School Certificate students have access to a new, highly functional and user-friendly web site following the launch today of Students Online – a one-stop shop for HSC resources and first of its kind in Australia. Read the full media release.


Proposed improvements to Higher School Certificate exams

21 May 2008

NSW Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, said today community consultation would be sought from next month on proposed improvements to Higher School Certificate examinations. Read the full media release.


Strengthening Australian literature in NSW schools

19 May 2008

Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, has announced a plan by the Iemma Government to ensure every NSW student studies more Australian books, poems and plays will soon be open to comment by teachers and education groups. Read the full media release.


2008 HSC examination timetable released today

1 May 2008

NSW Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, has announced the timetable for the 2008 Higher School Certificate examination will be made available to students, parents and teachers from 1 May. Read the full media release.


Tougher measures prevent cheating in the HSC

30 April 2008

The NSW Board of Studies will this week send all NSW schools a short statement on the academic honesty expected of their senior students. Read the full media release.


Outstanding HSC Designs come to Griffith

3 March 2008

The President of the Board of Studies, Professor Gordon Stanley, today said the Higher School Certificate exhibition of some of the State’s best young designers would be staged in Griffith this month. Read the full media release.


Remarkable students battle hardship and illness to earn their HSC

28 February 2008

NSW Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, has today (28 February) presented special awards and paid tribute to two students who have battled tremendous hardship and severe illness during their HSC. Read the full media release.


New guide to make child learning as easy as ABC for parents

6 February 2008

NSW Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, has launched a new guide to make it easier for parents to follow their children’s education and progress through their primary school years. Read the full media release.


HSC results are in … what now?

20 December 2007

Following the release of HSC exam results yesterday, NSW Year 12 students can discover their University Admissions Index number today, via the Universities Admission Centre website (www.uac.edu.au) from 9am.Read the full media release.


2007 NSW HSC: Record high achievers and a solid result overall

19 December 2007

NSW Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, has congratulated more than 66,000 students who are today learning their 2007 Higher School Certificate results.Read the full media release.


2007 School Certificate results issued today

10 December 2007

NSW Year 10 students have performed strongly in this year’s mandatory School Certificate tests, the Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, said today. Read the full media release.


Showcase of outstanding HSC student designers

3 December 2007

Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, has today (3 December) launched an exhibition of outstanding designs by HSC students at the Powerhouse Museum. Read the full media release.


Move to strengthen Australian literature in NSW schools

23 October 2007

Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, said today that he would be writing to the NSW Board of Studies requesting them to investigate a range of options to strengthen the study of Australian literature in the State's English curriculum. Read the full media release.


State's HSC students sit first English paper today

19 October 2007

The State's Higher School Certificate students will today sit for the first exam in English, the only compulsory subject in the HSC. Read the full media release.


Record number of students sit HSC exams in 2007

14 October 2007

NSW Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, announced today that a record 67,189 students will be sitting for the Higher School Certificate which starts this week. Read the full media release.


Record number of students undertaking VET as part of their HSC

14 October 2007

Ahead of the commencement of HSC exams this week, NSW Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, has released the 2007 HSC data, revealing a jump in the number of students undertaking vocational education in schools. Read the full media release.


HSC advice just a phone call away

8 October 2007

As the State's Year 12 students count down to the start of the written Higher School Certificate examinations, assistance will be just a phone call away with the opening of the 2007 HSC Advice Line this afternoon. Read the full media release.


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