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NSW curriculum and syllabuses

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is responsible for developing Kindergarten to Year 12 syllabuses for NSW schools.

The NSW curriculum includes the Key Learning Areas (KLAs) of English, Mathematics, Science, Human Society and its Environment (HSIE), Languages, Technologies, Creative Arts and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE). 

Each KLA includes syllabuses for K–10 and Years 11 and 12 that are inclusive of the learning needs of all students.

Syllabuses identify:

  • the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes students are expected to develop at each stage
  • outcomes and content that describe what students are expected to know and do
  • cross-curriculum priorities, general capabilities and other important learning for all students.

Stages of learning

The NSW curriculum is organised in seven stages of learning.

 Kindergarten to Year 6 (K–6) includes four stages of learning.

  • Early Stage 1–Kindergarten
  • Stage 1–Year 1 and Year 2
  • Stage 2–Year 3 and Year 4
  • Stage 3–Year 5 and Year 6

The NSW K–6 syllabuses have been designed to be taught within NESA’s recommended percentages for each Key Learning Area in a typical school week.

Year 7 to Year 12 includes three stages of learning.

  • Stage 4–Year 7 and Year 8
  • Stage 5–Year 9 and Year 10 
  • Stage 6–Year 11 and Year 12 

Information about mandatory curriculum requirements is available in Assessment, Certification and Examination (ACE) for Years 7–10 and Years 11–12.

New syllabuses for Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12)

NESA has developed new syllabuses for Stage 6 English, Mathematics, Science and History using our established syllabus development process.

The new syllabuses include Australian curriculum content and reflect the new directions of the Stronger HSC Standards reforms. 

Year 11 students will study the new syllabuses in 2018.

In 2019 Year 12 students will sit for new HSC examinations in these courses.

Learn more about the Stage 6 syllabuses