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Primary school Kindergarten to Year 6

Parents Guide

Download the Parent Guide

Download the Parents Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses (PDF 916KB).

You can also purchase a range of guides from our shop to help your child learn more about:

As a parent of a primary school student (K-6), it’s important to know what your child will be learning so you can support them at home.

During this stage, you and your child’s teachers will be the most important influences on your child’s education.

Find out more:

What will my child learn?

A child in K-6 will typically spend 80 per cent of their time in a 9 am to 3 pm, five-day school week learning the syllabus. 

The remaining 20 per cent of school time is spent on activities at the school’s discretion. This could include languages, additional school sport, concert rehearsals, religious education and special projects.

English and Mathematics makes up about 50 per cent of the school week – this is equivalent to at least 12 hours each week.  Other subjects are spread across the remaining time. 

Primary school is split into four stages.

  1. Early stage 1 – Kindergarten
  2. Stage 1 – years 1 and 2
  3. Stage 2 – years 3 and 4
  4. Stage 3 – Years 5 and 6

Each stage has six key learning areas.

Each key learning area is taught within the NSW curriculum, which Education Standards developed.

Download our Parents Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses to see examples of what your child may learn

In Years 3 and 5 your child with sit for the  National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). There are four tests covering numeracy, reading, writing and language convention (spelling, punctuation and grammar).

Integrated units

Your child’s teacher may refer to integrated units as part of their class program.  This means material from more than one syllabus is being taught in a single unit – for example, designing, making, writing and illustrating, researching, presenting research, reading, using music and dance.

This could involve several learning areas such as English, Science and Technology, Human Society and Its Environment, and Creative Arts.  Teachers have found that this approach can deepen students’ understanding and enjoyment of what they are learning

Teachers may integrate some outcomes and content from different learning areas around a common issue, idea or theme – for example, ‘How can we look after the places we live in?’, ‘Why and how did Australia become a nation?’, ‘What was life like for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples before the arrival of the Europeans?’.

An example of an integrated unit, which could be taught in Year 5 or Year 6, is:

‘How do places, people and cultures differ across the world?’

Integration is not undertaken in a classroom at all times during the day. Teachers also plan explicit skills-based lessons to ensure that students develop core skills in English and Mathematics.

Special needs

The NSW syllabuses are inclusive to the learning needs of all students.   

Students with special education needs in primary school usually work towards the same content and outcomes for English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Human Society and Its Environment, Creative Arts and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.  

Your child’s teacher may need to adjust their teaching, learning and assessment activities for some students with special education.  Decisions about adjustments are made through a collaborative planning process that involves the student, parent/carer, teacher and other professionals.

Disability provisions are available for students with special education needs for the NAPLAN tests conducted in Years 3 and 5. 

If your child has special education needs contact your school principal or Education Standards to discuss this further.


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