New English and maths curricula to support learning

Core skills in English and mathematics are the focus of new syllabuses released this week.

A row of desks with the government logo superimposed on the image A row of desks with the government logo superimposed on the image

New syllabuses released this week require a renewed focus on core skills in English and mathematics to boost learning outcomes for all students.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the changes for years 3 to 10 were significant milestones in NSW’s once-in-a-generation curriculum reform.

“It is vital that NSW students are developing strong skills in both literacy and numeracy so they can succeed in school and beyond,” Mr Perrottet said.

“If our NAPLAN results have shown us anything, it’s that we need to focus on the explicit teaching of grammar, sentence structure and punctuation in high school, along with better preparation for mandatory HSC maths.

“Focusing on those foundational skills is key to success and there’s no better place to start that journey than at the beginning of a child’s education – in primary school.”

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the new English syllabus for primary and high school built on the reformed Kindergarten to Year 2 syllabus, released earlier this year.

“Our focus on phonics in those early years is a game-changer that is already delivering results,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The year 3 to 6 English syllabus will build on the success we are seeing in the early years with an increased emphasis on grammar, which is key to writing well.

“It also requires teachers to ensure students in years 3 and 4 can read fluently and decipher new words quickly. For students in years 7 to 10, they will be taught ways to interpret unfamiliar words and use grammar to express complex ideas.”

For the maths syllabus, key changes include ensuring students develop stronger foundations in sequencing and reasoning.

“In primary school, students will now develop a deeper understanding of maths and will have the depth to master important skills before moving on to another concept,” Ms Mitchell said.

“In other words, students will need to not only know Pythagoras’ theorem; they will need to be able to explain how it works in practice and why.”

In years 7 to 10, a new flexible core-paths structure will better prepare students for year 11 and 12 maths courses and mandatory HSC maths.

The NSW Education Standards Authority, which is responsible for delivering NSW Curriculum Reforms, will provide schools with support materials as it implements the new syllabuses.

The new syllabuses will be available for teachers to plan and prepare during 2023 and will be taught in all NSW schools from 2024.


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