Spreading the word throughout the system

The learnings from schools that trialled the K-2 syllabus are now available for all staff. Jim Griffiths reports.

Three students wearing a red uniform sitting at a table colouring in. Three students wearing a red uniform sitting at a table colouring in.
Image: Walcha Central School students were among children in 396 schools who trialled the new K-2 syllabuses.

Almost 400 primary schools last year trialled the new K-2 syllabuses before the statewide rollout this year to all teachers and students.

Six of these ‘early adopter’ schools have now been profiled by the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) to share what they learnt during the trial with other schools across the state.

The schools implemented the new English and Mathematics syllabuses with their Year 1 cohorts, testing supports such as microlearning modules, scope and sequences, and sample units.

In the CESE case studies, school leaders and teachers share the strategies that helped them implement the new curriculum in their school context. The schools reflected the diverse settings of NSW public schools – from large to small, and rural to metro.

Each case study explores how a school engaged with the new syllabuses, according to their school context, grouped into four themes:

  • using effective leadership and change management approaches
  • creating a school culture receptive to the new curriculum
  • adapting school structures and processes
  • developing quality classroom-based practices.

Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Paul Martin said the K-2 English and mathematics syllabuses ensured all students were taught the foundations in early numeracy, reading and writing.

“We are proud of the syllabuses, piloted by early adopter schools and being taught by all teachers now,” he said.

“The syllabuses are informed by the latest research and evidence and will positively impact learning outcomes for NSW students.”

The NSW curriculum provides essential learning for all students and opportunities for them to show what they know, understand and can do.

Syllabuses clarify the learning expectations of a subject or discipline, including outcomes and content, and form the basis for the development of teaching and learning programs.

They also provide flexibility for teachers to meet students’ needs and interests.

“Teachers have told us that the new content makes clearer what is essential, and we have continued to do that in 3-10 English and maths and across the curriculum,” Mr Martin said.

The case studies are accompanied by a discussion guide to help school leaders and teachers reflect on strategies relevant to their school context.

The schools profiled are:

  • Berrigan Public School, a small rural primary school in the southern Riverina.
  • Biraban Public School near Lake Macquarie, with 153 students across eight classes.
  • Fairfield West Public School, a large primary school with a culturally and linguistically diverse population in south-west Sydney.
  • Parklea Public School in north-west Sydney, with 667 students across 28 classes.
  • Wairoa School, a School for Specific Purposes at Bondi.
  • Walcha Central School, a rural Kindergarten to Year 12 school near Armidale.

The case studies and discussion guide are on CESE’s web page.

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