Primary school curriculum

In primary school, your child will develop strong literacy and numeracy skills while exploring new ideas including the use of information and communication technologies.

English

English study is mandatory in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Students learn about the English language through written, spoken and visual texts of increasing complexity as they progress through their schooling.

An understanding of the English language is central to how we communicate and essential for intellectual, social and emotional development.

The study of English should develop a love of literature and learning and be challenging and enjoyable. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become active, independent and lifelong learners, to work with each other and to reflect on their learning.

Explore the English Syllabus on NESA's website.

Mathematics

The study of mathematics is mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10.

By studying mathematics, students develop knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical concepts and their use within the classroom and beyond.

The syllabus consists of the following strands:

  • number and algebra
  • measurement and geometry
  • statistics and probability.

Explore the Maths Syllabus on NESA's website.

Science and technology

Science and technology is mandatory for all students from Kindergarten to Year 6.

In science and technology, students explore the natural and made worlds. They learn how to apply scientific and technological skills, knowledge and understanding across a broad range of contexts.

Science provides a way of inquiring about the world around us. It explores evidence and investigates ways to discover, develop and produce solutions to real world problems. The inquiry and skill-based nature of science opens doors to ideas and discoveries.

Explore the Science and technology syllabus on NESA's website.

Human society and its environment

In human society and its environment (HSIE), the subjects of history and geography are mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10, where students study specific historical and geographical concepts and skills.

In HSIE, students explore varied subjects in human society and its environment to learn about history, geography, people, societies and culture.

Students also have an opportunity to learn more about people and the societies and environments in which they live through elective subjects.

A large number of individual subjects make up the key learning area of HSIE in which students:

  • research, gather and analyse information
  • question and make judgements
  • write for a variety of purposes.

Explore the HSIE syllabus on NESA's website.

Creative arts

Creative arts is mandatory for students from Kindergarten to Year 6.

In creative arts, students discover a variety of art forms through a study of dance, drama, music and visual arts where they learn to appreciate, compose, listen, make and perform.

Each art form has its own unique knowledge and skills, elements or concepts as well as a capacity to inspire and enrich lives.

Explore the creative arts syllabus on NESA's website.

Personal development, health and physical education

Personal development, health and physical education (PDHPE) is mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10.

PDHPE provides students with opportunities to explore issues that are likely to impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of themselves and others – now and in the future. Students also participate in challenging and enjoyable physical activity, improving their capacity to move with skill and confidence.

Explore the PDHPE syllabus on NESA's website.

Learning across the curriculum

Cross curriculum content enriches and supports the learning areas and adds depth to student learning. In NSW students study a range of learning across the curriculum content.

Cross curriculum priorities

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • sustainability

General capabilities

  • critical and creative thinking
  • ethical understanding
  • information and communication technology capability
  • intercultural understanding
  • literacy
  • numeracy
  • personal and social capability

Other learning across the curriculum areas

  • civics and citizenship
  • difference and diversity
  • work and enterprise.

© NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012

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