English K–10 (2022) Syllabus (Years K–2) – information for school leaders

The English K–10 Syllabus (2022) now includes outcomes and content for years K–2. Planning and preparation for years K–2 began in 2022 with implementation in 2023.

The NSW English K–10 (2022) Syllabus (Years K–2) recognises the critical importance of ensuring students develop the foundational basics in English and literacy (reading, writing, oral language) in their first years at school. The syllabus provides clear learning expectations in a streamlined structure.

What you need to know

  • Implementation began in some schools in 2022 and the syllabus will be taught in all NSW primary schools from 2023.
  • There are pedagogical changes including a focus on foundational skills and conceptual understandings of English.
  • There are clear expectations for teaching reading, including phonics, oral language and fluency.
  • The syllabus focuses on students learning to create written texts through planning, creating and revising.
  • Oral language competence provides a solid foundation for communication.
  • Literature is highlighted as essential in the development of core knowledge for English. Engaging with literature in all its forms can develop an understanding, appreciation and love of reading.
  • National Literacy Learning Progressions Version 3.0 are mapped to content.

Prior to implementing the English K–2 syllabus, leaders will need to consider the following:

  • Complexities for staff working from 2 syllabuses to teach English – K–2 and 3–6. There are differences including structure, language and pedagogy. This will impact planning, programming, assessment and reporting across the school.
  • Building teacher understanding about early foundational literacy skills, those necessary for students to learn how to read, write and communicate effectively.
  • Supporting teachers’ understanding of a conceptual approach to teaching English through students listening to and using quality literature.
  • Resource and budget implications including
    • organising a decodable texts and quality literature stocktake to determine what is currently available in the school and what may need to be purchased
    • time for staff to engage with syllabus expectations
    • equipment that enhances learning, such as magnetic letters, mini whiteboards and whiteboard markers for each student.

The English K–2 syllabus includes:

  • a new structure that highlights foundational literacy skills and reciprocity across outcomes, making clear the essential knowledge, skills and understandings for English
  • new outcomes and content that are informed by evidence and identify skills needed by all students to develop competence in oral language, reading and writing
  • content structured to highlight the connections across oral language, reading fluency, comprehension, and writing, underpinned by the latest research
  • text requirements
  • complementary content for oral language and communication as an alternative means to demonstrate aspects of the outcome for students who use other forms of communication to supplement or replace speech
  • complementary content for handwriting as an alternative means to demonstrate aspects of the outcomes for students who are unable to produce handwriting
  • examples that have been separated from the content. This makes it clearer what is syllabus content and what is provided as support.
  • access content points for students with significant intellectual disability
  • teaching advice to support understanding of the content of the syllabus and to make informed pedagogical decision
  • suggested instructional sequences that provide advice on the sequence to systematically teach phonic and spelling skills.
Image: The diagram shows the organisation of the outcomes and content for English K–2.

English Outcomes and content overview image is from the English K–2 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, (2021)

The syllabus for English K–2 is based on evidence highlighting that:

  • language is represented in spoken, written, nonverbal, symbol and gestural forms and is a tool for communication that differs according to audience and purpose
  • oral language competence provides a solid foundation for communication
  • students may use non-symbolic and/or symbolic forms of communication. Non-symbolic forms include sounds, gestures and eye movements. Symbolic forms include objects, symbols, signs and speech. The use of a range of forms becomes a communication system
  • vocabulary knowledge influences the development of reading, writing and oral language skills
  • phonological awareness and phonic knowledge are essential foundational skills for early literacy
  • transcription skills of handwriting and spelling are important components of writing fluency and impact cognitive load when writing
  • component skills of writing are used to create written texts that are informative, persuasive and imaginative, for different audiences
  • reading fluency refers to accurate and automatic word recognition and prosodic reading impacts reading comprehension
  • listening to and using literature can build background knowledge and knowledge of text structures to support reading comprehension, expand vocabulary and expose students to new concepts and ideas.

Further support

Contact the English curriculum team


  • Teaching and learning


  • All staff
  • Educational Standards
  • English
  • Kindergarten
  • Teaching and learning
  • Web page
  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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