Geography Life Skills 11-12 (2022) Syllabus – information for school leaders

The Geography Life Skills 11-12 (2022) Syllabus replaces content in Geography Life Skills Stage 6 (2010) Syllabus from 2024.

The NSW Geography Life Skills 11-12 (2022) Syllabus recognises the critical importance of developing an understanding of the geographical concepts of place, space, environment, interconnection, scale, sustainability and change to develop as active and informed citizens within local communities and wider society.

What you need to know

Life Skills outcomes cannot be taught in combination with other outcomes from the equivalent Stage 6 course.


  • Engage, plan and prepare to teach the new syllabus.

2024, Term 1

  • Enact implementation, with the new syllabus taught to Year 11.
  • Continue to teach the Geography Life Skills Stage 6 (2010) to Year 12.

2024, Term 4

  • Enact implementation, with the new syllabus taught to Year 12.

The Geography 11-12 Life Skills (2022) Syllabus includes:

  • opportunities to undertake investigations and case studies related to focus areas, opportunity to participate in a Geographical Investigation, or parts of an investigation, to develop inquiry, research and fieldwork methodology skills
  • publication in an interactive digital format
  • content related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and the first peoples of the land in international contexts
  • geographic tools and inquiry skills integrated within the course content
  • increased opportunities to study contemporary topics, such as global sustainability.
Image: The diagram shows the course structure and requirements for Geography 11–12 Life Skills

Geography Life Skills outcomes and content overview image is from the Geography Life Skills 11-12 (2022) Syllabus ©NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, [2022].

Prior to implementing the Geography Life Skills 11-12 (2022) Syllabus, leaders will need to consider the following:

  • suitability of a Life Skills pattern of studies for students
  • school structure and logistical considerations, for example how the course will be run (integrated with Geography 11-12 or separately), staffing considerations etc.
  • collaboration with staff and learning support teams to ensure appropriate curriculum planning
  • complexities for staff working to implement multiple new syllabuses and curriculum
  • timetabling, staffing and rooming to support fieldwork and classroom-based work and resources required in the syllabus
  • logistical changes, such as updating the name of the subject in published documentation and subject selection information
  • building teacher understanding of new content and links to Geography Life Skills (2022) 11-12 Syllabus
  • complexities for staff teaching Geography Life Skills 11-12 out-of-field and ensuring adequate professional learning, where relevant
  • awareness of the Controversial Issues in Schools policy and procedures is essential in planning for the teaching of various aspects of Geography Life Skills 11-12.

The Geography Life Skills 11-12 (2022) Syllabus is based on evidence summarised in the bibliography published by NESA.

  • To what extent do staff understand the syllabus and the evidence underpinning the new syllabus?
  • How will staff engage with the geography tools, concepts and skills through the Geography Life Skills Syllabus?
  • What school practices and systems are in place to support teacher professional learning? How are these evaluated to maximise support for teachers?
  • To what extent are staff ready to undertake syllabus implementation? How is readiness determined?
  • What evidence is there that staff have understood syllabus changes and familiarised themselves with the new syllabus?

Further support

See the NSW Department of Education Curriculum Reform web page for updates and additional information.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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