Explaining the curriculum to parents, carers and community

Support to engage your school community in curriculum.

Curriculum is at the core of quality teaching and learning. It is important to communicate with parents, carers and community about the teaching and learning that is happening in your school. This engagement will assist schools in identifying strategic directions, decide on improvement measures and assess their progress which can lead to improved learning outcomes for students.

What is curriculum?

The curriculum is a plan for learning based on mandated and approved syllabus documents and current departmental policies and procedures.

The NSW curriculum refers to the suite of resources that are the syllabuses and the support resources to support teachers to implement the syllabuses. This includes, but is not limited to, resources including teaching and learning advice, assessment resources, and syllabus-specific materials including scope and sequences, units of work, standards materials and work samples.

Watch "What is curriculum?" (1:20)

What the difference is between a syllabus and the curriculum?


Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a syllabus and the curriculum?

A syllabus is a mandated document produced by NESA to inform teachers of what they're required to teach students and why.

Each syllabus includes the rationale, aim, outcomes, course, specific content, and any mandated assessment requirements.

After receiving the syllabus from NESA schools, then use this to develop the curriculum.

The curriculum is a plan for learning that every school develops for each key learning area. It includes all relevant syllabuses and other relevant information to support teachers, including department policies and procedures. School priorities.

How the content is planned to be taught and the resources chosen. The curriculum provides an opportunity for teachers to plan, evaluate and modify teaching programs to improve student learning.

The curriculum: A plan for learning that includes the syllabus. For more information, visit the department's curriculum web page.

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What is curriculum reform?

The NSW Curriculum Reform aims to strengthen and streamline what is taught in schools. The curriculum reform is an opportunity to engage and reenergise what we teach and how we teach it. It focuses on making clear what is essential in the curriculum to give more time for deep learning, establish stronger foundations in English and mathematics, and provide stronger links between HSC subjects and career pathways.

Further information for schools can be located on the department’s NSW Curriculum Reform webpage. NESA provides information that informs the community about the curriculum reform.

A variety of resources have been developed to support school leaders to communicate with parents, carers and the community about curriculum.

The department has developed a fifteen-minute interactive guide to explore further what the NSW Curriculum means for teaching and learning.


  • Teaching and learning


  • All high schools
  • All primary schools
  • Classroom teachers
  • Curriculum and Reform
  • Kindergarten
  • Principals and school leaders
  • Teaching and learning
  • Teaching, Learning and Student Wellbeing
  • Web page
  • Year 1
  • Year 10
  • Year 11
  • Year 12
  • Year 2
  • Year 3
  • Year 4
  • Year 5
  • Year 6
  • Year 7
  • Year 8
  • Year 9

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
  • Teaching, Learning and Student Wellbeing
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