The eight What works best themes below offer helpful ways of thinking about aspects of teaching practice. They are not discrete but overlap and connect with one another in complex ways. Use the guided journey to see what the eight themes look like for the HSC minimum standard.

What works best: HSC minimum standard

How do teachers' expectations of students affect teaching practice?

High expectations

The eight themes of what works best with the High expectations theme highlighted The eight themes of what works best with the High expectations theme highlighted

Teachers’ beliefs about their students influence how they teach and interact with them. High expectations are linked with higher performance for all students. The reverse can also be true. Students may achieve less than their potential if expectations of their ability are low.

The HSC minimum standard is itself an indicator of high expectations for students leaving school. It requires students to demonstrate the literacy and numeracy capabilities they will need for everyday life.

Students are more likely to achieve the standard on their first attempt, when they are determined as ready to sit the test, where teachers convey high expectations of success.

Teachers can view a School Discovery that demonstrates how high expectations underpin the approach to the HSC minimum standard at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts (staff only).

School Discovery: Newtown High School of the Performing Arts

What learning gains can be made through explicit teaching?

Explicit teaching

The eight themes of what works best with the Explicit teaching theme highlighted The eight themes of what works best with the Explicit teaching theme highlighted

Explicit teaching practices involve teachers clearly showing students what to do and how to do it, rather than having students discover that information themselves. Students who experience explicit teaching practices make greater learning gains than students who do not experience these practices.

The HSC minimum standard resource provides teachers with teaching strategies and lesson materials to support explicit teaching of identified areas of need in writing, numeracy, and reading. These strategies can be adapted for use across the curriculum in Stages 5-6 to support achievement of the HSC minimum standard.

Teachers can use HSC minimum standard templates to create customised Areas of Focus in PLAN2 that support explicit teaching and monitoring of identified reading, writing or numeracy skills in the context of their syllabuses.

Secondary pilot models and interviews are available to guide high schools in the use of the progressions and PLAN2 to support targeted teaching and monitoring of literacy and numeracy.

English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) resources (staff only) have been designed to support the learning needs of EAL/D students in working towards the HSC minimum standard. There is also a recorded professional learning session: HSC minimum standard and EAL/D students (requires Adobe Connect).

Teachers can view School Discoveries that explore explicit teaching practice in literacy and numeracy at Kurri Kurri High School (staff only) and Ingleburn High School (staff only).

School Discovery: Kurri Kurri High School


School Discovery: Ingleburn High School


Professional learning to support the explicit teaching of literacy and numeracy in Stages 5-6 includes: Leading secondary numeracy; Maintaining a focus on literacy and numeracy in secondary: writing and EAL/D.

How does effective feedback support student learning?

Effective feedback

The eight themes of what works best with the Effective feedback theme highlighted The eight themes of what works best with the Effective feedback theme highlighted

Effective feedback provides students with relevant, explicit, ongoing, constructive and actionable information about their performance against learning outcomes from the syllabus.

Students and their teachers receive feedback on the HSC minimum standard testing through Schools Online and additionally, teachers can access feedback through the HSC App in Scout.

The HSC minimum standard Scout showcase (requires Adobe Connect) also supports teachers to interpret the feedback in Scout and use this information to work with students.

Teachers can view a School Discovery that demonstrates how teacher feedback supports the explicit teaching of writing skills at Elizabeth Macarthur High School (staff only).

School Discovery: Elizabeth Macarthur High School

How can teachers use data to understand and monitor student progress?

Use of data to inform practice

The eight themes of what works best with the Use of data to inform practice theme highlighted The eight themes of what works best with the Use of data to inform practice theme highlighted

Teachers use data to check and understand where their students are in their learning and to plan what to do next. Effective analysis of student data helps teachers identify areas where students’ learning needs may require additional attention and development.

Data available in Scout and Schools Online as well as school-based assessment and observation of student learning can be used to inform teaching practice that supports students’ literacy and numeracy development in preparation for the HSC minimum standard.

PLAN2 enables teachers to record observations of students’ literacy and numeracy progress using the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions. PLAN2 analysis supports schools to determine students’ current strengths and needs and determine next steps in literacy and numeracy learning.

Teachers can view School Discoveries that explore the effective use of data to inform teaching at Macarthur Girls High School (staff only) and Elizabeth Macarthur High School (staff only).

School Discovery: Macarthur Girls High School


School Discovery: Elizabeth Macarthur High School


Illustrations of practice on the HSC minimum standard resource website provide models of data-driven teaching practice in different subject areas and contexts to support students’ literacy and numeracy development for the HSC minimum standard.

How can assessment be used to know that learning is taking place and inform next steps in learning?

Assessment

The eight themes of what works best with the Assessment theme highlighted The eight themes of what works best with the Assessment theme highlighted

High quality student assessment helps us know that learning is taking place. Assessment is most effective when it is an integral part of teaching and learning programs.

Assessments such as short assessments can provide information that contributes to the early identification of students who may need support in achieving the HSC minimum standard. This will allow targeted teaching to be provided throughout Stages 4-5.

Ongoing assessment is important in determining student readiness to sit the HSC minimum standard tests. PLAN2 allows teachers to record observations of students’ literacy and numeracy learning to monitor progress using the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions.

The EAL/D Learning Progression (PDF 397 KB) supports teachers to determine the current strengths and needs of English language learners.

Teachers can view a School Discovery that explores the use of formative assessment strategies to support students’ achievement of the HSC minimum standard at Kurri Kurri High School (staff only).

School Discovery: Kurri Kurri High School

How the right conditions for learning set students up for success.

Classroom management

The eight themes of what works best with the Classroom management theme highlighted The eight themes of what works best with the Classroom management theme highlighted

Classroom management is important for creating the conditions for learning. Effective classroom management minimises and addresses all levels of disengagement and disruptive behaviours.

Classroom management resources:

How to create a safe environment for students.

Wellbeing

The eight themes of what works best with the Wellbeing theme highlighted The eight themes of what works best with the Wellbeing theme highlighted

At school, the practices that support student wellbeing involve creating a safe environment; ensuring connectedness; engaging students in their learning; and promoting social and emotional skills.

Teachers can view 'school discoveries' showcasing good practice in supporting student wellbeing in the context of the HSC minimum standard.

School Discovery: St Marys Senior High School


School Discovery: Riverside Girls High School


School Discovery: Newtown High School of the Performing Arts


The professional learning, Maintaining a focus on literacy and numeracy: The HSC minimum standard provides guidance to schools in determining student readiness to support wellbeing.

Supporting teaching practice through professional collaboration and further learning.

Collaboration

The eight themes of what works best with the Collaboration theme highlighted The eight themes of what works best with the Collaboration theme highlighted

Professional collaboration allows best practice to be identified and shared across classrooms. Effective collaboration explicitly aims to improve teacher practices and student outcomes.

Schools where there is a shared responsibility for students’ literacy and numeracy development across the curriculum support their students to achieve the HSC minimum standard as part of everyday practice.

The Observations across learning areas feature in PLAN2 supports collaboration across faculties by displaying observations of students’ literacy and numeracy skills recorded in subject areas or groups other than a teacher’s own class.

Teachers can view School Discoveries that demonstrate collaborative approaches such as the use of teacher teams to support the HSC minimum standard at St Marys Senior High School (staff only) and Ingleburn High School (staff only). A collaborative approach across a community of four schools is showcased in the Hawkesbury schools (staff only).

School Discovery: St Marys Senior High School


School Discovery: Ingleburn High School


School Discovery: Community of Schools


The Communication resources (staff only) webpage includes materials, such as, translated documents, to support collaboration and communication with families about the HSC minimum standard.

Statewide staffrooms in literacy, numeracy and EAL/D enable teachers to learn about and share practice on how they have supported students to achieve the HSC minimum standard.

The School Support Contacts (staff only) page allows teachers to search for a school to find contact information for non-school based staff. Additional support can also be found in the Literacy and numeracy support (staff only) section of the department's Service navigator.

Return to top of page Back to top