Department approved courses

As part of the NSW Curriculum Reform, Stage 5 School developed board endorsed courses (SDBECs) will be phased out at the end of their endorsement period or at the end of 2022, whichever occurs first.

The Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K-12 Policy standards set out the requirements for schools regarding the mandatory hours for additional studies (electives) in Stage 5. Version 9.3 of the policy standards introduces the option of NSW Department of Education approved elective courses which can make up a maximum of 200 hours of the mandatory 400 hours of electives.

If a school chooses to deliver a NSW Department of Education approved elective course, students and parents/carers need to be consulted and understand that the course will not be listed on the Record of School Achievement (RoSA).

The approved elective courses are drawn from school developed courses which have both high enrolment rates and strong links to industry and higher education pathways. The 7 approved courses are:

  • Big history
  • Critical thinking
  • International studies
  • iSTEM
  • Outdoor education
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology

Schools which have previously delivered these courses as SDBECs have teaching resources to support continued delivery in their school. Resources to support schools who choose to implement these courses for the first time will be available later in 2021.

Changes to the School Developed Board Endorsed Course program from 2021

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