Creating units of work

What is a 'unit of work', and what forms can they take?

Units of work

Like many terms used in education, ‘unit of work’ can mean different things.

According to NESA’s advice on units, a unit of work is a plan of the intended teaching and learning for a particular class for a particular period of time. Units of work are part of the planned sequence for teaching the outcomes and/or content of the NSW syllabuses.

The duration of a unit of work could be for a number of weeks, a term or a semester.

A unit of work provides learning experiences for students. The organisation of the content in a unit may vary according to the school, the teacher, the class, and the learning environment.

A unit of work may take many forms

An important feature of a unit of work is that it can be over any period of time. A unit of work for the purposes of learning from home and school could be:

  • A week’s plan for a subject or course. Teachers may provide a series of activities across the week that form the week-long unit in each subject.

For example: A year 8 student may be set an English task that is issued Monday and submitted to the teacher on Friday. In this case, the student would be assigned a block of time each day to work on the task.

  • A single series of activities completed daily by students. The set of activities forms the unit for the day in each subject or key learning area.

For example: A year 1 teacher may set a number of English activities each day including a reading task, a writing task and an online phonics task. This set of tasks would form the unit of work for that day. The teacher may then also set a unit in mathematics and another in science.

How do I develop a ‘learning from home or school’ unit of work?

Start with what you already have

Teachers are encouraged to adapt their existing teaching and learning programs to enable students to continue their learning at home and school using modified tasks that would have been completed in the classroom under usual conditions.

Access support and resources

To support teachers, experienced teachers and curriculum experts have developed teaching and learning resources aligned to NSW syllabuses to support teachers with developing units of work for learning from home. This collection of resources provides teachers with a framework and practical ideas to incorporate into existing teaching and learning programs.

These resources include:

  • sample schedules of learning activities
  • activities for specific learning areas and stages
  • curated lists of links to external educational resources
  • specific resources and advice for teachers teaching HSC courses.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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