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New NSW Curriculum


By Rebecca Lucock

It is a requirement of registration that children’s educational program shows how it is based on the NESA syllabuses. The new NSW curriculum reform will filter through from 2022 and be complete by 2024 and this will mean some families may need to adjust their programs accordingly to receive the maximum registration period.

Our programs need to demonstrate a capacity to meet the requirements and the guidelines state in the suggestions for planning section on page 11 that - Parents can choose from the syllabus stage statements, outcomes and/or content to prepare the child’s learning program.’ However, as a part of the reform, NESA has omitted stage statements which we know many families used within their programs. So, we are left with these options for our programs:

  1. Integrate the syllabus outcomes into the educational program using resources chosen by the parent;

  2. and/or use syllabus content to develop topics or themes to be covered.

We are aware that families don’t always use the syllabus content for programs as home learning needs to be flexible and the content can at times be quite lengthy as well as the fact that within the secondary levels it actually is like an extension of the outcomes. So, in support of your home schooling, we are developing an easy-to-use document that provides an understanding of the stage outcomes within the new syllabuses and how to use them for your programs. This will be a work in progress and will be updated as the new syllabuses are released.

Whether your philosophy is Traditional; Classical; Charlotte Mason; Unit; Literature Based or Natural Learning we know how important this is to uphold and we are endeavouring to provide examples to suit any approach. We thank you in advance for your patience and please remember these are just some suggestions and not all outcomes may relate to your child’s learning.


As we know NESA sets curriculum for standard education systems such as public and private schools. Ideally it would be wonderful if one day NESA had an alternative approach for home learning but for now the guidelines require us to understand the syllabus outcomes provided and ensure we can reflect this within our planning. NESA’s APs are looking for this understanding, during visits or in our online meetings, where we share our direction for learning at home. To help you understand their use of outcomes better, it is good to know what AP’s will base their assessment of our programs upon. Please note I have adapted this to suit home schooling parents, you can view NESA’s language using this link -

Using Syllabus Outcomes in Standards Referenced Assessment

Standards-referenced assessment refers to the process of collecting and interpreting information about our children’s learning. It uses syllabus outcomes as key reference points for decisions about progress and achievement.

This model for developing assessment activities emphasises:

  • that outcomes are central to the decisions the educator makes about learning

  • the importance of gathering evidence about our children’s learning in relation to the outcomes

  • how parents use evidence to determine how their children are achieving in relation to the outcomes

  • the importance of the parent’s feedback and student reflection

  • how evidence of progress informs future teaching and learning

The adjacent diagram sets out an easy-to-understand view of what the AP should be focused on during interviews with parents. Most parents find this process occurring naturally as their child grows and develops. Once we can decode the outcome language in a syllabus, we understand what it is saying and then we find many examples in everyday life that can be used to support our planning for learning.




​Communicates effectively by using interpersonal conventions and language with familiar peers and adults

My child can be given step by step instructions and respond to them.

She can hold a conversation well and is easily understood.

He understands non-verbal gestures.

My child is able to express his opinions well in all social situations.

She can correctly express present and past tense.

​Understands and effectively uses Tier 1 words and Tier 2 words in familiar contexts

These are words that have levels of meaning that relate normally to the natural development of a person.

Tier 1 –basic words that are naturally picked up over time, don’t require too much focus in learning e.g.; cat, sun, happy, sad.

Tier 2 –mostly found when writing and have more strength behind them. These develop as we naturally mature e.g.; obvious, national, evaluate, measure.

My child is using words appropriate to his age level

Identifies, blends, segments and manipulates phonological units in spoken words as a strategy for reading and creating texts

​My child is able to blend letters when reading e.g. fl – in fly

We are beginning to progress to 3 letter blends in words

My child can read 2 syllable words fluently e.g. mail-man

My child is progressing well with 3 syllable words e.g. bas-ket-ball

My child enjoys clapping out syllables when reading

My child enjoys rhyming and is very creative in making up his own especially during our garden time

My child has an alternative learning style (e.g. hearing impairment) so this outcome does not support their development and adjustments have been made

Tracks written text from left to right and from top to bottom of the page and identifies visual and spatial features of print

My child knows the front and back of a book

My child is no longer using their finger to track words when reading

I notice my child is struggling to read line by line, we have begun to use our finger to aid this progress

My child has an alternative learning style (e.g. dyslexia) and we are using a digital platform Lexia Learning which has a program to support tracking when reading

My child has an alternative learning style (e.g. dyslexia) so this outcome does not support their development and adjustments have been made

My child is recognising familiar words when out shopping and driving in the car

My child is beginning to show more spaces between words when writing

My child can identify lower- and upper-case letters

Uses single-letter grapheme–phoneme correspondences and common digraphs to decode and encode words when reading and creating texts

My child is progressing well for her age level in writing

My child is able to read and write most common diagraphs e.g. ck in clock

My child is able to blend letters when reading and writing e.g. fl – in fly

My child has beginning to understand vowel usage in words such as o-e in rope

Reads decodable texts aloud with automaticity

​My child is beginning to use expression when reading

My child is becoming more fluent in their reading pace

My child is dyslexic so we use family read-a-louds to provide examples of expression and pace to her. We then ask for her input in how she thinks the book should express a certain phrase e.g.; the text reads – Watch out for that tree! We ask her how she thinks the character should express this.

Comprehends independently read texts using background knowledge, word knowledge and understanding of how

My child enjoys sharing stories verbally and can present what is happening and who is within the story well

My child can struggle at times with mixing up position of words which changes the meaning so we are encouraging more tracking during reading time to support this

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