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NSW Syllabuses


Stage 6 Curriculum

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Stage 6 syllabuses have been developed to provide students with opportunities to further develop skills which will assist in the next stage of their lives.

The purpose of Stage 6 syllabuses is to:

  • develop a solid foundation of literacy and numeracy
  • provide a curriculum structure which encourages students to complete secondary education at their highest possible level
  • foster the intellectual, creative, ethical and social development of students, in particular relating to:
  • application of knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes in the fields of study they choose
  • capacity to manage their own learning and to become flexible, independent thinkers, problem-solvers and decision-makers
  • capacity to work collaboratively with others
  • respect for the cultural diversity of Australian society
  • desire to continue learning in formal or informal settings after school
  • provide a flexible structure within which students can meet the challenges of and prepare for:
  • further academic study, vocational training and employment
  • changing workplaces, including an increasingly STEM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workforce
  • full and active participation as global citizens
  • provide formal assessment and certification of students’ achievements
  • promote the development of students’ values, identity and self-respect. 

The Stage 6 syllabuses reflect the principles of the NESA K–10 Curriculum Framework and Statement of Equity Principles, the reforms of the NSW Government Stronger HSC Standards (2016), and nationally agreed educational goals. These syllabuses build on the continuum of learning developed in the K–10 syllabuses. 

The syllabuses provide a set of broad learning outcomes that summarise the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes important for students to succeed in and beyond their schooling. In particular, the attainment of skills in literacy and numeracy needed for further study, employment and active participation in society are provided in the syllabuses in alignment with the Australian Core Skills Framework. 

The Stage 6 syllabuses include the content of the Australian curriculum and additional descriptions that clarify the scope and depth of learning in each subject. 

NESA syllabuses support a standards-referenced approach to assessment by detailing the important knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes students will develop and outlining clear standards of what students are expected to know and be able to do. The syllabuses take into account the diverse needs of all students and provide structures and processes by which teachers can provide continuity of study for all students.

Diversity of learners

NSW Stage 6 syllabuses are inclusive of the learning needs of all students. Syllabuses accommodate teaching approaches that support student diversity, including students with special education needs, gifted and talented students, and students learning English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D). Students may have more than one learning need.