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These contact numbers are for journalists only. Students, teachers and other members of the public should refer to the Contact Us page for the most relevant contact for their enquiry.

Friday, 27 May 2016

HSC and Careers Expo

BOSTES will be at the HSC and Careers Expo again this year. Special discounts and packages of BOSTES exam workbooks and other resources will be available

The HSC and Careers Expo brings together exhibitors including tertiary institutions, training organisations, employers, providers of HSC, career and gap year resources and information.

The first expo will be held at the Royal Hall of Industries at Moore Park from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June and the second expo will be held at Sydney Showground, Olympic Park from Thursday 16 June to Sunday 19 June.

All BOSTES educational resources are available via the online Shop

For more information, contact:
Mila Buraga
(02) 9367 8289

Thursday, 26 May 2016

2016 HSC Written Examination Elective Survey now open

The 2016 HSC Written Examination Elective Survey is now open.

Each year BOSTES asks schools to provide information on Topics, Electives, Case Studies and Depth Studies in particular courses via the HSC Elective Survey, to help prepare for marking HSC written exams.

This year, the courses surveyed will be:

  • Drama
  • English - Standard
  • English - Advanced
  • English - Extension 1
  • English – ESL
  • History Extension
  • Society and Culture

Survey responses are requested by Friday 10 June.

The Electives Survey is located in Schools Online > Examination Options and Scheduling. If required, detailed instructions are available in Schools Online > Downloads > Memos and Documents > HSC Written Examinations.

For more information, contact:
Student Records Team
(02) 9367 8001

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Review of K–10 technology syllabuses

BOSTES has endorsed a review of the NSW K–10 technology syllabuses to consider incorporation of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies content, including how this may impact on science and technology for K-6 students.

To keep up-to-date with opportunities to participate in consultation processes, subscribe to the BOSTES Bulletin and follow @TECHEDBOSTES on twitter.

To be considered for involvement in the writing process, make sure you are on the BOSTES Register of Curriculum Writers for Technology or K-6 Science and Technology. You are encouraged to submit an expression of interest.

Schools should continue to teach the current NSW K-6 Science and Technology and Years 7-10 Technology syllabuses during the review.

For more information, contact:
Mark Tyler
Inspector, Technology Education
(02) 9397-8454

Thursday, 26 May 2016

PDHPE: Mindfulness

Schools play an important role in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes in young people needed to manage stress, build resilience and a strong sense of identity. Practicing mindfulness has a significant role in improving mental health.

The mandatory K–10 PDHPE syllabus acknowledges the link between a healthy lifestyle and positive mental health. Students reflect on the challenges that confront people at various stages of life and appreciate that these may provide unique opportunities for personal growth. They also reflect on, discuss and develop skills that strengthen their resilience, and explore the characteristics and qualities displayed by resilient people. Mindfulness is a valuable skill that can be used to enhance resilience.

Mindfulness is about people training themselves to pay attention in a specific way. When a person is mindful, they:

  • focus on the present moment
  • try not to think about anything that went on in the past or that might be coming up in the future
  • purposefully concentrate on what’s happening around them
  • try not to be judgemental about anything they notice, or label things as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (ReachOut 2015).

 In PDHPE K-6, students explore:

  • how positive health choices can promote wellbeing
  • positive health practices
  • strategies for dealing with life changes
  • ways they communicate, cooperate and care for others
  • cultural influences on a sense of self, nutrition, physical activity and a young person’s decisions.

 In PDHPE Years 7-10, students explore:

  • factors that influence a sense of self
  • how thoughts can affect feelings and behaviour, and strategies to manage unhelpful and unrealistic ways of thinking
  • understanding mental health and how to help yourself and others
  • the role and impact of stress on health
  • a range of positive management strategies to support good health
  • skills that enhance resilience, eg. problem solving
  • support services that are available and skills to access health information, products and services.

To complement the PDHPE curriculum, schools also run programs to help Year 11-12 students cope with stress. In Department of Education schools, this is done through the Crossroads program. The Crossroads syllabus suggests content and resources explicitly designed to address resilience, mental fitness and positive wellbeing. In Catholic and independent schools, these areas are usually addressed through pastoral care or wellbeing programs which can include workshops on mindfulness, time management, study techniques, and the importance of nutrition, sleep and physical activity in managing challenging and stressful times.

For more information relating to mindfulness, visit the following websites:

Free apps available to download:

Further reading:

For more information, contact:
Amy Harriman
Senior Curriculum Officer, PDHPE
(02) 9367-8317

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Assessing multiple focus areas in Industrial Technology

Schools offering multiple focus areas in Industrial Technology are advised that assessment procedures should consider all students studying this course as a single cohort. 

It is important that all students have the same or comparable assessment scheme and marking guidelines so that they can be placed in a single rank order. Advice on managing assessment of courses with multiple classes is published on the BOSTES website.

When submitting assessments at the end of Year 12, the ranking is determined across all focus areas. Students in all focus areas should, wherever possible, be attempting the same or similar assessment tasks at a similar time.

Focus area questions in exam type tasks while different should be comparable. Questions related to the Industry Study section should be the same or similar to enable consistency of assessment across groups.

Other forms of assessment tasks should also be identical or similar for the purposes of assessment and moderation within the school’s Industrial Technology cohort.

Advice on Assessment and Reporting in Industrial Technology can be found in the syllabus section of the BOSTES website.

For more information, contact:
Mark Tyler
Inspector, Technology Education
(02) 9367 8454


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Savannah College of Art and Design back in Sydney

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), a specialist art and design university with campuses in the US, Hong Kong, France and online is back in Sydney to promote its courses to HSC students.

SCAD representatives were here last October when they met with BOSTES to find out more about the internationally regarded HSC.


On this visit Executive Director of Admission, Kalen Curtis (centre) met BOSTES Creative Arts Inspector, Rosemary Gorman, and Technology Education Inspector, Mark Tyler, to talk about our HSC syllabuses and the ARTEXPRESS and Shape showcases.

Ms Curtis met with students at Scots College, Redlands, De La Salle, Kambala and Kincoppal School, during her Sydney visit.

SCAD offers over 100 bachelors and masters programs in art and design, including interior design, fashion design and game design, and has strong industry connections. In fact 98% of Spring 2015 graduates were employed, pursuing further education or both within 10 months of graduation.

Details of courses and how to apply are available on the SCAD website.

For more information, contact:
Michael Charlton
Director, Media
(02) 9367 8248

Monday, 23 May 2016

Successful US Study Information session in Central West

There was positive feedback from the information session on US universities and colleges held at Kinross Wolaroi School on Monday 16 May.

Around 20 students and parents attended the session and everyone appreciated the opportunity of talking face-to-face with a representative of EducationUSA.

One parent said “We are interested because a global education will put you ahead of the game in terms of employability and an understanding of the American culture can be beneficial for a global business."

One student advised “Prepare early, and apply to lots of universities to keep your options open."

Students considering studying overseas can also contact EducationUSA at the US Consulate General in Sydney.

The NSW HSC in an internationally regarded credential and every year leading US and UK universities regularly offer places to our high achieving students.

For more information, contact:
Michael Charlton
Director, Media
(02) 9367 8248

Related Categories
Thursday, 19 May 2016

Grammar: A guide for teachers K-6

BOSTES has released a new resource, Grammar: A guide for teachers K–6 to support schools in teaching grammar.

The booklet is part of a range of BOSTES-produced resources aimed at improving student outcomes through increasing teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge.

Read Minister Piccoli's media release.

The booklet contains:

  • Why teach grammar?
  • a range of activities to use when teaching grammar
  • extracts from popular books with explanatory annotations
  • directions on integrating grammar into the English K–6 syllabus.

Copies of Grammar: A guide for teachers K–6 can be purchased for $20.00 from eBos shop  > What’s New / Special Offers.

For more information, contact:
Peter Lee
Inspector, Primary Education
(02) 9367 8191

Thursday, 19 May 2016

STANSW Young Scientists excel at International Fair

The winner of the STANSW Young Scientist of the Year Award and three of her Young Scientist team-mates won Grand Awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), in Phoenix, Arizona. STANSW is the Science Teachers' Association of NSW.

Young Scientists

Jade Moxey (left), who recently presented her investigation ‘The Spread of Seeds through Cattle’ to a Science Advisory Group at BOSTES, was one of four students who won a Grand Award at the largest school science fair in the world. Jade, a Year 11 student at Sapphire Coast Anglican School, reports “from the opening ceremony, to the mixer event, to the Grand Awards, each and every second was uniquely special and will be cherished forever!"

The other NSW students who received Grand Awards were Macinley Butson (Illawarra Grammar School), Aniruddh Chennapragada (James Ruse Agricultural High School) and Nga Nguyen (Sydney Girls High School). James Poyitt (Redeemer Baptist School) also won a four-year scholarship, worth $48,000 USD to the University of Arizona.

BOSTES Science Inspector, Kerry Sheehan, praised their achievement. "It is wonderful to see our talented and innovative young students being celebrated like this. I hope this international endorsement of their work will give other budding NSW scientists confidence to pursue their passion."

With only 26% of the 1767 students from 77 countries winning a Grand Award, the coordinator of the STANSW Young Scientist Awards, Stuart Garth, described the six-strong team’s performance as a “tremendous and significant boost for STEM education in NSW”.

With the respective professional teachers’ associations for Mathematics (MANSW) and Technology (IIATE), joining forces with Science (STANSW) in the promotion of the new Working Mathematically, Working Technologically and Working Scientifically categories of the 2016 Young Scientist Awards, the future of STEM education in NSW is looking bright.

Further information about the STANSW Young Scientist Awards scheme can be found on their website or contact their email address.

For more information, contact:
Kerry Sheehan
Inspector, Science
(02) 9367 8144

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Consistent Teacher Judgement workshops

BOSTES Liaison Officers will be conducting Consistent Teacher Judgement workshops across NSW in Term 3 for Year 1 to 11 classroom teachers and school executive staff.

The workshop is designed to enhance teacher understanding of the standards-referenced framework which underpins curriculum development, assessment and reporting in NSW. It examines assessment best practices, refining teachers’ skills in achieving consistent judgements and grade allocation, as well as empowering schools to lead learning within their own school.

Completion of the workshop contributes three hours of QTC Registered PD (addressing 5.3.2, 6.2.2 and 6.3.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers) towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

For details of venues, dates and times and to make a booking, please visit the BOSTES Professional Development webpage.

For more information, contact:
Your local Liaison Officer, or
Heidi O’Brien
Liaison Officer, North Coast
(02) 6659 3274