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Media release
Monday, 27 Jun 2016

Learning assessment report released

A report on the way student and beginning teachers learn how to use assessment to support and improve student learning, was released by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES).

The ‘Learning Assessment’ report identifies how future teachers can best learn to use, analyse, interpret and develop assessment to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

President of BOSTES, Tom Alegounarias said “Assessment is an essential tool for teachers. Used properly it can tell them a great deal about student learning. It also provides clear feedback on their teaching, so they can improve their own performance.”

“Selecting what, how and when to assess have always been important questions for teachers.

“In an ongoing cycle, teachers assess students to identify the skills and knowledge to be achieved, they choose appropriate teaching and learning strategies and then assess student outcomes.

“The rationale and benefit of the report is that it will focus attention on how teachers and authorities such as BOSTES, which is responsible for the HSC, ensure a consistent approach to assessment with clear ongoing value and purpose.

“The report will also help universities prepare student teachers to develop assessments when they enter the classroom.”

President of the NSW Council of Deans, Professor Chris Davison said the Council welcomes this report which identifies important gaps in terms of teacher knowledge and skills around assessment and brings together a range of priorities for all teachers in one key document.

“Improving all teachers' capacity to collect and use assessment information to improve learning is critical to enhancing student achievement."

Professor Davison added that the Council of Deans is holding a forum with BOSTES on 19 October to share best practices and discuss how best to implement the recommendations in initial teacher education.

Mr Alegounarias said “The positive response from the universities to the report is really important.

“Assessment is constantly evolving and often high stakes, so new teachers need to start their careers with the skills and confidence to use assessment effectively, for the benefit of their students and their own professional development”.

The report emphasises the importance of professional experience placements for teaching students to observe best practice, and lists key elements of effective assessment practice. These include:

  • Teachers understanding the key role assessment plays in bringing together syllabus elements and performance standards to ensure learning opportunities and clear expectations about achievement
  • Beginning teachers having sufficient data literacy to understand the results of large scale testing programs and how they can help improve student learning.

The report will also be used by BOSTES and its partners in the school education sector, as the basis of professional development for teachers.

“Teaching should be a process of continual learning and teachers need to continually develop their teaching practice to ensure the best learning outcomes for their students,” said Mr Alegounarias

The report was undertaken as part of the Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL) reforms designed to improve the already high quality of teaching in NSW schools. Download a pdf of the report here.

BOSTES recently released a report on how maths is taught in primary teaching degrees, and last year released a series of reports addressing online initial teacher education, literacy learning in early primary school, and classroom management and students with special needs.

Thursday, 23 Jun 2016

HSC Music Extension Exam (Performance)

To support teachers and students undertaking the Music Extension performance elective, further advice is now available on the BOSTES website.

Marking guidelines for HSC Music Extension examination (performance) have been updated for 2016, as advised in the BOSTES Bulletin of 17 March.

For more information:
Rosemary Gorman
Inspector, Creative Arts
(02) 9367 8161

Thursday, 23 Jun 2016

Electronic submission of Society and Culture PIPs, English Ext 2 and Music major/submitted works

Students undertaking the following exam components are required to submit their works in PDF format:

  • English Extension 2 – Print Medium and Sound Medium
  • Music 1 – Composition
  • Music 2 – Composition and Musicology
  • Music Extension – Composition and Musicology
  • Society and Culture – Personal Interest Project

Schools shuould submit and certify these works to BOSTES via Schools Online. Hand-in and submission dates are available from Key Dates and Events.

Detailed instructions and checklists outlining the process are now available in Schools Online > Memos and Documents > HSC Project Uploads. 

This file also contains coversheets that are required this year for:

  • English Extension 2 (Print Medium and Sound Medium)
  • Music (Composition and Musicology)

Please note: Major Works of students undertaking the options of Video/DVD and Digital Media in English Extension 2 will continue to be submitted via post. Separate documentation regarding the submission and certification process for these Major Works will be forwarded to all applicable schools.

For more information, contact:
Kayl Miller
Examination Operations
(02) 9367 8287

Thursday, 23 Jun 2016

WriteOn 2016

WriteOn, the annual writing competition for Years 1 to 6 NSW school students, is now open. This BOSTES program is designed to encourage students to develop their creative writing skills by composing a 500 word imaginative text in response to a stimulus photograph (below).


Details on how to enter this competition and competition guidelines are available on the BOSTES website.

The Best of Write On 2015 is available on the eBOS Shop online > “What’s New/Special Offers”. 

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

Related Categories
Tuesday, 21 Jun 2016

Legal Studies HSC student lectures

The Legal Studies Association of NSW is holding a series of lectures to help prepare students for the HSC Legal Studies exam.

The Legal Studies Association of NSW provides ongoing support and professional development activities for teachers and students throughout NSW.

HSC student lectures for Legal Studies will be held at the Westmead Education and Conference Centre on:

  • Saturday 16 July

  • Saturday 24 September

For more information regarding these student lectures visit Legal Studies HSC Lectures or contact the Legal Studies Association of NSW Office on (02) 9522 6352

For more information, contact:
Darren Tayler
Inspector, HSIE
(02) 9367 8151

Related Categories
Tuesday, 21 Jun 2016

Study overseas information session

On Wednesday 31 August Years 10, 11 and 12 students and their parents can talk to over 20 tertiary institutions from North America, UK, Europe and New Zealand about studying overseas.

The study overseas information session, hosted by Ascham and Kambala Schools, includes an expo of over 20 tertiary institutions and workshops on the North American and UK application processes from 6.00pm, which will be repeated so attendees have an opportunity to attend more than one.

Time 4.30pm - 7.30pm
Venue  Ascham School, 188 New South Head Road Edgecliff
Booking  Trybooking registration opens Wednesday 20 July

Event enquiries to Gillian Sloan, Tertiary Education and Careers Adviser at Ascham School at

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

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

Related Categories
Friday, 17 Jun 2016


Valuable advice for success in NSW’s 50th HSC exams has been published today in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and online.

The HSC 2016 Study Guide includes information for students, as well as parents looking for ways to understand and support their children in the lead up to HSC exams later in the year.

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) President Tom Alegounarias said 2016 marks the 50th year of the HSC, which has continuously evolved to reflect our constantly changing world.

“2.3 million people have sat HSC exams since 1967 so it is a topic we all know something about.

“What the HSC 2016 Study Guide offers is more than 50 articles by people with in depth, current knowledge – HSC teachers, BOSTES Inspectors, mental health experts and former high achieving students.

“This year, more than 69,000 students (50,000 more than in 1967) are on track to complete their HSC, and enter the next phase of their lives with a credential respected by employers and universities around the world.

HSC 50th year photo

50 years of the HSC at Cumberland High School. 2016 Captains Luke Salt and Leonida Najdovska with 1967 Captain, Malcolm McDivitt (at rear) and prefect, David Cook.

“The HSC 2016 Study Guide is a useful addition to the learning, conversations and support already going on in classrooms and homes across NSW in the lead up to this year’s exams.

The HSC 2016 Study Guide is produced by BOSTES and the SMH. Additional content, including videos, is available in the digital edition.

The 2016 HSC written exams will start on Thursday 13 October with English and finish on Friday 4 November.

HSC results will be issued to students online, by email and via SMS from 6.00am on Thursday 15 December.

View the 2016 HSC Fact Sheet:

View the HSC 2016 Study Guide: 

Correction to printed version of guide Page 22: Slade Blanch’s work The Lure was selected for ARTEXPRESS (sculpture) not OnSTAGE as captioned. Slade was also nominated for OnStage for a different submitted work.

Read more:



Related Categories
Thursday, 16 Jun 2016

Shape 2015 in the Hunter

Shape 2015, a selection of exemplary major projects by 2015 HSC Design and Technology, Textiles and Design and Industrial Technology students, opens at the Wallsend District Library on Tuesday 19 July.

It provides an opportunity for students, teachers and the community to view innovative and inspiring student inventions and designs spanning areas as diverse as multimedia, architecture, engineering, fashion, furniture and product design. The exhibition is open until Saturday 13 August.

Group bookings details are available on the BOSTES website.

For more information, contact:
Anjani Nath
Events Assistant
(02) 9367 8331



Wednesday, 15 Jun 2016

HSC Study Guide published

The HSC 2016 Study Guide, produced by the Sydney Morning Herald and BOSTES, is available on Monday June 20 and schools are encouraged to share this valuable resource with their students, parents and teachers.

It is full of practical information and advice from BOSTES curriculum inspectors, experienced HSC teachers and high achieving students.The digital version includes extra subjects and more detail and will remain accessible. It includes:

  • 50+ articles
  • 100+ HSC courses
  • 17 videos
  • tips for written, oral and performance exams
  • advice on submitted works
  • smart study plans
  • links to further information

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

Wednesday, 15 Jun 2016

Consultation on K-10 draft Directions for Syllabus Development

Consultation on the draft Directions for PDHPE K-10, Science and Technology K-6 and Technology (Mandatory) Years 7-8 syllabus development will commence in Term 3. The draft Directions documents and consultation information including venues and timelines will be published on the BOSTES website and in the BOSTES Bulletin.

For more information, contact:
Howard Kennedy
Director, Curriculum and Assessment Standards
(02) 9367 8313