Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards news

icon Subscribe by email

Enter your details to receive the weekly BOSTES Bulletin e-zine. Privacy Policy

twitter icon Follow us on


Media releases icon Media releases

Review all media releases.

Media enquiries icon Media inquiries

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.

Thursday, 25 Aug 2016

Syllabus consultations close 31 August

Stage 6

Consultation on the Stage 6 English, Mathematics, Science and History draft syllabuses closes Wednesday 31 August.

So far, more than 2000 people have participated in after school consultation meetings across NSW and over 1400 people have provided feedback via online surveys and written submissions.


Consultation on the draft Directions for Syllabus Development documents also closes on Wednesday 31August for:

  • Science and Technology K–6
  • Technology (Mandatory) Years 7–8
  • PDHPE K–10

More than 400 people have been involved in after school meetings across NSW, over 700 people have provided feedback via online surveys and written submissions, as part of this consultation.

Your views are important, and your feedback will be used to guide the development of the syllabus documents.

There is still time to provide feedback through online surveys and written submissions if you would like to participate.

For more information, contact:
Rhonda Clarke, Senior Inspector
BOSTES, GPO Box 5300
Sydney 2001
(02) 9367 8246

Thursday, 25 Aug 2016

Aboriginal Studies HSC Student Conference

The Aboriginal Studies Association is holding a conference in December for students taking the HSC Aboriginal Studies course in 2017.

Date         Friday 2 December
Venue      Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney

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

Further information regarding the conference will be available soon at or by contacting the Aboriginal Studies Association via email:

For more information, contact:
Dr Christine Evans
Chief Education Officer, Aboriginal Education
(02) 9367 8198

Thursday, 25 Aug 2016

Cross-Sectoral Languages Education Survey reminder

BOSTES wishes to thank primary and secondary principals who have already submitted the online cross-sectoral languages education survey.

The response so far has been really good, but we would like every school to provide feedback that will contribute to policy and planning for languages education in NSW. It is important that even those schools that do not offer a languages' program complete the survey.

The survey closes on Friday 9 September. Hurry! Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to contribute.

If you have not received the email with the link to the survey, please contact Kelli Cato.

For more information, contact:
Kelli Cato
Principal Policy Officer
(02) 9367 8205

Thursday, 25 Aug 2016

Textiles and Design practical marking sessions tickets available

There are a few tickets still remaining for the 2016 Textiles and Design practical marking development sessions.

The sessions are on Friday 9 September at the HSC marking centre, Sydney Showground, Homebush Bay. Teachers can only attend one session.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite:
Session 1: 1.00 - 3.30pm
Session 2: 5.00 - 7.30pm

Attendees from past years have enthusiastically endorsed the sessions, which provide teachers with an opportunity to learn about the marking of Textiles and Design major projects from HSC senior markers.

Completion contributes 2.5 hours of QTC Registered PD Teachers (addressing Australian Professional Standards 5.1.3, 5.3.3, 6.2.3, 6.3.3, 6.4.3) towards maintaining Highly Accomplished Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

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

Thursday, 25 Aug 2016

WriteOn judging underway

Judging is underway for the 2016 WriteOn competition. The judging panel, which is made up of representatives from each of the three NSW education sectors, has the challenging task of selecting six gold award recipients from Stages 1 to 3.

Gold winners will be presented with a certificates and book prize by BOSTES President, Tom Alegounarias, at a special ceremony on Wednesday 21 September at the State Library of NSW.

Silver and Bronze certificates will be posted to schools for presentation to the students at the beginning of Term 4.

Participating schools will be able to download and print participation certificates for all entrants from the BOSTES website.

An anthology containing all the Gold, Silver and Bronze entries will be published and available for purchase through the BOSTES online shop early next year.

I hope all the entrants enjoyed the competition and gained useful insight into how to improve their writing.

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

Related Categories
Thursday, 25 Aug 2016

WordeXpress published works of HSC English students

Mr Tom Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES) today launched WordeXpress – the annual BOSTES showcase of exemplary HSC English Extension 2 major works delivered in partnership with the State Library of NSW.

More than 1600 students studied English Extension 2 in the 2015 HSC and 18 have their works published in the WordeXpress’ Young Writers Showcase anthology.


“The Young Writers Showcase celebrates great writing. In whatever career path we choose, expressing our ideas to engage our audiences is important. That is the value of a great education,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“I wish to congratulate the 18 students whose works have been selected for WordeXpress and thank them for sharing their creativity.

“We all learn from reading works of excellence and every year it is a great pleasure to learn from such insightful young minds.”

The works include four poems, eight short stories, three critical responses, a speech and a script.

For the HSC, two of the 18 students received seven Band 6s, four received six Band 6s, three received five Band 6s, one received four Band 6s, and six received three Band 6s. All students received at least one band 6.

One student, Caitlin Williams was also selected for OnStage, the Drama showcase.

“As high achievers in a range of HSC subjects, the students have demonstrated both deep and broad knowledge,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“I also wish to acknowledge the effort and support of the English teachers who have nurtured the talents of their students.”

In addition to WordeXpress, BOSTES celebrates excellence across a range of subjects with our annual showcases.

These include ARTEXPRESS for Visual Arts students, OnStage for Drama students, CALLBACK for Dance students, Encore for Music students, and Shape for Design and Technology, Textiles and Design, and Industrial Technology students.

The featured authors in Young Writers Showcase15 are:











To the darkroom: photography and to the Lighthouse

critical response

Presbyterian Ladies' College Sydney

Illya Conn

At the doors of the house of bread


Fort Street High School

J D Everett

The nature of poetic form: a celebrative elegy


The King's School, Parramatta

Bridget Flaherty

Historical perspectives on the female composer


Loreto Normanhurst

Lauren Freemantle

On a wing and a prayer

short story

St Francis Xavier's College

Ellen Frohlich

Whatever season reigns …

short story

Kotara High School

Ayesha Harris-Westman



James Fallon High School

Luke Harry

Dancing with the shadows

short story

The Scots College

Kiyan Hijjawi

The Imperial and Colonial conquest of land and women alike

critical response

Gosford High School

Eleanor Kirk

Part of a day

short story

Sydney Girls High School

Athena Krisanaleela

The golden bough


Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College

Grace Lancaster

Je ne comprends pas: ‘I’m claiming the right to be unhappy’

performance poetry

St Francis Xavier's College

Olivia Learmont

The caretaker

short story

Stella Maris College

Sara Miller

Lights, passing

short stories

Sapphire Coast Anglican College

Lachlan Penninkilampi

Postmodern gothic cinema: a critical analysis

critical response

Penrith High School

Beatrice Wardhaugh

The last Welsh winter

short story

Newcastle Grammar School

Caitlin Williams

In the light of that dawn

short story

Barker College

Alexander Youssef

A timely death: exploring the tension of absolutes and relativity in literature

critical response

St Aloysius' College

Related Categories
Monday, 22 Aug 2016

2017 NSW Youth Advisory Council

Applications for the 2017 NSW Youth Advisory Council are sought from young people with relevant life experience, a keen interest in youth affairs and/or experience in youth and community organisations. Schools are requested to encourage applications from suitable students.

The Council plays an important role in guiding NSW Government youth affairs and raising the views of young people. It meets regularly throughout the year to discuss a range of relevant topics, as well as monitoring and evaluating youth-related policies and legislation which affect young people.

The 12 Council members, aged between 12 and 24, come from all over the State and are broadly representative of the diversity of young people living in NSW.

For more information and to apply visit the Youth Advisory Council website.


Thursday, 18 Aug 2016

Schools Online open for 2016 HSC assessment marks, VET exam estimates and Life Skills outcomes

Schools Online is now open for the submission of 2016 HSC assessment marks, HSC VET examination estimated marks and HSC Life Skills course outcomes.

The deadline for providing this information to BOSTES is Friday 16 September.

Information guides to assist with submitting this data are available from Schools Online > Downloads > Memos and Documents > HSC School Assessments.

Principals should check that all relevant teachers have the appropriate Schools Online access to ensure all 2016 HSC results data is submitted, reviewed and verified in line with this deadline.

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

Related Categories
Thursday, 18 Aug 2016

Stage 6 English, Mathematics, Science and History draft syllabus consultation closes soon

The consultation period for the Stage 6 English, Mathematics, Science and History draft syllabuses closes on Wednesday 31 August.

The final consultation meetings will be held from 4:00pm–6:00pm at various NSW metropolitan and regional locations. Please register in advance and bring a copy of the draft syllabus. You can also provide feedback through an online survey or written submission.

Details of all the consultation opportunities and the draft syllabuses are available on the BOSTES website.

More than 1200 people have so far attended after school consultation meetings across NSW. In addition, over 975 people have provided feedback via the online survey and written submissions.

Your views are important, and your feedback will be used to guide the development of the final syllabus documents.

Participation at a consultation meeting will contribute to 2 hours of QTC Registered PD (addressing 6.2.2 and 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers) towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

For more information, contact:
Rhonda Clarke
Senior Inspector
(02) 9367 8246

Thursday, 18 Aug 2016

NAPLAN 2016 Writing test images

NSW principals are now able to view the 2016 NAPLAN Writing tests for their students via the BOSTES Schools Online website.

To log into Schools Online:

  • secondary and central schools should use their current Schools Online username and password
  • primary schools and schools that have not previously accessed Schools Online should use their Participation and Registration (PAR) website username and password.

The writing tests can be downloaded to your school network. Permitted use of the 2016 NAPLAN Writing tests includes:

  • printing and/or saving the images for assessment and reporting purposes
  • using the images for professional development activities
  • providing copies to staff as appropriate.

It is at the principal’s discretion whether a copy of a student’s test is provided to parents/carers. Consideration should be given to whether a test contains sensitive or confidential information, before making it available.

Professional development of teachers
Access to the tests may assist teacher professional development by providing greater understanding of the NAPLAN writing marking rubric, especially when the tests are viewed in conjunction with the marking guide and the individual student results. The marking guide contains the 10 common criteria, which each test has been marked against.

Reminder: Notification of 2016 NAPLAN student report issues

PAR - Phase 3 can be accessed by schools from Monday 15 August until Friday 16 September to review student test participation information and disability adjustments. Access is read only and no changes can be made. To meet ACARA timelines for the provision of data, principals or their delegate should notify BOSTES of any issues relating to the 2016 NAPLAN student reports by Friday 16 September by email to

Read NAPLAN 2016 student reports for more details.

For more information, contact:
(02) 9367 8382

Related Categories