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Thursday, 29 Sep 2016

US college information session: Stanford University

A representative from Stanford University will speak at an information session for students and careers advisers on Monday 17 October, 2.45 for 3.00-4.30pm.

The event is at the:
US Consulate General
Level 10, MLC Centre
19-29 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000

Please note that photo ID required for admission to the Consulate.

RSVP: Wednesday 12 October

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

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Thursday, 22 Sep 2016

NSW Government invests $340M in quality teaching

A $340 million investment in education by the NSW Government will help to ensure students have the essential literacy and numeracy skills they need to succeed at school and later in life.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said the new Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2017-2020 will also deliver extra support to students from Kindergarten until they complete their HSC.

“The skills of reading, writing and numeracy are crucial – particularly in the first few years of school. Everything a student achieves in school depends on a solid foundation in these skills,” Mr Baird said.

“One of 12 Premier’s priorities is to increase the proportion of NSW students in the top two NAPLAN bands by 8 per cent.

 “This $340 million investment will help us meet that target by ensuring students have the support they need to succeed.”

 The NSW Literacy and Numeracy Strategy will focus on areas including:

  •  Increasing our focus on early intervention, with experts supporting the literacy and numeracy skills of at-risk Kindergarten to Year 2 students in nearly 700 schools;
  • Evidence-based literacy and numeracy progressions that map student learning from Kindergarten to Year 10;

  • Introduce a ‘Best Start’ Year 7 literacy and numeracy assessment on entry to high school, to identify students needing additional assistance and plan the support they need to succeed; and

  • Ensure graduating primary and secondary teachers are better prepared to teach literacy and numeracy by strengthening initial teacher education programs.

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said literacy and numeracy skills will be described clearly, taught explicitly, assessed meaningfully and reported regularly in all schools across NSW.

“The initiative will help students of all abilities to develop better literacy and numeracy skills which continue to be so important to success in work and future studies,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Parents will also receive more information about their child’s progress, and teachers will be better able to identify areas needing improvement.”

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Wednesday, 21 Sep 2016

BOSTES celebrates outstanding young writers at WriteOn


Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) President, Tom Alegounarias announced today the 2016 Gold award winners of the BOSTES annual youngest writer competition – WriteOn.

WriteOn is for NSW students in Years 1 to 6 and aims to encourage the development of creative writing skills.

To enter, students are required to write a short piece of up to 500 words on a photograph selected by BOSTES – this year it was a black and white photo of a group of children walking on a brick wall outside an old timber and joinery factory.

This year 397entries were received with a panel of primary school teachers selecting 18 Gold, 18 Silver and 18 Bronze award winners chosen from each stage.

“Developing literacy and writing skills is central to the NSW school curriculum, and WriteOn for primary school students builds these skills plus a love of writing from an early age.

“Young as they are, the Gold award winners are now published authors, and as they continue their schooling I trust and hope they will keep writing.

“WriteOn, like the HSC showcases for exemplary student achievement, are both celebrations of excellence and great learning opportunities for all students.

“The outstanding entries are published in the annual BOSTES WriteOn anthology which is a fantastic opportunity for any young author.

“I would like to congratulate these talented young writers who have benefited from great teachers with classroom content grounded in our quality NSW syllabuses and the support of their parents,” Mr Alegounarias said.

For more information visit

The Gold award winners recognised at a special event hosted by the State Library of NSW were:

STAGE 1 – Years K-2 

Olivia Kim  Meriden Junior School  The Seven Children (Narrative) 
Aoife Kingston Emmanuel Anglican College  My Beautiful Children (Narrative)
Abby McCutcheon Castle Cove Public School  The Nightingale Hunt (Narrative)
Jasmine Stevenson  Mosman Public School The Letter (Letter)
Bella Rutter  Glenbrook Public School  Mystery in the Forest (Narrative)
Natalie Barclay  Pymble Public School  The Party (Narrative)

STAGE 2 – Years 3-4

Callum Macgown  Knox Grammar Preparatory The German Soldier (Narrative)
Inez Crosby  St Joan of Arc Catholic School   A Wall of Memories (Narrative)
Grace Mihaljevic Tara Anglican School for Girls  The Booming Voice (Narrative)
Bianca Hoare   Roseville College They Took Me (Narrative)
Darcey Kinmont  Santa Sabina College The Bright Side (Narrative) 
Alexandra Inglis  Gib Gate

The Wall (Narrative)

STAGE 3 – Years 5-6

Gemma White  Kambala Winter Tides (Narrative))
Olivia Hosie Ravenswood School for Girls  Follow The leader (Narrative)
Avi Bailey Albury Public School  The Ladder (Narrative)
Alexander Hanson  Castle Cove Public School          Memories (Narrative)
Laura Halliday Abbotsleigh    A Dozen Bare Feet (Narrative)
Clair Stiff  Ballimore Public School 

When I was young (Narrative)



Thursday, 15 Sep 2016

PDHPE: Linking physical activity to improved academic performance

A growing body of evidence-based research suggests that regular exercise and physical activity significantly improves children and young people’s cognitive abilities and academic performance, in addition to the immediate and long-term health and wellbeing benefits they experience.

Research suggests children and young people who are more physically active are better able to focus their attention on tasks, have improved working memory, are quicker to perform simple tasks, and have better problem solving skills than those who are less active.

Schools play an important role in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes young people need to adopt an active lifestyle, where physical activity is a regular and valued part of their daily lives. The mandatory PDHPE K–10 syllabus acknowledges the link between the cognitive and physical components of health.

In PDHPE K-6, students explore:

  • balancing lifestyle components for optimal health
  • the effects of physical activity on the body
  • regular participation in daily activity
  • how positive health choices promote wellbeing.

In PDHPE Years 7-10, students explore:

  • the interaction of cognitive, physical, social, emotional and spiritual components of health
  • physical activity levels for health and fitness
  • participation in lifelong physical activities and the potential benefits
  • the benefits of a balanced lifestyle that includes rest, sleep and physical activity
  • a range of positive management strategies to support good health eg yoga, relaxation, physical activity and listening to music.

For more information relating to the role physical activity plays in improving academic performance, and ways to increase levels of physical activity in children and young people, visit the following websites:

Apps available to download:

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

Tuesday, 13 Sep 2016

Program Builder survey

BOSTES is seeking feedback via an online survey from primary and high school teachers about how they develop their teaching programs. The survey, which closes Friday 23 September, takes about five minutes to complete.

Feedback will be used in the future development of Program Builder, the BOSTES online programming tool for teachers to use when developing teaching and learning programs. 

Program Builder was launched in 2013 and to date there are 50,000 registered users for this innovate technology. Program Builder will be expanded in response to the Stage 6 syllabuses currently being developed.

For more information, contact:
Jill Emery
Digital Strategies and Services
(02) 9367 8172

Tuesday, 13 Sep 2016

Schools Online open for Year 11 (Preliminary) grades and Life Skills outcomes

Year 11 (Stage 6 Preliminary) grades and Life Skills outcomes can be submitted on School Schools from Monday 19 September.

Support material for completing this task is available in Schools Online > Downloads > Memos and Documents. Principals should ensure all relevant staff have Schools Online access to submit and verify this student data. The deadline for submission is Friday 21 October 2016

Information to support best practice and consistency on awarding, moderating and monitoring grades is available on the BOSTES website.

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

Friday, 09 Sep 2016

Students Online ebulletin

2016 HSC students were sent a Students Online ebulletin recently, which included important information about their written exams and getting their results. It also links to a special video message from BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias.

Schools are requested to remind students to check their contact details via Students Online > My Details if they did not receive the ebulletin. Students should also consider changing their school email address to a personal one, as their results will be sent via email and SMS from 6am on Thursday 15 December, when they may no longer have access to their school account. Students will also be able to access their results via Students Online.

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

Media release
Friday, 09 Sep 2016

Record number of HSC students finish school next week

Data released by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) today shows a record 69,350 students will be hitting the books this month to study for their final HSC exams.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias is encouraging Year 12 students finishing school next week to stay focussed ahead of HSC exams starting on 13 October.

“Congratulations to our HSC students on completing 13 years of school and already having 50 per cent of their HSC marks in hand,” Mr Alegounarias said.

“If you haven’t already, now is the time to develop a study plan to make the most of the break before exams start. Balancing study with scheduled time for relaxation and fun is also important.”

2016 HSC enrolment statistics


  • 69, 350 students are on track to achieve the HSC this year
  • 77,163 students are enrolled in one or more HSC courses
  • 51% are female. 49% are male
  • Joshua and Emily are the most popular first names for students.
  • Smith and Nguyen are the most popular surnames
  • The cohort includes 864 sets of twins and 18 sets of triplets

By region

  • Around 62% have completed HSC courses in the Sydney region
  • Around 37% have completed HSC courses in regional NSW
  • Around 0.5% have completed HSC courses interstate or overseas

By course

  • Maths, Biology and Business Studies are the most popular elective subjects
  • French is the most popular language and Japanese is the most popular Asian language
  • Hospitality is the most popular vocational course

The 2016 HSC Enrolment Snapshot provides total enrolments, enrolments by region and enrolments by course as at 1 September 2016.

View the snapshot and the HSC Fact Sheet:


Tuesday, 06 Sep 2016

Reminder: 2016 HSC assessment marks, VET exam estimates and Life Skills outcomes due

HSC assessment marks, VET exam estimates and Life Skills outcomes are due on Friday 16 September.

This information should be submitted via Schools Online. Guides are available in Schools Online > Downloads > Memos and Documents > HSC Assessments, Estimates and Outcomes.

Schools should establish verification processes for all submitted student results data. A number of verification reports can be generated from Schools Online > Downloads > My Reports.

Schools have a week to check the submitted information, which needs to be certified as valid, accurate and without error by the principal by Friday 23 September via Schools Online > Data Collection > Principal Certification.

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

Tuesday, 06 Sep 2016

Consultation on Chinese and Japanese K–10 draft syllabuses

Consultation on Chinese and Japanese K–10 draft syllabuses ends Sunday 25 September.

The draft syllabuses, online surveys and registration for consultation meetings are detailed on the BOSTES website.

Participating in a draft syllabus 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.

Feedback will be used to guide the development of the final syllabus documents.

For more information, contact:
Howard Jacobs
Inspector, Languages
(02) 9367 8152