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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

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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

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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

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Thursday, 18 Aug 2016

PDHPE: Accessing Youth Support Services

Most children and young people experience challenges and uncertainty as part of the growing up process. These may relate to issues such as self-image, relationships, commercial pressures and encountering various sources of stress. Youth support services can assist in supporting them as they navigate their way through childhood and adolescence.

Schools have an important role in advocating health and safety for young people. A whole-school approach is most effective through developing student knowledge, understanding and skills, promoting opportunities for young people to identify personal support networks ,and providing access to available services.

R U OK Day, which takes place on Thursday 8 September this year, provides an opportunity for schools to raise awareness, start conversations and transform the way we look out for people going through tough times.

In addition, the mandatory PDHPE K–10 syllabus provides students with opportunities to develop skills that enable them to identify and access support services.

In K-6 PDHPE, students have the opportunity to explore:

  • health services and products including information, services and media influences
  • positive health practices
  • how positive health choices can promote wellbeing
  • strategies for dealing with life changes and coping with change
  • ways in which they communicate, cooperate and care for others
  • how to identify and respond to unsafe situations.

In Years 7-10 PDHPE, students have the opportunity to explore:

  • ways to practice accessing help, eg via the internet
  • skills to access health information, products and services
  • how to identify and establish support networks of adults and peers
  • ways to support others to seek help
  • a range of positive management strategies to support good health and wellbeing.

The following youth support services, may be helpful to young people:
Youth Beyond Blue
The Brave Program
The Butterfly Foundation
Kids Helpline
Mission Australia
R U OK at School
Reach Out
Reachout - Referring to a GP
See Me
Supporting friends - Reachout

Free apps available to download:
Reachout – The Toolbox
Reachout – Worry time
Smiling mind
What’s up

It is important for teachers to use their professional judgement when considering the resources they use to ensure content is delivered in an age, stage and culturally sensitive manner. All websites, Apps and resources should be previewed and evaluated in full, prior to use.

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


Thursday, 18 Aug 2016

Cross-Sectoral Languages Education Survey launched

BOSTES is collecting data on the teaching of languages from all primary and secondary schools in NSW via an online survey sent to principals on Monday 22 August.

The survey will provide a full picture of the current state of languages education, and is a first step towards delivering on the NSW Government's commitment to boost the study of languages. 

The data will be used in the development of policy and planning for languages education in NSW, so it is important that every school, even those that do not offer a language program, completes the survey.

If you have not received an email about the survey please contact Kelli Cato, details below.

The survey will close on Friday 9 September. Make sure you have your say.

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

Monday, 15 Aug 2016

US college sports scholarships - session for careers advisers and sports coaches

EducationUSA and Meriden School are hosting an information session on sports scholarships to US colleges for high school careers advisers and sports coaches.

The session will be held at Meriden School, 10 - 12 Redmyre Road, Strathfield, 3.00 - 5.30pm on Thursday 1 September.

Please RSVP with name and school to

The US Universities that are visiting Sydney are:
University of Arizona
Binghamton University
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Colgate University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Hamline University
University of Hawaii
Indiana University
Purdue University
Sierra Nevada College
+ NCAA Eligibility Center

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

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Friday, 12 Aug 2016

Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers recognised

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias proudly recognised the first 151 NSW public, Catholic and independent school teachers to gain Lead or Highly Accomplished Teacher accreditation at a prestigious ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday 10 August.

In his opening address, Mr Alegounarias emphasised that while professional standards play the important role of providing a framework for public trust in a profession, a high public regard for a profession’s best practitioners gives power.

“The confidence and unassailable standing of the leaders of a profession, is, for me, what makes a profession powerful.”


Lead teachers, Karen Burke (Principal, Figtree High School) and Donna Loughran (Principal Doonside Technology High School)

BOSTES congratulates Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers, who have been recognised as the profession’s current generation of great teachers, mentors and roles models.

Read the speech.

View the video.


More information


Thursday, 11 Aug 2016

Consultation on Chinese and Japanese K–10 draft syllabuses

Consultation on Chinese and Japanese K–10 draft syllabuses is now open.

Consultation opportunities include:

  • face-to-face meetings from 4–6pm in regional and metropolitan locations
  • an online survey
  • written submissions.

The draft syllabuses, online surveys and registration for consultation meetings are 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.

Consultation ends Sunday 25 September. Feedback will be used to guide the development of the final syllabus documents.

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

Thursday, 11 Aug 2016

Reminder: 2017 HSC exam committee applications close 22 August

Teachers and academics with appropriate qualifications and experience with HSC subjects are encouraged to apply for the position of examination committee member. The closing date for applications is Monday 22 August. More information about the role, current vacancies and an application form can be found in the Job Vacancies section of the BOSTES website.

For more information, contact:
Michelle Aspery
Head, Test Development
Examining and Testing
(02) 9367 8372

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