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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, 29 Jul 2016

Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize nominations

Schools are encouraged to nominate HSC students for the 2016 Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize.

Open to all, the prize recognises students who overcome significant hardship to attain academic excellence in their HSC. Nominations can be made well ahead of HSC results.

The prize was established in 1993 in memory of Brother John Taylor, a distinguished member of the then Board of Studies, who made a significant contribution to education in NSW. The recipient receives a grant, trophy and certificate.

Nominations should be emailed as a PDF or saved to a CD or USB and mailed to BOSTES. Please do not send hard copy nominations or original documents.

Visit the BOSTES website for more information, including guidelines and the nomination form.

For more information, contact:
Maureen Stevens
Events Coordinator
(02) 9367 8309

Thursday, 28 Jul 2016

Languages: Consultation on proposed prescriptions for extension and background speakers

Teachers are invited to provide feedback on the proposed prescribed texts and issues for the following courses:

  • Background Speakers
    Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and Korean
  • Extension
    Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek and Spanish.

The proposed prescriptions for 2019-2023 and an online survey are available on the BOSTES website until Sunday 11 September.

BOSTES will hold screenings of two films which are more difficult for teachers to access at its 117 Clarence St, Sydney office. Please contact Jill Longhurst, Senior Project Officer, for more details. The screening dates and times are:

  • Thursday 18 August at 4pm - Auf das Leben (To Life!)
  • Thursday 25 August at 4pm - Akadimia Platonos(Plato’s Academy)

In addition, the Japanese Teachers Association NSW (JTAN) will be screening Monooki no Piano (The Piano in the Shed) for the Japanese Extension course on Friday 19 August at 4pm at Rydges World Square following their conference.

BOSTES determines new course prescriptions and issues for Extension and Background Speaker modern language courses every five years.

For more information, contact:
Jill Longhurst
Senior Project Officer
(02) 9367 8389

Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016

BOSTES appoints Cambridge Postdoctoral Fellow

BOSTES has appointed a postdoctoral fellow as part of its partnership with the University of Cambridge to develop the online literacy and numeracy test for school leavers.

This appointment is in addition to other research at BOSTES and with other partners, into learning, assessment, testing, and the statistical analysis of test data.

Dr Igor Menezes, the inaugural BOSTES Sponsored University of Cambridge Postdoctoral Fellow, is Coordinator of The Quantitative Methods and Predictive Psychometrics Laboratory, at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.

His expertise is in psychometrics and statistics, particularly in multidimensional item response theory, multi-level modelling and health/quality of life assessment. He is highly experienced in research, teaching psychometrics and student supervision.

BOSTES looks forward to sharing developments in testing and data analysis with schools and teachers to further support student learning and assessment.

For more information, contact:
Dr Andrew Kyngdon
Chief Psychometrician
Manager, Psychometrics & Analytics
(02) 9367 8235

Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016

HSC Study Guide survey

Teachers are encouraged to complete a short BOSTES survey about the HSC 2016 Study Guide that was published in June. The digital version remains available until after the final HSC exams and is a useful resource for students as they prepare for their exams. It includes advice for practical, performance and language oral exams, as well as for the written exams.

The guide is a joint project between BOSTES and Fairfax Media.

The online survey should only take a few minutes to complete, and feedback received will be used to help improve future editions.

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

Thursday, 21 Jul 2016

Resources used in classrooms

In NSW, teachers make judgments about the suitability of a range of resources and draw on their ongoing professional learning opportunities, beyond initial university training, to select resources to meet the needs of their students and for effective teaching and learning.

It is the expectation that teachers are skilled in presenting information to their students as contestable and that they promote the value of checking a range of sources.

It is the responsibility of schools and teachers to select appropriate texts and other resources to meet the learning needs of their students, and that reflect the values and ethos of their school and community.

For example, in implementing the new NSW Geography K–10 syllabus teachers are encouraged to use a wide range of resources, such as documentary materials, digital online resources, graphs and statistics and fieldwork visits. This approach is reflected in the support materials provided on the BOSTES website.

In the NSW Geography K–10 syllabus students are encouraged to go beyond rote learning a particular view expressed in a single resource. They are provided with opportunities to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of a range of sources. This process of critical thinking is central to geographical inquiry and is important learning for students.

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

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Thursday, 21 Jul 2016

PDHPE: Healthy eating

Educating children and young people about healthy eating is essential in helping them form positive habits from a young age. Enjoying a healthy diet can also be an opportunity to celebrate differences in culture in our communities and schools.

Schools play an important role in developing in young people the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make healthy dietary choices that support strong growth and development.

The mandatory PDHPE K–10 syllabus acknowledges the link between good nutrition and healthy lifestyle behaviour. Students develop skills that enable them to choose foods wisely and in an informed way.

In K-6 PDHPE, students explore:

  • balanced eating habits and the importance of adequate nutrition
  • making choices in regard to fast food
  • influences of culture and media on food choices
  • special dietary needs eg cultural and medical needs
  • how positive health choices can promote wellbeing
  • evaluating decisions.

In Years 7-10 PDHPE, students explore:

  • healthy food habits, recommended dietary guidelines for children and young people and other sources of nutritional information
  • the range of factors that influence food choices eg culture, gender and media
  • the relationship between sense of self, body image and gender
  • critical health literacy skills and health consumerism
  • diets, exercise and energy balance
  • fluid replacement strategies for participation in physical activity
  • a range of positive management strategies to support good health and wellbeing.

For more information relating to the benefits of healthy eating, visit the following websites:

Free apps available to download:

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


Thursday, 21 Jul 2016

Science and Technology K–6 Draft Directions for Revised Syllabus

BOSTES has endorsed a review of the current Science and Technology K–6 syllabus to include Australian Curriculum: Technologies content. Consultation on the Draft Directions for Syllabus Development: Science and Technology K–6 is currently underway.

K-6 consultation meetings on the Draft Directions for a revised syllabus are scheduled in regional and metropolitan locations across the state. Check the BOSTES website for dates and locations.

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

To be considered for involvement in the writing process you should ensure that you are on the BOSTES Register of Curriculum Writers for K-6 Science and Technology. You are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest.

Schools should continue to teach the current NSW Science syllabus (inc. Science and Technology K–6) K–10 during the review.

For more information, contact:
Alesha Bleakley
Acting Inspector, Technology Education
(02) 9367 8247
Peter Lee
Inspector, Primary Education
(02) 9367 8191

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Thursday, 21 Jul 2016

Students with disability: What are the requirements?

New support materials have been published by the Australian Government to help schools meet their legislative requirements. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Disability Standards for Education 2005, schools are required to provide additional support or adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment activities for students with a disability. Adjustments are measures or actions taken in relation to teaching, learning and assessment that enable a student to access syllabus outcomes and content and demonstrate achievement of outcomes.

The Disability Standards for Education 2005 describe schools’ and other education providers’ obligations in relation to students with disability.

Exemplars of practice and guidance on personalised learning have been published by the Australian Government, in response to the 2015 review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005. Schools and teachers are encouraged to use these resources to support their students who may require adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment.

For more information, contact:
Marina Laing
Senior Project Officer, Special Education
(02) 9817 8036

Thursday, 21 Jul 2016

New NSW Syllabuses for Years 11 and 12

On Tuesday 19 July, the Minister announced the Stronger HSC Standards reforms, the first update to the HSC in 17 years. The implementation of these reforms will create an HSC that motivates and challenges students to do their best. The reforms also include a minimum literacy and numeracy standard, as well as better, fairer assessment to reduce excessive student stress.

On Thursday 21 July, 17 draft syllabuses for English, Mathematics, Science and History for Years 11 and 12 were released for consultation.

BOSTES recognises the need for students to have opportunities for a richer engagement in the subjects they choose for their senior years of school. The new syllabuses will provide opportunities for students to engage in deeper learning in each course.

The draft syllabuses, links to online surveys and a registration portal for consultation meetings are available on the BOSTES website.

Please circulate this email to your English, Mathematics, Science and History teachers, so that they can provide their feedback. Consultation will run until Wednesday 31 August 2016.

The success of BOSTES curriculum development is due in large part to the contributions made by you in consultation. Your feedback is highly valuable to us, and I hope that you take this opportunity to have your say.

Thank you for your support of this important work.


Tom Alegounarias
Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW

Thursday, 21 Jul 2016



Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) President Tom Alegounarias today released 17 draft English, Mathematics, History and Science syllabuses for Years 11 and 12.

The draft syllabuses have been re-designed to provide opportunities for students to engage in deeper learning in each course, and are open for public consultation until Wednesday 31 August.

Mr Alegounarias said deeper learning and a love of learning go hand in hand.

“BOSTES recognises the need for students to have opportunities for a richer engagement in the subjects they choose for their senior years of school.

“Increasing content depth also supports more analytical assessment enabling us to also redesign High School Certificate (HSC) exam questions.

“For maths courses, common content and marking is being introduced to ensure students studying the higher level maths courses are recognised and to reduce any perceived incentive to study maths below their ability for an ATAR advantage,” Mr Alegounarias said.

The new syllabuses will be released in 2017 to allow time for teachers to become familiar with the new content, which will be first taught to Year 11 students in 2018.

A Year 12 Science Extension syllabus is also planned to increase opportunities for students to build STEM skills and knowledge. The draft Science Extension syllabus will be developed and available for consultation later this year.

The remaining senior syllabuses will be reviewed starting in 2017 with some technology and some Asian language courses.  

The release of the draft syllabuses follows Tuesday’s announcement by the Minister for Education of wide reaching reforms to the HSC including:

  •          a minimum literacy and numeracy standard must be achieved to receive the HSC from 2020
  •          a cap on school based assessment tasks per course
  •          updated exam questions to encourage deeper analysis.

More information is available at


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