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Welcome to the NSW Curriculum website

NSW Curriculum
NSW Education Standards Authority

Place in the curriculum and course types

Syllabuses and their place in the curriculum

In NSW, there are more than 200 syllabuses from Kindergarten to Year 12. Together the syllabuses form our curriculum – a continuum of learning which starts before school and continues through to Year 12 and beyond.

Each key learning area (KLA) has a number of courses, some of which are mandatory and some are elective.

Course types

NESA supports student interest and need by providing a variety of courses.

There are 2 broad course categories:

  • Board Developed courses
  • Board Endorsed courses.

Board Developed courses

A Board Developed course is one that is developed by NESA. They are the most common type of course in NSW and are inclusive of Life Skills courses and VET Industry Curriculum Framework courses.

All Years 7–10 Board Developed courses include Life Skills outcomes and content. In Stage 6, there are a number of Life Skills courses across all KLAs for students to study.

In Stage 6, Board Developed courses:

  • count as Board Developed unit credit towards a student’s pattern of study
  • have an HSC examination (except for Life Skills courses)
  • can contribute towards the calculation of a student’s ATAR (except for Life Skills courses).

Board Endorsed courses

A Board Endorsed course is one that is developed outside of NESA. Before they can be taught in schools, NESA must endorse these courses.

In Stage 6, these courses:

  • count as Board Endorsed unit credit towards a student’s pattern of study
  • don’t have an HSC examination
  • can’t contribute towards the calculation of a student’s ATAR.

There are 4 types:

Equivalent and alternative courses of study

Students in NSW are required to remain at school until they are 17 and most continue their learning through to Year 12. A small number of students need more flexible options due to exceptional circumstances. These options include: