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NSW Curriculum
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K–10Auslan K–10 Syllabus

Record of changes
Implementation in 2026
Expand for detailed implementation advice

Overview

Syllabus overview

Organisation of Auslan K–10

The diagram below (Figure 1) shows the content organisation for Auslan K–10.

The Auslan K–10 Syllabus has 4 focus areas:

  • Interacting in Auslan
  • Understanding texts in Auslan
  • Creating texts in Auslan
  • Role of language, culture and identity.
4 focus areas of the syllabus. More details in image long description.
Figure 1: Overview of Auslan K–10 Syllabus

Image long description: 4 focus areas of the syllabus surrounded by the ideas, Communicating meaning in Auslan and Developing intercultural capability in d/Deaf and hearing environments.

Course requirements

Mandatory study of 100 hours in one language is completed in Years 7–10 but preferably in Years 7–8, over one continuous 12-month period. However, students may commence their study of a language at any point along the K–10 continuum. Implementation of the Auslan K–10 Syllabus is optional in Kindergarten to Year 6. Decisions about teaching this syllabus are made by schools and education sectors in consultation with the Deaf community.

Course numbers:

  • 200-hour elective: 797
  • 100-hour elective: 798
  • 200-hour Life Skills elective: 807
  • 100-hour Life Skills elective: 808

Languages (Stage 5 Mandatory): 4070

Exclusions: Students may not access Life Skills outcomes and other outcomes from the same subject.

Access content points

Access content points have been developed to support students with significant intellectual disability who are working towards Early Stage 1 outcomes. These students may communicate using verbal and/or nonverbal forms.

For each of the Early Stage 1 outcomes, access content points are provided to indicate content that students with significant intellectual disability may access as they work towards the outcomes. Teachers will use the access content points on their own, or in combination with the content for each outcome. If students are able to access outcomes in the syllabus they should not require the access content points.

Life Skills outcomes and content

Students with disability can access the syllabus outcomes and content in a range of ways. Decisions regarding curriculum options should be made in the context of collaborative curriculum planning.

Some students with intellectual disability may find the Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content the most appropriate option to follow in Stage 4 and/or Stage 5. Before determining whether a student is eligible to undertake a course based on Life Skills outcomes and content, consideration should be given to other ways of assisting the student to engage with the Stage 4 and/or Stage 5 outcomes, or prior stage outcomes if appropriate. This assistance may include a range of adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment activities.

Life Skills outcomes cannot be taught in combination with other outcomes from the same subject. Teachers select specific Life Skills outcomes to teach based on the needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning of each student. Students are required to demonstrate achievement of one or more Life Skills outcomes.

Balance of content

The amount of content associated with a given outcome is not necessarily indicative of the amount of time spent engaging with the respective outcome. Teachers use formative and summative assessment to determine instructional priorities and the time needed for students to demonstrate expected outcomes.

The content groups are not intended to be hierarchical. They describe in more detail how the outcomes are to be interpreted and demonstrated, and the intended learning appropriate for the stage. In considering the intended learning, teachers make decisions about the sequence and emphasis to be given to particular groups of content based on the needs and abilities of their students.

Learner entry points

Students come to the learning of Auslan with diverse linguistic, cultural and personal profiles. This may include a range of prior language experiences, either in Auslan or another language. Students may include:

  • first language signers who are d/Deaf or deafblind
  • first language signers with parents and/or extended family who are d/Deaf
  • first language signers who are d/Deaf or deafblind and may not have metalinguistic skills and knowledge in English or Auslan
  • first and second language signers who have additional learning needs, such as an intellectual disability, including students who are d/Deaf or deafblind
  • second language signers who begin their study of Auslan with some or no previous background learning, this may include students learning English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D). These students may or may not be d/Deaf or have a progressive hearing loss
  • students who are bilingual or multilingual and learning Auslan as an additional language, including students who use a sign language other than Auslan.

Students may commence their learning of Auslan at different ages, with different prior learning and for different purposes. To meet their learning needs, it is important for students to access content that is age and stage appropriate.

In Kindergarten to Year 6, content is developed for 2 broad student groups:

  • students who are studying Auslan as an additional language
  • students who are studying Auslan as a first language; this may include students who are bilingual in Auslan and English, and students who have no other language to reference when they start learning Auslan.

In Year 7 to Year 10, content is developed for 4 broad student groups:

  • students with no prior learning or experience of Auslan who are studying Auslan as an additional language (Additional language pathway)
  • students with prior learning and/or experience of Auslan who are studying Auslan as an additional language (Prior learning and/or experience pathway)
  • students who are studying Auslan as a first language. This may include students who are bilingual in Auslan and English, and students who have no other language to reference when they commence learning Auslan
  • students undertaking a course based on Life Skills outcomes and content.

Auslan

Auslan is the language of the Deaf community of Australia and belongs to the British, Australian and New Zealand Sign Language family. It is a distinct and legitimate language with its own grammar and vocabulary which are different from those of English. Key Word Sign is not Auslan. Key Word Sign borrows signs from Auslan.

Auslan has 2 main dialects, Northern and Southern dialects. It is expected that this syllabus is delivered using the Northern dialect.

The syllabus can also be taught through adapted forms of Auslan for students who are deafblind.

Community consultation

This syllabus acknowledges the need for appropriate ongoing consultation on the development and implementation of teaching and learning programs in schools. NESA, through the Auslan K–10 Syllabus, supports the aspirations of the Deaf community to maintain and strengthen their language and culture.

Engagement and appropriate consultation with the local or nearest available Deaf community and/or background and/or proficient users of Auslan is key to Auslan being taught in a contextually and culturally correct manner. To develop further knowledge about principles and protocols, school representatives can contact their local or nearest available Deaf community, d/Deaf education consultants who identify as Deaf or work with signing d/Deaf students, support teachers for d/Deaf or hard of hearing students within education systems, or language centres. Decisions about teaching this syllabus are made by schools and education sectors in consultation with the Deaf community.

Texts

A text can be signed, written, spoken or multimodal and in print or digital forms. Signed texts can be live, in recorded/digital form or part of multimodal texts.