Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K-12

Detailing how schools plan curriculum and teaching programs including assessment and reporting to parents

Changes since previous version

2021 Sept 15 - update to policy statement - updated links. Update to implementation document: Curriculum Policy Standards - title change. New implementation document added to policy: COVID-19 Interim Policy Standards.

Does this affect policy implementation?

Implementation document:

  • sections 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 - updated references to the department's COVID-19 advice
  • section 1.2 - details the department's requirements for additional studies (electives) in Years 7-10
  • section 1.4.3 - points schools to the HSC monitoring webpage for current advice.

Document history

2021 Jul 16 - updated policy statement to clarify language and responsibility. Updated implementation document to detail the department's requirements for additional studies (electives) in Years 7-10 and provide updates for COVID-19.

2020 Oct – Publication of interim policy and interim policy standards amended updates from Term 4 2020 – both shown as implementation documents.

2020 May – Publication of interim policy and interim policy standards during COVID-19 – both shown as implementation documents.

2020 May – Updated contact details and minor text and style changes.

2019 Dec – Updated Curriculum Policy Standards to enable consistency with the 2019 HSC monitoring package and better align the requirements to the NESA registration process for schools.​

2019 Aug – Updated contact details Leader, Primary Curriculum.

2018 – Life Ready personal development and health education course incorporated to replace Crossroads.

2017 – Details updated to address change from Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW to NESA.

2016 – The curriculum allocation of time been revised to align with the Sport and Physical Activity Policy.

2016 – Updates to address change over to NSW Department of Education.

2004 – Curriculum programming, assessing and reporting to parents: expectations and support material consultation document. (2004) NSW Department of Education and Training, Sydney.

2003 – Time to teach a time to learn: report on the evaluation of outcomes assessment and reporting in NSW government schools, (2003) NSW Department of Education and Training, Sydney.

2003 – Memorandum to principals: Evaluation of school based assessment and reporting. (2003) NSW Department of Education and Training, Sydney.

2000 – Memorandum to Principals: Curriculum Requirements in Government Schools. (2000) NSW Department of Education and Training, Sydney.

1996 – Memorandum to principals: Assessment and reporting in NSW government schools. (1996) NSW Department of School Education, Sydney.

1995 – Memorandum to principals: Focusing on learning. (1995) NSW Department of School Education, Sydney

1995 – Focusing on learning: report of the review of outcomes and profiles in New South Wales schooling. (1995) NSW Department of Training and Education Co-ordination, Sydney.

Superseded documents

Curriculum planning and programming assessing and reporting to parents K-12 interim policy during COVID-19.

Interim Policy Standards during COVID-19.

Policy Standards – December 2016

Memorandum to Principals, August 1996: Assessment and reporting in NSW government schools Principles for assessment and reporting in NSW government schools, 1996.

Memorandum to Principals, August 2000: Curriculum Requirements in Government Schools.

Memorandum to Principals (High and Central Schools) DG95.3144 95/050 (S.049): Minimum Mandatory Requirements for LOTE
Memorandum to Principals: 92/109 (S.072) School Sport

The department's requirements for reporting to parents K-12 have been amended to support schools through impacts caused by COVID-19 during Semester 2 2021. Refer to the COVID-19 interim policy standards until the end of 2021. For 2022 planning continue to use the Curriculum Policy Standards (for 2022 planning).

The department’s requirements for Stage 5 elective course offerings are changing from Term 1 2022 following changes to School Developed Board Endorsed Courses. See NSW Curriculum Reform for more information.

  1. Policy statement
    1. Curriculum planning and programming
      1. Schools plan curriculum and develop teaching programs which are consistent with the Education Act, Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005, as well as the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabuses and credentialling requirements, incorporating NESA’s coronavirus advice.
      2. Curriculum planning and teaching programs will meet the department's Policy Standards - COVID-19 interim policy standards.
      3. Teaching programs will incorporate assessment as an integral component.
      4. Teaching programs will indicate the outcomes being addressed, the teaching activities and the assessment strategies.
    2. Assessing
      1. Schools plan assessment so that:
        • students can demonstrate achievement of outcomes for the relevant stage of learning
        • valid and reliable assessment strategies are used
        • the timing, frequency and nature of the assessment processes are time efficient and manageable for teachers and students.
      2. Teachers plan assessment strategies when developing teaching programs and will also make additional assessment judgements during teaching and learning.
      3. Teachers use a variety of appropriate assessments for monitoring student learning, providing feedback and judging student achievement.
      4. Teachers collect and record assessment information to:
        • guide ongoing teaching and learning
        • monitor and evaluate student progress
        • report achievement to parents and relevant authorities in accord with school requirements and department policy.
    3. Reporting
      1. Throughout the school year, schools will provide parents/carers with formal and informal opportunities to receive information about and discuss their child's learning.
      2. The school's procedures for reporting to parents will be:
        • based on the department's policy
        • time efficient and manageable
        • developed in consultation with parents/carers and teachers.
      3. Schools will provide parents/carers with a formal report on their child's learning at least twice per year. The components of the formal report will meet the Policy Standards - COVID-19 interim policy standards.
      4. Schools will provide information on how a child's achievement compares with the child's peer group at the school, on request from the child's parents/carers.
      5. Schools will disseminate to parents/carers the reports from statewide testing programs and, as appropriate, will provide opportunity for discussion between teachers and parents/carers.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy applies to all staff employed in NSW public schools, operational directorates and department offices. The policy also applies to students attending public schools and has implications for school communitites.
  3. Context
    1. Provides clarity for teachers and schools in response to curriculum, assessment and reporting.
    2. Covers the requirements for reporting to parents specified by the Schools Assistance (Learning Together - Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Act 2004 (Cwth) and Regulations to the legislation, 2005 and 2013.
    3. This policy will change in response to the curriculum reform as the NSW Department of Education supports teachers to implement and teach the new curriculum.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. The Leader, Primary Curriculum and the Leader, Secondary Curriculum:
      1. provide advice on interpreting and implementing this policy.
    2. The Directors, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners, and Curriculum Secondary Learners:
      1. ensure the currency of this policy and support material
      2. provide oversight of the policy and implementation including advice and assistance to curriculum support staff on policy development, implementation and evaluation
      3. notify staff of changes to the policy.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. Principals, school executive and delegated teachers:
      1. supervise the implementation of the policy in schools, reporting their evaluations to their Director, Educational Leadership.
    2. Directors, Educational Leadership:
      1. monitor and support the implementation of the policy in schools and report to their Executive Directors.
    3. Executive Directors:
      1. collect information to inform the Directors, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners and Curriculum Secondary Learners for evaluation of the policy.
    4. The Directors, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners, and Curriculum Secondary Learners:
      1. monitor the implementation of this policy and will report annually, or as required, to the Executive Director, Educational Standards.
  6. Contact

Leader, Primary Curriculum
EarlyLearningPrimaryLearnersUnit@det.nsw.edu.au
02 7814 3038

Leader, Secondary Curriculum
SecondaryEducationUnit@det.nsw.edu.au
02 7814 2586

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