Developing a scope and sequence

How to develop effective scope and sequences for all key learning areas.

What is a scope and sequence?

A scope and sequence is a summary of what is to be taught, the sequence in which it will be taught and the syllabus outcomes that may be addressed in the intended learning.

Scope and sequences are flexible and fluid documents. They provide a brief overview of the key concepts and ideas addressed in a learning and teaching program for an individual stage or year.

There will be variations in scope and sequences arising from the differences in school contexts, student cohorts and syllabus requirements.

Elements of a scope and sequence for primary schools include:

  • the scope of learning in relation to the syllabus outcomes to be addressed
  • the sequence of learning in relation to the syllabus outcomes to be addressed
  • duration of the learning
  • syllabus outcomes addressed through the learning and related outcomes (from other KLAs) if the teaching program is integrated
  • relevant information for particular learning areas or particular school requirements.

These web pages provide advice to address curriculum requirements and needs arising from differences in school contexts and student cohorts. Explore NSW Education Standards Authority’s Advice on scope and sequences.

Why do we need scope and sequence documents?

All NSW public schools need to plan curriculum and develop teaching programs consistent with the Education Act (1990) and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabuses and credentialing requirements.

Scope and sequences form part of the ongoing documentation or evidence schools maintain to comply with the department’s policy, policy standards and registration requirements. A scope and sequence identifies the learning/units of work that forms an overview of the school’s educational program. Find out more about Policy implementation and system registration.

Developing a robust scope and sequence has many benefits and may help teachers and schools to:

  • promote high expectations for student learning
  • identify opportunities for explicit teaching
  • create opportunities for students to receive feedback on their learning
  • systematically plan for and undertake assessment
  • collect and use data to monitor achievements and identify gaps in learning
  • differentiate curriculum delivery to meet the needs of students at different levels of achievement
  • collaborate with other teachers to plan for quality teaching and learning.

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Learn more about elements of a scope and sequence.

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