What will my child learn at school?

The Board of Studies NSW sets the learning requirements for each stage of primary school. The four stages are:

The seven main areas taught at St Mary?s are:

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  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Human Society and its Environment (HSIE)
  • Creative Arts
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE).

    Talk to your child?s teacher about what they expect to cover in class and how you can help your child at home.
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Gospel values encompass all of our teaching and learning activities and pastoral care throughout the school day. Religion is formally taught daily in lessons that may range from 20 to 40 minutes in duration depending on grade level and content. The curriculum for Religion lessons comes from the Christ We Proclaim Program which was produced by the Bathurst Catholic Education office. Prayer takes place daily in the classroom at the start of the day , before recess and lunch and the end of the school day. Students also participate in School Liturgies on relevant Holy days. Parents are welcome to join us on these occasions.

The school Chaplain Father Brian Murphy is a regular visitor to our school, he presides over our Eucharist Liturgies at St Brigid?s Church and attends school based liturgies throughout the year. St Mary?s students are given the opportunity to make the sacraments of: Eucharist, reconciliation and Confirmation. This is done in conjunction with the St Brigid?s Parish under the leadership of the Parish Sacramental Team.


The aim of the English K?6 Syllabus is to encourage positive attitudes towards learning English, to develop students? ability in using language effectively and to enable critical reflection on how language works.
In English, students learn to read, write, talk and listen. They learn about English language and literature, how language varies according to context and how to communicate to a range of audiences for different purposes. They learn to read for information and for pleasure. They learn about poetry, novels and plays. They gain a sound grasp of language structures, punctuation, spelling and grammar.
The approach taken in this syllabus stresses the need to develop students? ability in talking, listening, reading, viewing and writing. They will, for example, learn how to interact productively with their peers, to speak confidently in class discussions, to listen strategically, to read with comprehension, and to write well-structured, coherent texts.


The Mathematics K?6 Syllabus is organised into six strands ? one process strand, Working Mathematically, and the five content strands, Number, Patterns and Algebra, Data, Measurement, and Space and Geometry. Working Mathematically encompasses a set of five key processes that are embedded into the other five strands through the content. Working Mathematically involves;
  • Questioning
  • Applying Strategies
  • Communicating
  • Reasoning 
  • Reflecting
The aim of Mathematics in K?6 is to develop students? mathematical thinking, understanding, competence and confidence in the application of mathematics, their creativity, enjoyment and appreciation of the subject, and their engagement in lifelong learning.

Along with syllabuses around Australia and the world the 2002 NSW Mathematics K-6 Syllabus has changed its focus from procedural knowledge to conceptual understanding. Strengthens the development of Number concepts with a particular focus on visualisation and mental computation and delays the introduction of formal written algorithms.

Because of this, expectations have been raised considerably. Students are no longer expected merely to recall facts and reproduce step-by-step procedures. They are expected to be able to demonstrate deep understanding by being able to explain mental strategies and mathematical situations. Formal written algorithms are introduced after students have gained an understanding of basic concepts including place value, and having developed mental strategies for computing with two and three- digit numbers.

Science and Technology

Science and Technology is the learning area in which all students learn about the natural and man made environments by investigating, by designing and making and by using technology. Learning in Science and Technology will draw on and contribute to learning related to the other five Key Learning Areas.
*The Science and Technology syllabus is due for renewal in 2010.

Human Society and its Environment

Human Society and Its Environment is the key learning area in which students develop knowledge, understandings, skills, and values and attitudes about people and their social and physical environments. K?6 syllabuses are organised in broad stages that describe the sequence of learning experiences through which students will progress.
The outcomes and content in this Human Society and Its Environment
K?6 Syllabus are organised in four strands:
  • Change and Continuity
  • Cultures
  • Environments
  • Social Systems and Structures.
Through the learning experiences in this syllabus, students will develop knowledge and essential understandings about Australia?s history and geography, the people who live within its territory and their social, cultural, economic and political lives. They will learn about Australians, European influences, the original occupation of Australia by Aboriginal people and Australia?s shared history, Australia in the context of the Asian and Pacific regions and the world, and other cultures in the world.
Creative Arts

In Visual Arts, students develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in making artworks informed by their investigations of the world as subject matter, use of expressive forms, and consideration of the audience for their works. They also develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in appreciating their own artworks and those of others, recognising some relationships between artists, artworks, audiences and how the world is interpreted.

In Music, students develop knowledge, skills and understanding in performing music of different styles and from different times and cultures by singing, playing and moving, and in organising sound into musical compositions using musical concepts. They also develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in listening to and discussing their own music and that of others.

In Drama, students develop knowledge, skills and understanding in making drama collaboratively by taking on roles and creating imagined situations shaped by the elements of drama, and in performing drama by actively engaging in drama forms. They also develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in appreciating their own dramatic works and those of others.

In Dance, students develop knowledge, skills and understanding in composing their own dances using the elements and contexts of dance and in performing their own dances and the dances of others from different times and cultures. They also develop knowledge, skills and understanding in appreciating their own dances and those of others.

Personal Development, Health and Physical education

The subject matter of PDHPE K?6 is organised into eight interrelated strands.

  • Active Lifestyle-Active Lifestyle is concerned with students adopting activity patterns that promote their wellbeing. In this strand, students will examine the components of a balanced lifestyle, explore options for recreation and develop the skills and attitudes necessary for an active lifestyle.
  • Dance-Dance develops the ability of students to communicate and express themselves through movement. Through dance, students develop awareness of the ways their bodies move, the space in which they move, the time and quality of their movements and their relationship to each other and objects. Students participate in composing, moving and appreciating a range of dance styles.
  • Games and Sports-This strand develops each student?s competence and confidence in a broad range of games, sports and physical activities. Students develop fundamental movement skills (FMS), progressing to more games and sports-specific skills in non-competitive and competitive environments that foster positive feelings of success and enjoyment.
  • Growth and Development- Growth and Development involves developing each student?s understanding of their own physical, social, cognitive and emotional development in the context of increasing awareness of changes that occur throughout the cycle of people?s lives. Students participate in activities that increase their confidence and competence to manage change.
  • Gymnastics -The focus of this strand is on initial movement exploration leading to the acquisition of some preliminary gymnastics skills. Students investigate and succeed in a wide variety of movement experiences and challenges, developing skill, demonstrating control and exploring the ways in which the body can move. The gymnastics experiences recommended in this syllabus are appropriate for all students. They do not involve Olympic or competitive gymnastics disciplines.
  • Interpersonal Relationships-Interpersonal Relationships is concerned with developing an understanding of the nature of relationships. Students develop skills for building positive responsible relationships, and practise their application so that they can use them effectively in their lives.
  • Personal Health Choices-Personal Health Choices examines the process of making lifestyle decisions and putting them into practice. This strand considers the personal health decisions that students make about their lives relating to nutrition, hygiene, consumerism, drug use, the environment and disease prevention.
  • Safe Living -Safe Living is concerned with the protection of individuals through the promotion of safe environments and practices. This strand focuses on developing in students a commitment and an ability to act in ways that will keep themselves and others safe from harm.

How much time will be spent on each subject?

The Board?s syllabus requirements can be taught in 80 percent of a typical 9 am to 3 pm five-day school week. The remaining 20 percent of the school week is left free for additional activities at the school?s discretion. Religion lessons take up a percentage of this time allocation. English and Mathematics make up about 50 percent of the school week ? this is equivalent to at least 12 hours each week. The other subjects are spread across the remaining time (see pie chart below). The 6?10% of time noted below represents between 1.5 and 2.5 hours per week. The use of computers is included in every stage of every subject.

The Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

The Assessment Resource Centre (or ARC) helps teachers to assess and report student achievement across Kindergarten to Year 12. The ARC has been developed by the Board of Studies for teachers to use when grading students, although parents and students will also find it useful.

To see the ARC website, click here

The A to E (or equivalent) grading scale lets teachers report student achievement according to clear and consistent standards. Teachers make professional judgements as to which grade best matches the standard their students have achieved.

In summary: A is the grade for extensive knowledge and understanding, B is for thorough, C is for sound, D is for basic and E is for elementary.

For more information, pelase visit either of the links below

Board of Studies

AssessmentResource Centre

Some words and phrases explained

Foundation Statements: The Board of Studies? Foundation Statements help primary teachers summarise what must be taught in each syllabus. You can read the Statements for each primary subject on the Board?s website.

Key Learning Areas or ?KLAs?: These are the mandatory subject areas taught in all NSW schools. There are six KLAs in primary school and eight KLAs in secondary school. In secondary school, Science and Technology become separate subject areas: Science is one subject area; Technology and Applied Studies is another. Languages Other Than English (LOTE) is also introduced as a mandatory subject area.

You can find out more about the KLAs on the Board?s website.

A syllabus is a detailed description of each of the subjects that teachers should cover at each stage of schooling. ?Syllabus? and ?curriculum? are often used to describe the same thing, although curriculum can also be a more general term to describe everything taught in schools.

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Contact Details
St Mary's Primary School

Wheelers Lane PO Box 4141 Dubbo NSW 2830
Tel: 02 6882 4790
Fax: 68844525