Our Teaching And LearningSydney Catholic Schools follow the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12 and Sydney Catholic Schools’ Religious Education Curriculum.

Our schools focus on the development of the whole child – academically, emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually – with our Catholic values underpinning everything that we do. This holistic approach to education is defined by our policies, practices and relationships to ensure that each child in every school is safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, recognising that every student is unique and learns differently.

Sydney Catholic Schools offer unique educational opportunities for our students.


Religious education is at the heart of Catholic education. It informs all aspects of school life and contributes to the mission of the Catholic Church in announcing the good news of Jesus Christ.

All students are expected to participate in the religious life of their school. This includes being part of formal religious education that follows a curriculum and uses our textbook series To Know, Worship and Love.

Read more on Religious Education

Primary education, from Kindergarten to Year 6, has four stages of learning:

  • Early Stage 1 – Kindergarten
  • Stage 1 – Year 1 and Year 2
  • Stage 2 – Year 3 and Year 4
  • Stage 3 – Year 5 and Year 6

The KLAs for primary schools. Includes:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Human Society and its Environment (HSIE)
    • History
    • Geography
  • Science and Technology
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)
  • Creative Arts – includes music lessons offered as part of Sydney Catholic Schools’ Amadeus Music Education Program
  • Languages (optional)

Each Key Learning Area (KLA) includes syllabuses for Kindergarten to Year 10 and Years 11 and 12 that are inclusive of the learning needs of all students. The NSW curriculum is organised in six stages of learning.

Year 7 to Year 12 has three stages of learning:

  • Stage 4 – Years 7 and Year 8
  • Stage 5 – Years 9 and Year 10
  • Stage 6 – Year 11 and Year 12

The KLAs for secondary schools are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science (Years 7-10)
  • Human Society and its Environment (HSIE)
  • Technology Mandatory (Years 7-8)
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)
  • Creative Arts
  • Languages (Mandatory in Stage 4)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) (Years 9-12)


School students in NSW generally work towards the Higher School Certificate (HSC) in Years 11 and 12. It is the highest level of attainment a student can reach at school.

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) oversees the HSC and determines:

  • available HSC courses;
  • eligibility requirements; and
  • achievement pathways – including the HSC minimum standard.
Read more HSC Information

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) issues the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) to eligible students who leave school before completing the HSC.

The RoSA is a cumulative credential, meaning it contains a student’s record of academic achievement up until the date they leave school. This could be between the end of Year 10 up until and including some results from Year 12.

The RoSA records completed Stage 5 (Year 10) and Preliminary Stage 6 (Year 11) courses and grades, HSC (Year 12) results and, where applicable, participation in any uncompleted Preliminary Stage 6 courses or HSC courses.

The RoSA is useful to students leaving school prior to the HSC because they can show it to potential employers or places of further learning, and is also available to students who have not demonstrated the HSC minimum standard to receive their HSC.

All students are entitled to participate in and progress through the curriculum. Years 7–10 courses based on Life Skills outcomes and content and Years 11–12 Life Skills courses provide options for students with a disability who cannot access the regular course outcomes, particularly students with an intellectual disability.

Students can, at any time, access Life Skills. The appropriate time to access one or more of these courses is guided by the needs of the student and the collaborative curriculum planning process.

Years 7–10 courses based on Life Skills outcomes and content and Years 11–12 Life Skills courses can be used to meet the requirements for a Record of School Achievement (RoSA) and Higher School Certificate (HSC).

The purpose of assessment is to establish and understand where learners are in their learning at a point in time. This informs ongoing learning opportunities and teaching decisions which ensures learning growth for all students.

The following Principles of Assessment are evidence-based and support Sydney Catholic Schools’ vision to nurture “thriving Catholic communities through excellent teaching and learning.” These principles provide a basis on which decisions about quality assessment practices are built.


  • focuses on knowing the learner
  • empowers the learner
  • is integral to the teaching and learning cycle
  • is relevant, purposeful and engaging
  • is valid and reliable
  • is flexible, fair and accessible, enabling all students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning
  • incorporates timely, effective and appropriate feedback.

At Sydney Catholic Schools teachers provide an engaging, holistic learning experience so that students can thrive academically. Quality assessment is essential to this experience.

Teachers use a range of assessment techniques to monitor and report on the progress and achievement of each student against curriculum standards.

Assessment for, as and of learning are approaches that inform teaching decisions that are focused on progressing student learning. These approaches are used individually or together, and formally or informally.