Key Learning Areas

PRIMARY (K-6)

There are 6 Key Learning Areas (KLAs) for primary schools mandated by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), which replaced the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES) on 1 January 2017.

They are English, Mathematics, Science, Human Society and its Environment, which includes History and Geography, Creative Arts and Personal Development Health and Physical Education.

Links to the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabuses (including the optional Languages syllabus for primary schools) are listed below.

Religious Education is an additional subject for all students in Catholic schools.

SECONDARY (7-10)

In secondary schools, there are 7 Key Learning Areas (KLAs) for Years 7 to 10 students mandated by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

They are English, Mathematics, Science, Human Society and its Environment, Languages, Creative and Performing Arts, Personal Development Health and Physical Education and Technological and Applied Studies.

Religious Education is an additional subject for all students in Catholic schools.

Links to the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabuses are listed below.

SENIOR SECONDARY (11-12)

To qualify for the NSW Higher School Certificate AWARD You must satisfactorily complete:

  • a Preliminary pattern of study that includes at least 12 units
  • a HSC pattern of study that includes at least 10 units.

Both patterns of study must include at least:

  • 6 units of Board Developed Courses
  • 2 units of a Board Developed Course in English, or English Studies
  • 3 courses of 2 or more units (either Board Developed or Board Endorsed Courses)
  • 4 subjects.

Special education (Life Skills) ­– If you have special education needs you can attain your HSC by studying Life Skills courses. There are specific entry requirements for the Life Skills courses and you still need to meet the general eligibility and study patterns to earn your HSC. Life Skills courses do not count towards the ATAR.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)  ­– VET courses can be studied either at school or through TAFE NSW and other training providers. You will need to check with your school about which courses are available and the requirements of the different courses. For example, all VET courses involve a minimum number of hours in the workplace.

VET courses contribute towards your HSC and Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) VET credentials, recognised by industry and employers throughout Australia. Some of the Board Developed VET courses have an optional HSC exam, so if you choose to sit the exam your results can also count towards your ATAR.