Priority Items

New Stage 6 Reporting and Assessment Pages for Creative Arts (Ref: 217/20)

Updated Assessment and Reporting documents are now available on each syllabus webpage.

The documents have been formatted, streamlined and clarified onto one webpage that includes all information from the Assessment and Reporting documents and their corresponding HSC performance and submitted works requirements documents.

In addition to the formatting and clarification changes, the Music performance HSC examinations in each course will now allow the use of click tracks and students to perform unaccompanied regardless of whether a work was composed to be performed unaccompanied or not.

Implementation of the new Assessment and Reporting documents will commence Year 11 2021 and HSC 2021 examination.

For more information please click here. 

2021 BEST START Year 7 Assessment (Ref: 218/20)

Best Start Year 7 is an optional literacy and numeracy assessment package for secondary schools, offered to schools since 2019. The assessment will be available to schools again in 2021. The assessment:

  • provides a current snapshot of the literacy and numeracy skills and understandings that students bring to secondary school, and
  • supports teachers in the planning of targeted teaching strategies across all subjects.

Schools may choose to use Best Start Year 7 to supplement their existing primary to secondary transition practices.

Schools that choose to participate in Best Start Year 7 will be provided with professional learning and support to help prepare and administer the assessments, and to access post assessment feedback. The professional learning will be made available on-line via Teams.

The BSY7 assessment window for non-government schools is Wednesday 10 February- Wednesday 3 March 2021.

The cost of participating in Best Start Year7 is $2.00/ student.

Please use the following link to register your interest in participating in 2021 Best Start Year 7 before 30 October 2020

Note that continuing schools (those that have participated in Best Start in previous years) will still need to complete the Opt-in registration form so that school details can be updated.

Information sessions

For new schools (considering opting in)

Wednesday 4 November

8:20 for an 8:30am start – to 9:00am

Thursday 5 November

3:20 for a 3:30pm start – to 4pm.

For continuing schools (those that have participated in BSY7 before and would like an update)

Wednesday 4 November

3:20 for a 3:30pm start – to 4pm.

Please use the following link to access the information sessions.

FAQs regarding Best Start Year 7 can be accessed here. 

For further information contact

NSW Curriculum Review

NSW Curriculum Reform (Ref: 219/20)

The reform of the NSW Curriculum will deliver:

  • stronger foundations for future learning by 2022 (New English and mathematics syllabuses for Kindergarten to Year 2)
  • more time for teaching by 2022 (Less time on extra-curricular topics and issues and streamlined compliance requirements)
  • stronger post-school pathways by 2022 (New learning areas for Years 11 and 12 that clearly link learning to future employment and study options)
  • a new curriculum from 2024.


New syllabuses will focus on what is essential for students to know and be able to do in early and middle years of schooling, and the key learning areas in the senior years.

This is the first time in 30 years that NSW has embarked on such significant and comprehensive curriculum reform, which is about ensuring students are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future: “In a world that will continue to be transformed by globalisation and technology, with many jobs disappearing and new ones being created, the importance of a high quality school education has never been greater.” (Sarah Mitchell MLC, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning)

Given the significance of this process, NESA will continue to engage closely with key stakeholders, including Catholic Schools NSW.

Curriculum Consultation: Professional Associations

Professional Teacher Associations are important stakeholders. They will play an essential role in the development of new syllabuses and support materials. They will also provide targeted advice regarding implementation support. Links to professional teacher associations in NSW can be accessed here

Curriculum Reform: NESA Recruitment

NESA has continued to recruit for specialised roles associated with Curriculum Reform initiatives. Information about these opportunities can be accessed here


School Newsletter

School Opal Cards Expiring January 2021 (Ref: 216/20)

From January onwards, there will be a number of School Opal cards expiring, as the physical card has reached its lifespan.

These are cards for students who will be in years 8 to 12 in 2021, and only those Opal cards which haven’t been replaced in the last five years.

Impacted students and/or their parent/guardian will be contacted directly by Transport for NSW via email or post. They will be asked to confirm their details online in order for a new School Opal card to be sent to the correct postal address in time for the new school year.

If contacted by Transport for NSW, details should be submitted online by December 1, 2020 at the latest. Affected students who do not confirm their details in time will have a new School Opal card posted to the address we currently have on file.