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Learning at St Paul's

St Paul's Catholic Primary School, Moss Vale is registered by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and is subject to its curriculum requirements.

NESA sets and monitors quality teaching, learning, assessment and school standards.

It is also responsible for developing Kindergarten to Year 12 syllabuses for NSW schools.


The NSW curriculum includes the Key Learning Areas (KLAs) of:

English is the key learning area where students develop knowledge, skills and understandings about English language and literature. K–6 syllabuses in New South Wales are organised in broad stages that describe the sequence of learning experiences through which students will progress. The outcomes and content in this English K–6 Syllabus are organised in three strands:

  • Talking and Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing

The outcomes describe the knowledge, skills, understandings and strategies that students demonstrate when learning to talk, listen, read and write. They also specify the knowledge and understandings students develop when learning about talking, listening, reading and writing. These outcomes are achieved as students engage with the content of the syllabus.

When students engage in the English learning experiences, they will develop the ability to talk, listen, read, view and write with purpose, effect and confidence. They will develop knowledge of the ways in which language varies according to context (eg purpose, audience, channel of communication and content). Students will develop a sound grasp of the language structures and grammar of Standard Australian English.

In addition, teachers will provide opportunities for students to develop a broad knowledge of a range of literature including Australian literature. They will also provide opportunities for students to discuss and analyse texts critically and with appreciation.

Mathematics involves the development of students’ thinking, understanding, competence and confidence in the application of Mathematics, their creativity, enjoyment and appreciation of the subject and their engagement in lifelong learning.

The essential content for mathematics in K–10 is structured using one process strand:

  • Working Mathematically

and five content strands:

  • Number
  • Patterns and Algebra
  • Data
  • Measurement
  • Space and Geometry

These strands contain the knowledge, skills and understanding for the study of mathematics in the compulsory years of schooling.

Strands are used as organisers of outcomes and content to assist teachers with planning, programming, assessment and reporting.

Science and Technology is the learning area in which all students learn about the natural and 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.

Technology is concerned with the purposeful and creative use of resources in an effort to meet perceived needs or goals.  It extends beyond the tools and technical inventions of a society and involves the application of human skills, knowledge, techniques and processes to expressive and practical problem-solving situations in all aspects of human life.

The four broad strands of Science and Technology are:

  • Investigating Scientifically
  • Designing and Making
  • The Natural Environment
  • The Made Environment

Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) 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–10 syllabuses are organised in broad stages that describe the sequence of learning experiences through which students will progress.

The outcomes and content in HSIE Syllabus are organised in Geography and History strands.

Through the learning experiences, 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.

The school’s Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) program aims to develop in each student the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to understand, value and lead healthy and fulfilling lives. 

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 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.

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.

Creative Arts in K–6 is designed to enable students to gain increasing understanding and accomplishment in the visual arts, music, drama and dance and for students to appreciate the meanings and values that each of the art forms offer personally, culturally and as forms of communication.

In Visual Arts, students will develop 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
  • in appreciating their own artworks and those of others, recognising the roles of artists, audiences and how the world can be interpreted

In Music, students will develop knowledge, skills and understanding:

  • in performing music of different styles and from different times and cultures by singing, playing and moving using musical concepts
  • in organising sound into musical compositions using musical concepts
  • in listening to and discussing their own music and that of others

In Drama, students will develop knowledge, skills and understanding:

  • in making drama collaboratively by taking on roles and creating imagined situations shaped by the elements of drama
  • in performing drama by actively engaging in drama forms
  • in appreciating their own dramatic works and those of others 

In Dance, students will develop knowledge, skills and understanding:

  • in composing their own dances using the elements and contexts of dance
  • in performing their own dances and the dances of others from different times and cultures using the elements and contexts of dance
  • in appreciating their own dances and those of others
In addition at St Paul's, a course in Religious Education is taught in theory and practice.

Each KLA includes syllabuses that are inclusive of the learning needs of all students.

Syllabuses identify:

  • the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes students are expected to develop at each stage
  • outcomes and content that describe what students are expected to know and do cross-curriculum priorities, general capabilities and other important learning for all students.

The primary (K-6) curriculum is organised into four Stages of learning: 

Early Stage 1


Stage 1

Year 1 and Year 2

Stage 2

Year 3 and Year 4

Stage 3

Year 5 and Year 6

Most students will be working towards the outcomes for their Stage. Some students will be working towards outcomes that are above or below their Stage.

For more information on the NSW curriculum, visit the NESA website.

Did You Know: St Paul's is committed to working in partnership with families and community in welcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students – supporting them to reach their full potential and to embrace their culture and identity. Read more here