Federation of Parents and Citizens' Association

Northern Sydney Region



Foundation Statements – NSW Primary Curriculum





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Initiative from 2005


Foundation Statements are an important initiative of the NSW Government and the Board of Studies.


I strongly recommend that primary school parent bodies discuss this initiative with Principals and teaching staff, and become involved with the implementation.


The initiative should see improvements in the ability of teachers to provide for the needs of each individual child, and for better reporting and feedback to parents.


You will find more information and links below.


I’m happy to provide help to your P&C if required, and would appreciate any feedback on how this issue is being progressed at your school.


David Hope

President, P&C Northern Sydney Region


On this page:


  • Minister’s Statement
  • Board of Studies K-6 website
  • DET Director General’s Memo to Principals


Minister’s Statement


I am pleased to present the new Foundation Statements, the result of extensive work by the NSW Board of Studies, school sectors and thousands of primary school teachers, principals and parents.


The 24 Foundation Statements are short, clear descriptions of the knowledge and skills that each student should develop at each stage of primary education, regardless of which school they attend. They answer the question: ‘What must be taught?’


There are 24 Foundation Statements because there is a statement for each of the six primary syllabus areas and each of the four stages of primary education.


For the first time, all NSW parents and teachers of primary students have a clear and shared set of descriptions of what must be taught to every student, in every school. School sectors will now work with their principals, teachers and parents to ensure that student assessment and reports are consistent with the Foundation Statements.


I thank all who have contributed to the development of these statements – the foundation of all primary education in NSW.


Carmel Tebbutt MP

NSW Minister for Education and Training


The Board of Studies K-6 website for Foundation Statements

The website has a range of information, including this message to teachers:

  • set out a clear picture of the knowledge, skills and understanding that each student should develop at each stage of primary school. They encompass, at a level broader than syllabus outcomes, the nature (key concepts and content) and scope (breadth, depth and rigour) of learning in Kindergarten to Year 6. They do not add new content or concepts to the K–6 curriculum.


  • provide an answer to the question ‘What must be taught?’ in all schools. Using them you can be confident that you are delivering the most important learning for students. They place an emphasis on the fundamental skills needed to succeed at and beyond school, particularly in the areas of literacy and numeracy.


  • give you the freedom to focus on the diverse learning needs of your students. Describing what must be taught in this way will ensure that important concepts and content such as Australian history and democracy, scientific investigation, cultural diversity, Aboriginal history and culture, and safe and healthy lifestyle are included in teaching and learning programs. By focusing on the statements you can be sure that you are meeting the common curriculum requirements in each key learning area.


  • guide you in planning to meet the needs of students with varying ability levels and learning needs. You can select and use the syllabus outcomes and content that best suit the learning needs of your students and adjust teaching strategies and what it is that you ask students to produce.


  • provide a basis for assessing, reporting and discussing student progress.




Today the Minister announced the release of Board of Studies Foundation Statements, replacing the stage statements in syllabuses. These statements describe state-wide common curriculum requirements for NSW primary schools and have been designed to assist teachers to manage the curriculum more effectively. Copies of the Foundation Statements booklet (one for every primary teacher) will be distributed to schools in the week commencing 12 December 2005.

At the same time, the Department will distribute to schools an information booklet (one for each primary teacher) called Getting the balance right, The Department’s response to Time to Teach, Time to Learn.

This booklet gives you an overview of the new Curriculum Planning, Programming, Assessing and Reporting to Parents K-12 Policy, advice on student reports, and information about  the range of support materials for planning, programming and assessing, and for professional learning. These have all been developed through extensive consultation with teachers, parents and principals.

When the two booklets arrive in your school, please provide copies of both to all teachers.

For access to the information and materials


On www.curriculumsupport.nsw.edu.au/timetoteach you will also find:

  • workshop materials including options for school development days
  •  frequently asked questions
  • a flexible curriculum planning, programming and assessing framework called Connected Outcome Groups (COGS)  that includes 30 units of work.



Andrew Cappie-Wood
7 December 2005




 The sites listed are for your information, but the content does not necessarily align with the policies of P&C NSW. No responsibility is taken for any material contained therein.


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