Curriculum Initiatives

The Curriculum offered in all Broken Bay systemic schools is based on the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabuses which can be accessed from the Board’s website.

Our teachers use these documents as the foundation of their teaching programs. As a Catholic school system, our curriculum and pedagogy also reflect a Catholic view of the world. Compliance with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) curriculum requirements is monitored through our School Review and Development process.

In 2014, our schools commenced implementation of new NSW syllabuses designed in response to Australian Curriculum.  In Broken Bay primary schools, new syllabuses in English and Mathematics were implemented in 2014; Science and Technology was implemented in 2019; and History and Geography was implemented in 2017. The new PDHPE syllabus will be implemented in 2020. In Broken Bay secondary schools new syllabuses for English, Mathematics, Science and History were introduced for Years 7 and 9 in 2014, and for Years 8 and 10 in 2015. The new Geography syllabus was implemented in all schools for Years 7 and 9 in 2017 and for Years 8 and 10 in 2018.   For more information on the introduction of new NSW syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum, please contact your school’s principal.

Curriculum is one factor contributing to the achievement of valued learning outcomes for students. School capacity, teaching and assessment, and the formal curriculum all play a part in leading to student achievement as identified in the graphic below.


Broken Bay schools have maintained a strategic focus on Leading Learning over the past three years, working closely with colleagues from the University of Auckland. This focus is having a direct impact on student-centred leadership, teaching practice and ultimately on student learning.

Key Curriculum Initiatives

Key curriculum initiatives aimed at building students’ self-concept and confidence as learners include:

Best Start

An entry to Kindergarten, one to one assessment interview of literacy and numeracy which enables teachers to better understand each child as a learner from Day 1.

Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU)

Aimed at building students’ conceptual knowledge and confidence in mathematics, EMU includes a mathematical assessment interview to assess each student’s point of growth in mathematical understanding and identify what next steps are needed.


Support is provided for a number of our primary schools to offer a Language other than English, with priority given to targeted Asian languages (Mandarin, Japanese, Indonesian and Korean).


Support is provided for our schools to engage creatively with the Arts to ensure high quality, exciting learning, including performance.

Effective Teaching

Effective teaching in response to identified needs of learners is essential for student advancement: Broken Bay promotes the use by teachers of the “Teacher Inquiry and Knowledge building cycle” (Timperley, 2007) where teachers inquire thoroughly into the learning needs of students in their class and then develop learning experiences to meet these needs.

Broken Bay has also benefited from an ongoing and long term relationship with the University of Newcastle and the Quality Teaching framework.

Well Rounded Approach to Assessment

A well rounded approach to assessment puts the student at the centre. The primary purpose of assessment is to build understanding of student progress and provide feedback to students on areas for future growth.  It follows that most assessment should give students clarity about where to next.

As part of the assessment, standardised assessments in literacy and numeracy provide a snapshot of student progress measured against national standards.  The Broken Bay Diocesan School System is generally regarded as high performing in these national assessments.

Broken Bay also promotes other standardised instruments such as Progressive Achievement Tests in Reading Comprehension and Mathematics.