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All about the Australian NSW Curriculum

Australia has become a very popular destination for those wishing to study abroad at both school and college level. The education system in this country is of a high standard and the costs are comparatively lower than that of The USA or Europe. Since English is the language of the country and used for instruction, students from India do not have to overcome any language barriers when studying there. The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has its own education system and is known to offer among the best schools in the country. The NSW and Australian curriculum are similar but there are some differences. Students who want to study in NSW often are confused about the curriculum and study pattern. Here is a brief summary of what is involved.

Curriculum Vs. Syllabus

While the words curriculum and syllabus are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Curriculum refers to the overall course of study from the beginning or foundation stage to the completion of the course so that the designated examination may be taken. Syllabus refers to what is studied in relation to a specific subject and is more detailed than the curriculum which presents the big or overall picture.

The Stages Of Learning In NSW

The NSW school system is organized into primary and secondary levels of learning, each of which has different stages and curricula.

  • The primary level has 4 stages:
    • The foundation stage which is the starting point when children begin kindergarten at about 5 years.
    • Stage 1 is the first 2 years after kindergarten
    • Stage 2 is years 3 and 4
    • Stage 3 is years 5 and 6
    • The four stages are typically completed by the time the student is 11 years old.
  • The secondary level (when the student is normally 12 years old) has 3 stages:
    • Stage 4 is years 7 and 8
    • Stage 5 is years 8 and 9
    • Stage 6 is years 11 and 12

The timeframe for completing school under the NSW curriculum is 13 years and the student can expect to graduate by the age of 18. In this regard, it is similar to the structure of the Indian school system.

Admission To Schools in NSW

Students from overseas will have to contact individual schools in the state and apply for admission. Generally, admission is given on a “catchment area” policy – schools admit students from their local region. Documentation in the form of reports from the previous schools, details of the curriculum and portfolios of the student’s past work will be required for the school to evaluate the student and decide on which class he or she may be admitted.

Preparing for Admission

Admission for NSW schools or those in other parts of Australia is not easy, but with the right preparation, it should not be a problem for most students. The key to obtaining admission is to begin preparations as early as possible. The best way to do this is by online learning from a coaching organization that includes the Australian curriculum among its focus areas. The ideal one is that which has experts in the Australian curriculum and in the subjects that are part of it.
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